Introduction: Skimmer Leaf Trap

The Problem: Leaves floating on the surface of the pool will clog your skimmers. The tannins in the leaves turn your skimmer basket and piping brown. And then, when you clean out the skimmer, stray leaves get sucked down the pipe.

The Solution: I use this handy net for about eight weeks in the fall to keep the leaves out of the skimmer mouth. After a short time they sink, where I can get them easily with a big net.

Step 1: Standard PVC Construction

Measure the mouth of your skimmer, the overhang of your coping, the distance down to the water, etc. and it will pretty much design itself. 

Construction is pretty straight-forward. If you've ever made any kind of framework out of PVC pipe, you can make this. If you haven't, well, this will be good practice. I used 3/4" CPVC pipe because it's beige and matched the pool deck a little better. Before you glue it, turn all the labeling down so it's not exposed. See the little hole I drilled in the elbow closest to the camera? That keeps it from trying to float. Drill another hole above the water line so the piping will fill up.

Step 2:

The cross-bar along the top of the net was added after I built the framework. I drilled a hole through the elbow and screwed in a long stainless screw to support it. You can make out the screw head in the previous picture.

The net is an old piece of sports net. The mesh is big enough to let floating debris through, but keep the leaves out. The openings are about an inch square. Melt all the cut ends of the nylon net with a lighter to keep it all from un-raveling. If you don't have the patience to attach the net to the frame by "sewing" it on with a long piece of nylon string like I did, you could use zip-ties every few inches.

Now the leaves will sink to the bottom where it's easy to get them out with a big net. Or get sucked into your pool cleaner (Polaris) bag.