As summer comes into full swing, the kids are finishing the school year, everyone is anxious to get in some time in the sun, and many of us are planning or preparing for an exciting, or perhaps just relaxing, vacation. If you are a DIY pool owner, you know that maintaining that sparkling clear, pristine pool is a demanding task – and certainly no one wants to return to a pool maintenance disaster after that lovely time away. Here are a few tips to help you care for your pool while you are away.
1) Start Off Right
Making sure your pool is in great shape just ahead of your departure is a must. Do a thorough cleaning, and be sure your pool has the optimum amount of water. Testing and balancing your water can go a long way toward making sure your pool is not a mucky mess when you return, especially if the pool won’t be used during the time you are gone. Aim for a pH level of 7.4 to 7.6, 100 to 150 ppm Alkalinity, 200 to 275 ppm Calcium hardness, and 3 ppm Chlorine. You may also consider shocking your pool, which could provide enough Chlorine to last roughly a week. Don’t forget to check your water before using your pool again after your return in case the Chlorine level is still high if you shock your pool.
2) Cover and Secure The Pool
Covering your pool can help to prevent the growth of algae by limiting sunlight exposure, preserving your pool chemicals, and reducing evaporation. Even more importantly, covering your pool will provide additional safety and discourage anyone from attempting to use the pool while you are gone – even in your absence you would still be liable if an accident were to occur. Install a pool alarm if you don’t already have one, and be sure to close and lock gates to your pool area as well.
3) Use an Automatic Timer
If you don’t already have your pool on a timer system, now is the time. An automatic timer will turn on your pump and filter system, and run it for a pre-set amount of time. We recommend 10 to 12 hours per day. With this system, even when you are at home you can set the timer to run during the less expensive power consumption hours at night with no extra effort on your part. If you absolutely can’t use a timer, it’s best to leave the filter system on. Try to have someone check on it occasionally if you choose this option just to be sure everything is running as expected.
4) Ask For Help
If you have a neighbor, friend, or relative who is willing to keep an eye on things for you then don’t be afraid to ask – you can even offer to return the favor when they leave for a vacation! Be sure they have a number to reach you in case of an emergency and the number to your pool service, if you have one, as well. Some companies even offer a special service for while you are on vacation.