Shocking A Salt Water Pool

Can "regular" "Super Shock & Swim" be used in a salt water pool?

It seems that I am cleaning my salt cell weekly - what am I doing wrong? Also, scale builds up on the cartidge filter - what is this - what causes it?

I have "well" water - very soft. I use acid to keep the pool balanced - since temperatures are 100+ - I use one 1 lb of super shock once a week.

Should I use super shock at all?

Thanks for the question

This is a really good question. This touches on something that I, along with many other real pool guys, will tell you:

Only shock when the pool needs it, not because it's Saturday.

The chlorine kills the algae, bacteria, organic matter, etc... Keep the chlorine level between 1.5 - 3.5ppm for home pools.

Then you have what's called chloramines, or combined chlorine. This is when some of the chlorine becomes inactive and the organic matter starts to take over a bit. A simple test will reveal what the CC is. At 0.6ppm or over for 3 consecutive days, and you should shock.

What many people do is shock each week. They're told to do so in order to kill the bacteria and organic matter. But, that's why you keep the chlorine level between 1.5 - 3.5ppm. By keeping the level here you're already killing any bacteria, so shocking once per week is a waste of time and money, most of the time.

As long as you turn off the salt water generator (SWG) you can use Super Shock & Swim when AND/OR IF you need to shock the pool. Compare that to regular liquid chlorine and use whatever is less expensive.

Swimming Pool Chlorine

Pool Shock

Pool Chlorine

Concerning your calcium build-up, I'd like to have your complete chemical readings:

Chlorine, CYA (cyanuric acid/stabilizer), pH, Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, and Metals (iron and copper).

It could be the hardness of the water, or the total alkalinity is off a bit. It's really difficult to say without having your readings.

Get back to me with the chemical numbers and I'm sure I can help.

To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post on the Q&A page in the "Shocking A Pool" category.

Swimming Pool Questions and Answers

Check back to this post for updates or answers.

Thanks and hope to hear from you soon.


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Jun 06, 2012
Help If You Can With Calcium Buildup
by: Anonymous

I also have an inground saltwater pool with calcium buildup on my cell. I have to clean every month, sometimes twice a month. Also have blackish brownish builup in the pockets of my liner that are very hard to get out.

You can take a hard brush and scrub if you can hold your breath for hours. Will super shocking help loosen this so it will brush off easier. It looks horrible and gets worst everyday. Other than that pool is crystal clear.

I was told the brownish buildup is calcium builup in the pool. That is why it's so hard to remove.

What can I do? I don't want to replace the liner. It's only two years old.

Help me please.

Thanks for the question

First, I'd like to have your complete chemical readings:

Chlorine, CYA (cyanuric acid/stabilizer), pH, Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, and Metals (iron and copper). It makes troubleshooting much easier and the process of clearing up your pool will go much faster.

You can get this done at your local pool store. Without these numbers I'm just guessing at what the problem is.

It could be calcium buildup on the chlorine cell, or too high salt level, but without knowing the hardness and salinity levels it's difficult to say. It could be that you're adding calcium chloride to the pool when the fill water is already high, above 250ppm, or using chlorine granules.

The black/brown buildup on the liner could be mold, or a product of poor pool chemistry, but again, without the numbers it's a guessing game on my part.

Get back to me with the chemical numbers and I'm sure I can help.


Nov 13, 2012
Calcium Flakes In Salt Pool
by: Cathy

I have a 10000 gal. salt pool. About six months ago the water was tested and the pool drained. Pool filled and now more calcium flakes are appearing in the pool. The cell is clean... can you advise?

Thanks for the question Cathy

As it says below I need your complete chemical readings. There could be a few reasons why there are flakes in the pool and the readings will put me on the right track.

Aug 01, 2017
Black algae spots on the bottom of salt water pool
by: Anonymous

I have a intex 20" saltwater pool I have black algae spots on the bottom- I vacuum 1-2 times a week and keep the filter clean
What should I use to remove it and is it harmful to us.

Black algae is not necessarily harmful to you, but you always want to swim in a pool free of contaminants.

The black algae page is here:

Black Algae

Get a tab holder called Algae Gon. It holds the tabs so you can scrub the affected areas.


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