Swimming pools are a great place for many recreational activities. However, you need to keep them safe with the help from many pieces of equipment, so what is a pool skimmer?
There are many pieces of equipment around the pool that help maintain it and keep it clean. The pool pump is responsible for circulating the water in the swimming pool and filter it as well.
However, the pool pump itself is not the one that keeps the debris from the water. It would be too risky if you let the debris get inside the pool pump as it might clog it and stop its functioning.
The pool skimmer does exactly what its name suggests. It skims the pool for debris and makes sure that it holds onto it so that the other parts of the pool do not receive damage from the dirt.
Pool skimmers are developing nowadays, and there are many classifications of it. This post will clear things up to know how important a pool skimmer is for you and your pool.
So read on as we look at the different types of pool skimmers and see what they do in the pool. After reading this, you will certainly need to check if your pool skimmer is good.
What Are Pool Skimmers?
For this part of the post, we will be seeing what a pool skimmer is and how a pool skimmer works by looking at the in-ground pool skimmer first. A pool skimmer is one of the most important pieces of equipment in the pool.
There are some small holes that you will see around the swimming pool, and those are the jet returns. They shoot back the water that has been circulated and cleaned by the pool pump.
The large, usually rectangular, openings on the side of the pool are the skimmers. They are responsible for taking the water in and screening the debris before going to the pool pump.
The swimming pool’s size determines the number of pool skimmers in an in-ground pool. You need more pool skimmers if you have a large swimming pool to clean.
It has a design that draws water from the swimming pool’s surface and then sucks the water into the filtration system found inside the pool skimmer design and removes the debris.
This is the equipment responsible for cleaning the pool water before the debris, such as hair, leaves, bugs, and dust sinks to the bottom. So it is technically your first line of defense.
They are also a part of the pool pump system, which means that they are responsible for circulating the chemicals. Apply these chemicals to the surface of the swimming pool.
The pool skimmer works by sucking the water from the surface where the chemicals are and then bringing it to the pool pump to circulate it to ensure that the water and chemicals are well-balanced.
What Consists Of A Pool Skimmer?
While a pool skimmer might seem simple, you barely see some parts within it. Some of those parts are very important in keeping the pool clean and safe.
Here, let us look at the best parts of a pool skimmer to see what makes it very important. This will also make you understand how a pool skimmer works and what it does to in-ground or above-ground pools.
You can find the following parts in most pool skimmers. So do not be too curious and look into the pool skimmer of yours as it may not have the same as the ones noted below.
The lid is a part of the pool skimmer that is outside of the pool. It is where you access the inside filer of the pool skimmer when cleaning without actually getting in the pool.
The lid protects both the pool skimmer from excess debris that is coming from outside the pool. It is also responsible for protecting the pool pump by blocking sticks and other large debris.
It also prevents you from stepping into the skimmer basket or box. The lid is usually the small square tile that you see on the pool’s side right above where you see the skimmer opening.
The mouth is pretty much the easiest to distinguish. The large rectangular opening on the pool’s side is just above the waterline and has the water drawn inside this part.
It is the one responsible for sucking water in to be circulated and filtered. The large opening ensures that all the large debris is sucked into the skimmer and is filtered inside.
The pool skimmer’s mouth is also largely because the pool pump can be drawing in too much water. The mouth reduces the pressure just enough to collect the debris on the surface.
The weir is one of the most important parts of the skimmer in preventing the debris from coming back into the swimming pool. It is a flap found inside the mouth of the pool skimmer.
It follows the water flow to let the debris inside the pool skimmer and then let it stay there. It blocks the pathway of debris to enter the pool again once sucked inside.
The weir automatically flaps forward when the pool pump is turned off. This prevents the debris inside the skimmer’s filter system from coming back into the swimming pool by closing the mouth.
The Skimmer Basket
This is the ‘stopper’ of the pool skimmer as it is responsible for collecting the debris from the water to prevent it from traveling further and into the swimming pool’s pump.
