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Thread: Going on vacation- no pool cover

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    Going on vacation- no pool cover

    Any suggestions on preparing our pool for a 10-day vacation if we don't have a cover? I've read many suggestions here in the forum and they all require either someone to come over and add chlorine during the vacation or lots of chlorine and a cover. We're currently losing about 2.5 ppm chlorine/day. Is finding a human chlorinator our only option (short of installing a Liquidator or SWG)?

    Current numbers:
    FC-5
    pH-7.7
    TA-85
    CH-310
    CYA-40
    borate-50
    salt- soon to be 1500-2000

    Thanks!
    18,000 gallon IG gunite freeform pool
    Intelliflo VS pump; Hayward SwimClear-C4030 425 sq ft filter; 4x suction PoolCleaner

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Going on vacation- no pool cover

    Even if you installed the liquidator or SWG, I would not leave it running for 10 days with no one to check on it.

    You could do what I am in the processing of living right now which is:

    Bring pool to shock level (maybe a tad over), circulate one hour, and then turn everything OFF.
    I do not have a cover and my neighbors have lotsa trees.

    Left for ten days, will return early next week where I am sure I will need to scoop some debris and then shock what I hope will only be slightly green. I don't expect it to take more than a day or two to bring my pool back to sparkly using our methods.

    just my .02

    Since I had no other option, I can live with it. Also, knowing how to shock your pool and clear it up pretty fast takes a lot of stress off the pool owner
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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Going on vacation- no pool cover

    You'd be a lot safer if you can circulate the pool with shock level FC. I'd also buy a puck floater and fill it up too! Throw some in the skimmer! If CYA gets a tad high---it's still easier to replace a little water than shock a swamp. If circulating is a problem due to debris, do what I did all winter. Go to Wally World and buy one of those fine mesh adjustable sink strainers for veggies and rig it up in front of the skimmer mouth.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
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    Re: Going on vacation- no pool cover

    Ten days uncirculated will breed mosquitoes. I'd vote for Fc at shock level and a floater or two packed with dichlor. With stabilizer at 40 you can afford to go higher. However, the chance of overfull skimmers and resulting pump failure is still an issue. You really need to have someone to check the pool.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Going on vacation- no pool cover

    Thanks, guys. Having converted a swamp this year (frogs and all), I'm not afraid of shocking. Still, I'd rather avoid it if for no other reason than we can swim when we return without having to wait a few days. So far leaves haven't been too much of a problem, but as Fall approaches, I think it will be a battle. The sink strainer idea is very clever!

    Can i simply put in so much chlorine that when we come back, FC will still be above the minimum level? At 2.5 ppm/day, bringing the level to 35 should do it, I would think. Or does it dissipate faster when levels are higher?

    The puck floater might be helpful in addition to shocking. Never having owned one, how do you set them up so that the pucks don't dissolve too fast?
    18,000 gallon IG gunite freeform pool
    Intelliflo VS pump; Hayward SwimClear-C4030 425 sq ft filter; 4x suction PoolCleaner

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Going on vacation- no pool cover

    1. The higher the FC, the more ppm you lose daily. So trying to dose it up very heavily results in increased ppm losses and, generally, won't be the most effective solution.

    2. You can't adjust the pucks. If water is flowing over them, they will release FC. If you shut the pump off, you will not circulate the FC they release.


    3. I would increase FC to about 15ppm and ask (or pay) someone to come by your house and do two things.....

    a. run pump for about 8 hours daily

    b. starting on the 4th day or so, add enough FC to increase ppm by about 3 daily.

    You will return to a clear pool and, after removing a few leaves, will be ready to swim.


    Plan B would be to run FC up to about 25ppm and shut everything down, returning 10 days later and hoping for the best. It may not be too bad and you know how to fix it if it is.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Going on vacation- no pool cover

    If you run your pump on a timer I suggest the floater method, If you don't then the 'raise it to shock level and deal it later' is probably your only option.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Woodberg's Avatar
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    Re: Going on vacation- no pool cover

    This is why I have an in line chlorinator which takes the 3" pucks. I use it when I need to bring my CYA up and when I'm on vacation. I typically keep my CYA a little lower before going on an extended vacation. While I'm gone I can fill it up with pucks and not worry about the CYA rising too high. The rest of the year, it just sits empty and I use bleach.
    20,000 gallon gunite pool, attached spa, Pebblesheen finish, Paramount PCC-2000 infloor cleaning system, Paramount ClearO3 ozone system, Intelliflo VS main pump, Whisperflo 1HP cleaner pump, StaRite cartridge filter, StaRite heater

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    Re: Going on vacation- no pool cover

    So how long will the pucks last in a floater, assuming pump running 10 hours per day on low speed? And how many pucks can you put in a floater at one time?
    18,000 gallon IG gunite freeform pool
    Intelliflo VS pump; Hayward SwimClear-C4030 425 sq ft filter; 4x suction PoolCleaner

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Going on vacation- no pool cover

    They come different sizes. Walmart sells a preloaded floater and you adjust the flow through by rotating the body to open holes different amounts. They come with about 4 lbs of pucks.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: Going on vacation- no pool cover

    Will it last the 10 days?
    18,000 gallon IG gunite freeform pool
    Intelliflo VS pump; Hayward SwimClear-C4030 425 sq ft filter; 4x suction PoolCleaner

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