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Thread: Going on a 2 week vacation-What to do?

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    Going on a 2 week vacation-What to do?

    From December 19th-January 2nd I will be out of town. I will not have anyone to care for my pool at that time. What are some things I need to do to keep my pool from getting out of control? I know it is early, but want to be prepared.

    Thanks.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Going on a 2 week vacation-What to do?

    How do you normally chlorinate the pool?
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    Re: Going on a 2 week vacation-What to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    How do you normally chlorinate the pool?
    When I was shocking I was using bleach. I was letting my chlorien come down some over the past few days since it was above 10. I also have 3 inch tablets to be able to use. I am sure while I am gone it will be very cold, so using up a lot of chlorine will more than likely not be an issue.

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    Re: Going on a 2 week vacation-What to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by laurandavid09
    From December 19th-January 2nd I will be out of town. I will not have anyone to care for my pool at that time. What are some things I need to do to keep my pool from getting out of control? I know it is early, but want to be prepared.

    Thanks.
    I forget. Do you have a cover? If not, how much debris to you think is going to get blown in?

    Twice, I've had to leave country late Dec, with only a couple of days notice, for a month, each time. I do not have a cover. Two people were here but they would not take care of the pool, properly. I had to just shut the pool down, drain pipes and equipment at pad and put heat tape on exposed, water filled pipes, and then some insulation (my pump pad is below grade so no way to get all water out of exposed pipes and valves on short notice) When I returned it was a real mess. I didn't tackle it until March when the weather warmed up so it went from green water (with black bottom from decaying leaves and silt), to light brown, to dark brown, then to almost black. If I had known what I know now (thank you TFP) I could have kept it somewhat in check, when I returned, and until March, by using a small, inexpensive submersible pump to keep water circulating and lots of chlorine. The debris would still have kept entering the pool but at least the water would have been kept lighter (safety issue and staining issue) and the organic staining from the debris would have been kept to just the bottom and up only a foot on the walls. Major shocking, when the debris is clean out, usually takes care of most of the organic staining.

    In my situation, and possibly yours too, if you don't have a cover, the main danger to the equipment is the main drain, pump pot, and skimmer clogging up so that not enough water gets to the pump. This is usually a "death sentence" for a pump.

    Good that you have time to get some input from members. Stay tuned and members will ask questions and give great advice.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Going on a 2 week vacation-What to do?

    Oldtimers again. Is Spring near Houston or Austin?
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Going on a 2 week vacation-What to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by geekgranny
    Oldtimers again. Is Spring near Houston or Austin?
    Spring is about 25-30 miles north of houston. About 3 hrs away from Austin.

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    Re: Going on a 2 week vacation-What to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by geekgranny
    Quote Originally Posted by laurandavid09
    From December 19th-January 2nd I will be out of town. I will not have anyone to care for my pool at that time. What are some things I need to do to keep my pool from getting out of control? I know it is early, but want to be prepared.

    Thanks.
    I forget. Do you have a cover? If not, how much debris to you think is going to get blown in?

    Twice, I've had to leave country late Dec, with only a couple of days notice, for a month, each time. I do not have a cover. Two people were here but they would not take care of the pool, properly. I had to just shut the pool down, drain pipes and equipment at pad and put heat tape on exposed, water filled pipes, and then some insulation (my pump pad is below grade so no way to get all water out of exposed pipes and valves on short notice) When I returned it was a real mess. I didn't tackle it until March when the weather warmed up so it went from green water (with black bottom from decaying leaves and silt), to light brown, to dark brown, then to almost black. If I had known what I know now (thank you TFP) I could have kept it somewhat in check, when I returned, and until March, by using a small, inexpensive submersible pump to keep water circulating and lots of chlorine. The debris would still have kept entering the pool but at least the water would have been kept lighter (safety issue and staining issue) and the organic staining from the debris would have been kept to just the bottom and up only a foot on the walls. Major shocking, when the debris is clean out, usually takes care of most of the organic staining.

