Best options for vacation time pool control

mikesla

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 1, 2010
6
tuscaloosa, al
I'm in the middle of switching from triclor pucks to BBB...algae was eating my lunch and boy was I throwing some $ at the pool supply store buying the dang things only to find out here that CYA was my problem. Anyway, what's the best option for vacations that keep me from the pool for up to 2 weeks? I was considering Calcium hypo pucks, I can afford the CH right now. Since I know everyone loves numbers!!!! Here's what I started with a couple of weeks ago:

FC 4
CC 4
TA 120
pH 7.2
CYA >>>100
CH 50

And of course lots of algae and extraordinary triclor demand.

I've been working at it for 2 weeks have drained 36" so far and used about 15 jugs of bleach and today results are:

FC 11
CC 0
pH 7.6
TA 100
CH 50
CYA 90

So I've still a ways to go, but thanks to all for the fantastic information! Ya'll have really got it together.
 

anonapersona

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Nov 5, 2008
2,598
How long until the vacation?

Is there any family member or trusted neighbor or local kid who you'd trust to check on the pool? I worry as much about low water levels or clogged skimmers as I do the chlorine level. And big branches in the pool, or a dead raccoon -- these things will mess up the pool in 2 weeks.

First, it is important to start with a reasonable CYA level and no algae. When I have a trip coming up, I try to let the CYA get down to about 30 so I can let it get up to 50 with the trichlor tabs I will have to use. Even so, I am still primarily relying on bleach for chlorination. I have someone that can drop in to put a big jug of bleach in the pool midweek and on the weekend. I load up the auto-chlorinator and set it on a very low setting just for insurance. I'll have the pool at shock level the evening before I go, and just hope for the best after that.
 

anonapersona

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Nov 5, 2008
2,598
Are you draining in small steps? I know it may be necessary if you are well water, but it is much more economical to do it in one step if you are on city water. If you drain and fill, then retest and drain and fill again, part of the water you drain the second time is the water you just put in there.
 

mikesla

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 1, 2010
6
tuscaloosa, al
Christmas vacation! I can get some neighbor help, actually a good idea, but i am considering other options. Yes I have been draining in small steps, about 7" a time, because of the vinyl liner, i don't want to create another problem. I hate draining "fresh" water off, but who wants to install a new liner! Maybe my best option is to convert to SWG, but my wife is concerned that the pool won't "feel" right then.
 

Woodberg

Well-known member
I just try to let my CYA fall to the lower end of the range (30-40) before I'm going on vacation and then use Trichlor Tabs in my feeder while I'm away. I've never done this for a 2 week period, but for 1 week, it works great.
 

Taz

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 6, 2010
80
NE FL
mikesla said:
Maybe my best option is to convert to SWG, but my wife is concerned that the pool won't "feel" right then.
My experience with friends' pools is that the water "feel" with a SWCG is better than the average pool (such as my sister's). That's why we chose a SWCG for our recently completed pool. While it'll be tough to find pools with comparable water chemistry, perhaps she could do a "blind swim test" of different pools, with and without SWCGs. Just a thought.
 

anonapersona

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Nov 5, 2008
2,598
Maybe someone with AGP can advise, but I think that draining down to something like 1' left in the deep end is OK. You can use vac hose to start a siphon over the edge to move a lot of water out fast, then refill promptly. As long as you don't have a slow well to wait on, should be doable. You need to empty about half?

Also, winter time means less chlorine usage. Less sunlight, less heat. Won't be too bad.
 
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