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Thread: Help! Leaving for vacation, new leak, no timer on pump!

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    Help! Leaving for vacation, new leak, no timer on pump!

    I thought I had everything pretty much under control. Finally got the pool chemistry balanced, wrote detailed instructions for the kind people checking on our pool ... and now suddenly the pump has a leak (not huge, but still) and I'm not sure what to do anymore. Pool repair folks are closed until Monday morning, and we leave about 1pm Monday and will be gone about 10 days.

    It's a 22,000 gallon, in-ground, chlorine-sanitized pool with a sand pump. Haven't yet unrolled the solar cover, but it looks cracked and dirty where I can see it (maybe it's nicer underneath -- it's on a roller). The leak is more than a drip but not a stream. Doesn't seem to be draining the pool too much, but I haven't had it on much either.

    I'd planned on having the pool-sitters turn the pump on/off for 24 hours stretches (they're visiting once/day), clean the skimmer and add chlorine -- but now I'm afraid to run the pump for more than a few hours. (I know, we need a timer, but don't have one yet.) Don't want to return to a green pool, but also don't want the leak to turn into a geyser and water to go below the skimmer line. I'm undecided about whether to use the solar cover, since I've heard that they might increase algae growth ... but then again, they'll decrease chlorine loss.

    WWYD? (What Would You Do?)
    -----------------------------------
    26000 gal, in-ground, vinyl pool
    Hayward S200 sand filter, 1 skimmer, 2 returns
    BBB since the first month! :-)

  2. Back To Top    #2
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Re: Help! Leaving for vacation, new leak, no timer on pump!

    I always keep my solar cover on while on vacation. Cuts way down on water loss thru evaporation. I shock before I leave and have a friend come over to add bleach for me. I weigh down the cover with water-filled jugs of bleach, works great. When gone for 10 days, you may come back to some CC's, just shock the pool when you get home if you do.

    As for your leak....I can't help you. Can you post a pic of the leak? Or more descpription?
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

  3. Back To Top    #3
    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
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    Eastern Pennsylvania
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    Re: Help! Leaving for vacation, new leak, no timer on pump!

    We had to leave our pool last September for 5 weeks, no pool sitter available, and we didn't yet have timer for the pump. We felt we had 2 choices: run the pump continuously during our entire absence, or not run it at all.

    Our concern was a mechanical failure - pump overheats, pump seizes, pool loses water for whatever reason and pump blows up, etc. The end result would have been no circulation, green water, and a ruined pump.

    We know how to fix green water, so we shocked the pool to 20 ppm, added some poly-60, turned the pump off and left the pool uncovered. Yes, it was deep green upon our return but after a few bottles of bleach, brushing the bottom we couldn't see, and 24/7 filtration with a sock in the skimmer we brought the water back to its usual sparkling state.

    We now have a timer but the mechanical failure concerns still exist, of course. I would do the same thing again: shut it down for the duration. You are fortunate in that you have pool sitters who can add bleach and manually mix it in with the brush or the net or even a canoe paddle if the pump leak becomes a serious issue.

    Most importantly, have a great time on vacation. Remember, you know how to fix a green pool
    AnnaK

    12,500 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

  4. Back To Top    #4
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Leaving for vacation, new leak, no timer on pump!

    Good point Anna, if you come home to a green pool it's not the end of the world, you know how to fix it.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: Help! Leaving for vacation, new leak, no timer on pump!

    Can you tell us a little more about the leak? I'll assume it's the shaft seal - if it is, and if the pool co is on time, it's about a 10 minute fix. If they can fix it before you go, let the pool babysitters do their thing, just remind them to keep track of the water level and shut the system down if something ~ major comes up.

    Enjoy your vacation!! As has been said, if you come home to a green pool, you can correct that fairly easily - a burnt out pump or melted lines are much more expensive to fix.
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Prescott, Wisconsin
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    Re: Help! Leaving for vacation, new leak, no timer on pump!

    The leaky pipe runs between the filter and the heater. The leak has miraculously slowed to a fast drip over the past day (running it very occasionally, after adding bleach), so it's not draining too much water right now. (The water level has gone down -- could this be related?)

    Water goes through the heater even when it's not turned on, so leaving the heater off doesn't solve the problem. I agree that it will probably be a quick fix, and maybe they'll be able to do it while we're gone and we could keep the pool clear. But if not, I'm going to shut everything down, add lots of bleach, cover it, and hope for the best. I'll have the pool sitters add bleach and run the pump for a couple hours at a time while we're gone.

    I wonder: how long should they run the pump to circulate the bleach? It's about 22,000 gallons.
    -----------------------------------
    26000 gal, in-ground, vinyl pool
    Hayward S200 sand filter, 1 skimmer, 2 returns
    BBB since the first month! :-)

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Coastalish 'down easter'
    Posts
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    Re: Help! Leaving for vacation, new leak, no timer on pump!

    If they run the filter for an hour any bleach they add will be ~ fully distributed. If the leak is small, as you say, and the water level holds between visits, they can run the pool longer to provide filtration, as long as they are willing to stop by 2X a day.
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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