"> Preparing my above ground pool before going on vacation – Above Ground Pools Know it All

Preparing my above ground pool before going on vacation

Planning on going away for a while and wondering what to do with your above-ground swimming pool while you are gone? This article will help.

Swimming pools need to be maintained on a regular basis. If not, they will turn green with algae. In the summer months, most pools should be serviced every week, so going away for longer than that can cause some issues.

If going on vacation away from your above-ground pool for more than a week, you can do the following things before you leave.

1 Shock the pool
2 Clean the pool
3 Cover the pool (if you have a cover)
4 Add extra chlorine tablets to the floater/chlorinator
5 Make sure the water level is high
6 If you don’t have a timer for the pump, get one


By far, the biggest concern pool owners have when going on vacation (in terms of their pool) is coming back to a green pool.

This can suck to think about. I mean, you’re most likely getting away to reduce stress and have some fun. Thinking that you may be coming back to a green pool takes some of the fun away.

There are a couple of other concerns with being away from a swimming pool too.


1 Pool turning green

As mentioned above, the pool turning green while being away is the most common worry when going on vacation. And it should be as this can easily happen to a pool that isn’t serviced for longer than a week.

2 Safety

When it comes to safety, everyone is at different levels. Some don’t give it a thought while others worry about every little potential possibility. This is quite evident with swimming pools.

A swimming pool has enough water in it for things to drown in. This is a big thought for some leaving their pools for a while. Concerns for neighborhood kids or pets getting in the pool when no one is around are common for some.

3 Weather conditions

Some areas can have severe weather conditions at certain times of the year. Going on vacation during this time can make some think about their pool if a major storm comes while they are gone.

I have lived in Central Florida for 50 years. This is a common thought for those going on vacation here during hurricane season, so I get it.

Above-ground pools can get damaged with flying debris, extreme cold, extreme winds, flooding, or anything caused by severe weather unique to your area.

4 Water loss or overflow

Some pools lose water due to a small leak or excessive evaporation and owners have to add water to them often. Others will be concerned about the pool overflowing while they are gone when vacationing during the rainy season.


If you are going on vacation, you don’t want to worry about your pool at home. Here are eight things you can do to your pool before you go

1 Clean the pool

Every little piece of debris in a swimming pool will use some chlorine(sanitizer/oxidizer). Cleaning the pool before you go will give the pool a better chance of the chlorine in it not getting used up before you get back to add more.

2 Shock the pool

Your pool may not need to be shocked right before you leave if your chlorine level is really high. If not though, shocking the pool will give it a good start at managing its algae growth while you’re gone.

If you want, you can also adjust the other pool chemistry at this point. It’s usually not too important for most pools, but if you want to be thorough, adjust the PH and cyanuric acid levels before you leave.

3 Add extra chlorine tablets to the floater/chlorinator

Slow dissolving chlorine tablets are very important in maintaining a chlorine level in a swimming pool for a long period of time. Most pools in the summer will use at least one 3” tablet per week over the summer.

If you are leaving for vacation for more than one week, add at least one more tablet than what you usually add to your floater/chlorinator. This will help keep a chlorine reading in your pool water for longer.

NOTE: Algae blooms usually begin when the chlorine level in the pool goes to zero. Adding more tablets will increase the time before the chlorine level will go to zero.

In my opinion, if you do one thing to your pool in preparation for going away for a while, add one or more extra chlorine tabs to the pool!

4 Cover the pool

Depending on your situation and if you have a cover, it’s a good idea to cover the pool while you are gone.

Covering the pool will allow the chlorine to last longer in the water, keep the pool cleaner, and will be safer from anyone or anything falling in the pool.

5 Get a timer for the pump

Many above-ground pools don’t come with timers for their pumps. And they should.

If you are going on vacation and don’t have a timer, then your pump will either be left on the whole time or be off the whole time you’re gone. Neither is a good option, although leaving the pump off for a week would be far worse.

You can buy a simple plug-in type timer at Home Depot/Lowes for not a big cost. And they are very easy to set up and use.

With a timer, you can set the pool’s pump to turn on and off every day while you’re gone. This will go a long way in the pool not being green when you get home.

6 Secure the pool area

Before leaving, make sure no one can easily get in the pool. Lock the gates going into your yard and secure the safety ladder for the pool or close the gate going up to your pool’s deck.

Also, store away anything that could fall or fly into the pool and damage it. There may be a nasty storm while you’re gone or someone around who could throw something into the pool.

Having everything locked up where no one can easily come around or in the pool will give you “peace of mind” while on vacation.

7 Have someone service the pool while gone

About ten years back, I was fortunate to be able to take a month-long trip across the United States. I paid a friend (who owned a pool service) to take care of my pool while I was gone.

If you can get someone to at least check the chlorine level and add some even once while you’re gone, then that could make a huge difference in what color your pool will be when you get back.

8 Make sure the water level is high enough

This really depends on your pool and what time of year it is. If it’s your rainy season, then you may not have to worry about the pool water level getting too low while gone.

If you have a small leak or are losing a lot to evaporation, then fill the water level to high before you leave.

If concerned about too much water getting in the pool while gone due to a lot of rain, then don’t be. An above-ground pool (or any other pool type) can overflow and not hurt anything (unless you have something next to the pool that will be damaged if a lot of water drains on it).

If you are a person that worries a lot, then do all the above things before going on vacation to allow your pool to stay clear for a long time AND be secure from anyone going in it.

If you’re not a worrier, then secure your yard or pool area so no one can drift back there, shock the pool and add a couple more tablets than usual. It’ll be fine.


Dan writes with the knowledge of having 35 years (and counting) in the above ground pool industry.

5 thoughts on “Preparing my above ground pool before going on vacation

  1. Hi I have a 32ft above the ground pool , small area of pool off the track , last year had water loss side had collapsed but fix that repaired liner , can the pool be fixed and what does it entail ?

      1. I am going to be away for 8-9 Days early August.
        I had planned on
        1. Topping off the water
        2. Cleaning pool
        3. Shocking the pool.
        4. Adding Chlorine Tablets to floater.
        5. Secure the pool area.
        Do you think we would be ok for 8 days with those five steps?
        We have had zero issues with algae.
        Had not considered installing the cover, but I could.
        I have some hesitation about running the pool pump, although I can add a timer, if needed to circulate the water a few hours each day.

        Thanks. Looking forward to your reply.

        1. Sounds like you have good success with maintaining your pool. Based on that, I would add a timer and run the pump as long as you normally do. And I don’t think a cover is necessary unless you have to skim the pool often due to excessive debris falling in the pool.

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