Going out of town...how do we prevent a swamp??

diaperjoys

Member
Jun 30, 2011
14
We need to be gone for a month - how do we manage the pool while we're gone? We have no timer on our pump - there is a chlorine feeder, but not sure if it works properly. We could get a family member to come over every couple days and do simple tasks, but the whole daily testing & maintenance won't be happening.

Ya'll advised me yesterday that our pool is due for a thorough shock treatment. Now i'm wondering if it is worth pouring that $$ into the pool if it will be completely undone when we leave. Despite the need for shocking, the pool is currently clear.

Suggestions??
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
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May 19, 2010
42,945
Tucson, AZ
I think it is going to be VERY difficult to keep the pool clear for a month without someone involved every few days. If you do not want to impose, wait until you get home to shock the pool.
 

PSW

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Feb 13, 2012
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Phoenix, AZ
I agree with Jason above. It will be difficult to keep the levels stable without some attention. How have you been managing your chlorine lately (since you don't know if feeder works properly)? Have you been measuring your levels regularly? If so, is your chlorine usage fairly consistent?
diaperjoys said:
Ya'll advised me yesterday that our pool is due for a thorough shock treatment. Now i'm wondering if it is worth pouring that $$ into the pool if it will be completely undone when we leave. Despite the need for shocking, the pool is currently clear.
What was the context for this recommendation? Do you have CC in the pool? A full report of levels would be helpful. I would guess that it's best to wait to shock (when you get back).
 

diaperjoys

Member
Jun 30, 2011
14
blakej said:
I agree with Jason above. It will be difficult to keep the levels stable without some attention. How have you been managing your chlorine lately (since you don't know if feeder works properly)? Have you been measuring your levels regularly? If so, is your chlorine usage fairly consistent?
diaperjoys said:
Ya'll advised me yesterday that our pool is due for a thorough shock treatment. Now i'm wondering if it is worth pouring that $$ into the pool if it will be completely undone when we leave. Despite the need for shocking, the pool is currently clear.
What was the context for this recommendation? Do you have CC in the pool? A full report of levels would be helpful. I would guess that it's best to wait to shock (when you get back).
Chlorine management has been mostly manual this season; we're new to the BBB method, trying to figure out how to do things. We filled up the chlorine feeder once when we opened the pool, but the tablets didn't dissolve as much as expected. I wasn't too concerned about it since we were planning on using bleach. I may not have proper flow through the feeder hose; the joint had oxidized & I trimmed the hose & reconnected it. That'd be my first guess.

Here's an idea: what if I fix the feeder hose, & use tablets for the time we're away. Would that be awful for the pool? I could ask the neighbor to flip on the pump when he leaves for work in the morning & flip it off when he gets home. Then maybe I can get a friend to run a test every several days. Would that hold us over, do you think?

Back to the shock question - the pool eats chlorine: pour in bleach in the morning to bring the chlorine level to 4, it is mostly gone by midday, and completely gone by evening. Since the pool temp is just now reaching the low 70s and we're not using it a ton I'm only adding bleach a couple times a week. Despite this horrible lack of proper balance, the pool is staying clear. When I posted about this yesterday ya'll recommended a thorough shock to kill whatever is eating the chlorine.
 

BadOleRoss

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 30, 2011
393
Lynchburg VA
Using pucks the time you are gone is going to raise your CYA levels but that can be adjusted with a water change if needed when you return. What is your current CYA level? If your CYA is low that might be why you are losing chlorine so fast.
 

diaperjoys

Member
Jun 30, 2011
14
BadOleRoss said:
Using pucks the time you are gone is going to raise your CYA levels but that can be adjusted with a water change if needed when you return. What is your current CYA level? If your CYA is low that might be why you are losing chlorine so fast.
Actually, my CYA is high (70), which means doing this shock is a pain. Thankfully we're on a well, so doing a water change is less of a big deal.
 

MeSue

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 29, 2007
345
Florida
Ah, the joys of SWG! Although last time we left for a long trip I was confident in the SWG but ended up coming home to ripped liner from the dog digging under the pool.

But as far as a timer goes, they don't cost that much. I think I paid about $17 for the one I was using before I got the SWG.
 

diaperjoys

Member
Jun 30, 2011
14
MeSue said:
Ah, the joys of SWG! Although last time we left for a long trip I was confident in the SWG but ended up coming home to ripped liner from the dog digging under the pool.

But as far as a timer goes, they don't cost that much. I think I paid about $17 for the one I was using before I got the SWG.
Tell me more about a timer, please? My dad - think "handyman" - looked into it for me, and thought we'd need something pretty high tech because of the voltage of the power coming to the pump...or something like that. It was going to cost a pretty penny to do a timer. The cheapest he could find was $100 or more, and that is with free labor to put it in.

Can anyone educate me on this? I think our pump is a Hayward, with a 1.5 HP motor. But there is a switch box out there - like on a breaker box vs. a light switch type, and somehow this was a complication. Where do I go for more information? I would love to stop turning the pump on and off manually!
 

jblizzle

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May 19, 2010
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Tucson, AZ
Google "intermatic pool timer" They can be found for close to $50-$70.

Of course there are other options, but the mechanical is the norm.
 

Richard320

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Jan 6, 2010
22,052
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
A pump timer is something like this There are different models for indoor vs outdoor, 110 vs 220, etc, but they all pretty much look the same.

A timer is very worthwhile on the pump. For your vacation, you might want to just hire some pool service. Tell them to use your chemicals, let 'em vacuum a couple times and keep the water level up. It would probably end up costing about the same as the bleach you'll need to clear the pool if it turns green while you're gone.
 

Bama Rambler

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Jun 22, 2009
23,371
SouthWest Alabama
The Intermatic timers are the gold standard, but there are others out there and one of the home improvement stores may have one in stock. If your equipment is 230 volt you'll need a timer to match but they're pretty common. A water heater timer will work.
 

TheGoose

Well-known member
May 15, 2012
48
SE Texas
I find it odd to say that it would cost a pretty penny to put in a timer when you've already got an IG pool. The timer is one of the cheapest things you can add to your pool that gives you a lot back. I'm betting you already have a timer but it is broke and has not been fixed. Probably an easy fix.

diaperjoys said:
MeSue said:
Ah, the joys of SWG! Although last time we left for a long trip I was confident in the SWG but ended up coming home to ripped liner from the dog digging under the pool.

But as far as a timer goes, they don't cost that much. I think I paid about $17 for the one I was using before I got the SWG.
Tell me more about a timer, please? My dad - think "handyman" - looked into it for me, and thought we'd need something pretty high tech because of the voltage of the power coming to the pump...or something like that. It was going to cost a pretty penny to do a timer. The cheapest he could find was $100 or more, and that is with free labor to put it in.

Can anyone educate me on this? I think our pump is a Hayward, with a 1.5 HP motor. But there is a switch box out there - like on a breaker box vs. a light switch type, and somehow this was a complication. Where do I go for more information? I would love to stop turning the pump on and off manually!
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
42,945
Tucson, AZ
diaperjoys said:
The pool was here when we moved in...no way we would have ever had the cash to install...
Although you chose to buy the house and there was probably at least a little extra cost to the house due to having a pool.

In any case, the point is that even if the pool was "free", there is still money involved to maintain it and a timer is cheap ... ask me, I just spent $800 to replace my pump and re-plumb my equipment pad ... granted some of the re-plumb was to add improvements, but still ... not much is cheap with these things.