Sometimes a small mistake can have enormous repercussions, and this is true of swimming pool maintenance. What you thought was an ingenious, time-saving measure could end up costing you thousands of dollars to repair the damages. You hear this all the time: pool owners adding too much chemicals at one time and not testing the water along the way.
When it comes to using a pool robot to clean your pool, even though the robot has got the pool handled, you need to take care of the robot. Neglect or ignorance are often the leading causes of a pool robot malfunctioning and being damaged beyond repair.
Crystal clear pool water is the result of excellent pool maintenance, and two crucial aspects that make this happen are vacuuming the pool and shocking it. You vacuum the pool to get rid of debris and particulates in the pool. You shock it to kill any bacteria present that could give the pool water a cloudy appearance. These steps should be taken separately; do not do them at the same time.
In this article, we will discuss the reasons why it’s not a good idea to run your pool cleaner while simultaneously shocking your pool, and what you should be doing instead.
Can you leave the pool robot in the pool all the time?
Pool robots are an expensive investment. You don’t need me to tell you that you should take good care of it. That is why you should remove it from the pool once its cycle is completed.
Leaving your pool robot in the pool exposes it to UV damage, discoloring the plastic and weakening it. Prolonged exposure to water can also result in negative effects such as the oxidation of metals and plastics, further weakening the materials. Overall, your pool robot’s lifespan will be shortened if you leave it out all the time.
What about leaving it in the pool while shocking it?
If even leaving it out for too long can result in deterioration, then shocking the pool and increasing its chlorine concentration from 1-3 ppm to 10-12 ppm will have adverse effects as well.
Chlorine, in its normal dosage, is already capable of drying out plastics and causing them to fade. When its concentration reaches pool shock levels, it will rapidly cause the automatic pool cleaner’s plastic to deteriorate.
Protect your pool robot and remove it from the water after it is done its cycle. If you plan on shocking the pool, either run the pool vacuum before shocking, or 24 hours after shocking, but remember to take it out of the water first. Do not run the pool robot while shocking the pool.
When it’s not in use, store it in a dry location, out of direct sunlight and any other types of weather exposure.
Why do you need to vacuum and shock?
Vacuuming and shocking the pool go hand-in-hand. Experts recommended pool owners first vacuum their pool before adding a dose of shock.
The reason for this is to get rid of as much dirt and particles that have sunk to the pool floor, which could be contributing to the cloudy and dirty look of your pool (hence why you’re shocking it).
In order to give the shock treatment its best chance at fixing the problem, vacuuming the pool beforehand is a good precaution. Otherwise, your pool may still be cloudy after shocking it due to dirt and debris floating around in it still.
Let the pool robot vacuum beforehand until no more dirt is visible on the pool floor, and skim the top of the water for floating dirt, leaves, and small bugs prior to shocking.
Shocking your pool
After the pool cleaner finishes its cleaning cycle, take it out of the pool before adding shock.
Shock treatment can be poured directly to the pool’s surface. Depending on the size of your pool, the amount of shock needed will vary.
One shock treatment is generally enough to clean as much as 7,000 gallons of water. If your pool has 20,000 gallons of water, you need nearly three doses of shock treatment to clean that much water.
Types of shock
You will find chlorine shock in two forms: the more expensive liquid shock, or a granulated form that should be mixed and pre-dissolved.
Liquid shock is ready to use and can be poured directly to the pool’s surface and won’t damage vinyl pool liners. The higher premium is due to this convenience.
The granulated shock should first be mixed in a bucket with some of your pool water. Stir until all of it has dissolved, then pour this mixture to the pool’s surface. Adding the unmixed granulated shock can damage the liner, hence why you should mix it in a bucket first.
Vacuuming after shock
Shock the pool with whichever type of shock you prefer. Then let the pump circulate the shock throughout the water for at least 24 hours before adding any other chemicals. Don’t forget to take your pool robot out of the pool while you wait.
There should be a noticeable difference in water clarity as the hours go by, and by the next day, the pool should no longer be cloudy.
If you do notice that the pool is still somewhat cloudy, that might be due to dirt that was kicked up during vacuuming which has now settled at the bottom of the pool once again.
After 24 hours have elapsed, you can safely use the pool robot once again to vacuum the dirt and debris at the pool floor.
It is recommended that you vacuum at least once a week, or whenever the pool is visibly dirty. Vacuuming early and often is much more effective than letting dirt accumulate along the bottom, and then trying to vacuum a large amount at once.
In a similar vein, just as you should not shock the pool while vacuuming it, neither should you be swimming in the pool with an automatic pool cleaner. Keep these activities separate for the best results.