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Thread: Going out of town...how do we prevent a swamp??

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    Going out of town...how do we prevent a swamp??

    We need to be gone for a month - how do we manage the pool while we're gone? We have no timer on our pump - there is a chlorine feeder, but not sure if it works properly. We could get a family member to come over every couple days and do simple tasks, but the whole daily testing & maintenance won't be happening.

    Ya'll advised me yesterday that our pool is due for a thorough shock treatment. Now i'm wondering if it is worth pouring that $$ into the pool if it will be completely undone when we leave. Despite the need for shocking, the pool is currently clear.

    Suggestions??
    24K In ground, vinyl lined pool. Sand filter.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Going out of town...how do we prevent a swamp??

    I think it is going to be VERY difficult to keep the pool clear for a month without someone involved every few days. If you do not want to impose, wait until you get home to shock the pool.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Going out of town...how do we prevent a swamp??

    I agree with Jason above. It will be difficult to keep the levels stable without some attention. How have you been managing your chlorine lately (since you don't know if feeder works properly)? Have you been measuring your levels regularly? If so, is your chlorine usage fairly consistent?
    Quote Originally Posted by diaperjoys
    Ya'll advised me yesterday that our pool is due for a thorough shock treatment. Now i'm wondering if it is worth pouring that $$ into the pool if it will be completely undone when we leave. Despite the need for shocking, the pool is currently clear.
    What was the context for this recommendation? Do you have CC in the pool? A full report of levels would be helpful. I would guess that it's best to wait to shock (when you get back).

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    Re: Going out of town...how do we prevent a swamp??

    Can you cover it with a tarp?
    20,000 gal in-ground w/ vinyl liner; Goldline Aqua Rite SWG; Hayward sand filter; Hayward .75hp pump; 1.5 hp booster pump
    Taylor K-2006 Test Kit; AquaCheck Salt Test Strips

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    Re: Going out of town...how do we prevent a swamp??

    Quote Originally Posted by blakej
    I agree with Jason above. It will be difficult to keep the levels stable without some attention. How have you been managing your chlorine lately (since you don't know if feeder works properly)? Have you been measuring your levels regularly? If so, is your chlorine usage fairly consistent?
    Quote Originally Posted by diaperjoys
    Ya'll advised me yesterday that our pool is due for a thorough shock treatment. Now i'm wondering if it is worth pouring that $$ into the pool if it will be completely undone when we leave. Despite the need for shocking, the pool is currently clear.
    What was the context for this recommendation? Do you have CC in the pool? A full report of levels would be helpful. I would guess that it's best to wait to shock (when you get back).
    Chlorine management has been mostly manual this season; we're new to the BBB method, trying to figure out how to do things. We filled up the chlorine feeder once when we opened the pool, but the tablets didn't dissolve as much as expected. I wasn't too concerned about it since we were planning on using bleach. I may not have proper flow through the feeder hose; the joint had oxidized & I trimmed the hose & reconnected it. That'd be my first guess.

    Here's an idea: what if I fix the feeder hose, & use tablets for the time we're away. Would that be awful for the pool? I could ask the neighbor to flip on the pump when he leaves for work in the morning & flip it off when he gets home. Then maybe I can get a friend to run a test every several days. Would that hold us over, do you think?

    Back to the shock question - the pool eats chlorine: pour in bleach in the morning to bring the chlorine level to 4, it is mostly gone by midday, and completely gone by evening. Since the pool temp is just now reaching the low 70s and we're not using it a ton I'm only adding bleach a couple times a week. Despite this horrible lack of proper balance, the pool is staying clear. When I posted about this yesterday ya'll recommended a thorough shock to kill whatever is eating the chlorine.
    24K In ground, vinyl lined pool. Sand filter.

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    Re: Going out of town...how do we prevent a swamp??

    Using pucks the time you are gone is going to raise your CYA levels but that can be adjusted with a water change if needed when you return. What is your current CYA level? If your CYA is low that might be why you are losing chlorine so fast.
    18x36 Vinyl In-ground w/roman ends 27,400G, Hayward 3/4hp with 300# sand filter. Hayward heat pump heater

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    Re: Going out of town...how do we prevent a swamp??

    Quote Originally Posted by BadOleRoss
    Using pucks the time you are gone is going to raise your CYA levels but that can be adjusted with a water change if needed when you return. What is your current CYA level? If your CYA is low that might be why you are losing chlorine so fast.
    Actually, my CYA is high (70), which means doing this shock is a pain. Thankfully we're on a well, so doing a water change is less of a big deal.
    24K In ground, vinyl lined pool. Sand filter.

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    Re: Going out of town...how do we prevent a swamp??

    Ah, the joys of SWG! Although last time we left for a long trip I was confident in the SWG but ended up coming home to ripped liner from the dog digging under the pool.

