Informative Guide to Skimmers for Your Pool!
The battle against leaves and debris floating in your swimming pool can sometimes feel like an endless struggle. But it doesn’t have to be so complex to take care of your pool. Whether you have an in-ground pool or an above ground pool, a pool skimmer is a mandatory maintenance tool. It takes care of these ‘floaties’ and ensures your pool is always ready for a relaxing dip.
In this blog, we understand what skimmers are, its different types and the multiple ways in which it helps to keep your water clean.
What is a Skimmer?
Every swimming pool has its vital cleaning system parts that help in keeping the water hygienic and clean. A pool skimmer is one such component that is built to draw water from the pool’s surface and pass it through the filtration system of the pool. So, any debris, leaves, twigs, hair and even sunblock (yes!) can be removed before they sink to the bottom of the pool and make it contaminated.
Different Types of Pool Skimmers
Listed below are the different types of pool skimmers:
Manual Pool Skimmer
At the basic end of the scale, a manual pool skimmer is simply a mesh basket attached to a utility pole. You can manually use it to clear the debris off the surface of the pool. Some models even connect the manual pool skimmers to your pump for better filtration and suction.
Automatic Pool Skimmer
This is one of the most common types of skimmers that you can usually see in any given swimming pool. It comes with paddles that resemble a propeller. The paddle maneuvers along the surface of the pool as it sucks the water and debris via its hose.
Robotic Pool Skimmer
Also known as self-contained skimmers, these advanced skimmers run on solar power or use batteries. They float on the surface of the pool water as they skim debris. The initial investment for a robotic pool skimmer may be costly. But, in the long run, they can help you bring down the cost of maintaining your pool by being highly energy-efficient.
Built-in Pool Skimmer
This skimmer type resembles a small gutter and is embedded in the concrete pool sides a little below the waterline. Most pools have more than one built-in pool skimmers, depending on their size. They are connected to your pool’s plumbing to keep the pool water sanitary.
Pool Skimmer Components
No matter which skimmer brand you select for your pool, all of them come with the following components:
This is the opening of the skimmer through which the water and debris get sucked to get filtered.
An important feature of the skimmer, the lid prevents the skimmer basket from being blocked with larger debris such as leaves and twigs. It keeps the circulation system of the pool running in order.
The Skimmer Basket
This is where all the debris and dirt from the pool get collected. Without the skimmer basket, the debris can clog and damage your pool’s circulation and filtration system.
This is a flap located between the skimmer box and skimmer opening which prevents the debris from mixing back into the pool water. Once you turn off the pool pump, the weir door pivots into a closed position so that the dirt cannot re-enter the swimming pool.
The Suction Line
These are pipes, typically made of PVC, that is responsible for carrying the pool water from the skimmer to the pool pump.
The Equalizer Line
In case the water level drops below the main inlet, the equalizer line prevents the skimmer from sucking in the air.
What Do Pool Skimmers Do?
Let’s check out the top benefits of pool skimmers:
Filtration and Circulation
A skimmer’s basic function is to collect dirt and debris from your pool water and avoid any blockages in your pump or filter. In other words, pool skimmers act as the starting point of pool circulation. They pull the small contaminants out of the water which could otherwise get stuck in your pool filter and cause damage.
Did you know you could add a few chlorine tablets to your skimmer basket for a more hygienic and healthier pool? Yes, that’s right. As the water gets pulled through the skimmer, the chlorine tablets in the skimmer basket dissolve faster than if they were simply floating around the swimming pool. It leads to a more optimum level of chlorine in the water making it cleaner.
It is highly encouraged to vacuum your pool through skimmers for cleaner and sparkling pool water. You can insert the vacuum hose into the suction hole of the skimmer. Or, you can use a skimmer vacuum plate for the same results.
Factors to Consider Before You Shop Around for A Skimmer
When looking for a pool skimmer, take the below-mentioned things into account:
Different skimmers are made using different materials. Ensure you read up reviews on the net about the top skimmers and if they suit your pool type. If a product is receiving a lot of bad reviews, you know to steer away from it and find the right one for your pool.
This is a no-brainer but needs to be mentioned nevertheless. It is a wise decision to compare the prices of the most popular pool skimmers so you know if it is value for money.
Ease of installation
Depending on the skimmer type, they can be installed in many configurations and varied ways. For instance, if you plan to invest in an automatic skimmer, you don’t want the product to break during installation. Make sure you choose a proficient pool builder who makes installation easy.
Here’s How You Can Maintain Your Pool Skimmer
You must regularly clean your pool skimmer to ensure it works suitably. A clogged skimmer basket can damage your pool’s filtration system. It will make the pool’s pump work more than normal to cycle the water. This, in turn, can reduce the life of the pool filter and the pump. Make sure you properly inspect the skimmer’s weir, basket, and lid once a week to keep your pool clean. If your backyard has a lot of trees or you are expecting a windstorm, it is recommended to clean the skimmers more frequently.
All you have to do is turn off the pool pump, take out the contents of the skimmer basket after removing its lid. Return the skimmer basket, close the lid and turn the pool pump back on once you are done.
To sum up, skimmers play a pivotal role in keeping the pool water sparkling clean. They keep the pool’s circulation going, get rid of the debris on the surface of the water and protect it against contamination. Now that we know how important skimmers are, remember to clean the skimmer basket weekly (at least once) to keep the equipment functioning at optimum levels.
If you are looking to install your dream pool at your property or have any queries for your existing pool, get in touch with us. Our friendly team can offer the best solutions to help you make the most of your swimming pools.