While many lockdown restrictions are making vacationing away from home a rather distant prospect nowadays but if you’re planning a vacation in the future then here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to your pool maintenance.
Why do we need to maintain the pool when on vacation? Simply put, you do not want to go home to a green and algae-filled pool when you can come home to a crystal-clear pool right? I mean, sometimes we need vacations from our vacations if that makes any sense. And nothing can ruin the vibe and glow from a vacation than an swampy pool!
Preparing your Pool for a vacation
On the days leading up to your vacation, make sure that your pool chemicals are properly balanced, this is to ensure that your chemical levels won’t swing wildly while you’re away. Once your chemical levels are up to the recommended levels then the hardest part of preparing your pool for a vacation is done.
Once the chemical levels are on point, you can consider adding some algaecide as a precaution, it won’t really hurt your chemistry levels and the protection it provides against algae growth when you’re not around is priceless!
Shocking your pool / Super chlorinating your pool
If you’re planning a fairly short vacation of just a few days then you can get away with not shocking your pool before heading out. But if you’re planning a vacation at least a week-long, then it might be a good idea to super chlorinate or shock your pool before heading out. Not just your normal shock though, we suggest shocking your pool with 2-3x with what you usually shock the pool with and then letting the pump run for a few hours before heading out. This may sound like last-minute stuff, but trust us, you’ll be glad you did it!
Skimming and Removing all debris from your pool
Before heading out, make sure to empty your pump and skimmer baskets, skim out all of the floating debris and vacuum out all of the ones that have sunk to the bottom. The reason for this is simple, not only are they an eyesore, but once they start to disintegrate, they release phosphates that serve as food for algae, thereby adding an added burden for your chlorine, using it up faster.
Optional: Use a pool cover
If you have a pool cover, congratulations! You just made maintaining your pool while you’re away much, much easier! With a pool cover, you’ll be preventing debris from entering your pool (hint: no phosphates from leaves, no algae food!) Not only that, but you’re also preventing evaporation, saving you chemical loss as well. Need more information about pool covers? Check out our ultimate guide to pool covers here.
Optional: Use an automatic leveling device
If you don’t have a pool cover and you live in a particularly sunny area, it’s a good idea to attach an automatic water leveling device to your pool, it’s fairly cheap and it keeps your water levels up to the proper levels. This is extremely helpful if you have an automatic pumping system that turns on at regular intervals, you wouldn’t want your pool pump to run dry, especially if no-one is there to mind your pump!
Optional: Invest in a timer
If you don’t already have one for your system, it may be time to invest in a timer for your pool pump. Not only will this be extremely useful in maintaining your pool while you’re away, but it makes pool maintenance, in general, a much more pleasurable experience.
Recruit a neighbor (or their kid!)
If you live in a friendly neighborhood, you can always recruit a neighbor to help you look after your pool while your away. This shouldn’t be anything complicated though, just skimming and scooping out debris and emptying out skimmer and pump baskets. These basic tasks can be done for a few minutes every couple of days to lessen the burden on your pool. If you don’t have a timer, you can also ask your neighbor (or their kid) to switch on/switch off your pump during certain times of the day.
Coming back from vacation
If you’ve done your preparations properly then you should be coming home to crystal clear pool waters, but don’t jump in yet! Test your water first to see if all of the pool chemical levels are where they’re supposed to be! Remember, while having crystal clear pool water is a great indicator of its cleanliness, we don’t know what happened to our pool while we were away so testing it is very important to ensure that it is still properly sanitised. The greatest dangers to health are usually invisible to the naked eye!
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Happy swimming :)