New cleaner recommendation - special requirements - giant leaves


Well-known member
Nov 16, 2012
Dallas, TX
I've got two huge sycamore trees on my property. They shed leaves 4 times per year, and shed bark once per year. These leaves are HUGE (see pictures*), and I really can't keep up with surface skimming, so they definitely get to the bottom of the pool. I'd rather not have to manually use the wide mouth rake at the bottom of the pool and would love something automated.

I have a 12 year old polaris 280 which has a 3/4HP booster pump. It works okay for most of the season, but it chokes (literally) on the sycamore leaves when they fall. By chokes, I mean the throat gets plugged and the bag never fills. It doesn't even try to pick up bark pieces bigger than an iphone.

Does anyone know of a pool cleaner that can handle giant leaves better than the 280?

*This picture is pulled from google and is slightly bigger than mine. Mine are definitely bigger than an adult male hand spread out, but not quite as big as this example.



LifeTime Supporter
Oct 20, 2012
Mandeville, Louisiana
This may not be much help but I would turn the trees into firewood. We had several Bradford Pears but a couple were downed by a tornado early last year. I bit the bullet and took them all out. I have never seen
leaves that big but I think any cleaner would have problems with leaves that size. A pool cover might help but are a pain to put on and remove. Too bad someone has not invented a mulching pool vac 😁. Good luck.


Jan 19, 2021
Sydney, Australia
I have to deal with eucalyptus (gum tree) leaves and bark.. and I'm already considering making my own pool cleaner with a macerator in it. But I did recently buy an Onga Hammerhead and it deals with gum leaves OK. Sycamore? Nah. I agree with turning it into firewood :LOL:


Well-known member
Nov 16, 2012
Dallas, TX
I was guessing these would (pun intended) be the answers, but I'm just not ready to spend $4000 to remove the two fully mature trees right now. I'd rather give a local neighborhood kid a job raking leaves than do that.


Bronze Supporter
Mar 27, 2019
Pool Size
Consider buying a mesh leaf net to use during the fall and winter. The rain water will just go into the pool and you just pull off the net whenever you see leaves start accumulating. Or just put a tarp over the pool. I have a bunch of trees on my property and cover with my winter tarp as soon as leaves start falling and during spring bloom. I get magnolia leaves showing up in my pool and the neighbor closest to me with a magnolia tree is a good 250 yards away. These big leaves will travel in the wind.
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