Avoided a near disaster yesterday and thought I would share the story hoping that someone else might not make the same mistake...
We have a rectangular in-ground with an automatic safety cover that we keep closed all the time unless we're in the pool (we have 3 small kids). We also have a slide into the deep end. We have a cabana with the pump, timer, heater, etc... inside. We keep this locked so the kids (or anyone else) can't get to the key lock to open the cover. I have a timer on the pump and SWG that I had running from 10pm to 8am. So anytime we're in the pool during the day, I turn the timer on manually, so we can pump water down the slide. Of course I have to open the valve next to the pump so the water will go down the slide (you might see where this is going already).
So, when we finished swimming the other day, my wife shut off the timer so the pump and SWG would turn off. For some crazy reason, I decided to switch the timer settings that evening so it would now run from noon to 8pm (got tired of manually turning it on and thought it made sense to have it run when we are most likely to be in the pool anyway). Fast forward to the next afternoon. I got home from work and noticed quite a bit of water on the pool cover. Not unusual when it rains, but it had been a beautiful day and I knew it didn't rain. I went inside and talked to the babysitter. She proceeded to explain to me that while she was feeding the kids lunch, she heard water running outside. We live in a newer housing development with quite a bit of construction going on and she just thought maybe she was hearing something from that. She kept hearing the water and stepped out on the deck to investigate and saw water pouring off the slide right onto the safety cover. Luckily with quick thinking she ran down to figure something out. Since the cabana is locked and she couldn't get to the pump or valve inside she checked near the slide and turned the valve off underneath the slide to stop the water.
All kinds of things came together that saved us. 1) We had the PB install a valve by the pump and underneath the slide. 2)For some crazy reason, I decided to switch the timer settings that night and the pump kicked on at noon instead of the middle of the night. 3)It was a beautiful day and the babysitter had the back patio door open (we've had AC on for two weeks now). 4)The babysitter just happened to be getting the kids lunch at noon and was close enough to be able to hear the water running.
If anyone one of the those things wouldn't have happened, it could have been a major disaster. Tons (literally) of water could have been pumped out of the pool and onto the cover which would have probably either eventually ripped the cover or ripped out the coping. And as anyone who has one of these automatic covers knows, they are quite expensive.
I "gently" reminded my wife that we need to turn the slide valve off when we shut the pump off so water doesn't come blasting off the slide and onto the cover when the pump turns back on!
I put the cover pump on to pump the water off and I would guess there was probably 500 gallons of water on the cover. It's a 1800 gph pump and it took about 20 minutes to pump it off.
Moral of the story? If your pump is on a timer, make sure the slide valve is closed when you turn the pump off!