Iíve been there and done that several times. I work a lot, have a lot of family responsibilities, and am pretty much the only one who opens, closes, and maintains the pool. The pool does not get opened and closed when it should, but instead when I find the time. I have 5 large oak trees over the pool; so I get lots of leaves in the fall and pollen crap in the spring. Iíve opened several times to green and black water with lots of leaves in the pool. Iíve learned many things about the problems you are having with leaves and I am still learning.
I have an 18x36 foot above ground vinyl pool. Itís 4 feet deep also, but I have a deep end scooped out to about 6 feet so I also have issues with a lot debris accumulating in that area. I have a Zodiac Ranger Baracuda cleaner and a Polaris 65 sweep.
I just pulled my cover off today - first time I've been on this site since last fall - and the water is clear with some dirt on the bottom. Two things that I did different this last winter was to get all of the leaves out before covering and I bought a new cover Ė the old one was several years old and had too many holes to let the dirty ďleafĒ water to go through.
My suggestions would be first that you need to get all of the leaf matter and debris off of the bottom. My experience has been no matter how much chlorine that I put in, the vegetation matter will quickly ďeatĒ it up. I spent tons of money battling black water last year and I finally decided to quit putting chlorine in until I got the debris out. Itís hard to get it out when the water is black and you can't see anything. I used a net on a long pole to get a lot of it out even though I couldnít see below the surface. At the point where it quit being productive, I ran the sweep. I had to keep checking it, at first, as the bag would quickly get full. As time went by I could go longer and longer without checking until finally not much was being trapped in the bag. At that point I knew most of the debris was gone. That went on for many days Ė like you I also work so I worked on it in the evenings when I could and on the weekends. It always takes me longer to get results because of this Ė thatís the way it is for me. With the issues that you are having you might not be able to run the pump and filter during the day - just when you get home for several hours until you go to bed. That's what I did until I "turned the corner".
I donít have the issue with the skimmer getting clogged with leaves that are in the water or on the bottom of the pool Ė only with leaves that fall on the surface of the water. Vacuuming is a lost cause when you have that many leaves in the pool; as you noted the hose and skimmer quickly get clogged Ė it has consistently happened in less than a minute for me so I donít even try that anymore.
Next get your ph and other chemicals within correct levels. Again, last year I was having a hard time getting the water to clear up and pouring lots of chlorine in and discovered that my ph was low. I brought it up and it cleared up pretty quickly. I use borax to bring the ph up. Iíve never had my chlorine level as high as what you put yours to.
You should be able to get up and going from there. Just be patient and tackle the problems one at a time.
One final note; my wife wants to cover the pool each winter to save electricity costs. Iím ok with that but I have to do all of the work to cover it and uncover so Iím not as enthusiastic about saving the electricity costs. I especially hate the dirty and nasty task of removing the dirty water and leaf debris off of the top of the cover. My sump pump will get most of the water off of the top of the cover in spring but not all and it takes a lot of effort to remove the leaves. They are wet and very heavy Ė I canít get the cover off without removing them.
I waited longer last fall and let most of the leaves fall into the pool. I found it much easier to scoop the leaves off of the bottom of the pool with the net and pole. It is especially easy when you can see the bottom. I pushed the net to get the water to move the leaves up slightly and I then scooped them into the net. The entire bottom was covered and in about three hours I had 95% of the leaves out. I used the sweep to get the remaining leaves out and then covered the pool. I will do that again this year.
Hope all of this was of some help Ö
BTW, I didn't think too much about the trees either when we put the pool in but it wouldn't have mattered - the family wanted the pool. As time goes by and I'm getting a system down for dealing with the leaves, I'm getting less bothered by it.