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Thread: 2 week vacation - I trust nobody to take care of the pool!

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    skylar18's Avatar
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    2 week vacation - I trust nobody to take care of the pool!

    Working on the third summer with my pool and have used the TFPC method since day one. Never had to slam the pool, never closed it being in Texas, and last summer maybe I had to add a couple of gallons of bleach total. My PH does creep up due to the spillway from the spa, the Salt Water Chlorine Generator, and being a still fairly new Plaster pool, though even that has stabilized this spring.

    I have no one to take care of my pool while I'm gone, and I trust no pool service. My plan is to do the following and hope for the best:

    1. Add water to the top of the pool so evaporation doesn't lower the amount to where the water line is below the skimmers.
    2. I am putting a plug in my overflow line since I raised my water level to the top of the pool. My pool is situated where if it overflowed it would go down to my yard anyway.
    3. My pool stays real steady with FC at 3.0. I plan on dumping a bunch of bleach in before I go to get the FC to 15 or so just in case the Generator fails.
    4. Plan on lowering my PH to 6.7. It will probably be at 8.2 to 8.4 when I get back. Not ideal on both ends but should be fine for a short period of time.
    5. Plan on turning off my Polaris 280. I am not getting any more leaves or debris in the pool and the last thing I want is one of those hoses to pop off or have it climb up on my sundek. Only happened once but if it happened once it could happen again.

    I have a security camera system so I can look at the pool every couple of days and turn everything off if need be.

    Am I nuts? Is there anything else you think I could do to minimize my risk?

    Thanks!
    43 x 19 Gunite Pool w/ spa and fire pit, 19,000 gallons, Pebble Sheen Aqua Blue finish, Jandy 2 HP VS E-pump, Jandy 580 sq ft Cartridge Filter, Jandy LXI 400k Heater, Jandy Aquapure 1400 SWCG, 4 Jandy LED color lights, Aqualink PDA and Iaqualink, Polaris 280 with Booster Pump. Polaris 9550 Robot Cleaner. 1 HP Silencer Air Blower for Spa http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...NAL-INSPECTION

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: 2 week vacation - I trust nobody to take care of the pool!

    Sounds like you've pretty much got it covered.

    Not sure I'd worry about running the FC that high. If the swcg is running well and it's clean, I'd probably just let it do it's thing.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: 2 week vacation - I trust nobody to take care of the pool!

    A few trichlor pucks in a floater would keep that pH down. Especially if you aggressively worked to lower TA first. If CYA gets a bit high, big deal. There's plenty of water in Texas now.
    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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    skylar18's Avatar
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    Re: 2 week vacation - I trust nobody to take care of the pool!

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    A few trichlor pucks in a floater would keep that pH down. Especially if you aggressively worked to lower TA first. If CYA gets a bit high, big deal. There's plenty of water in Texas now.
    Thanks guys! I might use bits of both your ideas. I forgot I had them but my pool builder gave me a big jug of trichlor pucks that I never used. Good thing I never threw them away. My CYA is a bit lower than normal because of all the rain here so it I won't have to worry about the pucks raising it to a problem level. I will just use the pucks along with the SWG.

    Think I will go to Walmart and get me a floater! Using the pucks is so far from my realm of thinking but in this instance they will work great!
    43 x 19 Gunite Pool w/ spa and fire pit, 19,000 gallons, Pebble Sheen Aqua Blue finish, Jandy 2 HP VS E-pump, Jandy 580 sq ft Cartridge Filter, Jandy LXI 400k Heater, Jandy Aquapure 1400 SWCG, 4 Jandy LED color lights, Aqualink PDA and Iaqualink, Polaris 280 with Booster Pump. Polaris 9550 Robot Cleaner. 1 HP Silencer Air Blower for Spa http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...NAL-INSPECTION

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: 2 week vacation - I trust nobody to take care of the pool!

    Good plan! I'm with you, nobody touches my pool. Ever.
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: 2 week vacation - I trust nobody to take care of the pool!

    I clean my cell right before I leave. Top the water off as far as I can. Get the ph a little on the low side (7.2??). And add a couple of the slow release chlorine stix (hth brand) to the skimmer (as the suspenders to go with my belt). And I backwash right before I do all that to get the sand filter as clean as I can.


    30x20 vinyl IG, Hayward SD60 with Pentair Dynamo 340219 2HP pump, Compupool CPSC24 SWG, Hayward H200FDN heater. APC automatic pool cover.
    Central Illinois

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    Re: 2 week vacation - I trust nobody to take care of the pool!

    SWG's are beyond my level of experience.

    Just wondering.... Is lowering pH to 6.7 a little extreme?

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    Re: 2 week vacation - I trust nobody to take care of the pool!

    I would not lower the pH below 7.2.

    The things that you can do to help slow down the rise in pH are, keep the TA at 70, adjust the spa flow to 30 minutes a day, and use the floater with some pucks.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
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    Re: 2 week vacation - I trust nobody to take care of the pool!

    Not sure how much water you lose per day, but here is an idea for maintaining water lever. They sell fairly cheap hose timers like this one

    Orbit 2-Port Digital Hose Faucet Timer - Walmart.com

    You can find them cheaper, this was first link I found at walmart. Basically, you attached them to your hose bib, and then you set how many minutes/hours per day you want them to run. SO you can just drag a hose to yoru pool, set it to fill for 15 minutes or so per day, and not worry about it.
    IG W/Vinyl Liner Oval 18x40, 21K gal, Oval 3'-8'
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    Re: 2 week vacation - I trust nobody to take care of the pool!

    Great ideas guys. My TA is right at 70. Spa overflow happens when I run the pump which I run for 9 hours a day. That keeps my FC right at 3.0 and depending on the month (Heat) I adjust the Chlorine Generator Run time. June/July/August is when I am running it at 75%. April and May I am at 50% - 60%.

    Since I am going to throw pucks in I can reduce the pump run times a bit but i don't want to make too many changes, right know I know exactly how my pool reacts and I only have one chance at this. Love the idea of a timer on a hose! Going to see if Home Deport has one right now!

    Since a few of you with a lot more experience than me think I shouldn't drop the PH that low, I think I will lower it around 7.2 before I leave and hope the pucks reduce the upward creep.

    Thanks for the help. If I have time I will take a picture of my pool today and post it, then for fun I will post what it looks like when I get back. Hopefully everyone isn't laughing at me with that second picture and I don't have to create a thread titled "What not to do when you go on vacation and have a pool"
    43 x 19 Gunite Pool w/ spa and fire pit, 19,000 gallons, Pebble Sheen Aqua Blue finish, Jandy 2 HP VS E-pump, Jandy 580 sq ft Cartridge Filter, Jandy LXI 400k Heater, Jandy Aquapure 1400 SWCG, 4 Jandy LED color lights, Aqualink PDA and Iaqualink, Polaris 280 with Booster Pump. Polaris 9550 Robot Cleaner. 1 HP Silencer Air Blower for Spa http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...NAL-INSPECTION

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    Re: 2 week vacation - I trust nobody to take care of the pool!

    My bold prediction for your "What not to do when you go on vacation and have a pool" is:

    Do not fret over your pool while on vacation!

    Have fun!
    Free form 17X30. 14,500 Gal. Pentair sand filter and 1.5 hp pump. Aqua-Rite SWCG. TF-100 Test Kit w/Speed Stir

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    skylar18's Avatar
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    Re: 2 week vacation - I trust nobody to take care of the pool!

    Here is the before picture....and trust me, I won't fret!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    43 x 19 Gunite Pool w/ spa and fire pit, 19,000 gallons, Pebble Sheen Aqua Blue finish, Jandy 2 HP VS E-pump, Jandy 580 sq ft Cartridge Filter, Jandy LXI 400k Heater, Jandy Aquapure 1400 SWCG, 4 Jandy LED color lights, Aqualink PDA and Iaqualink, Polaris 280 with Booster Pump. Polaris 9550 Robot Cleaner. 1 HP Silencer Air Blower for Spa http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...NAL-INSPECTION

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    skylar18's Avatar
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    Re: 2 week vacation - I trust nobody to take care of the pool!

    Well, I am back and quite pleased. I ended up being gone 17 days as it took me 60 hours to get home as the plane I was on from Rome was diverted to Belfast on Saturday because of an unruly passenger. What a mess.

    My pool ended up being in great shape. My FC was sitting at 8 which is good since I had jacked it up before I left. Now I can slowly get it back to 3. My PH was right at 8.0 Salt was 3100. Water was clear. Skimmer baskets were really empty. I did have about 50 leaves on the bottom of the pool since I turned off my Polaris. Water level was good. I was adding 10 minutes of water a day from a timer on my hose. I threw in my small robot to clean up the leaves then remembered I needed to take a picture!

    Home for 1 day then gone for 8 more. Then I get to enjoy the pool for the rest of the summer!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    43 x 19 Gunite Pool w/ spa and fire pit, 19,000 gallons, Pebble Sheen Aqua Blue finish, Jandy 2 HP VS E-pump, Jandy 580 sq ft Cartridge Filter, Jandy LXI 400k Heater, Jandy Aquapure 1400 SWCG, 4 Jandy LED color lights, Aqualink PDA and Iaqualink, Polaris 280 with Booster Pump. Polaris 9550 Robot Cleaner. 1 HP Silencer Air Blower for Spa http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...NAL-INSPECTION

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    Re: 2 week vacation - I trust nobody to take care of the pool!

    That is great!
    Free form 17X30. 14,500 Gal. Pentair sand filter and 1.5 hp pump. Aqua-Rite SWCG. TF-100 Test Kit w/Speed Stir

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    Re: 2 week vacation - I trust nobody to take care of the pool!

    I saw that plane diverted on the news. Should have given that guy the extra bag of peanuts.
    Inground 22k gallon gunite 15x31 main pool, 15x7 wading pool/sunning deck, hot tub/with overflow (9' octagon with limestone top) & slide NSWG, Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen
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    Inflatableman1's Avatar
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    Re: 2 week vacation - I trust nobody to take care of the pool!

    You should probably start up TFP Housesitter's Club. Would you let another TFPer look after your baby? Find some likely candidate to look after the pool and the house and the pets and all that good stuff. It will be the AirBnB of pools....
    Ryan
    41' x 16' x 5' IG, 25 000 gallon, cement, tile w/epoxy grout. Overflow/negative edge style. Pentair 4048 DE, Hayward 2 hp Single Speed, Pentair 320 Auto Chlorinator, 1.5 hp Blower f/Jacuzzi, TF-100, city/well (in pool) water option. Located in Panama.

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    Re: 2 week vacation - I trust nobody to take care of the pool!

    If you were able to use an opaque pool cover over most of your pool (I see that it is freeform so a single cover probably wouldn't work) then that would solve several problems at once. It would eliminate evaporation so you wouldn't have to worry about the water level dropping. It would significantly reduce outgassing so the rate of pH rise should be slowed (at least from carbon dioxide; from undissolved chlorine gas that would still rise). And it would significantly reduce your chlorine usage rate so the lower SWG ontime would further reduce the rate of pH rise.

    The only problem is that you need to figure out the % ontime for the SWG that is consistent with having a cover, otherwise your FC could get too high. One other helpful factor would be to turn off any heating of the pool or at least set it to a lower temperature as that will also use less chlorine. To reduce heating, use a thin white or reflective cover.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Re: 2 week vacation - I trust nobody to take care of the pool!

    My PH was right at 8.0
    Your pH should be in the 7's.....always
    Dave S.
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: 2 week vacation - I trust nobody to take care of the pool!

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    Your pH should be in the 7's.....always
    I'm sure it was back in the 7's within an hour of his return. Two weeks untouched and it looks like that - he deserves congratulations!
    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: 2 week vacation - I trust nobody to take care of the pool!

    Better 8.0 upon arrival than the planned 6.7 at departure!

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