While we don’t know what summer 2021 will bring for families and individuals looking to get away from it all and take a vacation. If this summer is like last summer when coronavirus kept us home and we turned to our houses for staycation fun, we may want to do more to amp up the staycation feel. We are certainly hoping vacations will be part of our summer lives, and if it is you need to think about pool care when you’re away.
In a perfect world, you could have your pool cleaned and serviced before you go, then when you get home a week later the water is clean and clear and ready for you to swim in? Sure, it could happen, but more often than not, water that has been neglected for a week tends to be a magnet for algae and bacteria. This is even more true if you don’t run the pump and filter while you’re gone.
Today’s technology makes it easier than ever to be away from home and operate your pool. You can use apps and remote control technology to ensure the pool equipment turns on and off and continues to circulate the water. Circulated water makes it harder for bacteria and algae spores to take hold and cause issues that lead to brackish water.
Decide whether you want to have your pool contractor come and pay a service visit while you’re away to keep the water clean and clear. He or she will test the water and add any necessary chemicals.
Pool Care When You’re Away
Talk with your swimming pool maintenance contractor and ask what he or she recommends be done to keep your pool in tip top shape while you’re vacationing. Here are a few things that will likely be recommended. You certainly don’t want to cancel your vacation just because you have to take care of the family pool — and you won’t have to.
Water chemistry testing
Chances are, there is no way for you to test he pool water while you’re away, right!? Have it tested, and chemicals added to get them in balance and have this done before you leave for vacation. Your pool contractor will test and measure:
- Total alkalinity
- Chlorine stabilizer
- Calcium hardness
The pool filter should be cleaned before you leave — so should the skimmer basket. Your pool contractor will let you know whether you need the pool backwashed before the vacation.
An algaecide is a great preventative measure to keep the water from turning green.
The pump and filter need to run
Water that is standing still is a magnet for algae, bacteria and even mosquitoes. We hope your swimming pool is covered when you go on vacation, but if you don’t it could become a bug breeding ground. Look to technology such as phone apps or to having your swimming pool contractor add timers to the pool equipment and turns it on and off at specific times.
When you’re home, chances are you run the pool pump and filter during the overnight hours and that’s great! When you’re on vacation you will want to run the pool pump and filter during the day. If the water is still and there’s a cover on the pool the heat from the sun can lead to algae bloom.
Your utility bills may spike because the pool pump and filter are running during the day when utility bills are higher. The slight bump in your utility bill will be worth not coming home to a pool that needs to have algae bloom cleaned out.
Super chlorinate aka shock it
Let your pool contractor know you will be on vacation as that may change some of the steps he takes to maintain your pool. He or she may recommend super chlorinating it before you go. A deep clean and shocking might be warranted to keep the pool water clean and free of bacteria.
You may want to consider using an automatic chlorinator if you’re not going to have your pool contractor maintain and service the pool while you’re away.
There are three major things to do to help protect your pool water while you’re away
- Water circulation
- Particle filtration
- Proper chemical balance and water chemistry
Taking these steps will help ensure you come home to a pool with crystal clear, bacteria-free water.