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The Ultimate Guide to SLAMing Your Pool for Crystal Clear Water

Updated: Jun 12, 2023

Keeping your pool water clean and safe is crucial for an enjoyable swimming experience. While regular sanitization with chlorine or bromine is essential, there are times when pool water requires extra attention. This is where SLAMing (Shock, Level, and Maintain) comes into play. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the process of SLAMing your pool, which involves elevating chlorine levels to effectively eliminate algae, sanitize the pool, and achieve sparkling, crystal-clear water.

What Does It Mean to SLAM Your Pool?

SLAMing is a pool water sanitization process that focuses on completely oxidizing all pollutants present in the water, such as algae, bacteria, viruses, and other organic contaminants. The term SLAM originated from the Trouble Free Pool website and stands for Shock, Level, and Maintain. This method is typically used when your pool is experiencing an algae bloom or has a combined chlorine level higher than 0.5 ppm, with the ideal level being below this threshold.

SLAMing vs. Traditional Shocking:

While similar in concept, SLAMing is distinct from traditional pool shocking. Shocking is a one-time process that aims to restore chlorine levels by adding a high dose of free chlorine overnight. It primarily addresses high levels of combined chlorine and is effective for general pool maintenance. In contrast, SLAMing is a more intensive, long-term procedure that involves continuous dosing of the pool with large amounts of free chlorine over several days or weeks. It breaks down pollutants to a molecular level, eradicating algae and ensuring water clarity.

Prerequisites for a Successful SLAM:

Before initiating a SLAM, there are essential prerequisites to consider:

  1. To accurately measure free chlorine levels, it is recommended to obtain a FAS-DPD chlorine test kit. For this purpose, we recommend the Taylor Series K-2006 test kit, as it encompasses a comprehensive range of chemicals necessary for testing and provides the most accurate results.

  2. Determine the current Cyanuric Acid (CYA) level and refer to the Chlorine/CYA Chart at Pool School to identify the appropriate FC shock level.

  3. Use Pool Shock Chlorine for SLAMing, we recommend In The Swim Super Pool Shock

  4. Clear the pool of leaves and debris as much as possible.

  5. Ensure your pool filter is functioning correctly and understand how to clean it if necessary.

  6. Adjust the pH level to between 7.2 and 7.5 before commencing the SLAM. To do so, either add Baking Soda or Muriatic Acid to raise/lower your levels.

  7. Maintain 24/7 pump operation throughout the SLAM process.

  8. Test and adjust chlorine levels frequently but not more than once per hour or less than twice a day.

  9. Brush and vacuum the entire pool daily.

  10. Backwash or clean the filter as needed.

  11. Vacuum up debris whenever necessary.

The SLAMing Process:

To successfully SLAM your pool, follow these steps:

  1. Test the FC level and add enough chlorine to raise it to the appropriate shock level based on your CYA level.

  2. Regularly test and adjust chlorine levels, ensuring they remain within the recommended shock range. To help ensure staying in range, look into getting a personalized chemical cheat sheet to help ease the guesswork.

  3. Brush and vacuum the pool thoroughly every day.

  4. Clean the filter as required to maintain optimal filtration.

  5. Continue SLAMing until three conditions are met: a) Combined Chlorine (CC) is 0.5 ppm or lower, b) the Overnight FC Loss Test (OCLT) shows a loss of 1.0 ppm or less, and c) the pool water is crystal clear with no visible signs of algae on the floor or walls.

  6. Once these conditions are met, the SLAM is considered complete, and the FC level can be allowed to drift down to normal levels.

Additional Considerations:

  1. Seek guidance from a Pool Protection Technology Pool Technician on our contact page if you have any questions or need further assistance during the SLAMing process.

  2. Utilize a FAS-DPD chlorine test for accurate measurements, as relying on other tests may yield less reliable results. We recommend the Taylor K2006 or the Taylor K2006C Kit for accurate at home chemical tests.

  3. SLAMing is most effective when CYA levels are around 30 to 40, while levels below 30 or above 90 may impede the process.

  4. The duration of SLAMing varies based on the severity of the algae infestation and the efficiency of your filtration system.

  5. If you have a salt water chlorine generator, tablet dispenser, injection pump, or Liquidator, switch to using liquid chlorine exclusively during the SLAM.

  6. For sand filters, consider adding a small amount of diatomaceous earth (DE) to expedite the clearing process.

SLAMing your pool is a rigorous but highly effective method for eliminating algae, sanitizing the water, and achieving pristine clarity. By following the step-by-step process outlined in this guide, you can confidently restore your pool's cleanliness and ensure a safe swimming environment for all. Remember, proper testing, continuous chlorine maintenance, and diligent filtration are key to a successful SLAM. Enjoy the rewards of a sparkling, inviting pool that is ready for endless summer fun!

If you require additional guidance on maintaining a pristine, clean pool, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. Our team of expert pool technicians is available to assist you. They will gladly walk you through the step-by-step process of restoring your pool to its optimal condition, ensuring you can once again enjoy it to the fullest.

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