We are going on vacation… what do we do with the swimming pool? 4 easy steps!


It’s time for a vacation, but before you go…

We have all done it. Went and left the pool to its own devices while the family enjoys their two week camping trip. And every time we say to ourselves, never again, next time I will ask the pool store, I will not come back to a messy green pool after enjoying two weeks off under the stars.

Well that never has to happen again. I am going to go over a few basic must and must nots and the next time you come home from that vacation, you can jump right back into the pool and give yourself one extra day before you head back to the hustle and bustle of a work week.

You just need to remember to do these 4 extra things before you leave. That’s it.

Pre Vacation Checklist

The goal is to keep the pool chlorinated, the water level right and the pool temperature down. These steps prevent the pump from burning out and the pool from becoming messy and or green.

Start by doing the following:

  1. Take the solar blanket off the pool
  2. Turn the heater off
  3. Fill up and turn up chlorinator/ or skimmer basket with chlorine
  4. Shock heavily right before leaving and add some algaecide


  • You want to remove socks, disconnect timers, or anything that could impede water flow. As usual the pool should be on 24/7.
  • Make sure you leave the pool clean and clear of debris. You can’t come home to a clean pool if you left it messy in the first place.
  • Check your water level and consider putting it up a bit to offset evaporation.
  • Consider enrolling in our Green Free Guarantee too. Optimizer plus will make sure no matter how hot it is you won’t come back to a green pool. Gotta Love the Opti!
  • If your pool skimmer is prone to filling up quickly and you have an inground pool consider switching your suction to main drain for the duration of your vacation.

That’s it. Super simple. If you do all this the pool should be looking pretty fabulous upon your return. Ready for that post vacation dip.

Post Vacation Checklist

Let’s just reverse the above order:

  • Do a quick water test- adjust ph if needed
  • Shock the pool (if you don’t plan on using it today)
  • Turn heater back on
  • Refill and turn up chlorinator/ or skimmer basket with chlorine
  • Put the socks back on, timers, or anything that you may have turned off or removed because you were not going to be able to watch it.
  • Put on the solar blanket (if you didn’t shock)

All this work is if you cannot rope your neighbour into looking after the pool while you are out of town. It’s just that simple. If this all seems too much for you the R&R Team does offer weekly or biweekly vacation services.

Have a great vacation!


  1. Edna Fain

    I have an ionizer system any other suggestions for caring for the pool while on vacation. I have one question. Is it ok to put a leaf net cover over my pool stretched tight while on vacation with it running 24/7? I have big oak trees that have started dropping leaves and the skimmer basket has to be emptied daily.

    • Kara Redden

      Hi Edna,

      Chlorine or Bromine is used with your ionizer so you would follow this same instructions. It is definitely ok to put a leaf cover over your pool when you are away. Especially if you are in a leafy area. I would still ensure you have a neighbour check on the pool just in case there is a problem but a leaf net will certainly give you some peace of mind. Enjoy your vacation!- Kara

  2. Jeanne Brunt

    We are going away the first two week in june. We will follow your advise and put the chemicals in, but the question is shoukd we leave the winter cover on for that time?

    • Kara Redden

      Hi Jeanne. Stephanie sent you an email about your pool.

  3. Emmy

    I’m leaving for vacation… I plan to shock the pool before and add in some algaecide… do I also put on the cover?

    • Kara Redden

      Hi Emmy,

      Ideally you would not put the cover on the pool while you are away.


  4. Craig

    Will you explain why we would (ideally) not put the cover on while away?

    • Kara Redden

      Hi Craig,

      You want to leave the blanket off for a few reasons. A) The pool needs to breath and gas-off. B) The blanket will wear out faster if it is left on the whole time (the sun, heat and chemicals will slowly break it down C) You will go through chemicals faster when the water temperature is higher and C) Algae grows in the shade so with the blanket left on there is a higher change you may come home to a green pool.

      This is why we recommend leaving it off while away.

  5. Robin wilson

    I’m leaving in July for two weeks can put the cover to prevent leaves and twigs because we have Hugh tree over our above ground pool.

    • Kara Redden

      Hi Robin,

      If you leave it on you are probably going to be dealing with a green pool when you get back. It would likely be less trouble to vacuum and scoop out a dirty pool than deal with trying to fix a pool full of algae.

  6. Wade

    Hi. Recently got back from a week vaca. Shut power off while I was gone. Came back. Turned power on…now pool pump won’t come on. Power is there, light comes on. No power coming to the salt cell either. Could I have blown something by shutting all power off? Pentair superflow pump. Thanks!

    • Kara Redden

      Hi Wade,
      It’s possible, however we don’t have enough information to say for sure. It could be something simple or it could be something complex. Your best bet is to put in a service call with your local pool company.

  7. Gus

    Is it ok to leave a solar cover floating while away for 3 days during the week? Of course I’ll
    Load up on chlorine and shock.

  8. Julie

    Leaving for vacation for a week we always come back to a nasty pool. We have a pool filter on a timer after reading some comments it says unplug everything so no water movement. So should I just add extra Liquid chlorine and unplug pool filter so there’s no movement Or keep filter on timer and put chlorine tablets in basket?

  9. Michelle Herrera

    I am afraid my pump will burn out. Can I leave it off for three days with the chemicals?

  10. chuck neal

    going on vacay for a week this summer. i have to add water every other day can i shut off the skimmers leaving the drain wide open ? that way if water level drops below the skimmer level we will be okay..
    i thought about purchasing a water leveler to babysit the water level.

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