do not ingest pool shock

Pool Shock Dangers for preppers
Do NOT use pool shock to disinfect drinking water!

Pool shock kills algae, and possibly you!
Many reputable prepper Web sites advise us to stock pool
shock for emergencies to help purify drinking water; however,
the problem is that most of us survivalists types are not
chemists (actually far from it). While preppers, homesteaders
and survivalists are a highly creative, resourceful and self
reliant bunch; it's unsafe for us to act like chemists.

While it is possible to use pool shock safely and effectively,
the concern is on calculating the proper dosage of chemicals in
ratio to the water. Pool shock is a highly varying substance,
much in the same way as alcohol has different percentages.
Two shot of beer won't effect you nearly as much as two shots
of vodka!

This page was created to alert preppers to the Pool Shock
dangers, because even splashing around in a chlorinated pool
presents serious concerns of toxins.

Warning to all preppers: Pool shock is not
safe for water purification!
There are many reasons not to stock pool shock for disinfecting
water, but here are the top three:

  1. Ingredients vary in the percentage of calcium hypochlorite
    and inert ingredients.
  2. You're not a chemist (and you don't have the correct
  3. Pool shock is highly corrosive and caustic.

not use pool shock to disinfect drinking water in an
emergency, especially when you can get it in tablet form for the
purpose of disinfecting water in amounts that are safe and
precisely measured, and that are compact and store well.

Here's more on the shocking truth about pool shock..

List of Reasons NOT to Disinfect Water with Pool Shock
You don't need pool shock to disinfect water when you have
other options, like a
Big Berkey water filter, pictured left, which
is capable of giving you potable water without chemicals.

This powerful system purifies both treated water and untreated
raw water from such sources as remote lakes, streams,
stagnant ponds and water supplies in foreign countries, where
regulations may be substandard at best, but if you're still
considering disinfecting your water with pool shock, let us
discourage ou with a list of reasons NOT to disinfect your water
with pool shock.

#1. Pool shock has varying amounts of calcium
Check the ingredients of pool shock, like the In The Swim brand
pictured top left, and you'll find calcium hypochlorite is just one
of the ingredients of pool shock. Manufacturers often include
other chemicals that are not safe to ingest!

Prepper's aren't aware of the variances of the chemicals.
The ultimate safety concern is that pool shock varies
significantly in strength:

  • DryTec pool shock contains 68% Calcium Hypochlorite with
    32% "other ingredients."

  • In the Swim pool shock listed top left is only 68% calcium
    hypochlorite, and the balance of the contents are 32%
    inert (chemically inactive) ingredients. In tablet form,  this
    brand has 65% Available Chlorine and 35% Calcium.

  • Ultimate T.K.O Pool shock, pictured immediate left and
    you'll find 73% calcium hypochlorite. That leaves 27%
    inert ingredients.

  • Some brands of liquid pool shock, such as the liquid pool
    shock pictured top right, have 12.5% concentration of
    sodium hypochlorite.

It is questionable and unsafe to drink the inert ingredients.
What's more, different ingredients mean that the product will
dissolve differently.

#2: Preppers are not chemists: they just don't
know the proper dosage of calcum hypochlorite!
Can you distinguish the inert ingredients? A prepper who isn't a
chemist shouldn't act like one. It's one thing to mix pool water
for swimming, which has instructions clearly posted, but yet
another in concocting the correct ratio of sodium hypochlorite
for life-saving drinking water. There are no instructions on the
product for this purpose! Do it right and you live, but if you do
it wrong you might get even more sick and jeopardize your
chances for survival.

Preppers just don't know the proper dosage of calcium
hypochlorite. The main concern about safety is on calculating
the proper dosage of chemicals in ratio to the water. The
problem is that most of us survivalist types are not chemists
(actually far from it). Generally preppers agree that you use
about a teaspoon for every two gallons of water to make a
chlorine solution*, but where did they get their information?
Did they copy one another?

Daisy Luther in her book, The Prepper's Water Survival Guide,
How to treat and store your most vital resource, pictured
immediate left, has a similar formula. She incorrectly states
that pool shock does not expire or degrade. The World Health
Organization says that a container left open for 40 days can
lose about 18% loss in effectiveness, and "
requires rotation to
minimize the effects of deterioration." In other words, it has a
shelf life that depends on the conditions of storage.

* IMPORTANT: The chlorine solution formula above is not for
drinking. You'll use this solution to make larger volumes of
potable water.

Here is the proper formula for drinking water using sodium
hypochlorite as recommended by the World Health
Organization. It's a little more complicated:

#3: Calcium hypochlorite is a pesticide.
According to the Centers for Disease control, the main
ingredient of pool shock, calcium hypochlorite, is  a "
[that] is very toxic to aquatic organisms." The Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) agrees saying that  Pool shock is
pesticide control over microorganisms,"  meaning it's toxic to
fish and aquatic organisms. It also means it's toxic for you!

#4: Calcium hypochlorite may cause fire or
Storing pool shock is dangerous. Obviously you should keep
away from kids and pets, however you may not know that this
stuff can spontaneously combust! That's right: calcium
hypochlorite can burn when it reacts chemically or oxidized and
it could cause a fire or explosion!

  • Keep pool shock away from fuel sources. Calcium
    hypochlorite may ignite with other combustible materials,
    such as wood, paper or oil. Reaction with fuels may be
    quite violent! If fire breaks out, do NOT use a fire
    extinguisher as the chemicals could cause an even bigger
    problem on your hands. Extinguish fire only with large
    amounts of water.

  • Don't mix pool shock with other ingredients. The
    "DANGER" warning reads: "Contamination or improper use
    may cause fire or explosion. Do NOT contaminate in any
    foreign matter, including other pool treatment products
    Add only into water. Rea all precautions statements on the
    back label and first aid statements before use."

  • Keep calcium hypochlorite away from moisture. You
    must especially keep Pool Shock away from moisture. Even
    spilling a cup of coffee presents problems!

#5: Pool Shock is a highly corrosive and caustic
Pool Shock is a highly corrosive substance that's dangerous to
skin and eyes. The minute it hits your skin, calcium
hypochlorite begins to cause damage to skin, eyes, respiratory
tract, and the digestive tract. Calcium hypochlorite can
chemically destroy body tissues on contact! So get out the
goggles, gloves and footwear to protect yourself properly if you
plan on using it.

The extra shock of chlorine in Pool Shock can cause a chemical
burn of skin damage and eye injuries. Basically it can destroy
the fats and proteins of your skin.e

#6: Pool shock may temporarily increase arsenic
"Chlorine is a strong oxidant and could dissolve arsenic from
sediments and release it into the groundwater, " according to
the University of Georgia. So beware that shock chlorination
may cause temporary arsenic release where sediments contain
high levels of arsenic.

#7: Pool shock may cause long term chemical
poisoning and even cancer.
Why take risks surviving a disaster, only to die of chemical
poisoning, gastrointestinal problems or even cancer?

#8: Pool Shock won't last indefinitely and it's not
any cheaper.
Many preppers think pool shock is an inexpensive and viable
option, since bleach expires (
yes, bleach expires). While Pool
Shock doesn't technically expire, it does lose effectiveness over

Preppers agree on the importance of removing pathogenic
organisms in water responsible for typhoid, dysentery and other
serious diseases. Preppers agree that a solution is necessary to
kill and prevent growth of yeast, mold, fungi and algae which
will make water undrinkable in an emergency.

Unfortunately, preppers don't always agree on the
methodology. They often want to save a buck. Don't take
unnecessary risks. Do not to use pool chlorine to disinfect your
drinking water in an emergency because you have many other
healthier and safer alternatives, which are just as affordable.

Of you choose to use pool shock...
Be sure to store pool shock in a cool dark place away from
other powders and liquids. Keep it also away from your food
and medicine. Finally, be sure to minimize the air around the
chemicals so that upon opening it you don't inhale the vapors
which accumulate. In summary:
  1. Keep away from kids and pets
  2. Store in a cool place.
  3. Keep away from sunliht.
  4. Store in the original containers
  5. Do NOT store anywhere near your food and medicine.
  6. Keep original container in a well ventilated area.
  7. Ensure no moisture
  8. Don' t even think of smoking around Pool Shock.

