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Thread: What to do with Pool when on vacation?

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    What to do with Pool when on vacation?

    Hi All! First, this site has been so helpful and I am recommending it to all the folks I talk to about pools I even told my local pool supply store when I went to buy CYA. Heh, they tried to convince me that BBB was a bad method and I needed to get "real" chemicals! to them!

    Anyway, We are going away for 6 nights/7 days and I'm not sure what to do about the pool! It's a little Intex 3ft x 16 ft with a really lame little filter (the filter is doing the job tho!). I have successfully won the battle with mustard algae (after hubby fertilized the lawn a wee bit too close to the pool.. ) and have been free for 2 weeks now - hooray

    SO I plan to put a new filter in the day we leave and then put the filter on a timer - to run 6 hours per day.

    Should I shock the pool just as a safety measure for the time we're away. We get lots of leaf debris and beetles/bees/spiders that fall in each night and I'm concerned they will deteriorate and cause some sort of algae bloom without the daily skimming/cleaning I do.

    Anything else anyone would recommend?

    Thanks so much!
    Maggie
    21x40 - 28000 gal Kidney w/swimout, bench, Aqua Comfort Heat Pump, AquaRite Plus SWG, LED, White plaster/blue tiling, Cartridge Filter, 1hp pump, Polaris 380

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: What to do with Pool when on vacation?

    Unless your water source is exorbitantly priced, draining and refilling will be the simplest solution by far.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: What to do with Pool when on vacation?

    Well, I would say, assuming your water is balanced....you could consider a few other options.

    You should shock it regardless of what you decide to use.

    You could cover it, thus not worry so much about dirt/critters which could also harm your pump if left unchecked for a week....

    or you could shock, cover, turn off filter, then no worry about pump damage.... fixing any green water that might be present on your return....

    You could shock, not cover, and have a neighbor check on things, adding water and bleach if necessary...

    You could shock, turn off pump and use a floater with trichlor pucks....(understand that this will affect your ph and CYA and you'll have to adjust upon your return....) if your CYA gets too high, you can drain some of your water, then you aren't replacing the whole thing....

    I went away for 9 days, shocked, kept it covered and left my pump on low 24/7. It was risky, but my water was fine.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: What to do with Pool when on vacation?

    Thanks !

    I don't want to drain it and then refill it just because we're going away on vacation. It cost $155.00 on the water bill when we filled it - typically $45.00 per month. I think hubby would have a heart attack if he had to pay that again!

    If I use trichlor, would I be able to go back to the BBB method? It's been beautiful sparkly water (other than the algae incident) and all chem levels are within normal range. I'm very pleased with it!

    Unfortunately, we cannot use a cover because the pool is not round as it should be The ground ended up not being level so we have a "deep end" and a oval-ish shape pool instead of round. I don't think a cover would fit properly.

    As far as the pump goes, it's just the little one that comes with the intex pool. It has the changeable filter and it does not do a good job at getting the bugs or leaf debris. I never see any of that stuff in the filter or the little pump when I change the filter. Still, if the timer didn't cycle properly, we could have an issue I guess.

    Hmm....if I can go back to BBB with using the trichlor for a week, I think I should turn off the pump and just clean it when we come back. It shouldn't be too filthy with algea within a week right?

    Thanks again!
    Maggie
    21x40 - 28000 gal Kidney w/swimout, bench, Aqua Comfort Heat Pump, AquaRite Plus SWG, LED, White plaster/blue tiling, Cartridge Filter, 1hp pump, Polaris 380

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    cubbybeave08's Avatar
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    Re: What to do with Pool when on vacation?