This is the one that you access from the lid of the pool skimmer. Once in a while, it fills up with debris, so you will need to check it and remove the debris from inside the skimmer basket or box.
It is a very important component of the pool skimmer as, without it, you will be risking clogging the swimming pool’s filtration system. So always check the basket or box if it is in good condition.
You can use a filter sock for this part. A filter sock helps even more with collecting smaller debris so having a filter sock is truly beneficial.
There are two major lines inside the skimmer that help it do its job and maintain the skimmer by preventing other factors from getting in the skimmer and damaging the parts like the valve.
The first one is the suction line which essentially gives power to the pool skimmer. It sucks in water using the pool pump’s power through the valve and drives the water into the pool skimmer.
The next is the equalizer line, which plays a huge role in maintaining the pool skimmer and its components. It reduces the suction power if the water goes lower than the mouth.
The equalizer line is responsible for preventing the skimmer from sucking air from the valve inside when the water goes lower than the main inlet of the pool skimmer, thus, preventing damage to the pool pump.
What Are Other Types Of Pool Skimmers?
Aside from the rectangular opening on the side of your swimming pool, some other types of pool skimmers can be used for many types of swimming pools to clean them.
You can easily see the parts mentioned above with a diagram online. Most diagrams show software and parts or designs slightly different but are essentially the same as what the diagram shows.
Robotic Pool Skimmers
While there are robotic pool cleaners, there are also robotic pool skimmers. Essentially, they function the same as they both suck water inside them and then filter out the debris.
However, robotic pool skimmers differ from robotic pool cleaners as they do not technically clean the pool, or at least they do not go underwater and scrub off the stains and debris.
Like the best in-ground pool skimmers that can be used for above-ground pools, the robotic pool skimmers are only up to cleaning the water’s surface from floating debris. Robotic pool skimmers just float around the pool.
Most of them battery-operated, but since technology is developing fast, some have software adapted to solar power to make sure that they work all day without electricity and can be controlled in an app.
Since the app or software works by itself and is not connected to any of the pool equipment, it saves much energy. They do not need to source their power from electricity or your pool pump itself.
Robotic pool skimmers are great since they can do what regular pool skimmer does. You can even argue that they are better since they can roam around the pool and collect debris while you control them through an app.
Above-ground Swimming Pools
Since above-ground swimming pools have thin walls, they usually use robotic or floating skimmers. The same goes with hot tubs and spas, as they are too small for regular skimmers.
Usually, you use a separate pool skimmer for spas, tubs, and above-ground pools. These skimmers use plastic screens or filter bags instead of using the usual filter basket.
They still collect debris from the pol or the tub, but since the water is too small, they are not powered the same as the regular pool skimmer. You usually just use a small robotic pool skimmer.
Maintenance For Pool Skimmers
It is important to keep your pool skimmer clean and in good condition at all times. If your pool skimmer is clogged, the pool pump will have to work harder in pumping water in and out of it.
If the basket is damaged, the skimmer will be virtually useless as it brings debris into the pool pump and damages the other pieces of equipment around the swimming pool.
It is very simple to maintain the pool skimmer. First, you just need to turn the pool pump off; from there, remove the lid of the pool skimmer and then get the basket out to empty the contents.
You can spray water into the skimmer basket to remove the debris and then put it back inside. Return the lid and do the same with the other skimmers before turning the pool pump back on.
There are also some accessories like the gizmo which absorbs the expansion of water freeze-ups in the skimmer. You can use a gizmo with floating and automatic skimmers.
If you have accidentally left your floating or automatic skimmer in the pool during the winter, the gizmo can really help the floating or automatic skimmer release the frozen water.
Cleaning the swimming pool and keeping it crystal clear is not a simple task. You will need the pool skimmer to remove the debris while you are out of the house and not attend to it.
The best pool skimmer is used for removing the water debris before they sink to the bottom and cause more work of cleaning them. It is your first line of defense against clogs and other damages on both in-ground and above-ground pools.
Maintaining the pool skimmer is not a hard task either. You just need to regularly clean it and check if there are damages inside it to make sure that it functions properly all the time!
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