How to manage pool while away

Smiles79

Well-known member
May 22, 2019
58
Missouri
I'll be away for a week pretty soon, what's the best way to manage the pool while I'm gone? There isn't really anyone here that knows how to use my test kit.
 

spd500

Well-known member
Jul 20, 2020
430
Houston, TX
My wife and I have to spend at least one week a month in Vegas for work and this was a question I had too. Consensus on a few different sites was that I would be better off having a saltwater system, and to have the pump timer run as usual with the valves set to draw water half from the main drain and half from skimmer. That way if the skimmer gets plugged up with leaves the pump can still get water and not burn itself up. I am interested to see what answers you get because I am still new to this myself.
 
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Smiles79

Well-known member
May 22, 2019
58
Missouri
My wife and I have to spend at least one week a month in Vegas for work and this was a question I had too. Consensus on a few different sites was that I would be better off having a saltwater system, and to have the pump timer run as usual with the valves set to draw water half from the main drain and half from skimmer. That way if the skimmer gets plugged up with leaves the pump can still get water and not burn itself up. I am interested to see what answers you get because I am still new to this myself.
That would be slick, unfortunately I don't have a salt water generator on by above ground.
 

CraigChing

Well-known member
Jun 15, 2019
69
Plymouth, Minnesota
I’ll share what I do, though being further north probably makes my method a bit more viable. 🙂

I leave a couple of gallons of LC outside and have my dad come over two to three times while I’m gone. He runs my pump for me (I don’t have any automation) and adds a predetermined amount of LC after the pump is on. Later in the day he comes over again and turns the pump off. Very old-school, but it works for us! And he has a pool as well, so I return the favor when he goes out of town.

EDIT: I also make sure and adjust pH down to 7.4 before I leave as I know it rises to 8 in a week. I don’t ask my dad to perform any tests, I know my pool well enough to just schedule the LC additions.
 
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DanF

Silver Supporter
Mar 17, 2019
259
Chandler, AZ
@CraigChing's approach is solid, if you have someone that can dose with LC while you're away. I would refrain from having someone not familiar with water testing test the water - could lead to other issues. If you've been testing regularly, you probably know what your daily FC usage is, so just tell whomever to add that much/day or twice that every other day. Unless there's a real weather disturbance while you're away you should be alright.

If you don't have someone to add chlorine, AND you don't have an SWG, AND your CYA isn't off the charts, it's probably OK to fill up a floating tablet dispenser and sanitize your water that way. Another benefit of this approach is that it will keep your pH down if it tends to rise.

Only other concern is skimmer baskets :cool:
 
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derekm

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2007
59
Eastern Canada
I find that my puck erosion feeder (Rainbow 320) will more than keep up as long as the solar cover is on (or if it doesn't keep up, you could plumb a 2nd one in parallel). I often go away for 2 weeks in August and the chlorine level is higher when I get back than when I left, and the PH stays within range too. I set the timer to run my 2-speed pump on low for 12 hrs a day. I top up the water level to near the top of the skimmer before I leave so it doesn't get too low (not usually an issue as the solar cover keeps down the evaporation), fill the puck feeder to the top, and set the dial to maximum. The solar cover and the high water level also help keep most of the leaves out of the skimmer, as does running the pump on low.
I turn down the puck feeder and use mostly liquid chlorine the rest of the season so the CYA doesn't get too high.
 

Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
1,281
Hernando, Ms
Check your cya & decide if u have enough room to use a couple pucks in a floater.
PoolMath effects of adding will help u calculate the cya & chlorine it will add as well as the ph effects.
Regular trichlor pucks are 6oz & jumbo are 8oz. Just don’t use any with “blue” in the name. You can also shore your bets by raising to slam level for your cya w/ liquid chlorine the day u leave. If you just go to slam level & don’t wanna use pucks it will likely be fine too.
If someone will be there to check/ dump the skimmer basket since it’s leaf season then it will probably be fine when u return.
 
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mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,336
OV, CA
Another common way to "vacation" prep your pool that is commonly suggested here if you don't have someone that can chlorinate for you, is to raise the FC to SLAM levels and then put a cover on it. I've heard tell of it lasting for up to 2 weeks depending on the conditions.
 
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