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Easy Pool ‘To-Dos’ to Ensure a Carefree Vacation

By Sabine H. Schoenberg

13-16-12_Photo courtesy Piscines Fontaine Inc.
Ensure there are no boxes or other structures near your fence that can be used to climb over and gain access to your pool while you’re away.

Leaving for vacation fun? Hurrah! If you’re like me, you’ve got a checklist of things to do before heading off for some R and R. Yours might look something like this:

  • Arrange for someone to take care of plants and pets. Check
  • Suspend newspaper delivery. Check
  • Review flight details. Check
  • Pack your bags. Check
  • Prep the pool. Um… huh?

Yes, most pool owners don’t think about this very important aspect to their home’s upkeep when they’re caught in the excitement and rush of going on holiday. And yet, they should. It is no fun being away from home if you are constantly worrying about your pool, even if you’ll only be gone for a few days.

Imagine sitting on a beach somewhere and your mind wanders to all the things you didn’t do before leaving, like making sure you’ve covered your bases when it comes to your pool. Have you done the prep work to ensure you’re not coming home to a dirty ‘green’ pool? Have you secured it so that no one has gained access or fallen in accidentally? It’s enough to make you want to cancel the whole holiday itself, right? Newsflash—it doesn’t have to be.

Here are six ways to help ensure you travel with peace of mind and leave the worrying behind.

1) Vacuum and Clean the Pool

A day or so before you leave, vacuum and clean the pool thoroughly, as well as brush and scrub clean its surfaces. Backwash the sand filter or rinse out the cartridge filter completely if your pool has one. Also, clean the area around the pool to prevent watermarks, algae, or dirt from staining any surfaces.

Remember to keep the filter running several hours each day. If your pool has an automatic timer, set it to run at least six to eight hours per day. This is important to keeping your pool water clean and clear.

2) Get a Pool Cover

A pool cover helps prevent leaves, debris, and bugs from gathering on the water’s surface, making it easier to clean when you return.

If you have a solar blanket, consider a safety cover instead. Leaving a solar blanket in place for an extended period only warms the pool water and reduces the skimmer’s effectiveness. Further, it doesn’t prevent access to the pool.

3) Use a Pool Alarm

Unauthorized access to backyard pools is one of the leading causes of water-related accidents. As a responsible pool owner, it is also something you don’t want to worry about when you’re away from home.

If your pool does not have a locking safety cover, consider a floating security system/device, which sounds an alarm when someone enters the pool or falls in, alerting a neighbour to a potential problem. Most floating pool alarms run on batteries, so be sure to check them before you leave. A perimeter pool alarm is another option to consider.

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