You’re heading out on vacation. The mail has been put on hold. The newspaper has been stopped. The pets are with the pet sitter. The alarm has been set. You’re ready to go!

Wait just a minute! What about your swimming pool? Should you cancel pool maintenance while you’re on vacation? The short answer is, “no.” Just because you’re away doesn’t mean the pool won’t need to be checked on and that the pool pump and filter don’t need to be run.

Imagine this. You go on vacation. The cover is on the pool. The filter and pump aren’t running (you’re trying to save money!). What does that mean? The sun will be beating down on the pool cover, heating the water below. The pump and filter aren’t running so the water isn’t circulating. This is a perfect storm for stagnant water and the breeding ground for bacteria and algae.

You certainly don’t want to come home from vacation to be faced with a swimming pool with brackish water, do you? If you have ever had to deal with a pool filled with algae you know how difficult it is to rid the pool water of it and how many days, or even weeks, you may be without your pool. No one wants that!

Should You Cancel Pool Maintenance When You’re On Vacation?

pool water circulationThere is no vacation for pool maintenance and up keep. When you have taken on the role of “pool owner” you have taken on the role of having to keep it cleaned and serviced and the pump and filter running — even if you’re not there to benefit from a swim.

Here is what will not take a vacation in your pool, even when you do!

  1. The filter. You need to run the pool pump and filter at least twelve hours a day. Even if you’re not home! Invest in remote control or app-operated pool equipment. Automation makes it easier to “set it and forget it” even when you’re away. You don’t need to have the pool pump and filter run continuously, but you do need to run it the recommended number of hours per day — whether you’re home and swimming or not. Consider running the pump a few hours during the day to circulate it in the hottest hours so algae doesn’t settle in. Then run it again during the overnight hours.
  2. It’s shocking! Ask your pool contractor if it makes sense to do a deep cleaning and have the water shocked before you leave on vacation. When you shock – super chlorinate – you’re adding almost double the amount of chlorine and that will clean away any impurities and help assure your pool water remains sparkling clear while you’re gone.
  3. Get the test kit. Test the water chemistry before you go. Your pool contractor will test when he pays a service visit and yes, you may still want to keep him on the same schedule even when you’re away. At the very least have him or her come and clean the pool right before you get home so your pool is welcoming and ready.

 What will keep your pool in good shape while you’re away? 

  1. A cleaning before you go
  2. Invest in pool automation
  3. Super chlorination
  4. Water circulation
  5. Filter cleaning
  6. Skimmer basket cleaning
  7. Put the cover on
  8. Run the filter and pump
  9. Schedule a pool cleaning right before you get home

Have fun on vacation! Know that if your pool is cared for while you’re away you will come home from your vacation and have the staycation spot in your backyard ready and waiting for you when you return!