My 24' round AG does not have a bottom drain. I have a skimmer, and one return. I have an EZ-Vac, but it tends to get stuck so I don't leave it in the pool all the time. It also doesn't seem to do that great a job anyway.
(The following is where I am, and it may or may not really apply to my question. I'll leave that to the experts to determine. ) I'm still trying to find the optimal positioning for the return. Right now, I have it angled down about 45-55 degrees from horizontal, aimed away from the skimmer. It seems to work OK when the pool is open and uncovered, although the water moves so rapidly that a lot of the surface gunk doesn't get caught by the skimmer before it sinks. I'm still adjusting to see if I can find a position that keeps the water circulating well but keeps the surface movement slow enough to allow the skimmer to grab stuff from a bit further away (right now it can only pull from about 1.5-2" away as stuff floats by. Every few days, I turn the return to a greater angle, trying to find the right spot. Since the return is an Aqualuminator, the only adjustment I have is turning it. It doesn't have a true eyeball that I can aim more toward the middle or opposite side of the pool. The water flows out within about 10-15 degrees of the side wall.
Now, the more relevant issue I have is that with the solar cover on, anything on the surface of the water (either under the cover, or along the edges where the cover pulls away from the wall slightly) doesn't move. It just sits until it starts to sink. Therefore, the skimmer doesn't really "skim" while the cover is on. With all the pollen, dust, seeds, etc flying around right now, a lot of stuff is getting into the pool. (Much less than if I didn't have a cover, but still a lot. Especially since I can't seem to get the cover off without dumping most of the stuff on top of it into the pool anyway.)
Does it make any sense to build a pipe system that would pull from the bottom of the pool when the cover is on? My idea would be akin to putting the vacuum hose in the pool while the cover is on, but built out of PVC so that it's:
b) a shorter run than the hose would be
c) has less flow resistance than the hose
d) cannot get sucked onto the bottom of the pool
The idea is to pull the water (and hopefully the gunk) from the bottom of the pool while the cover is on preventing the skimmer from pulling gunk from the surface.
The pipe would fit onto the vacuum plate in the skimmer, and extend down near the bottom of the pool. It would only be in place when the cover was on. It would have a guard of some kind over it so that if the kids were to get into the pool with the pipe still in place, they would not be in danger of suction injuries.
Is that a clear description? Does it make a bit of sense? Would it help keep the pool any cleaner at all?