    In my situation, and possibly yours too, if you don't have a cover, the main danger to the equipment is the main drain, pump pot, and skimmer clogging up so that not enough water gets to the pump. This is usually a "death sentence" for a pump.

    Good that you have time to get some input from members. Stay tuned and members will ask questions and give great advice.

    gg=alice
    I do not have a cover. I do not expect a lot of stuff to be blown around unless it comes from other areas outside of my yard.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Going on a 2 week vacation-What to do?

    If you feel you can run the pump without collecting a lot of debris collecting in the skimmer during that time, I would bump the chlorine to shock level and put 3 tabs in a floater the night before you leave. You can use a timer to have the pump turn off and on automatically. I would set the pump to run from 10:00 PM to 8:00 AM. The long run time is to keep the water moving just in case the temp drops below freezing. You can wrap any exposed pipes with foam pipe insulation. I would do a dry run to see how much debris is collected in the skimmer over a week with your regular pump times. If you are worried about a possible hard freeze and don't want to risk running the pump on a timer then you should close the pool. There is a section in Pool school about closing pools. Basically drain the water below the level of the returns, drain all the water out of your pipes, pump, and filter, and cover the pool. If you have any friends with pools ask how they handle the winter months.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Going on a 2 week vacation-What to do?

    What zea3 said. If you have family/friend/neighbor to come dump out the skimmer basket every few days if it needs it, that would be good.
    --paulr
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    Re: Going on a 2 week vacation-What to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by zea3
    If you feel you can run the pump without collecting a lot of debris collecting in the skimmer during that time, I would bump the chlorine to shock level and put 3 tabs in a floater the night before you leave. You can use a timer to have the pump turn off and on automatically. I would set the pump to run from 10:00 PM to 8:00 AM. The long run time is to keep the water moving just in case the temp drops below freezing. You can wrap any exposed pipes with foam pipe insulation. I would do a dry run to see how much debris is collected in the skimmer over a week with your regular pump times. If you are worried about a possible hard freeze and don't want to risk running the pump on a timer then you should close the pool. There is a section in Pool school about closing pools. Basically drain the water below the level of the returns, drain all the water out of your pipes, pump, and filter, and cover the pool. If you have any friends with pools ask how they handle the winter months.
    Would it be bad to just run the pump the whole time while I am gone. When I was getting the pool back to normal the pump ran 24/7. I do not expect below freezing temps here in Houston unless something out of the ordinary happens.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Going on a 2 week vacation-What to do?

    When I go on extended vacations, I shock, cover, and leave the pump on 24/7. Always come back with no problems and clear water. Since you don't cover you will lose more chlorine, but the fact that its colder and having a tab in there should help things.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
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    Re: Going on a 2 week vacation-What to do?

    I've been told to close the skimmer when I go on extended vacations since due to evaporation the water level can go below and burn up the pump. It does seem that it takes just around 2 weeks for my water level to go from normal to below the skimmer.

    Also, a co-worker came home from work last week to find a 90 elbow on his solar panel line cracked and he had drained half the pool. Needless to say, I will be turning the solar off while on vacation too.
    25' x 13' Roman, 12000 gal IGP, Plaster, with 500 gal Spa
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    Re: Going on a 2 week vacation-What to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by lborne
    I've been told to close the skimmer when I go on extended vacations since due to evaporation the water level can go below and burn up the pump. It does seem that it takes just around 2 weeks for my water level to go from normal to below the skimmer.

