Just returned from spending a couple of weeks on vacation in Alaska. This was the first time my pool was left unattended (for part of the time anyway) since switching to BBB. It was left unattended for much of the first week. Had someone come by the second week to add bleach and top off water level.
Before leaving, I did the following:
- Backwashed filter
- Filled pool until it barely started draining into the overflow drain
- Added Polyquat 60 algaecide (22 oz. in a 23,000 gal pool) as extra insurance against algae if FC dropped below target.
- Added liquid chlorine to the low end of shock range
- Added six 8 oz. trichlor pucks to the feeder, plus two 8 oz. Trichlor pucks to a floater in the pool along with one 7 oz. Trichlor puck to a floater in the spa.
- Ran pump 5 hrs/day while I was gone
Weather-wise, the first week was seasonal with air temps in the 90s with rain for part of 1-2 days then partly sunny/cloudy on the other days. Had a heat wave the second week where air temp was over 100F each day with full sun & no rain. Pool temperature ranged from 79 87 F while I was gone. Pool is in full sun (no cover).
The person who topped off the water level & chlorine the second week was not familiar with pool testing so none were performed. To make things simple, I asked her to simply add 72 oz. of 6% bleach to the pool each day while filter was running and top off the water level as needed. With no testing being done, I had to SWAG the amount of bleach addition factoring in the spiked dosage level of liquid chlorine I did before I left, the amount of chlorine added by the pucks, and the estimated daily chlorine demand.
Admittedly, I wondered from time to time what I would come home to. Came home to a crystal-clear pool. FC was 5.5, CC = 0, pH = 7.5, CYA = 38. This trip was planned, so I knew I had to manage the CYA level to account for the puck usage. Kept CYA around 30 for much of the summer, but let it drop into the high twenties before I left (backwashing & splash-out took care of that). The pucks in the floaters had completely dissolved while the pucks in the feeder were partially dissolved.
This goes to show that a well-maintained pool can occasionally be left unattended for extended periods of time with a bit of planning. Although I use liquid bleach as my primary chlorine source and have no need to add algaecides when Im physically here to manage the pool, trichlor pucks and algaecides (namely Polyquat 60) do add value in particular circumstances when used properly based on your pools chemistry and environment. The BBB method gives you that knowledge so you are not indiscriminately dumping chemicals in the pool. To me, that knowledge is the biggest benefit of BBB.
Hope this info helps some of you breathe a little easier when you go on vacation.