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Thread: Leaves and more leaves...sink or filter? Best strategy?

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Leaves and more leaves...sink or filter? Best strategy?

    So this is my first fall in this house/forest/pool. I've been dutifully netting leaves morning and night, since I scheduled the pool co to close on oct 26th. I've installed a pool skim as well.
    My pool is octagonal.

    Until the wind picked up today, it seemed worthwhile to run the filter while at work, and simply empty the basket and pool skim sock when home (still about 50 percent getting to floor, which I then clean up with a leaf rake.) After a 12 hr day today at work, skimmer was so packed it could barely move water. When. Removed the basket, didn't think to turn off pump -- boatload of leaves got into pump basket. Then cleaned it out. Ten minutes later, pump basket was full again, meaning a lot had gotten sucked into line and I'm lucky it didn't clog.

    What's the best method to (manually) manage an increasing leaf load?

    Eg, leave pump off during day to be on safe side, let em sink, remove, then only filter when adding chlorine in am?
    Or setting it for just a few hours during day, towards when I get home?

    Or is it better to filter all day and unlikely pump wil be harmed by the strain? (provided I remember to turn it off when emptying in the dark...)

    Any tips would be helpful. Not sure a bot could handle these leaves unsupervised either -- lots of
    oak, maple, Aspen, pine, Japanese maple, azalea, hibiscus, cherry, red bud,you name it here.
    I could teach school with the leaves in this pool

    However, I do want to at least try to open clean next spring to avoid the shock and awe of my introduction to the pool

    Thanks in advance for any input.
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: Leaves and more leaves...sink or filter? Best strategy?

    My experience is similar. I fought the skimmer and the raking of the bottome for day after day. Last year, I just said the heck with it and shut down my system and let everything go to the bottom and stay there over the winter months. Well I can tell you that "dredgeing the bottom" in the spring was quite the chore. Plus most of the debris had turned to soup/muck and made for one heck of an algae pond. Scooping the pool only brought up stems, some leaves and nets full of slime. Trying to rack the bottom blindly was not fun nor very efficient.. Sounded good at the time, but results gave me an even larger battle with the need for more liquid chlorine cartridge filter cleaning as often as 10 minutes when I started the pump.
    This year I intend to get most of the leaves as they approach the skimmers (2) and use a home built skimmer quard/protector. Keep the skimmer from getting clogged and able to pull water in and around and under the guard (search skimmer quard homemade)
    Also going to take the filter cartridge out of the container, the swg cell out of the circuit and replace with an old failed unit to keep plumming intact and let the freeze quard compontent on my timer keep my lines flowing during the ocassional hard freeze.
    Should have a less soupy/swamp for the spring and just make it easier to open and bring to operation.
    Hope I gave you some ideas......just taking bit and parts of things I read and apply to my pool system.
    Good Luck!!!!
    Sami
    16,000 IG, SWG, 175 sq. ft. cartridge, 1.5 hp pump, vinyl, Charlotte NC
    TF-100, Pool School, Pool-Calc

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    Re: Leaves and more leaves...sink or filter? Best strategy?

    Unless you intend to cover the pool, you need a VERY good leaf net and just make it part of your routine to skim the leaves as often as possible....get as many as you can before they sink.

    This is a bad time of year for those of us who don't cover up but get lots of leaves. Mine can easily get 3-4 inches thick if I let them and clean-up in the Spring then becomes a nightmare.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Leaves and more leaves...sink or filter? Best strategy?

    Indeed, I am netting as much as possible! But I'm only home in am and then night, and if it's a windy day, the skimmer is getting clogged, which concerns me. If I add some cover free to increase surface tension, maybe more will float if I leave the skimmer off while I'm gone.

    Thanks for the tip about the skimmer guard! I have no intention of leaving them on the bottom -- that's what caused the foreclosure swamp I bought
    But I am worried about the pump running dry or causing a bad clog while I'm at work, so I think I'm going to add a guard and a skimeeze -- I already have the pool skim but it only seems to manage about a third of the load due to shape or flow of pool, which obviously I don't have configured well.

    Hopefully, the guard will cause the leaves normally attracted to the skimmer to go into the skimeeze instead...

    I think I might also set my pump to go on just a few hours before I normally get home, which should reduce the risk, and then just run it while I'm home at night.

    Anymore tips are welcome!
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: Leaves and more leaves...sink or filter? Best strategy?

    We too have many many tree's that, once fall hits and we get some windy days, TONS of leaves fall everywhere INCLUDING the pool. I got smart and now close the pool for winter when the leaves start to turn color, as I know it'll only be a week or so and they'll start dropping like crazy...I have a "leaf net" that covers the entire pool (33ft diam) and it saves cleaning the pool amazingly well. I highly suggest for anyone that has leaf problems in their pool get one of these full pool leaf covers...they are well worth the money.

    Dan
    33' x 52" Swim and Play Inc. PARAGON AGP. Hayward H200 Heater. Hayward Power-Flo LX 1.5hp pump. Sta-Rite Cristal Flo T-210WF Sand Filter. Stenner 45M5 chlorine pump

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Leaves and more leaves...sink or filter? Best strategy?

    I was actually going to buy a leaf-net-cover and use the grommets of my safety cover to secure, but everywhere I read, it referenced putting the net ON TOP of the safety cover. Well, I'm not putting the cover on until I close (for me, that's part of why I'm willing to pay the pool co to close ) and once it's on I can use my leaf blower to keep it clear, so the leaf net seemed redundant.