    Also, a co-worker came home from work last week to find a 90 elbow on his solar panel line cracked and he had drained half the pool. Needless to say, I will be turning the solar off while on vacation too.
    I would say maybe in the summer that would work, but I have noticed here in Texas when it is cold, that evaparation happens very slowly. I have always had to let water out of the pool to get it back to normal level.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Going on a 2 week vacation-What to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by laurandavid09
    Quote Originally Posted by zea3
    If you feel you can run the pump without collecting a lot of debris collecting in the skimmer during that time, I would bump the chlorine to shock level and put 3 tabs in a floater the night before you leave. You can use a timer to have the pump turn off and on automatically. I would set the pump to run from 10:00 PM to 8:00 AM. The long run time is to keep the water moving just in case the temp drops below freezing. You can wrap any exposed pipes with foam pipe insulation. I would do a dry run to see how much debris is collected in the skimmer over a week with your regular pump times. If you are worried about a possible hard freeze and don't want to risk running the pump on a timer then you should close the pool. There is a section in Pool school about closing pools. Basically drain the water below the level of the returns, drain all the water out of your pipes, pump, and filter, and cover the pool. If you have any friends with pools ask how they handle the winter months.
    Would it be bad to just run the pump the whole time while I am gone. When I was getting the pool back to normal the pump ran 24/7. I do not expect below freezing temps here in Houston unless something out of the ordinary happens.
    As long as the pump has good flow running 24/7 shouldn't be a problem. I get so many stinking leaves year round that it is not an option for me!
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Going on a 2 week vacation-What to do?

    What about the booster pump. I dont know if it would be good to run the vacuum 24/7 as well. I guess I could unhook it and make it another return vent.

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    Re: Going on a 2 week vacation-What to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by laurandavid09
    What about the booster pump. I dont know if it would be good to run the vacuum 24/7 as well. I guess I could unhook it and make it another return vent.
    Your auto cleaner can't be run on a separate timer? On my system I just enter the time for main pump and cleaner pump independently. If that's not possible, probably just shut it off for the duration. Once that bag fills up it will just twaddle around the pool not doing much other than stirring the water. You may decide that it's not worth the electricity for the nominal cleaning you'll receive from it while you're gone.
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
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    Re: Going on a 2 week vacation-What to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by polyvue
    Quote Originally Posted by laurandavid09
    What about the booster pump. I dont know if it would be good to run the vacuum 24/7 as well. I guess I could unhook it and make it another return vent.
    Your auto cleaner can't be run on a separate timer? On my system I just enter the time for main pump and cleaner pump independently. If that's not possible, probably just shut it off for the duration. Once that bag fills up it will just twaddle around the pool not doing much other than stirring the water. You may decide that it's not worth the electricity for the nominal cleaning you'll receive from it while you're gone.
    Well I need to replace my timers as they are not functioning right now. Could I just unhook the hose and let it act like a return jet?

    Thanks.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Going on a 2 week vacation-What to do?

    I don't see why that wouldn't work. It'd just stir the water a little more and that's usually not a bad thing.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Going on a 2 week vacation-What to do?

    I gues the only thing I would worry about, is the booster pump made to run that frequent. Also if I was interested in replacing the timers, how hard is it to do. Right now I have like the manuals ones and there is one for each. It seems pretty simple just unhook old one, mount new one, and hook back up the same way. It appears to be simliar to installilng a digitial thermostat? If so, is it better to go digital I assume?

    These are the timers I have now and one for pump and booster pump.

    http://www.lesliespool.com/browse/Home/ ... 40/I/56725

    Thanks.

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    Re: Going on a 2 week vacation-What to do?

    David,

    Though you could leave your booster pump running without the cleaner, this shouldn't be necessary. The outlet will still act as a return of sorts once you unplug the cleaner... you can test this by turning on the main pump, leave the booster off, disconnect cleaner and place your fingers near the disconnect, where you'll feel some water flow.

    Sorry, I can't answer your question about installing a timer. If you're planning on doing
    this prior to vacation, try searching for topics on how to do this via the in-line TFP Google (any page, bottom left). I'm sure somebody here has done this and laid out a guide. Or perhaps a member reading this will be able to respond knowledgeably.

    Greg
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
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