Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How Long Should I Wait to Swim After I Put Chemicals in the Pool?

By Jesse Sears ; Updated July 21, 2017
You must wait for chlorine levels to drop after doing a pool shock.
swimming pool image by apeschi from Fotolia.com

Depends on the Chemical

When doing a pool shock (superchlorinating the pool with concentrated chlorine), you should wait between eight and 36 hours before swimming in your pool. When adding less-caustic chemicals like calcium chloride, sodium bicarbonate and muriatic acid, wait for the pool to turn over, or completely run all the water through its filtration system. Two hours should be sufficient.

Different Pools, Different Wait Times

Because different pools have different amounts of water and different filtration systems, your wait times will vary. When doing a pool shock, always measure the chlorine parts-per-million (ppm) level. You will be shooting for a number between 1.5 and 3.5 ppm. When adding other chemicals, consult with the pool-filtration system manufacturer to see how long one complete pool turn-over will take.

Bottom Line

It is always better to err on the side of caution when calculating pool wait times to avoid health concerns for those swimming your pool. Make sure you plan ahead of time, taking care to add chemicals with enough of a window before you plan to use your pool. It is better to wait too long than not long enough.


About the Author


Jesse Sears is a Los Angeles-based journalist and photographer. He has worked as a professional freelance writer since 2008. Sears has been published in numerous traditional and online media ventures including "The Daily Sundial," "The Pasadena Courier," RSportsCars.com and others. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from California State University, Northridge.