June means summer vacation for many school age children and college age kids. Does it also mean a family vacation? That’s fun, right?! Of course it is!
What if you have a swimming pool, though? Can you simply pack up the family, head out on the family vacation and not give the pool a second thought? Not so much. Whether you’re planning a local get away or traveling cross country to visit friends and family your vacation doesn’t mean you can take a “vacation” from pool maintenance.
Can You Take A Vacation From Pool Maintenance?
Why can’t your pool survive without a weekly cleaning or water chemical testing? If you put on the pool cover and keep out any dirt and debris it shoudl be good to go, right? Unfortunately no. One of the major reasons is that a covered pool, without the pool pump and filter running, the sun beating down on the cover means that algae can quickly and quietly transform your once glorious, crystal clear pool water into a swampy, murky brown mess.
If the pool water isn’t circulating it is an open invitation for algae to make your pool its home. Yuck! Automation may make it possible for you to turn the pool pump and filter on from a remote location, you may be able to leave the pool without having a pool service contractor pay a visit. You can also automate the pool pump and filter with a timer to run them while you’re gone. This is ideal, but you may want to have a friend or family member pay a visit because if the power goes off or if the timer doesn’t work your pool runs the risk of an algae-filled pool when you return home.
Vacation Pool Care
Pool owners know that June is a lazy, hazy month of summer and it’s ideal for time spent around the swimming pool with friends and family. June and July are also the times of year when many families hop on a plane or jump in the car and head off to a favorite vacation spot. We get it. it’s nice to get away from it all and visit one of your favorite family vacation spots.
Just because you’re away doesn’t mean you can let your pool sit idle. What is a pool owner who wants to take the family on vacation to do? There are ways to take your family vacation and still keep your pool water clean and clear.
Automation is key to keeping your swimming pool pump and filter running while you’re away. We’d mentioned that the water needs to be regularly circulated to keep algae from growing in your pool water while you’re enjoying time away.
Pool contractors typically recommend that the pool pump and filter run for up to twelve hours a day in the summer months. Your remote controlled app makes this easy as will a timer attached to the pool pump and filter.
When you’re away and if you’re usually running the pool pump and filter at night, you will want to change the timer to run the pool pump and filter during the day time. Sure, you may be spending more in utility costs, but running the pool pump and filter during the day time helps break up any algae spores, move them out of the pool and then run it through the pool filter.
The potential spike in your utility bills for that week or two you’re on vacation will likely be less than it would cost you if you had to have your pool maintenance contractor come in and address an algae-filled swimming pool. The utility bill increase is worth the price of keeping the filter running and keeping algae away.
You know you’re heading out on vacation well before it happens, right? Because of that, contact your swimming pool contractor and have him do a deep clean on your swimming pool before you leave. If the pool filter is in need of a cleaning, haver that done before you leave.
Ask your pool contractor to shock aka super chlorinate the pool before you leave and before the pool is locked up for the vacation period. Super-chlorinating Adding more chlorine than usual will not lead to any long-term harm with your swimming pool and may go a long way in keeping everything clean and the water clear and bacteria free while you’re away.
If you have a floating chlorinator, add some additional tablets to this. Turn the dial up a notch or two so the chlorinator releases more chlorine than it typically would when you are home. Make sure you don’t forget to turn the chlorinator down once you return home.
Test and balance
Take time to have the pool water tested, balanced and fully cleaned prior to your leaving on vacation. If you have to, talk with your pool contractor and have him schedule an additional time to clean the pool or reschedule his pool maintenance visit to occur before you leave on vacation.
What will your pool contractor do when he tests the water chemistry?
- Total alkalinity
- Chlorine stabilizer
- Calcium hardness
- He will clean the filter or backwash the filter
- Algaecide will be added before you leave on your vacation!
Keep pool water clean & clear
There are at least three steps that need to be taken to keep the pool water crystal clear and bacteria-free while you’re on vacation. They are:
- Water circulation — running the pool pump
- Particle filtration — running the pool filter and pushing the water through it
- Proper chemical balance and water chemistry – super chlorinating the water and having pool cleaned before you leave
Have fun on your family vacation and rest easy knowing that you have taken care of your swimming pool and that it will be clean and sparkling clear when you return!