by Rob Cox March 21, 2014
Leaf rake your pool - Like a Boss!
A pool leaf rake can be a pool owner's BFF and the most used tool in a poolmans truck. For leaves on the surface, laying on the floor, or floating somewhere in between, a leaf rake can be used quickly to skim the surface and dredge the floor.
There are two types of leaf skimmer nets for pools, the first is the flat 'dip and flip' type of pool net. If you've ever used one, you know that they aren't so useful for heavy leaves, and because of their size, they take much more effort to skim the pool.
Leaf rakes have more than twice the surface area of a flat skimmer net, and a deep pocket to hold hundreds of heavy, wet leaves. A soft rubber rim, around a sturdy aluminum frame makes it easy to scoop leaves, sticks, dive toys, even debris as small as acorns or berries.
But, it takes some practice to become proficient, and years of study and devotion to obtain true enlightenment, where you can pluck a quarter off of the deep end floor, blindfolded!
One such enlightened individual is Francisco Cales, the owner of Pool Inspectors - a pool construction and maintenance company in Tampa, Florida. In the pictures below, Francisco demonstrates some of the techniques involved in using a leaf rake to easily clean your pool.
Balancing the pole between outstretched arms, glide the leaf rake across the surface, reaching forward across the pool, while allowing the pole to slide between the hands.
When you reach the other side of the pool, or the end of the pole, swivel the pole, flip the leaf rake, and quickly pull back towards you, keeping the net out of water just enough to continue skimming on the back stroke. Go too slow and you may lose debris, penalty!
Demonstrated here is the classic pull technique, with the pole at the perfect 32 degree angle to the water. Keeping your feet firmly planted and your back straight exhibits the best form.
Commonly the first pass on a heavily leafed pool, walk briskly around the pool, dragging the leaf rake (or drag bag, if you prefer) behind you. Extra points for keeping it up against the tile and creating a slight current in front of the leaf rake to knock leaves off of the tile and into the bag.
Considered the most valuable of all leaf rake techniques, the scooping action creates a slight ripple in front of the net, lifting debris just slightly off the floor, so it can be swept up in the net.
Leaf rakes really are a poolman's best friend, unless you have a screened in pool (like this one), or a pool surrounded by cactus and volcanic rock. I've estimated before that I've removed over a million leaves from pools using a leaf rake. Pools that were two feet deep in leaves when we arrived to close the pool (not kidding!). 2 men with 2 leaf rakes - clean in about an hour!