What is a Pool Skimmer and How Does It Work?
Having a pool in your backyard is one of the incredible privileges that you can enjoy every day. There is nothing more liberating than taking a warm dip after a stressful day at work or inviting your friends for a barbeque session on a lazy Sunday afternoon by the poolside.
But there is one downside to pool ownership. It makes you responsible for its cleaning and maintenance. Depending on your pool’s size and how dirty it becomes, cleaning is a painstaking and time-consuming task. Unlike cooking or organizing the house, no one seems to enjoy cleaning a pool.
What is Pool Skimmer?
As the name suggests, this device skims debris out of your swimming pool before they go to the bottom. A pool skimmer refers to two things: a gutter located on the sides of the pool and a device that traps debris on the surface. As to the first type, a pool skimmer is the rectangular opening located at the sides of the structure for in-ground pools. Meanwhile, the skimmers on aboveground pools usually hang from the pool’s sides and float on the surface. Aside from cleaning, a skimmer also helps in water circulation. The pool pump draws water into the skimmer, where it passes through a basket that traps debris. The pool’s cleanliness and circulation are two factors that are important in maintaining the sanitation standard of the water. For the water skimmer to do its job efficiently, the water must be about halfway to two-thirds of the way up the skimmer’s opening. If the water level is below that, the pump will be working too hard to keep the water flowing. On the contrary, the skimmer will not efficiently take out debris when the water level is too high.
Types of Pool Skimmer
Built-in pool skimmers belong to any of the following types:
- In-ground Pool Skimmer
An in-ground pool skimmer is an opening typically rectangular in shape and located strategically around the pool just below the end of the top wall. The water must be at the bottom half level of the skimmers. They are usually made of white plastic and have a door called a weir. The weir opens and closes according to the water level and movement. If you turn off the pump, the weir closes to prevent the collected debris from going back to the pool.
- Aboveground Pool Skimmer
This type is mounted on the pool’s side with a plastic arm. It can also come in the form of a floating device attached to your pool vacuum to collect debris randomly. One downside to installing an aboveground pool skimmer is the need to cut the liner to give an opening for its installation. For aesthetic purposes, this type is not pretty to look at and not the most effective either. Whether you have an in-ground or an aboveground skimmer, you need to understand how to keep it clean. A clogged skimmer will need the pump to work harder, damaging it over time or negatively affecting its life span. Clean the skimmer basket at least once a week to remove the garbage.
- Pool Skimmer Tool
Aside from the pool skimmers attached to the pool, there are also hand-held devices you can use every day to clean the pool. The typical hand-held pool skimmer uses an extendable pole and has a head where you can attach the skimmer. This tool is the most popular pool equipment for manual skimming because it’s cheap and easy to use.
- Automatic Floating Skimmer
An automatic floating skimmer is like a robot vacuum designed for water use instead of a solid surface. It roams around the pool and skimming debris in the process of doing so. Since it runs automatically, it doesn’t need your supervision. All you need is to put on the water, turn it on, and it will do its thing. Using a robotic floating skimmer comes with many benefits. Firstly, it gives you more free time since you’re not going to do the cleaning yourself. Second, most models are powered by solar energy and battery, which means you can use them any time you want, even during rainy days. Lastly, you don’t need to worry about a surge in your electric bill since it doesn’t use outlet electricity, to begin with.
Many tools are available to help you clean your pool. A skimmer is one of the most reliable tools that many pool owners use for a long time. It’s value never diminished as modern-day skimmers can do their job automatically and efficiently. Using an automatic pool skimmer is a great way to maintain the cleanliness of your pool. If you want your pool ready anytime you want to take a dip; a robotic pool skimmer is an excellent investment.