Autumn has arrived. With it come warm days, cool nights, and lots of leaves drifting down into your backyard swimming pool. They’ve got to come out of there, of course, but rather than grumbling about this new addition to your already-long To Do list, it’s better to simply make a plan and get after it. Below are tips for making the process as quick and easy as possible.
Removing Leaves from a Pool Cover
If you have a solid or mesh safety cover, or an automatic safety cover, the good news is it will help prevent leaves from getting into your pool. However, you will need to regularly remove leaves from on top of the cover. Here are the steps to follow:
- If the leaves on your cover are dry, use a leaf blower or pool brush to move them onto the deck or into your yard. You can gather and compost them from the grass.
- If the leaves on the cover are wet (as is often the case), you’ll want to have a leaf rake specially designed for use on pool covers. It’s an item that you can find at your local pool supply store which attaches to the end of your pool pole.
- Scoop the leaves off the cover and onto your deck. Ideally, you should let them dry before hauling them away to minimize their weight. You can also scoop the leaves directly into a trash can that has small holes in the bottom to let the water escape.
- To make your job easier next time, use a cover pump to remove water from the cover. Remember to always turn off and remove the pump from the cover. Many homeowners have forgotten this important step resulting in a large loss of water from their pool. You can also buy an automatic pool cover pump that kicks on whenever water begins to accumulate.
Removing Leaves from a Pool
If leaves have found their way into your pool while it is uncovered, here’s how to remove them quickly and efficiently:
- Use a pool rake to gather and remove leaves, allowing them to dry if possible before hauling them away. Ideally, you want to make two or three passes around the edge of the pool before moving inward.
- Another option is to use one of the many leaf “vacuums” on the market. They use pressure from a garden hose to draw leaves into a collection bag. They are a good option when there is a large volume of leaves in your pool.
- After making a few passes with a leaf rake or vacuum, you may need to gently brush the bottom or sides of the pool to free any leaves stuck there before collecting them.
Get Ahead of the Game
The best way to minimize the time spent dealing with leaves is to prevent them from getting into your pool or onto your cover in the first place. Daily raking and removal of leaves from your yard before those swirling fall winds can do their work is your best bet. You might also consider buying a leaf net. It is a lightweight net that lays on top of your pool cover. Regularly pulling it off, emptying the leaves, and repositioning it greatly simplifies the process of “leaf management.”
However you choose to keep your pool leaf-free, don’t forget to enjoy this wonderful season.
Editor’s note: Originally published 10/2016. Post updated for relevance and clarity.