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Thread: Advice for going on vacation - Floater vs Skimmer - and how many pucks?

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    Join Date
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    St Louis, Missouri
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    Advice for going on vacation - Floater vs Skimmer - and how many pucks?

    This is my first pool season using the full TroubleFreePool method and i've been thrilled.
    Not a single algae problem, and beautifully clear water every day so far.
    So why do i get the feeling like i'm about to blow it?!!!

    i'm going on a short vacation.
    It's only 4 days, but i don't have anyone that can stop by and check on the pool.

    My routine is to check the FC and pH every morning before the sun hits the pool.
    On average (without rain or heavy bathers), i've been losing about 1 ppm of FC each day. So as per poolcalculator, i'm adding about 25oz of bleach each morning.

    (latest test results)

    FC 6
    CC 0
    TA 100
    CH 270
    CYA 50
    pH 7.8

    So, what should i do when i'm gone for 4 days?
    i've searched on this forum about the topic, and these Trichlor Floater things keep being mentioned, but there's not much discussion on how to use them.
    Also, i don't own a Trichlor Floater. Should i buy one?
    There seems to be some disagreement whether Trichlor pucks can just go in the skimmer or not.
    Would putting tricolor pucks in the skimmer for vacations be a problem? Or should i buy a floater?

    The other thing i'm confused about is, how do you know how many pucks to put in?
    i've got a bucket of the big 3" pucks left over from my pre-troublefreepool days. Is there a way of calculating how long they'll last?

    This is all still new to me, any help would be appreciated!
    Thanks!
    Size: 11,813 gallons
    Inground Surface: Pebble/Gunite Installed: 2009 (St. Louis, MO)
    Filter: Cartridge Sta-Rite S7M120, Flow Rate: 50-80 GPM
    Pump: 1hp Max-E-Pro
    Accessories: Polaris 380 cleaner, Sta-Rite Heater SR333k, Hayward CL220 Chlorinator

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    Re: Advice for going on vacation - Floater vs Skimmer - and how many pucks?

    With a cya of 50, you really don't want to increase your cya much if at all. Doing so might require you to drain and replace some water, probably not much to get you back to 50. Since its only 4 days, I might consider getting a floater, put a couple of those pucks in it. And enjoy your time away. Do a FC test as soon as you get back and if every thing is ok. Pull the floater and deal with the possibly excess cya as you want. I LOVE my swg!! I had been using pucks in my skimmers before my tfp days and they'd last about 4 days. The one time I used a floater, I put in as many as it would hold think it was 5 and left for ten days. Everything turned out fine and I still had some of the pucks remaining.
    Pool size: 24000gal inground Vinyl-Taylor k-2006 and k-1766 test kits and-speed stir
    Intermatic P1353ME digital timer w/freeze sensor
    CircuPool Si-45 SWCG System
    Polaris 280 vacuum/Polaris PB4-60 boost pump
    Pentair IntelliFlo VS 3hp Pump--Pentair sand filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for going on vacation - Floater vs Skimmer - and how many pucks?

    Do not put the pucks in the skimmer unless you are running the pump 24/7 (which is a waste of power if you are )
    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
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    Re: Advice for going on vacation - Floater vs Skimmer - and how many pucks?

    I wasn't suggesting that he should. In fact I did suggest if anything he get a floater. I was just reporting my experience while using pucks routinely for chlorination--that's how the previous owner was doing it and I just continued it. I haven't used a puck since switching to bleach spring of 2013 except for that 10 day period later that spring.
    Pool size: 24000gal inground Vinyl-Taylor k-2006 and k-1766 test kits and-speed stir
    Intermatic P1353ME digital timer w/freeze sensor
    CircuPool Si-45 SWCG System
    Polaris 280 vacuum/Polaris PB4-60 boost pump
    Pentair IntelliFlo VS 3hp Pump--Pentair sand filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for going on vacation - Floater vs Skimmer - and how many pucks?

    I was not responding to you, timerguy. I was responding to the OP's title and question.
    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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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for going on vacation - Floater vs Skimmer - and how many pucks?

    For three and four day weekends (before I got my Stenner pump) I would just raise my FC, up to shock level if need be and just let it drift back down over the days I was going to be gone. It worked very well for me.

    Jason has already pointed out that pucks in the skimmer are a bad idea without the pump running. When the water is still, the puck just sitting in the skimmer keeps dissolving and superchlorinates the water around it, causing damage to the plastic parts around it. Additionaly this superchlorinated water is not really good for the other parts of your system when the pump starts amd sucks this water in.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Advice for going on vacation - Floater vs Skimmer - and how many pucks?

    Ok. Pucks in skimmer = no bueno. Got it.
    Thanks for all the help!

    i'm gonna try tim5055's advice and just raise it to shock level before i leave, and see what happens.
    i like this approach because it means i don't have to buy any new equipment that i won't know how to use, and i won't be fretting over how many pucks to put in it.
    Plus, this way i won't be adding any new CYA.
    Size: 11,813 gallons
    Inground Surface: Pebble/Gunite Installed: 2009 (St. Louis, MO)
    Filter: Cartridge Sta-Rite S7M120, Flow Rate: 50-80 GPM
    Pump: 1hp Max-E-Pro
    Accessories: Polaris 380 cleaner, Sta-Rite Heater SR333k, Hayward CL220 Chlorinator

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    Location
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    Follow up - what i ended up doing - and my results

    Just to follow up for anyone who might be interested...
    Before i left on Wednesday the 6th, i bumped my FC up to shock level. For my CYA that was a 16.
    Sunday the 10th when i got back the pool had only dropped to 8.5 (Still 2.5 points over my target of 6.)

    And this was even after it had rained two of the days we were gone.
    Plus, i didn't have to add bleach until it finally dipped below 6 on Tuesday the 12th.
    So raising the pool to shock level and letting it fall could have easily worked for a 5 or 6 day vacation. For me, at any rate!

    Thanks for all the help!
    Size: 11,813 gallons
    Inground Surface: Pebble/Gunite Installed: 2009 (St. Louis, MO)
    Filter: Cartridge Sta-Rite S7M120, Flow Rate: 50-80 GPM
    Pump: 1hp Max-E-Pro
    Accessories: Polaris 380 cleaner, Sta-Rite Heater SR333k, Hayward CL220 Chlorinator

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Follow up - what i ended up doing - and my results

    Quote Originally Posted by Failed_Chemistry View Post
    Just to follow up for anyone who might be interested...
    Before i left on Wednesday the 6th, i bumped my FC up to shock level. For my CYA that was a 16.
    Sunday the 10th when i got back the pool had only dropped to 8.5 (Still 2.5 points over my target of 6.)

    And this was even after it had rained two of the days we were gone.
    Plus, i didn't have to add bleach until it finally dipped below 6 on Tuesday the 12th.
    So raising the pool to shock level and letting it fall could have easily worked for a 5 or 6 day vacation. For me, at any rate!

    Thanks for all the help!
    Glad it worked out. Now, time to swim!
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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