Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Long absence - need your advice please

  1. Back To Top    #1
    AnnaK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Eastern Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,132

    Long absence - need your advice please

    We are going to have to be gone for all of September. I expect day time temps to be in the 80s and nights around mid to low 60s. There will be nobody available to check on the pool.

    My plan was to sort of winterize the pool and put the solar cover on, but leave the water level up and run the pump on its timer for 6 hours. There's a trichlor chlorinator which would sanitize the water.

    Then we had the posts fro NWMNMOM about mechanical malfunctions and I've been having nightmares about the pump failing, which will mean my entire scheme will fail. So tonight my husband asks, "If we don't run the pump, the pool will turn green, right? How long will it take you to fix that?" I estimated 4 - 7 days, max. And he suggested we just shut it down and leave.

    THE HORROR!

    But now that I've had a nice glass of Alsatian or two I'm beginning to wonder if that might be a reasonable approach. It would avoid all the pump issues and I can't even begin to tell you the what-if's that have been running through my mind. What if the timer tabs get loose? The pump either will run for 30 days straight and we'll have an enormous bill, or the pump won't come on at all. What if something plugs up the skimmer and the pump loses prime? What if some pipe connection comes lose and drains the pool below the skimmer? The pump will keep running and burn out. ARGH!

    I really work on keeping the water clean and clear and I love doing this, I truly do, and it makes me sick to think of purposely letting it go green. But, on the other hand, I know how to fix green water. I do not know how to fix a burnt out pump.

    Which way would you go?
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 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.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,887
    It is going to be very difficult to get a pool to stay sanitized while you are away for a whole month without someone pool sitting. I would plan on having algae no mater what you do. And if you are going have algae in any case then why not turn the pump off and save money. I would cover it, as that will slow the algae a little and reduce any possible CO2 outgassing (and thus help to stabalize the PH).
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  3. Back To Top    #3
    How much of the season will be left when you return? I think if it would just be a very short time, like a week or two, I would shut'er down. Is there no one who can look in on things every few days for you?

    8000 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, 12" sand filter (don't have the specs on the pump), TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, CYA-Chlorine Chart
    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

  4. Back To Top    #4
    AnnaK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Eastern Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,132
    We live pretty far out in the country and it's just too much to ask of anyone to come here and manage the pool. The one neighbour is rarely home; the other is happy to keep an eye on the place and mow but feels intimidated by 'that whole pool thing'.

    We normally close at the end of October though only the dogs swim that late in the season. After thinking about this all night I've come to the conclusion that a partial winterization is the way to go. Clean it well, raise the chlorine level, add some Polyquat, put the solar cover on, and turn off the pump.

    As Jason says, some algae will happen anyway, and I can deal with that easier than I can with mechanical failure.

    Thanks for the nudge in that direction. My anxiety level is much lower this morning.

    Anna
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 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.

  5. Back To Top    #5
    KurtV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    SE Louisiana
    Posts
    270
    The risk of mechanical failure is low and not really any greater than it is at any other time the pump is running and you're not there; a catastrophic plumbing failure would probably burn up your pump in a matter of minutes or hours rather than days. I know it seems more likely you'll have mechanical problems but it really isn't. Besides that. many people run their filter pumps 24x7 for months (though I have difficulty understanding why) without incident . Unless your pH tend down significantly (which using tri-chlor would exacerbate) I'd load up the chlorinator and set it to a moderate feed rate (like 3 on a 1-5 scale), set the pump to run 3 or 4 hours in the evening (tighten the timer togs well) , make sure the main drain and skimmer valves are open (if you have those) so that a clogged skimmer or drain won't starve your pump, and enjoy your time away. Having someone clean out the skimmers every week or two would provide extra insurance.

  6. Back To Top    #6

    In the Industry
    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sebring, Florida
    Posts
    28,418
    Anna,

    I realize we're making your decision difficult, but KurtV's logic and advice are on the money, IMHO.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  7. Back To Top    #7
    AnnaK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Eastern Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,132
    It's a difficult decision either way. Kurt's comments reflect much of what I had been thinking. The pump could malfunction at this very moment and I wouldn't know about it until I go up there later to swim the dogs.

    Today, I'm canning and freezing red beets from the garden, several bushels, which gives me plenty of opportunity to weigh my options and agonize some more.

    Anna
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 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.

  8. Back To Top    #8
    NWMNMom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Waaay NW MN
    Posts
    1,582
    Also, not sure about your pump but mine has a safety that shuts it down when it starts cavitating - before it burns out anyways. It can't drain any lower than the return if you blow a hose/pipe - this I know first hand (several times!)

    Even with all the problems I have had, if my temps were going to be what yours are expected to be, I would leave it running on the timer. I have the SWG, but if I didn't, and even with it (due to reset requirements with power loss) - I would super chlorinate, dump in the Polyquat, then poke some pin-holes in a couple of chlorine jugs, suspend away from the liner/side and float.

    JMHO - hate to make this anymore difficult, but there it is.
    18x33x52 Buttressfree Seaspray (Wilbar) AGP - 1.5hp Pentair Maxim w/22" Pentair Meteor Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG System, Biltmore Walk In Steps - 2/4x20 Solar Panel Setup - Doheny Jet Drive (RIP -Pool Rover Jr) - finally hard plumbed the whole darned thing -
    Beats Driving to the Lake!

  9. Back To Top    #9
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,887
    I'm not worried about the pump. I just don't think that the tablet dispenser will last a month. If it doesn't last the month then there will be algae. If there is going to be algae anyway then why spend the money to run the pump.

    Has anyone had a tablet dispenser run for a month or more with out refilling?
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  10. Back To Top    #10
    AnnaK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Eastern Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,132
    In my July test the tablet dispenser ran for 30 days on 7 tabs. It kept the FC at 3, CC at 0, pH at 7.6, CYA 30-40. Its value was set at 3/4 on a scale of 0 - 1 and the pump ran 6 hrs at night plus 3 hrs during the day.

    Anna
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 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.

  11. Back To Top    #11
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,887
    Then I withdraw my comment, the feeder plus the cover, with the pump on a timer will probably do it.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  12. Back To Top    #12
    AnnaK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Eastern Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,132
    Now I'm going to complicate things even more

    I checked the historical temperatures for my area on accuweather.com. They are much lower than what I had guessed. Daytime temps range from 79F at the beginning of the month to 69F at the end. Nighttime temps are from 57F to 47F.

    I don't think my pump has a safety shutoff; at least, there's nothing in the pump documentation I have that mentions anything like that.

    Anna
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 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.

  13. Back To Top    #13
    green pool - something you can foresee it and you can handle it in short time.
    pump - a lot of things you are not sure, nothing might happen, or something might happen beyond your control while you're away for one whole month.

    most important part, you've doubt, and it'll hunt you while you're away and no one can tell you if the pump is ok back home.

    I would say if you can "FORGET" about the pool for 1 whole month, run the pump. If you can't take it off your mind, shut it off.

  14. Back To Top    #14
    AnnaK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Eastern Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,132
    That's about it in a nut shell, that last sentence.

    Men are much better at compartmentalizing than are women. They can focus on one thing to the exclusion of all else. Women tend to juggle a gazillion things mentally and physically. No, I'm not likely going to be able to forget about the pool.

    Thank you for putting it so succinctly.

    Anna
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 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.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •