I'm completely new to the arena of pool ownership - we bought a house last fall with a 27' above ground pool. We have a cartridge filter. Unfortunately, when we got the cover off of the pool, we dumped in what I thought was a small amount of pine needles and sludge, but turned out to be a HUGE amount. I've vacuumed some out, but now there is a nice black clump right in the middle of the pool that I can't reach with the vacuum. I also don't feel like I'm getting good suction on the vacuum through the skimmer as I once was.
Is there any way to do this other than to get in the freezing (we're in upstate NY) pool and actually vacuum it out? And, why does the suction, well, suck? Do I need to clean out the whole filter?
And one last newbie question - the filter basket (the first line of defense in the filter) - is there any reasonable way to clean that out without spraying water all over yourself and the lawn? I've tried shutting the valve to the center drain so that less water is coming in, but it still sprays all over. Any other ideas?
Thanks for any help you can offer!!