Remove Leaves before Shock or vice-versa


New member
Jun 22, 2010
I just pulled the cover off of my 20x40 vinyl lined inground pool. It wasnt closed properly last year and was done too late. So alot of leaves ahd gotten in. The water currently is somewhat clear. I have green algae and some leave build up. Ive been scooping out the leaves but now the water has disturdbed the algae and its difficult to see the leaves in the deep end.

My question is, should i begin shocking the pool to help clear the water, along with adding algacide. Someone had once told me that if i shock the pool with lots of leaves in it, they will basically neutralize, or use up most of the chlorine thus making it more difficult to get the water clear and balanced.

Any pointers?


Well-known member
Apr 26, 2009
Northeast Ohio
You should scoop out everything you can and blindly vacuum to waste if you can (although that's going to use up water pretty fast.) If you're scooping with the leaf rake and not getting much more out, I'd start shocking. Any organic material left in the pool will consume chlorine, so get out as much as you can. Brush, vacuum daily and clean your filter as needed. You're likely to consume a lot of chlorine in the beginning, so bring it to shock level with liquid chlorine and test and add hourly.

Skip algaecide. While you have algae growing, it won't do as much as chlorine to combat it (it's really a preventative) and once you have your pool clear and balanced, as long as you keep the necessary amount of FC, algaecide is unnecessary.

See Defeating Algae in Pool School.

Also, if you don't have one, you'll get it clear much faster if you get a FAS-DPD based test kit like the Taylor K-2006 or TF-100. One of these is a "must have".

When you have them, post a full set of numbers.


LifeTime Supporter
Aug 20, 2009
North Central Texas
Welcome to TFP. :wave:

I've had a few swamps over the many years. :oops: I live in heavy woods, with high wind, and no pool cover.

Here's a brief summary of how I like to do it. It uses a lot of bleach but makes the process go pretty fast.

Close off bottom drain and draw water only from skimmer(s). If the bottom drain is pulling water it is also pulling gunk into the pump pot basket so fast that you may be stopping everything and cleaning it out every few minutes. Also, that can lead to clogged bottome drain.

Aim returns so that water is making a lot of movement down into and around pool but not down far enough to disturb the bottom.

Blind leaf scoop as much bottom stuff as possible, starting at shallow end. Do it section by section.

Circulate water with added chlorine at shock level.

Stop scooping. Don't do anything to stir up the water.

Circulate water adding bleach, when needed, in front of returns, until it stuff settles back down to bottom. By this point you will be able to see the gunk on bottom.

Carefully scoop more big stuff from bottom.

And repeat.

Once most of the big stuff is removed you can vacuum, very slowly and carefully, so as to disturb the bottom the least. Ideally you need to have an in-line leaf canister on the vacuum hose to keep so much stuff from ending up in pump pot basket.

When the pool gets too stirred up to see vacuuming, either vacuum blindly or let it settle again so you can see progress.

Keep water circulating, don't go above regular shock levels, but keep chlorine in.

Backwash as needed. If you have a multi-valve you might consider doing some or all of the vacuuming to waste but that uses a lot of water.

Once you get the majority of the debris out of pool, all the large stuff, you can open the bottom drain for even better circulation.

Then start brushing and vacuuming. Probably every time you brush you will cloud up the water so do it methodically and slowly disturbing as little as possible of the fine debris on bottom, re., slowly push it towards the bottom drain.

This has worked for me, in the past, and I've managed to get the water pretty clear over a long weekend.

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