10 Simple and Effective Ways to Keep Out Leaves in Pool: Do it Yourself Pool Maintenance Tips

If you have a pool, you will know how frustrating it can be to keep it clean and safe from leaves and other debris. Here are some simple and effective ways to keep out leaves in pool.

Leaves in pool can be very annoying. We all know that leaves are the bane of life on your front lawn, but did you know they can be just as bad in your swimming pool?

When there are too many leaves in the water, they’re difficult to clean out and end up costing you extra money on chemicals to keep the pool free of bacteria. 

Leaves Floating in Swimming Pool

It’s actually pretty easy to prevent leaves from entering the pool – it just takes a little common sense and some time. This article will show you how to keep your swimming pool clean and healthy by preventing leaves from dropping into the pool.

Ways to Keep Out Leaves in Pool

1. Adjust the Skimmer Flow

Adjust the skimmers to the point where they are pulling at their strongest. If properly adjusted, a skimmer will not only take out leaves but other objects that fall in.

Blue Skimmer near Pool

The problem with changing a skimmer is that you can’t set it too high without risking the loss of pool chemicals through the filtration system. If you adjust your skimmer, make sure to check your pool water often and remove anything that falls into the skimmer basket.

2. Adjust the Optimized Return Flow

A circular flow of water sends floating leaves in front of the skimmer, allowing them to trap before they sink at the bottom. To create surface movement or ripple in the water, point one or more eyeball fittings towards the water’s surface. This helps send leaves around the skimmer more efficiently.

3. Leaf Removal Tools

If you’ve ever had the misfortune of taking a swim in a pool with too many leaves, then you know what pain it can cause. You have to contend with icky leaves and ickier chemicals and the dreaded chore of having to remove all those leaves before they produce harmful bacteria. It’s not just annoying: it’s dangerous!

Fortunately, there are some simple approaches that you can do to keep those pesky foliage creatures from ruining your pool day without too much work or expense. All of these tools will help make a summer of fun as enjoyable as possible.

4. Leaf Rakes

Pool Net Leaf Skimmer Rake

If you have a surface skimmer, you can use a simple leaf rake to remove leaves from the water. This tool is simple to use and doesn’t require batteries or electricity. It works by simply raking the leaves off of the water’s surface and into your skimmer basket. In most cases, this is a simple way to keep your pool clean without having to haul out bags of leaves from your pool after it closes for the season.

5. Leaf Catchers

For deeper pools, you can use a leaf catcher to catch leaves. This tool is shaped like a large net and is placed over the deep end of your pool. It’s weighted in such a way that it floats at the top of the water but extends into the pool’s depths.

Once you have it in place, it’ll capture every leaf in your pool and hold them in one convenient place for easy removal later on by you or a pool professional.

They’re affordable and easy to maintain – although they will need to be cleaned out from time to time to prevent them from being clogged with debris. This is one of the most effective and simple ways to prevent leaves from cluttering the pool.

6. Circular Flow Patterns

Circular flow patterns can help prevent leaves from cluttering the pool. These patterns create a circular current that helps send leaves towards the skimmer. If you use this with a regular return jet, it’ll be more efficient than just using one by itself.

7. Water Level

Pool Water Level Markers

Maintain the water level so that the skimmer may do its work effectively. If the water level is too high, the leaves will cling to the top of the skimmer and will not be skimmed off of the surface. Of course, if the water level is too low, the skimmer will just suck air, and you will lose prime and damage the pool pump and other equipment.

8. Landscaping

You can also prevent leaves from cluttering the pool by making sure that it doesn’t have as many trees around it as possible. If you have a tree near your swimming pool, trim it so the branches don’t hang over the fence and let leaves fall into the water.


If you’re not willing to cut down trees back, you can always plant some bushes and flowers around your fence to keep leaves from falling into the water. It won’t be as effective as cutting down the tree, but it can help reduce some of those pesky leaves before they end up in your pool.

9. Pool Covers

It’s a must to use a pool cover in the fall when you close your pool. An automatic pool cover is easy to use and will prevent leaves from cluttering the pool in the winter months. You can put it on in October or November, just before you close up the pool for the season.

Pool Covers to Prevent Leaves

Most automatic covers are easy to use and can be installed quickly by anyone with moderate DIY skills.

