Vacation - Shock before leaving?

Txmat

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 18, 2010
424
San Antonio
I used bleach to shock and MA & aeration to clear my water and to lower TA. In preparation for being gone for 10 days I put trichlor pucks in my chlorinator to get the right setting to maintain FC at 5 or 6 while I am gone. However, with the chlorinator wide open I am only getting an FC of 2.5. Here are my numbers:

FC 2.5
CC .5
PH 7.8 - I have added 6 oz of MA and continued to aerate to bring TA down a little further.
TA 80
CYA 50
Temp 82

Since 2.5 is not high enough to leave for 10 days I have thought of two alternatives. I could shock with bleach just before I leave or I could get a floating chlorinator and fill it with pucks.

What do you think I should do?
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,177
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
When you were shocking, did an overnight FC loss test confirm any organics were dead? Were you maintaining your "min" FC level before you adding the tablets to the chlorinator? Because your "min" is 4 and if you weren't maintaining that it could be possible organics are now consuming the chlorine as it's added.

I would shock it (up to a FC of 20), cover it with a solar cover (if you can) and leave the chlorinator on... and then deal with whatever could be happening when you return.
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,471
SW Indiana
Can you increase your pump run time to add more chlorine from the chlorinator?

What chlorinator do you have? Some have options for increasing flow through the tabs.
 

Txmat

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 18, 2010
424
San Antonio
When you were shocking, did an overnight FC loss test confirm any organics were dead? Yes

Were you maintaining your "min" FC level before you adding the tablets to the chlorinator? After confirming with the overnight test that there were no organics I let the chlorine level come down over a few days. The FC was at 8 and CYA at 40 when I put the tabs in.

The pump runs 24 hours and the chlorinator is a Hayward offline model and the dial is turned to Full.
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,471
SW Indiana
You may want to take a look at the chlorinator for build-up that could be restricting water flow over the tabs.
 

Txmat

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 18, 2010
424
San Antonio
You may want to take a look at the chlorinator for build-up that could be restricting water flow over the tabs. John, that is a good idea. I had taken the fittings loose and water and they seem to be clear. I do not have time before I leave, but I think I will soak the fittings in muratic acid for a few min. and see if that helps. I put a puck in the skimmer basket and my FC has gone up to 8 and the puck is almost gone in a day. Way faster than what happens in the chlorinator. Just before I leave in the AM I will shock and then hope that when I return it will not be to a green swamp. But if I do, I know how to clear it up.
 

cubbybeave08

Well-known member
Feb 2, 2008
902
Northwest Indiana
frustratedpoolmom said:
When you were shocking, did an overnight FC loss test confirm any organics were dead? Were you maintaining your "min" FC level before you adding the tablets to the chlorinator? Because your "min" is 4 and if you weren't maintaining that it could be possible organics are now consuming the chlorine as it's added.

I would shock it (up to a FC of 20), cover it with a solar cover (if you can) and leave the chlorinator on... and then deal with whatever could be happening when you return.
Agree with what FPM says...she and I have been doing this with our pools for years...her more than I as this is only my third summer...but I go on vacation 2 or three times per summer and have been gone for as much as 13 days. I shock up to my shock level circulate for an hour or two and then I cover with solar cover. Make sure the FC holds overnight or add more in the morning before you leave. You should be fine as long as you don't have any issues going on in the pool. This last time left on the 18th and then returned on 27th...I did have some problems, because we got about 7 inches of rain in the ten days we were gone. This really played havoc with my FC. I lost lost probably five inches of water during that time through run out from my skimmer. When I came back, I had a little problem getting FC to hold overnight, but once it held I was fine...took a couple of days...water was a little cloudy for a day...But generally if you don't have extremely bad weather shocking and running the pump a few hours each day while you are gone should do the trick...I have timer set for 6 hours run time during the heat of the day so the water circulates during the brightest sunlight times...Just my preference though.
 

Txmat

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 18, 2010
424
San Antonio
To bring closure to this thread and for what it is worth to others who find this on a search here is what I did and the results. I raised the FC to 20 with bleach and also put some pucks in a floating basket set half open. When I got back after 11 days the water was crystal clear and the FC was 17 & CC 0. The CYA had gone from 50 to 95 so I will need to drain and refill some. We had a lot of rain and the pool was running over at the skimmer so there is excess water to be drained. The PH went from 7.8 to 7.2 and the TA went from 90 to 80. I will use aeration to raise the PH without increasing the TA. Thanks for all the suggestions. I think next time I will use the pucks in advance to raise the CYA to maybe 65-70 to reduce FC loss and then take them out for the vacation and use bleach to go to 20 FC just before I leave and let it fall naturally while I am gone. Since my pool gets about half a day of sun and the higher CYA will slow the loss of FC, I think I could go at least 2 weeks without the pool becoming a swamp. With a lower CYA it would not take as much water replacement to get it back to 50.

Larry
 

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