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An Informative Guide to Skimmers for Your Pool

A clean pool is inviting, while a dirty one can cause various health problems. Swimming pools and spas come integrated with various features that clean and maintain the pool on a regular basis. One of these is a pool skimmer.

When thinking about pool skimmers, two main kinds of skimmers come to mind. They include:

  • A webbed or meshed basket or net attached to a pole. This is used to manually remove surface debris from the pool.
  • A skimmer that comes installed with the pool. It’s usually of a rectangular shape and seen commonly in indoor pools. It works together with the pump system and is responsible for filtering out surface debris.

In this article, we’ll be discussing installed pool skimmers. These are must-have additions to swimming pools, and they help maintain water health. Whether you already have a swimming pool, or are thinking about investing in a new one, don’t forget to get a pool skimmer installed.

What is a Pool Skimmer?

A pool skimmer is a system that’s installed into the pool. It’s usually seen as a rectangular hole located on the side of the pool. Its main purpose is to draw in surface water from the pool.

Debris such as fallen leaves or twigs, pet fluff, sunscreen, hair, dust etc. usually gather on the surface of the pool. It’s necessary to regularly clean and maintain the pool water, so that it doesn’t get dirty.

If your pool doesn’t have a skimmer installed, then you risk developing algae or bacterial growth in your pool water as well. To ensure that your pool is always a safe and hygienic environment for all swimmers, a pool skimmer is necessary.

The pool skimmer activates when you turn on the pool pump. While the pump circulates water around the pool, the pool skimmer drawn in around the top 1/8th of the pool’s water and sends it to the filtration system. Any dirt and debris is gathered in the skimmer basket, and the clean water is then circulated back into the pool.

Swimming Pool Wide Image

What Are the Different Kinds of Pool Skimmers You Can Get?

There are various pool skimmers available for commercial and private pools. From traditional models to robotic automated models, you can opt for any style that best fits your needs.

Despite the availability of various kinds of pool skimmers, there are two main kinds of skimmers that are most prevalently used. These are:

  • Gutter Type Skimmers
  • Wall Mounted Skimmers

What are Gutter Type Pool Skimmers?

A gutter type pool skimmer is a safe and convenient way to maintain your pool’s water health. It looks like the gutter placed along roofs in homes. A gutter type pool skimmer works by utilizing the surface tension of the water.

By using the gravity, the surface water is sucked into the pool skimmer. Once the water enters the gutter, it gets sent into the filtration system.

Benefits of Using a Gutter Type Skimmer

When compared to other types of pool skimmers, a gutter type pool skimmer stands out in the following ways:

  • Safety: Whenever the question of sucking in water inside a pool is brought up, suction entrapment is something that needs to be taken into consideration. Suction entrapment happens due to differential pressure between the pool and the area behind the pool skimmer’s entrance. If the skimmer is suddenly opened and there’s a difference in pressure, it could be dangerous. There’s a chance that anything or anyone near the pool skimmer could also feel the pull. This can cause injury. However, in the case of a gutter type pool skimmer, this possibility is greatly reduced.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Whether you have a fibreglass pool or an infinity edge pool, installing a gutter type pool skimmer won’t be an issue. A gutter type pool skimmer can be installed in a variety of configurations. A gutter type pool skimmer is designed to promote the sleek appearance of the pool. With a gutter type pool skimmer, you can rest assured that your pool will look visually pleasing and professionally maintained at all times.
Fibreglass Swimming Pool

Disadvantages of a Gutter Type Pool Skimmer

There’s one primary disadvantage to installing a gutter type pool skimmer. You’ll need to ensure that the surface water is always 1/8 inches above the lip of the gutter. Since this pool skimmer circulates the top 1/8th of the pool’s water, unless the water is accessible by the skimmer, it won’t be able to do its job.

If the water level falls, the pool skimmer, and consequently the pool pump will need to work harder to clean and maintain the pool. This can cause a strain on the system and require expensive maintenance and repair over the long run.

Pool owners that install a gutter type pool skimmer typically also install an auto-fill line. This ensures that any surface water that’s lost is automatically replenished, and keeps the pool skimmer operational.

What are Wall Mounted Pool Skimmers?

Wall mounted pool skimmers are the most popular kinds of pool skimmers available. They are located on the side of the pool surface. An access lid allows surface water to enter the pool skimmer and then be taken to the filtration system.

What are the Benefits of a Wall Mounted Pool Skimmer?

A wall mounted pool skimmer is easy to install, and is compatible with various kinds of pools, such as fibreglass pools.

  • Water Health: A wall mounted pool skimmer is great at ensuring that surface debris is filtered out. Do you want a pool skimmer that’s been tried and tested when it comes to maintaining water health? Then a wall mounted pool skimmer is perfect for you.
  • Easy to Use: A part of maintaining a pool skimmer includes cleaning out the gathered debris on a regular basis. For wall mounted pool skimmers, an access hole is placed in the pool’s deck area. However, some states require the access lid to be firmly screwed tightly while the pool pump is running. This is designed to protect people, as well as the pool components.
  • Suction Entrapment: A wall mounted pool skimmer can cause suction entrapment. In this type of a pool skimmer, the skimmer will draw in water from the body of the pool in case the water level dips below the surface of the skimmer. To prevent suction entrapment from happening, you’ll need to ensure that the water level is always around half of the skimmer’s entrance. Ensure that the equalizer line is covered at all times.

A wall mounted pool skimmer also comes with a weir door.

Swimming Pool Wide Image

What is a Weir Door?

This is a flap that’s placed between the skimmer itself, and the skimmer box where the dirt and debris gathers. This is necessary to ensure that water is pushed through the system and the debris is allowed to gather.

Without a weir door, a wall mounted pool skimmer may not be able to circulate or filter water effectively.

What Else Should You Consider When it Comes to Pool Skimmers?

Once you’ve installed a pool skimmer inside your home, you need to ensure that you clean out the debris on a regular basis. Here are some other things you should consider when it comes to pool skimmers:

  • You can use a vacuum when dealing with the skimmer line, this won’t adversely affect your pool skimmer in any way.
  • The skimmer basket is crucial to ensuring that the dirt and debris in your pool isn’t circulated back by into the pool. It catches larger debris and should be cleaned regularly.
  • Although you can technically put chlorine tablets directly into your pool skimmer, this is a bad idea. The concentrated chlorinated water can over time cause faster wear and tear for your pool skimmer. This will require expensive repairs. Instead, place chlorine tablets into the pool itself and not into the skimmer.

A pool skimmer maintains water health and ensures that your swimming pool looks good, and feels good to swim in. If you don’t have a pool skimmer installed in your pool yet, contact a professional to get it installed today.

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