    But as far as a timer goes, they don't cost that much. I think I paid about $17 for the one I was using before I got the SWG.
    Sue

    18' round Sharkline Matrix AGP / 8600 Gal. / sand filter / Aqua Trol SWG
    Pool owner since 2001. Thanks to TFP for helping me convert off Baquacil after six years!

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    Re: Going out of town...how do we prevent a swamp??

    Quote Originally Posted by MeSue
    Ah, the joys of SWG! Although last time we left for a long trip I was confident in the SWG but ended up coming home to ripped liner from the dog digging under the pool.

    But as far as a timer goes, they don't cost that much. I think I paid about $17 for the one I was using before I got the SWG.
    Tell me more about a timer, please? My dad - think "handyman" - looked into it for me, and thought we'd need something pretty high tech because of the voltage of the power coming to the pump...or something like that. It was going to cost a pretty penny to do a timer. The cheapest he could find was $100 or more, and that is with free labor to put it in.

    Can anyone educate me on this? I think our pump is a Hayward, with a 1.5 HP motor. But there is a switch box out there - like on a breaker box vs. a light switch type, and somehow this was a complication. Where do I go for more information? I would love to stop turning the pump on and off manually!
    24K In ground, vinyl lined pool. Sand filter.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Going out of town...how do we prevent a swamp??

    Google "intermatic pool timer" They can be found for close to $50-$70.

    Of course there are other options, but the mechanical is the norm.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Going out of town...how do we prevent a swamp??

    A pump timer is something like this There are different models for indoor vs outdoor, 110 vs 220, etc, but they all pretty much look the same.

    A timer is very worthwhile on the pump. For your vacation, you might want to just hire some pool service. Tell them to use your chemicals, let 'em vacuum a couple times and keep the water level up. It would probably end up costing about the same as the bleach you'll need to clear the pool if it turns green while you're gone.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Going out of town...how do we prevent a swamp??

    The pool timer I used for years was more like this--very basic but did the job:
    http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?par ... &cId=PDIO1

    But my pump (AGP) has a normal three-prong plug, and sounds like yours might be different.
    Sue

    18' round Sharkline Matrix AGP / 8600 Gal. / sand filter / Aqua Trol SWG
    Pool owner since 2001. Thanks to TFP for helping me convert off Baquacil after six years!

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Going out of town...how do we prevent a swamp??

    The Intermatic timers are the gold standard, but there are others out there and one of the home improvement stores may have one in stock. If your equipment is 230 volt you'll need a timer to match but they're pretty common. A water heater timer will work.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Going out of town...how do we prevent a swamp??

    I find it odd to say that it would cost a pretty penny to put in a timer when you've already got an IG pool. The timer is one of the cheapest things you can add to your pool that gives you a lot back. I'm betting you already have a timer but it is broke and has not been fixed. Probably an easy fix.

    Quote Originally Posted by diaperjoys
    Quote Originally Posted by MeSue
    Ah, the joys of SWG! Although last time we left for a long trip I was confident in the SWG but ended up coming home to ripped liner from the dog digging under the pool.

    But as far as a timer goes, they don't cost that much. I think I paid about $17 for the one I was using before I got the SWG.
    Tell me more about a timer, please? My dad - think "handyman" - looked into it for me, and thought we'd need something pretty high tech because of the voltage of the power coming to the pump...or something like that. It was going to cost a pretty penny to do a timer. The cheapest he could find was $100 or more, and that is with free labor to put it in.

    Can anyone educate me on this? I think our pump is a Hayward, with a 1.5 HP motor. But there is a switch box out there - like on a breaker box vs. a light switch type, and somehow this was a complication. Where do I go for more information? I would love to stop turning the pump on and off manually!
    Approx. 18,000 gallons IG Gunite-replaster 2010
    1- HP Whisperflow WFE-4 with 2- Speed motor and Intermatic Timer
    Tagelus 60-D Sand Filter bought and installed 2006
    Polaris 280 with booster pump
    Hayward Swimpure SWCG up to 40,000 gallons

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    Re: Going out of town...how do we prevent a swamp??

    The pool was here when we moved in...no way we would have ever had the cash to install...
    24K In ground, vinyl lined pool. Sand filter.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Going out of town...how do we prevent a swamp??

    Quote Originally Posted by diaperjoys
    The pool was here when we moved in...no way we would have ever had the cash to install...
    Although you chose to buy the house and there was probably at least a little extra cost to the house due to having a pool.

    In any case, the point is that even if the pool was "free", there is still money involved to maintain it and a timer is cheap ... ask me, I just spent $800 to replace my pump and re-plumb my equipment pad ... granted some of the re-plumb was to add improvements, but still ... not much is cheap with these things.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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