Leaves, Leaves And More Leaves … Then Pollen

Anyone in San Antonio, TX and surrounding areas knows the biggest issue this time of year is leaves and VERY soon after, pollen.  With Spring Break in full swing the feeling is the “Break” part…as in, time to take a break from work, school, Hunny-do’s…you get the idea.  Unfortunately, Mother Nature thinks otherwise.  It’s Her time to drop the old and bring in the new leaves on live oaks.

Live oaks are dropping their leaves en masse.  That means your skimmer baskets need to be cleaned…a LOT!  You should have already started increasing the length of time your system runs. We recommend your system run 10-12 hours from late March through late September. With that increased time comes the need to keep a closer eye on the amount of leaves in your skimmer baskets.  Use your judgement and experience as to how often to check, but if you have a lot of trees, or only a couple of BIG ones, I would suggest checking them every 2-3 hours and adjust from there. 
As we have covered previously, a full skimmer basket is bad news for a pump and pool equipment system.  When the flow of water is blocked or restricted, it makes the pump work SO much harder and limits the amount of chlorine getting into your pool.  The pump motor can only take so much before it will overheat and potentially freeze up. Avoiding this issue can save you several hundreds of dollars depending on size of motor.
The other issue with the amount of debris in your pool is it will absorb chlorine and other chemicals.  Most outdoor pool chlorine consumption is due to oxidation caused by the breakdown of debris in the water. What this means is your water chemistry gets out of balance faster and causes higher need for chemicals, especially chlorine.  Needless to say, this is another avoidable $ cost and causes an increase in your labor.
To sum things up, it is the time of year to spend EXTRA time netting or skimming leaves from the surface, cleaning out your skimmer baskets, increase the length of time your system runs and making sure your water chemistry is balanced to avoid algae.