    maggiem,
    Pool Mom and I are friends...I took her advice when we went on vacation with this exception...I shocked with pool store shock before i went on vacation...we were gone 13 days...I then left two pucks in the floater and because my sister in law was staying at the house I left the pump running. She cleaned the skimmer basket every night when she came home from work. So I did not worry about the pump motor being over worked due to a clogged skimmer basket. When I came back I had some leaves in the bottom of the pool and thus had some gunk on the bottom as well...vacuumed and brought Chlorine level up. All other levels were fine, and pH went up just a bit...but I did not lower it. Never missed a beat. However, if you don't have someone to check on the skimmer basket daily or at least everyother day...I would not leave the pump running. It is too expensive to leave running even if on the timer for any length of time unattended. I would follow Mom's advice and pick one of the methods she gave you that best suites what you need to do.
    Beave
    Aqua Leader 24ft Round AG Wil-Bar Influence w/54 inch walls 13,500 gallons
    Swimline J-Blue Opal Liner, 1 4X20 Fafco Solar Bear Solar Heater
    Hayward 2 HP Swim Pro Voyager Pump Micro 150 with 4 way timer
    Swim Pro Voyager Filtration System with Hayward ABS Pearl wide mouth skimmer

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    cubbybeave08's Avatar
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    Re: What to do with Pool when on vacation?

    Maggie...just saw that you pool is an intex...I would load up on the chlorine before you go and hope for the best. I would run the pump only if you have someone to come by every couple of days to change the filter or clean the filter. if you run it too long it ends up just recirculating the gunk it has filtered out and trapped in the filter. I just graduated up from the intex pool. They just are not good unattended for more than a long weekend away. I am sorry...but I would really give the chloring a shot...if you have a good test kit, I would try to shock up to at least 10 ppm if not more. Just so that by the time you get back that there is still some chlorine working.
    Beave
    Aqua Leader 24ft Round AG Wil-Bar Influence w/54 inch walls 13,500 gallons
    Swimline J-Blue Opal Liner, 1 4X20 Fafco Solar Bear Solar Heater
    Hayward 2 HP Swim Pro Voyager Pump Micro 150 with 4 way timer
    Swim Pro Voyager Filtration System with Hayward ABS Pearl wide mouth skimmer

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    Re: What to do with Pool when on vacation?

    Just wanted to say thanks again all!

    We're going to shock the beejezzums out of the pool, turn off the filter and then pray for the best!

    Thanks again!
    Maggie
    21x40 - 28000 gal Kidney w/swimout, bench, Aqua Comfort Heat Pump, AquaRite Plus SWG, LED, White plaster/blue tiling, Cartridge Filter, 1hp pump, Polaris 380

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: What to do with Pool when on vacation?

    Make sure your run the filter for a good couple of hours after shocking so that the chlorine mixes in completely....You could do it the night before you leave, and shut the filter off in the morning. Have a great time!
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: What to do with Pool when on vacation?

    We're Baaaaaaaack and boy oh boy was the pool green after 7 days w/o filter or chlorine additions. Our pool is the Intex 15x36 AGP with a deep end due to uneven ground

    We got back last night and I had to dump some water from the pool as it was filled to the brim due to all the rain we had. We've had about 10 inches of rain since beginning of june and I dump the pool out once a week now.....

    I turned the filter on and dumped in 3/4 gal chlorox. Let it run for 6 hours then turned it on again this morning. It's relatively cleared up except for some spots - I keep stirring it up. It's that algae that moves around like silt KWIM (?) so lucky it's not stuck to the liner.

    Have some cloudiness that's milky now and with the last 10 days of rain we've had, pH is WAY higher than when we left. Will do the sodium bisulfate as it's almost time to close the pool anyway and not too concerned about the possible sulfates....

    I think this is all I need to do now - anyone think I need to do more? (Other than get a nice big filter to really keep this thing clean?)

    Thanks again all!
    Maggie
    21x40 - 28000 gal Kidney w/swimout, bench, Aqua Comfort Heat Pump, AquaRite Plus SWG, LED, White plaster/blue tiling, Cartridge Filter, 1hp pump, Polaris 380

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: What to do with Pool when on vacation?

    It sounds like you are on the right track. Now that you know how to clear a pool of green algae, having it break out while on vacation isn't so scary. In the future, another option in addition to first shocking the pool is to use PolyQuat 60 algaecide in an "initial" dose. It should last a week and if it doesn't completely prevent algae, it will certainly slow it down. Even for an extended vacation of 2 weeks, the PolyQuat should help, but longer than that it likely won't do as much good. After adding PolyQuat by distributing it around the pool, you need to run the pump for 24 hours to ensure thorough mixing as it's quite viscous (thick and slow to disperse).
    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
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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