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Thread: Vacation advice (four weeks) with slighly leaking pool

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    Vacation advice (four weeks) with slighly leaking pool

    I am a pool novice and I would like to ask for your advice. We will be away for four weeks in summer and our pool is leaking ~0.25in a day (bucket test), we won't be able to address this issues before we are gone. I have read a couple of threads in the forum but we have the additional leaking problem. I thought about the following options:

    1. Have a pool service come by every week. The problem is that they might not have enough time to fill up the water properly (when we did this last year with a non-leaking pool, the water was below the skimmer level when we came back, luckily the pump survived). Currently (depending on rain), we need to refill roughly every other day. We might have a friend coming by but I don't want to ask her to come by more than once a week. Can we run the pool only off the main drain (i.e., close the skimmer valves) while we are gone to avoid issues with the pump?

    2. Shock the pool before we leave and let it go green. How many days will it take before we can use it again (and start addressing the leak problem)?

    Are there any other solutions?

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    Re: Vacation advice (four weeks) with slighly leaking pool

    Can you run it on both the main drain and the skimmer at the same time? Can you rely on a neighbor the to keep an eye on it for you?
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    Re: Vacation advice (four weeks) with slighly leaking pool

    Neighbor is difficult as we are quite new to the neighborhood. We have this friend who lives a bit away who could come by once a week, but not more often. Sure, we can run the pool on both skimmer and main drain at the same time, but the idea was to close off the skimmer and only use the main drain while we are gone to avoid any low water level problems. Can this be safely done without damage to the pump? Can we use the solar cover to catch any debris from the trees (which is quite moderate at our place) if we don't use the skimmers?

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    Sandra B's Avatar
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    Re: Vacation advice (four weeks) with slighly leaking pool

    What kind of pool/setup do you have? I have an inground pool with an overflow drain up near the top (so the water drains out if it gets too high) and what I would do is the same thing I do to water my garden when I leave for an extended time. I'd put my hose in the pool, and put a timer on the hose. Figure out how long you need to run it to add, say, .25 inches a day, or whatever you need. However many gallons that is. I'd shoot higher but I have the overflow drain. Then I'd test my little invention for about a week before I left for vacation, to know that it's working. Have the friend swing by once a week to make sure things look ok. My backyard is a maze of hidden hoses and Y connectors and no fewer than 4 timers that run the various drips and sprinklers to keep my herb garden, veggie gardens and earthboxes watered, and it continues when I'm gone. I put the hose in my pool once when I was gone in the middle of a 100+ degree summer for 10 days, just ran it 15 minutes every other day to keep the evaporation loss topped off.

    I always worry about my pool equipment when I'm gone a week or two, and just hope that if something messes up badly the breaker will at least trip. The pool equipment is the first thing I check when I get home.

    To your exact question: I don't see any problem pulling from the main drain only with the solar cover, and not using the skimmers. You'll probably have a green pool when you return unless you have a SWG or other means to keep the chlorine in the pool.
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    Re: Vacation advice (four weeks) with slighly leaking pool

    I have an inground 22,000 gallon pool. Your solution sounds great, but I don't have an overflow valve, and therefore I consider this as a bit risky. I was wondering whether running the pool just on the main drain would be bad for the pump as it draws a little bit of air (there are some small bubbles visible in the pump basket window). This is not the case anymore if I open the skimmer valves.

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    Re: Vacation advice (four weeks) with slighly leaking pool

    This is not the case anymore if I open the skimmer valves.
    That is confusing but are you saying you can shut off the skimmers and have the pool pump draw from the main drain only?
    Dave S.
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    Re: Vacation advice (four weeks) with slighly leaking pool

    Yes, I can do that. If I run both main drain and the two skimmers everything is fine, but if I close the skimmers and just use the main drain the pump draws a bit of air (I can see small bubbles in the pump basked window). I wonder if running the pump like this could kill the pump in the long term (we will be gone for several weeks).

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