Prep for vacation

Alcibiades

Gold Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
12
Leesburg, VA
TFP Family—

Thanks to Maddie and Marty, I’ve got our pool back in balance following last month’s pump outage.

I’m looking ahead to a 2 week vacation—the first we’re taking since moving to our new home—and am hoping for some advice.

First, the numbers:
  • FC: 5.0
  • CC: 0.0
  • pH: 7.7 (always creeps up)
  • TA: 70
  • CH: 375
  • CYA: 60
  • Salt: 3800
My plan is to bring the pool up to shock level (pool math says 28 ppm, which means 7 gallons of 10% chlorine) and throw in a floater with some pucks. Since my pH tends to rise fairly rapidly, I thought I’d try to bring that down before I add the chlorine.

A few questions:
  1. Does the plan above sound right to the experts?
  2. What kind of chlorinating pucks are least awful—and how many should I use for 10 days? (I have a bunch of year-old Trichlor “BioGuard Silk Sticks” from the prior owner.)
  3. Should I cut off my SWG (at least initially, when I’m dumping in gallons of chlorine) and then turn it back on, remotely, after a few days?
Many thanks in advance!

Greg
 

Alcibiades

Gold Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
12
Leesburg, VA
Sounds like you can operate your SWG remotely.....why wouldn't you let that be your sole source of chlorine?
Because I’m afraid, Dave! ;-)

All seriousness, often when we get a lot of sun or a lot of rain, I have to supplement the SWG with liquid chlorine. I’m very worried about coming home and discovering a problem because the FC dropped too low.
 

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
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Sebring, Florida
That's a very good reason. With a CYA of 60, I really would like for you to skip the pucks. 2-3 won't hurt disastrously (all pucks are the same....there are no good or bad ones) but 60 CYA is as high as you should get.

two weeks is a long time to go between chlorine doses. How about a neighbor or friend stopping by after the first week and loading you back up on chlorine?
 
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crabboy

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 24, 2007
628
Suwanee, GA
What percentage do you normally run your SWG at?

I'd just up the percentage a few points and run with that. I was gone for 2 weeks this summer and returned to a clear pool, only using the SWG. All I did was drop the pH before I left.
 
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Alcibiades

Gold Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
12
Leesburg, VA
Dave, that’s really helpful to hear. For some reason, I thought my CYA was a little low for a swg pool. (My notes from Pool School said 70-80, which always felt too high—makes SLAMming difficult!)

Crabboy, my SWG seems a bit underpowered for my pool size, so I run it at 80% for 12 hours per day. Maybe I’ll up it to 90 for the vacation period.

Really appreciate the replies!
 

Bvacchiano

Well-known member
Apr 6, 2018
172
Sugar Land, Texas
Here in Houston before I leave I up my salt to 4000-4300 ppm. I learned my lesson the hard way. We get heavy rain and we get it FAST sometime (like 12” in two days). I’ve seen my salt drop 1000 ppm in several days to not making chlorine range (dropped from 3600-2600). When I came back from a week vacation I had cloudy water and had to slam. Never slammed before that. My CYA dropped from 80-30 as well. Lots of water exchange. Anyways something to be aware of if you get heavy rain or are expecting heavy rain while u r gone.
 
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Alcibiades

Gold Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
12
Leesburg, VA
Here in Houston before I leave I up my salt to 4000-4300 ppm. I learned my lesson the hard way. We get heavy rain and we get it FAST sometime (like 12” in two days). I’ve seen my salt drop 1000 ppm in several days to not making chlorine range (dropped from 3600-2600). When I came back from a week vacation I had cloudy water and had to slam. Never slammed before that. My CYA dropped from 80-30 as well. Lots of water exchange. Anyways something to be aware of if you get heavy rain or are expecting heavy rain while u r gone.
Thanks! We sometimes get that type of rain, but it’s not a given. I’ll check the forecasts and think about an extra bag of salt if it looks like a lot of rain is on the way.
 

duraleigh

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I thought my CYA was a little low for a swg pool. (My notes from Pool School said 70-80, which always felt too high—makes SLAMming difficult
Your notes are correct. I overlooked your SWG......sorry.

So. pucks would be OK. Look at PoolMath for the "effects of adding chemistry" and you can predict how much CYA the pucks will add in your pool. My first choice would still be a friend/neighbor assist for a dose (SLAM value) of FC at the star5t of the second week but you have some options.

Like you, I am not really nuts about CYA 80 but it is within our "safe" ranges so you would be fine.
 
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crabboy

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Jul 24, 2007
628
Suwanee, GA
Crabboy, my SWG seems a bit underpowered for my pool size, so I run it at 80% for 12 hours per day. Maybe I’ll up it to 90 for the vacation period.
Wow, that is quite high. That SWG should be good through a 40k pool. Have you tested for phosphates, that could cause an increased usage.

We don't have the same SWG, but mine always throws a "no flow" code a few times a day and stops producing. Even with that, I do make enough at 40% to maintain 2.5 with a 12 hour pump.
 

Alcibiades

Gold Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
12
Leesburg, VA
Thanks again, Dave. Looks like I should be upping my CYA to 70 regardless, so a few pucks aren’t out of order!

Crabboy, I’ve never checked phosphates—I’ll check the boards for some info about that. It’d be great to have an answer to why I seem to need such a high percentage for a 12-hour runtime!
 

Alcibiades

Gold Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
12
Leesburg, VA
Thanks, Dave, we’re good on organics! I slammed after opening and passed the OCLT. We’ve just always had to run a relatively high SWG percentage to get our FC levels right. :)
 

Alcibiades

Gold Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
12
Leesburg, VA
Team:

Thanks again for all the good advice. We got home today and, after 10 days away from home, our numbers were:
  • FC: 12
  • CC: 0.0
  • pH: 7.9
  • TA: 75
  • CH: 375
  • CYA: 65
  • Salt: 4000
Water levels were a bit low from evaporation, so I refilled with hose water and added some muriatic acid, so the salt levels are down to 3800 and the pH is back within range.

I probably will run an OCLT tonight, as there was some green discoloration on our “frog logs” (floats that anchor to the side of the pool before the skimmers, allowing small animals that fall into our pool to escape—they’ve been really effective for us). It looked like algae, but I didn’t see anything similar elsewhere in the pool.

Again, thanks!