Pool Skimmer Basics


If you own a pool, then you should understand the importance of using a skimmer in the pool. A pool skimmer is responsible for filtering out dirt and debris from the water in the pool and is an important component in keeping your pool pump and pool filter working effectively and efficiently. Pool skimmers for above ground swimming pools and inground pools differ, so it is important to use the correct type of swimming pool skimmer in your pool.

Inground pool skimmers are set within the pool wall. The inground pool skimmer connects to the pool pump and filter and the pool skimmer is situated directly within the concrete wall of the pool itself. There is no face plate on an inground pool skimmer and water flows through the pool skimmer weir and into the pool skimmer basket located within the pool wall. The basket filters out dirt and debris so that it is not recirculated throughout the pool and does not clog the pool pump or pool filter. This is all done automatically and is therefore sometimes referred to as an automatic pool skimmer. All that the pool owner needs to do is periodically empty the pool skimmer basket of the debris that collets.

Above ground pool skimmers operate in a similar fashion, but since there is no concrete wall in which to situate the pool skimmer, the above ground pool skimmer is set into a hole in the wall of the pool and does contain a face plate. Above ground pool skimmers can also sit alongside the pool wall and be clamped to the wall so no hole is needed. Like the inground models, the pool skimmer connects to the pool pump and pool filter to collect dirt and debris from the water before it flows into these devices and keeps the pool water cleaner.

Swimming pool skimmers are made up of a few different parts. Some pool skimmer parts are easily replaced if needed, and others are not so easy to replace. The main parts of a pool skimmer include the plate, basket, weir, and cover or lid. Here is a description of each part:

Pool skimmer plates – The pool skimmer plate, which is located along the side of the pool wall in above ground pool skimmers, is the front of the pool skimmer to which the weir attaches, allowing the water to flow into the skimmer from the main part of the pool.

Pool skimmer baskets – The pool skimmer basket collects the dirt and debris that flows through the skimmer and collects it until it can be removed.

Pool skimmer weirs – A pool skimmer weir is one of the most important parts of a pool skimmer. The skimmer weir is the part that the water flows over in order to make its way into the skimmer basket. The weir is like a small door or gate that flaps and as it moves it functions in a similar fashion to a dam, which slows down the water and creates greater suction from the pool skimmer.

Pool skimmer covers – The pool skimmer cover or pool skimmer lid are located on the outside of the pool. They can be opened so that the pool skimmer basket can be emptied of debris but protect anyone from accidently stepping into the open space. It is important to make sure that pool skimmer covers are firmly in place so that no one trips over them.

In addition to the automatic pool skimmer models that are built into many pools, there are also floating pool skimmers that can float along the surface of the pool to collect dirt, leaves and debris. A floating pool skimmer can be set to skim the surface of the pool when not in use to help clean it but they do not operate continuously like an automatic pool skimmer does. The pool surface skimmer is a good option if you have a small above ground pool that only needs minimal debris removal.

For those that need to remove leaves and larger debris, a pool skimmer net can be manually dragged along the surface of the pool to collect additional debris. This type of skimmer should not take the place of an automatic pool skimmer, but every pool owner should have a pool leaf skimmer net in case they need to scoop up and remove any type of debris or foreign objects from the pool. As the pool skimmer net is dragged along the water’s surface, any floating debris gets trapped against the netting and can then be manually removed.

Popular models of pool skimmers include the Hayward pool skimmer, Intex pool skimmer, Doughboy pool skimmer, and Jet Net pool skimmer, among other brands. Pool skimmers can be purchased in pool supply stores or can be ordered online. Pool skimmer parts can also be ordered in the same manner and are fairly easy to replace (except for the main body of the pool skimmer which is set into the pool wall). Pool skimmer prices will vary by brand and location sold, so it is best to look around for the best pool skimmer prices once you know what model you are interested in purchasing.

Pool skimmers are a basic component of swimming pools that keep the water cleaner and keep the pool filter and pump from operating more efficiently. No pool should be without one of these important swimming pool accessories.


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