    I'm looking into the pro skim clog less basket coupled with skim-eeze to keep the skimmer functional while filtering, but if that doesn't work, I suppose next year I could remove the ladder rails early and try the leaf net cover solo during the interim between swim-ability and a hard close.

    Has anyone used the skim-eeze and pro skim tower basket together (while already having a pool skim on another return)? And if so, did it help keep the filter flowing?
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: Leaves and more leaves...sink or filter? Best strategy?

    swampwoman..the leaf net COMES with grommets AND cable..just like winter cover..so you can put it on and crank it down tight WITHOUT the winter cover on..it'll catch ALL the leaves, then you can remove it after that.
    33' x 52" Swim and Play Inc. PARAGON AGP. Hayward H200 Heater. Hayward Power-Flo LX 1.5hp pump. Sta-Rite Cristal Flo T-210WF Sand Filter. Stenner 45M5 chlorine pump

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    Re: Leaves and more leaves...sink or filter? Best strategy?

    Quote Originally Posted by flyweed
    swampwoman..the leaf net COMES with grommets AND cable..just like winter cover..so you can put it on and crank it down tight WITHOUT the winter cover on..it'll catch ALL the leaves, then you can remove it after that.
    Does that work with Loop-Loc type anchors?
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: Leaves and more leaves...sink or filter? Best strategy?

    I mispoke, I meant the anchors, not the grommets -- knew it came with grommets. I think I might give that a try next year, once I have an anchor tool. (Pool guys are bringing me one at closing.) (So yes, I'd expect it to work with loop lock anchors, vanya.)

    Only a week more of the chase-the-leaf-game. I moved my closing up to a week from Monday since my water temp is 55 degrees now So far I've actually been able to stay on top of it by turning off the skimmer during the day and netting out.

    The tower clogless skimmer basket didn't fit and I decided therefore not to bother with the skimeeze.
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: Leaves and more leaves...sink or filter? Best strategy?

    Great thread ... I'm in the same situation with a huge/mature OAK & Japanese Maple next to the pool. Looking at "Leaf Net Covers" on poolsupplies.com, I'm a bit confused about what to order (and I only want to order once and not deal with returns or lost money).

    - My pool INSIDE to the coping is 16x40, but not perfectly rectangular -- e.g., on one side the middle of the pool is 16', then it 'bends' to about 15' on each end. The other side is perfectly straight, but there is a set of stairs that protrudes out making that end about 20' wide. (Hope that makes sense).

    - The Leaf Net Covers I'm seeing come in Oval or Rectangular shapes. Would I buy one that is WIDER than 16' and longer than 40' ? e.g., 20x44 ?? If so, how is the excess/spillover dealt with?

    - How do these anchor down? Do I need HOLES in my coping to tie them down or do I need to purchase weights of some sort - e.g., I read something about "water bags".

    My plan is to only use this cover for the duration of leaf droppings then remove it. I won't have a cover on over winter and plan to run the pool all winter - albeit shorter filtration times, etc .. (we live in N. California where it doesn't hard freeze.) And if it matters, our pool is right now getting new fiberglass & coping & decking. So if there is something I should consider RIGHT now, like "have holes drilled into coping for a net", please advise. Thanks all !!
    30,000 Gal FIBER GLASS (over Gunite Plaster) Pool, Dolphin Nautilus PLUS Robot, (2) Cartridge Filter System (old), 1/2 HP Pump, Full Sun, Solar Heated, TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Leaves and more leaves...sink or filter? Best strategy?

    Hi there. I think you can get by without, but my understanding is that they use the anchors that are already installed in concrete to hold a winter cover. There's a tool you us to raise an lower them. Part of th reason I didn't get the leaf cover this year was because to use my anchors and secure a custom octagonal leaf cover, I'd have to remove my side ladder and hand rails (and I preferred to let the pool co do that grunt work when they close it.)

    My anchors are located about 2 feet from the coping. My winter cover has a spring attachment to reach the anchors, so I'm guessing my cover adds a foot on all sides (rough guesses here, I might be MIS-estimating. Pouring rain right now so I'm inside.)

    If you're finding that your skimmer is clogging, maybe the ProSkim Clogless basket would help in your case. The smalles one is 8. 3/8th inches in dia, which is just slightly too big to get past these two connector nibs on the inside of my skimmer.

    Have you tried a PoolSkim yet? Mine catches quite a lot of my load, but because of the shape of my pool and the location of one of the returns, I can't quite get the flow right to catch more -- I suppose I could shut down the one problematic retune to see what happens, or change the direction of flow we have now and reverse the pool skim. We haven't been around in daylight hours to try that, and were close to closing, so don't know that we will. But if you stay open, I think that would be one of my top recommendations for you.

    With a leaf net, I suspect you'd be opening it daily to test water and add chlorine. Which is fine if the net is secured in a way that it doesn't fall in, but would be a PITA if it did
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: Leaves and more leaves...sink or filter? Best strategy?

    I was only thinking of using a LEAF NET for the duration of the major leaf dropping in the next 2-3 weeks ... Then I would remove it and just maintain levels, and hand skim any wayward leaves beyond then. And next year I'll cut down those to trees .. (Kidding about that last part - they're beautiful and provide fabulous shade in summer heat.) Thanks
    30,000 Gal FIBER GLASS (over Gunite Plaster) Pool, Dolphin Nautilus PLUS Robot, (2) Cartridge Filter System (old), 1/2 HP Pump, Full Sun, Solar Heated, TF-100 Test Kit.

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