  • NOTE: Use water ONLY to extinguish a calcium
    hypochlorite fire. Do NOT use a fire extinguisher on
    calcium hypochlorite or you will have an ever bigger
    problem on your hands

Alternatives to Pool Shock for Filtering water.
Certainly there are many other ways to avoid dysentary than to
use pool shock! Infections, bacteria, viruses, parasitic worms,
or protozoa in water doesn't need to happen when you observe
safe practices for disinfecting your water in an emergency.
Please consider safer alternatives these safe alternativew:

#1: Big Berkey water filter.
A Big Berkey water filter, pictured at the top left page, can help
you filter arsenic from your water safely.

#2: Lifestraw Family water purifier.
A family of four can get 4755 gallons clean water for 3 years
without iodine, chlorine or chemicals with Lifestraw Family.

#3: Aquatabs.
Emergencies happen, be prepared. Aquatabs, pictured right, are
used by all major aid agencies, NGO's and peacekeeping
defense forces worldwide for the treatment of human drinking
water in emergency situations.

Recommended for disinfecting raw or pre-treated water,
Aquatabs are used by NATO and many military organizations.
The effervescent tablets which kill micro-organisms in water to
prevent Cholera, Typhoid, Dysentery and other water borne

#4: Potable Aqua.
Make questionable water bacteriologically safe to drink with
Potable Aqua. It's proven effective against Giardia when used
as directed. Free from iodine taste, it makes water drinkable

Potable aqua uses Tetraglycine Hydroperiodide. The most
common causes of water-borne TD are bacteria, such as
E. coli,
cholera and
salmonella, which are reduced or eliminated by
Potable Aqua water purification products.

  • Do Potable Aqua tablets have an Expiration Date?
    Yes, An unopened bottle of Potable Aqua is good for 4
    years. To calculate the EXP date please see the date of
    manufacture noted in the lot code printed on the label.
    The left bottle was made in November of 2013 and expires
    in November of 2017. The right bottle was made in May of
    2015 and expires in May of 2019. Use your Potable Aqua
    tablets for one year after the bottle is first opened, then

#5: Water preserver.
Water Preserver, pictured right, is a proprietary formula of
stabilized, ph-balanced sodium hypochlorite with highly
effective residual action that kills bacteria, viruses, mole, and
fungus. Accept no substitutes!

#6: Sodium Hypochlorite.
Good old fashioned sodium hypochlorite (bleach) is a better
alternative, but yes, it does expire after about 3 months. Also,
if you use bleach to disinfect your water, make sure it is
unscented as you don't want any other chemicals in your water.

An important not is that sodium hypochlorite is an
"antimicrobial pesticide"however it will not deactivate Giardia
Lambia and Cryptosporidium!

Unless you're a chemist, don't use pool shock for
disinfecting your drinking water.
If you're not a chemist who can discern the differences, you
have no business messing around with pool shock in using the
product outside its intended purpose. Too much calcium
hypochlorite can draw out dissolved minerals like iron. Learn
more about
why iron isn't good in your water and why you
should test for it.

So now you know the shocking truth about pool shock, and you
have some alternatives that won't cost you much more. Be
safe, not sorry.

Happy endings...
While preppers, homesteaders and survivalists are a highly
creative, resourceful and self reliant bunch; it's unsafe for us to
act like chemists. In short, do not use pool shock to disinfect
your drinking water!

More good and happy news about pool shock is that it can help
you maintain your pool for swimming to keep it free from
mosquitoes and waterborne diseases including
bacteria! So go ahead and use it for your swimming pool (but
not your drinking water).

Related articles...

This page was created to alert preppers to the Pool Shock
dangers: pool shock is not safe for water purification! Don't
plan on shocking your drinking water. Go ahead and use pool
shock for your pool, but don't shock your drinking water. The
one good thing about pool shock is that it lasts longer than
chlorine bleach. Everything has an expiration date and bleach
lasts only around 3-6 months. It's true,
check the expiration
dates of your prepping supplies.

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