what does a pool skimmer do
Pool Knowledge

What Does a Pool Skimmer Do?

If you have an in-ground or above-ground swimming pool, you know how useful a pool skimmer is. It can be mounted on an above-ground pool or built into your in-ground pool. However, if you are not familiar with pool skimmers, you may ask: what does a pool skimmer do? In this post, we will try to answer this question.

What Is a Pool Skimmer, Really?

A pool skimmer is a device that keeps your pool water clean. In your inground pool, a skimmer works like a small bucket that is built with the side. 

There are baskets that prevent twigs, leaves, and debris from going to the filter. In an above-ground pool, the skimmer floats on the water and does the same thing. We have already mentioned that there are two types of skimmers. Now we will briefly discuss them.

Above-ground pool skimmers

These pool skimmers can be floating models or mounted onto the wall of your above-ground pool. When buying an above-ground pool skimmer, make sure you choose a high-quality product. You can attach a floating model to a pool vacuum. It collects debris while randomly floating on the water.

When it comes to installing a pool skimmer, you may or may not have to cut a part of your pool wall. However, if you are not careful when doing that, you might have to replace the entire liner.

Inground pool skimmers

These rectangular pool cleaners are usually placed around the inground pool. The skimmers are usually placed on the tops of the pool walls. In general, the bottom half of a skimmer is covered by the water.

Most often, inground pool skimmers can be made of plastic. Your inground pool skimmer may come with a door that closes and opens depending on the level of water. When the pump is turned off, this door closes. And it opens when the pump is turned on.

What Purposes Do Pool Skimmers Serve?

We know that a pool skimmer does not have any motor. Then how can it keep the water of a pool clean? What does a pool skimmer do? What are its functions? Now we are going to see what pool skimmers actually do?

Water cleaning

If you and your family members happen to use your swimming pool often, you should be more careful about taking care of it. When your pool is used a lot, it receives a lot of soap, shampoo, makeup, and sunscreen. All these things contaminate the water.

Yes, the filter will reduce the severity of the problem to some extent. But in this regard, your skimmer basket plays a huge role. For better results, you can put some tennis balls in the basket. Tennis balls have fuzzy exteriors that can absorb surface debris.

You can cover the skimmer basket with pantyhose and thus increase the effectiveness of the skimmer. Some smaller debris will be caught by the fine fabric. When the pantyhose or tennis balls are worn out, simply replace them.

If you think it is a bit weird to use pantyhose, you can use pool skimmer socks. They have been made exclusively for this purpose. Using them is more convenient than putting on pantyhose.

Circulation and filtration

Pool circulation begins with your pool skimmer. It is a gateway to the filtration system of your pool. Water is sucked by your pool pump and then forced to the skimmers. When passing through the basket, water carries a large amount of debris. Otherwise, if the debris heads towards the filter or pump, it can cause a blockage. The skimmer pulls contaminants and helps the filter do its job. In other words, the skimmer prevents blockages.

Maybe you are still wondering: what does a pool skimmer do? Well, promoting circulation and filtration is one of the main functions of a pool skimmer. The skimmer not only collects yucky stuff but also helps filter and pump work smoothly. As a result, the water that passes through the filter and pump remains debris-free.

Adding water purifying tablets

A pool skimmer can also add chlorine tablets to your pool water. A pool skimmer used for this purpose is also known as a floating chlorine dispenser. It makes chlorine tablets dissolve more quickly. And when these tablets dissolve quickly, you get clear water within a short time.

When the pump is not active, make sure the tablets that are partially dissolved are removed from the skimmer. These tablets can damage the equipment if they sit in a single place for a long time.

Pool vacuuming

An automatic swimming pool cleaner is undoubtedly a useful tool, but you can not expect to use it all the time. Sometimes you will have to vacuum the pool manually. However, in such a case, you can make the best use of the circulation system of your pool.

Every pool skimmer has a suction hole, and you can put the hose of your vacuum into the suction hole. A skimmer vacuum cleaner can also make the job a lot easier. It can make your pool’s water cleaner in a short time.

When Should You Clean a Pool Skimmer?

What does a pool skimmer do? By now you have the answer. But when should you clean it? As a rule of thumb, you should clean a pool skimmer once every 7 days. But this is just conventional wisdom. It actually depends on how much garbage the basket has collected. Depending on the situation, you will know when the basket needs to be cleaned.

If you allow the funky things to sit there for a long time, they will soon start to decay and make the water a lot dirtier. You have to clean the basket more often if the pool is under a large tree. The skimmer basket might fill up more quickly for some other reasons.

The Right Way to Clean a Pool Skimmer

To maintain your pool, you have to perform several tasks. Cleaning your pool skimmer is not a hard task at all. The skimmer has a cover. Just remove it, take the skimmer basket out, and throw the debris away. Once you have discarded the debris, just put the basket back in your skimmer, and use another cover.

The basket might look dingy if there are yucky things such as dead bugs. In such a case, before you replace the cover, you can consider giving the basket a spray. You can use a mild multi-purpose spray to get the job done.

The cleaner must be rinsed off completely. Otherwise, you may notice some bubbles in the water. If they appear, they can be a cause of major concern.

Final Thought

What does a pool skimmer do? Well, without a pool skimmer, we can not think of keeping a swimming pool clean. You also have to make sure that your pool skimmer is clean and clear. You may not use your swimming pool in the spring, and so you can skip the task for a couple of months. But if you do not have a pool skimmer, you will find it hard to keep your swimming pool clean.