When picturing a backyard sanctuary, you’re most likely envisioning a sprawling lawn with a pool and jacuzzi duo, beautiful landscaping, and, of course, a smattering of trees to provide just enough shade and privacy. But while trees may be nice to look at, seeing their leaves cluttering the pool can be less-than-appealing.
If you like a clean pool, but want to avoid the hassle of constantly fishing out the leaves, read below for three simple ways to reduce your cleaning work.
1. Optimize the Skimmer Flow
- Skimmer baskets can be adjusted to increase suction. Completely or nearly closing the main drain valve will allow skimmers to pull at their strongest.
- Be sure the skimmer “weir gate,” the paddle-like flap in the throat of the skimmer, are in place. These help the speed of suction, while also keeping the leaves locked inside the basket once the pump has shut off.
2. Optimize the Return Flow
- To make sure floating leaves are caught in the skimmer basket before sinking to the bottom, your pool water must be flowing in a circular pattern around the perimeter acting as a gentle guide to the leaves.
- Using eyeball or 90 degree wall fittings on the return, you’ll want to direct the water flow from all returns in the same direction to create this circular flow.
- Aim the wall fittings slightly upward to increase surface action in the water. This will help keep the leaves from sinking.
3. Consider Extreme Leaf Removal Tools
If the rate of falling leaves has become too much for just the skimmer and vacuum system to handle, these necessary tools can provide some serious relief.
- Leaf Gulper — This tool is the ideal choice for when leaves have already sunk to the bottom of the pool and have clogged the vacuum and skimmer basket. Instead of emptying your basket every five minutes, the leaf gulper will work with the pressure from your garden hose, “gulping” up the leaves before they have the chance to plug your system.
- Leaf Rakes — Instead of the standard pool cleaning net, a leaf rake trades in the old “flip-and-dip” method for a more efficient clean. Just like raking your lawn, a leaf rake works to remove leaves from the water’s surface (and pool floor) by covering more area with more control.
- Leaf Catchers — This highly practical invention was created to go atop a solid pool cover to catch falling leaves and debris before getting to the pool. Once you’re ready to swim and the leaves have fallen, simply remove the catcher to reveal a leaf-free pool.
- Leaf Canisters — If you’re finding yourself vacuuming a lot of leaves through the skimmer, you’ll soon realize how quickly the pump basket fills up. Leaf canisters, like a skimmer vac adapter, allow you to vacuum into the much larger capacity of the canister instead.
Once you’ve corrected a leaf overload problem, you may be left with another problem: pool stains. Plastered pools can be stained from the tannins in leaves, however the fix is as simple as balancing the water and shocking the pool. If the stains are still visible, plastered pools may require acid washing for a complete removal.
Whether your backyard sanctuary is within a fortress of trees or flanked by a sturdy few, changing seasons and powerful winds can still wreak the same havoc. Keep your pools free of leaves with less work by using our helpful tips. And for more information on pool maintenance, call Kelly’s Pool Care & Renovation.
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