Well it is a common question we get when customers come in and ask what they should do to keep their pool clean and clear while they are away on their summer vacation.
Of course the easy answer would be to have a relative or neighbor keep an eye on the pool by testing the water and making sure that the filter and pump are running properly. But what if you aren’t familiar with your neighbor or have no one that can stop over to check on your property?
Here are a few ideas for those of you without the manpower. Pool ownership is always easier if you are as hands free as possible and in todays standards there are many gadgets and pool supplies to make this happen. Whether you are an in the ground pool or above, first and foremost would be to add a timer to your system. This device allows you to preset times of operation of your pool filter and pump on a daily basis. As an example you can set your filter and pump to turn on at ten in the morning and shut off at six in the evening. This eliminates the need to physically be there to operate the pool.
Another hands free system is to use some form of automatic chlorine feeder such as a salt or mineral system. If you have your filter and pump coming on automatically then chlorine will be infused into the pool water eliminating the need for daily doses by someone. There are even controls which will dispense other chemicals such as PH balancers, but if you are going away for a week, just having the timer and chlorinator will help you come back to a pool that is not a swamp.
If you don’t have the automatic timer and chlorinator your options are somewhat limited. You can fill a floater full of chlorine and have that floating in the pool, but you will need a physical person to turn the pool on and off during each day in order to get proper circulation. Some people will just shock the heck out of the pool and deal with it when they get back which certainly can be an option, but when you do return make sure you check all your chemical levels before you go swimming. In the summer heat such as what we have been experiencing a pool can turn green pretty quickly without proper operation and care.
Another question for you may face before you go away for a week of fun is whether you are leaving your pool safe and secure from others entering the pool area. Before you leave take care to leave gates locked, alarms on and hopefully a neighbor who will keep an eye on your property. Hmm! Getting to know a neighbor may be a trend here. Just remember to reciprocate.
While it is entirely up to you, think first before offering the use of the pool to others such as friends, neighbors and family while you are away. No one knows your property like you do, nor are you free from liability should something happen while you are away. If you do decide to allow guests, have important numbers such as emergency numbers prevalent in the pool area, leave your contact information and if you have a trusted pool company you use regularly leave their number in case there is need of repairs.
Finally, upon return remember there are still a good amount of vacation days at home to use around your pool so keep up your maintenance and safety diligence throughout the summer. We have been having a great swimming season thus far and in these recent heat waves we have been using our pools heavily so don’t ignore or put off repairs which can keep others safe or be more costly later on.
** Upon the news of another near drowning this week, I think we can prove ourselves to be more diligent in watching our young children by using all the safety nets available to us. Adult supervision, gate, door and window alarms are paramount when young children are at a home with a pool; please take a moment to check yours?