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Would we need to have a pool person to maintain the pool while we were gone?

I would. Our pool experience was pretty bad, since we didn't live right there, it was older, in a wooded area, etc. One thing I learned quick--thousands of gallons of water can turn bad faster than you think, even with checking it every couple of days. If you had a really good cover and really good advice on leaving the pool for a week or so (chemical treatments,etc.), maybe you could get away with DIY, but I'd rather pay a professional to come out 1-2 times to check than come home after a week to green cloudy water.

still twitches when walking past the Costco pool chlorine area
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