Your family has spent the hot summer days in the pool and now it’s time for a vacation on the road! As you pack your bags and hire a pet sitter, don’t forget to prep your swimming pool too. You don’t want to come home to a green pool filled with debris, so taking some proactive steps before you leave will pay off when you return.
We’re here to help you with the common question, “What should I do with my pool while on vacation?” Read on for the top tips for pool maintenance while you’re enjoying time away with your family!
Tips For Pool Maintenance Before You Leave
Here are the actions to take to prepare your swimming pool before you leave on your long-awaited family vacation:
Schedule the Pump to Run
If you don’t have a timer on your pool pump to filter the water, this is a good time to make that investment. It will save you a lot of worries and you won’t have to recruit–or pay–someone to tend to your pump and filter.
Also, as a reminder, make sure the filter is clean and back-washed before you leave. Make sure the water level is completely full, too. This enables the filter to work at its best.
Your filter should run a minimum of 12 hours per day. You won’t be home to monitor it, so this will keep any problems from developing if the filter isn’t running enough to keep up with problems. Set the timer for 12 hours during the day since temperatures are highest then. This will discourage the growth of bacteria.
Test the Water
It’s important the sanitizer levels are correct and the pH and alkalinity are balanced before you leave. So, make sure to test the chemical levels in the water.
If you have any questions on this, you might consider taking a water sample to your local pool store and having it professionally tested. Then you’ll know exactly what needs to be adjusted. You will have peace of mind knowing your pool’s water is properly balanced during your absence.
Add Extra Chlorine and Algaecide
Add an extra tab in the skimmer or turn the automatic chlorinator up a notch or two. Extra chlorine will keep algae and bacteria from taking over your pool while you’re away. Add an algaecide to the pool, too. This will help stop the growth of algae even if the chlorine levels dip slightly.
You can also shock the pool harder than normal. The levels of chlorine will be high but no one will be swimming and a one-time overshock isn’t harmful to the pool. It’s also a good idea to hire someone to shock the pool once a week if you will be gone for more than a week or two. It will be worth it to spend the money to do that rather than have a pool that needs a lot of work when you return.
Winterize the Pool For Extended Absences
It’s best to shut the pool down if you will be away for a long absence, especially if you have no one to check on the pool. As a reminder, here are the things to do to shut the pool down completely:
Step 1: Remove pool accessories
Step 2: Deep clean the pool
Step 3: Adjust the water chemistry
Step 4: Lower the water level (But don’t empty it completely!)
Step 5: Drain and store the pool equipment
Step 6: Add shock and algaecide
Step 7: Cover the pool
Check out our in-depth article on winterizing your pool for more information.
Cover the Pool
Your pool filter can only do so much when there is a lot of debris and leaves in the pool. Cover the pool so the filter isn’t overworked while you are gone. The last thing you need is for the filter to malfunction and stop working completely while you’re gone.
It’s important to know that pool covers minimize evaporation from your pool, too. You will save energy and heating costs by covering the pool any time it isn’t being used.
Secure the Pool
Don’t forget about the safety aspects of being away from your home and pool. Make sure the pool area is secure. If you have a fence and a gate around the pool, make sure everything is working properly and is locked when you leave. Remove any items from around the outside of the fence so children (or others) can’t climb up and over the fence. Consider putting some outdoor lights on a timer so the area is well-lighted at night.
Make sure the pool cover is securely fastened. This may be the time to consider the addition of a hardcover. If someone falls into the pool, they will be better protected from slipping into the water. Don’t forget that a solar cover is not adequate to protect someone (or a critter) who falls into the pool.
A pool alarm is a good idea, too. Make sure it’s set before you leave or purchase one before you go.
Taking these measures will keep others safe while you are gone and will also protect your liability.
Learn More About How to Properly Take Care of Your Pool (Even While Away)
Whether you’re taking a summer vacation or traveling when it gets cooler, your swimming pool still needs care while you’re gone. By following the above tips for pool maintenance while on vacation, you can cut the chances of returning to a green, unsafe pool.
If you need more information, Pool School Videos can help! Mike Steele, the creator of this series of videos, has over 30 years of experience as a pool professional. He has distilled that knowledge into accurate, easy-to-follow videos that show you everything you need to know to properly take care of your pool as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Once you purchase the videos, they are yours to watch as often as needed from year to year as you enjoy your swimming pool. You also will become a member of our exclusive Facebook group, with access to personalized advice from Mike and his team. Post your question in the group and you will have an answer within 24 hours!
Why hire an expensive pool service when you can have valuable information and assistance at your fingertips whenever you need it?