Covering your swimming pool with a winter cover isn’t just suitable for winter – it’s good year-round. A regular swimming pool cover will prevent leaves from cluttering the pool at all times, making it simpler for you to maintain your chemical levels and filter system.

10. Leaf Blocks

Leaf blocks are a great way to prevent leaves from cluttering the pool. The only limit to what to use as leaf blocks is your imagination. Leaf blocks can be retaining walls, storage boxes, fences, hedges, and bushes. As long as it blocks the wind across the pool it can help keep leaves out of your pool area. In addition, it’s a good idea to keep the grass under the pool as low as possible. By keeping the grass as low as you can manage to cut it, you’ll be reducing how many leaves end up in your pool, to begin with. 

Weather’s Influence on Your Pool

As we near the end of the summer season, many homeowners might be inclined to pay less attention to their pools. However, the truth is that late summer is a critical time to ensure your pool remains clean, safe, and inviting for those last few swims before the cooler weather arrives. Every pool owner should be aware of a dance between weather and pool-related variables.

Weather and Evaporation

One of the primary factors contributing to water loss in your pool is evaporation, a natural process when water turns into vapor due to heat. But how does this relate to keeping leaves out? A pool that’s consistently losing water might need refilling, and during this process, you could inadvertently introduce more contaminants into your pool.

Potential Issues with Contaminants

Let’s discuss algae for a moment. Leaves in the pool can introduce natural contaminants like mold, pollen, and, most importantly, algae. They also carry artificial chemicals from pollution, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, etc. This is not merely about keeping your pool aesthetically pleasing. It’s about ensuring your pool remains healthy and doesn’t lead to any issues with equipment or health.

Algae Growth

For instance, a pool with an imbalance in chemicals can suffer from accelerated algae growth. The water may turn cloudy or even cause skin or eye irritation to swimmers. The algae growth can quickly escalate if unchecked, turning your refreshing oasis into a green, slimy mess.

Reducing Energy Costs

Managing leaves and other debris efficiently is about more than just water quality. It’s also about energy efficiency. Minimal debris ensures the pool pump and cleaners operate at a much lower energy cost and with less strain on the equipment. The right equipment, such as a robotic pool skimmer, captures debris before it settles, saving energy costs from more intensive cleaning methods.

Mesh Covers and Skimmers

One of the primary defenses against leaves in your pool is the cover. Mesh covers, for example, have a significant advantage over traditional winter pool covers. With a mesh cover, you don’t have to worry about rainwater and heavy leaves sagging them down.

Mesh Covers and Skimmers

Moreover, having a proper pool skimmer setup is crucial. Your skimmers are designed to catch large materials. However, smaller fragments might pass through and later lodge in the pipes or clog the filter. Enhancing your main skimmer’s function, using devices like the Skim-It Pool Cleaner can boost your pool’s leaf-catching efficiency. You can also look into robotic pool skimmers that act like an automatic vacuum, picking up debris from the water surface without the need to travel on the pool floor.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What problems can leaves in the pool cause?

Leaves can clog filters, promote algae growth, and affect water chemistry, making it necessary to remove them.

Can I use a leaf net to cover the pool’s surface?

Yes, a leaf net can be placed directly on the pool’s surface to catch leaves.

Can I use a robotic pool cleaner to help with leaf removal?

Yes, many robotic pool cleaners have models designed to pick up leaves.

Do I need to shock the pool after removing leaves?

It’s a good practice to shock the pool to restore proper chemical balance and eliminate any contaminants introduced by the leaves.

How often should I perform leaf maintenance for my pool?

Regular maintenance, especially during the fall, is essential to keep leaves out and ensure the pool remains clean and inviting.


As you can see, there are many different things that you can do to prevent leaves from cluttering the pool. You don’t have to invest a fortune in leaf catchers or even remove the trees in your backyard. It’s not always easy to manage all of those leaves, but with these few good chances, you’ll be able to keep your swimming pool from being filled every fall. 

Make sure that you’re aware of all of the available tools for your use to keep your pool clean. By doing so, you can make the summer of fun as safe and enjoyable as possible. Below are more pool articles that you will definitely find useful. Check them out! To view more pool articles, click here. Happy swimming!

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About the author

Brian Anderson

The rather dry pool world out there is in need of some passion to make it shine. With the help of my son Ruben and his wife Maria our mission is to help you create the favorite spot of your house - your pool.

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