Do you have trees surrounding your swimming pool? You probably have a love/hate relationship with them. They are pretty to look at, gives you a nice shade, and a nice breeze. Oh! But it’s soooooo messssssssy! No matter if you trim them, they find a way to fall into your pool, even before you manage to put the pool cover on. In some cases, your pool may end up with a carpet of leaves at the bottom and a thick layer still floating on top.
The fall season is upon us. If you don’t want to go through the difficult task of cleaning your “tea cup” pool, we advise you to read on and find out methods to get those leaves off the surface quickly, and the best way for dredging leaves from the bottom of the pool.
How to Keep Leaves out of the Pool
- Leaf Net – Lay this over the top or your pool. This can keep the leaves out effectively. They can hold in place or use deck anchors. There are others that can stay in place with just a thin rope and tie it on a fence or with tent stakes.
- Trim the trees – Trim your trees every 4 to 5 years, and prune every fall. This will help keep the workload down. You can get tree pruners at your local hardware store. These come with poles as long as 12 to 16 feet.
- Automatic Pool Covers – These really keep a pool clean. Auto covers will keep the leaves out of the pool….PERIOD!!! The cleaning process is easier than cleaning the pool. One way is to pump most water off, then, as you roll up the cover, use a hose or a leaf blower to clean it as it comes out of the pool. Using a pool brush on a pole can help push the leaves and water to one area, where a leaf rake on a pole can scoop them out faster than having them spread over the entire cover.
- Hedges, fences and other windbreaks – These are not only for privacy, it can help block the wind across the pool. Surprisingly enough, this part of your backyard landscaping, bushes, ground covers, and decorative fencing can help keep the leaves up against a barrier for leaves, keeping it out of the pool.
If you find leaves on the surface, remove them quickly before they sink. Here are ways to avoid for this to happen:
- Reduce the suction from the main drain of the pool. This way, the skimmers can pull strongly. If there are two skimmers, you may need to adjust the valves to equalize their suction. How do you make it work? Open the far skimmer to 100%, and open the skimmer near you to 75% in order to adjust for the closeness to the pool pump. This will help to keep leaves from sinking.
- Make sure that your skimmer weir is in place. Skimmer weirs improve the speed of the water flowing into the skimmer, and when the pump shuts off, the skimmer weir floats to a vertical position, trapping leaves inside of the skimmer.
- If you have problems with broken skimmer baskets, from too many hard packed leaves, try a clog – less skimmer basket. This innovative device keeps the water flowing through the pump, even when it is full!
- Keep the water level at mid tile, don’t allow rain to raise the water level so much that the leaves have trouble entering the mouth of the skimmer.
How to Remove Leaves from the Pool
- A deep pocket skimmer net is ideal to remove leaves from the bottom of the pool. This allows to push it across the floor and scoop up the leaves. It takes a little practice, but eventually, it gets the work done. This is good for those who don’t have any back problems.
- If you happen to have a back problem, then the Swivel Skim is the pool skimmer for you. You don’t need to twist nor do a quick-flip as done with a deep pocket skimmer. You just use it as a vacuum for your pool. Just push and pull.
- Another great tool to remove leaves from the pool is a Leaf Master, a piece that connects to a garden hose and a pool pole. It has a large bag attached to the top, and the pressure from the garden hose sprays dozens of jets upward into the bag. The greater the hose pressure is, the faster it will clean.
- Leaf Master – a tool that attaches to a garden hose and your telescopic pool pole. It has a very large bag attached to the top, and the pressure from a garden hose sprays dozens of jets upward into the bag. The Leaf Master is sometimes used by pool owners whose filter pump system is not large enough to vacuum with a standard hose and vacuum head.
- If your pump is large enough to vacuum manually, but you’re tired of stopping every 5 minutes to clean out the pump basket, an in-line leaf strainer can be the answer. Just attach the incoming port to the end of the vacuum hose, and a short 3 foot into the skimmer or vacuum port. The in-line leaf trap is very large, probably equal to 20 pump baskets full. It can also be used with suction side automatic pool cleaners. If you are looking for a real time saver, this is the way to go.