Maintaining someone else's pool


Well-known member
May 23, 2008
Northern California
Pool in question: 20k gallons, in-ground, plaster, DE filter, Jacuzzi VS pump, spa.

I've taken over my brother's pool after he passed away last year. At the time, the pump had been inoperative for a while and the pool was a swamp with a lot of tree debris, algae and bugs. I had a company come out to drain and pressure wash the pool. Aside from some staining, it doesn't look too bad. The pool was just filled yesterday. It appears the guy just put a couple of tablets in a floater and called it a day. I'm going over today to take some readings with my TF-100. There is an old in-floor cleaning system, but I'm assuming it's inoperative and don't want to try to use it.

If I can figure out how much chlorine the pool consumes in a day, I think I can teach my sister-in-law how to add liquid chlorine. I'm also considering bringing a robot cleaner over once a week on my way to work and picking it up after a couple of hours. At that time, I would check the FC and pH and sweep. I could also do a whole set of tests periodically. Is there more that I'm forgetting? Is a once a week sweeping okay?

We can hire a company to maintain it, but how do they do it when they only come around once a week? Do they jack up the FC and hope it doesn't get too low before they come back in a week?


Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
Northern NJ
Pool companies on weekly maintenance use pucks that last a week and then they get paid to deal with the high CYA or CH every year or so.

Key is your sis-in-law adding LC every day or two. Give her a set amount to add every day even if the FC rises a bit. In a week it will not get above the SLAM FC value. Adjust the amounts when you do the FC test each week. In a few weeks you should get dialed into how much she adds.
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LifeTime Supporter
Jul 12, 2008
Seacoast, NH
Very kind of you to help her out. When she’s sufficiently through the grieving process and has a little more time, teach her how to do the testing herself so she can determine how much liquid chlorine, etc to add. I’m sure she’s overwhelmed right now, and family helping is great.


Well-known member
May 23, 2008
Northern California
Did a series of tests last night and found there was no chlorine and CYA. I had purchased 2 gallons of liquid CYA for this pool last year because I knew I wouldn't be able to have her do the sock method. I added a gallon last night and a gallon of 10% FC. Will probably add the other gallon of CYA tonight to get to around 40ppm.

@ajw22: Thanks. That's my current plan of attack. After I get it balanced, I'll start with having her add 2ppm of FC everyday and I'll see where we are at my weekly checks.

@Deb04: Thanks. It's been 16 months, but you're right, it's very overwhelming for her. I've had to do a lot of home repairs, the pool, taxes and help get her financial affairs in order. Trying to keep her pool responsibilities to a minimum, but maybe I can teach her to test her FC after she watches me do it a few times.

@RoyR: That's what I was wondering. I just did a quick online search and judging by the looks, I'm pretty sure it's a Caretaker 5-port valve system. Caretaker calls themselves, "The original...", and this pool was built in the '70's so the timeline fits. I'll have to figure out how it all works. I don't think there's a separate pump; assuming it's turned on by adjusting the valves(?)