What is a Pool Weir and How Does it Work With a Pool Skimmer?

pool-weirWhen it comes to a weir, the most common weir is a barrier across a river which is used to alter or adjust the water flow. Similarly, a pool weir is a barrier in a pool skimmer over that water flows. Generally, a floating pool weir can raise and lower its level according to the water level in a spa or pool. Another type of weir is similar to a real barrel. And this type can float up and down inside the skimmer basket.

Basic knowledge of a pool pumping system

First, we need to know the basic knowledge of a pool’s pluming system and this can help us understand how a pool works. The basic knowledge can also help to troubleshoot some problems which may arise with our swimming pools.

Generally, water enters a pool or spa through a skimmer or a main drain, or both. Water will pass through a 3-port valve and then enter the pool pump that is run by a built-in motor. And a filter is also used to filter the water. And then water will be heated by a heater (solar heater or gas heater, if one is installed). Finally, water will be back through the valves to the swimming pool or spa return lines.

The Skimmer

Some swimming pools have several skimmers. A skimmer is used to let water enter its system, And, thanks to its skimming action, oil, leaves, dirt, twigs, as well as debris can be pulled in before they fall to the pool’s bottom. Plus, a skimmer also can offer a located suction line for vacuuming. This design is very convenient.

Generally, many swimming pool circulating systems are equipped with at least 2 skimmers which are connected to the pool pump. Most pool skimmers are designed to be built into a pool, while some types can be hung on the pool side.

Most pool skimmers are molded, 1-piece plastic systems. Older pools use built-in-place concrete pool skimmers. Considering the effectiveness of collecting debris and other dirt, a skimmer should be equipped for every about 500 square feet.

As technologies advance, newer skimmers are floating robotic or automatic skimmers. Some of them are powered by built-in solar panels.

This type of skimmer is connected to an automatic pool vacuum, while a solar powered skimmer can float on the surface and collect debris independently. Of course, both of them are used to keep you pool clean, helping you efficiently, conveniently maintain your pool. And such a skimmer also helps to save energy and money for you, because there is no need to put so much strain on your pool pump.

The Skimmer V.S. the Weir

Most pool skimmers have a tank that has a projection throat-like device on its upper side. A floating weir or a self-adjusting weir can regulate how much water will enter the pool skimmer. This is its the skimming action. Such a weir can adjust to only allow a tiny amount of water to spill over, so velocity is the key when it comes to an excellent skimming action. And a weir should have an equalized line. This line is a pipe which extended from the skimmer’s bottom about 12 to 18 inches through its pool wall into the water. And this helps to prevent air from entering the unit when the low water level happens. It is recommended to locate skimmers on the down wind side, because wind will help to push debris toward the weir’s opening, making it working more efficiently.

Water pours over a floating weir that allows debris to enter. If the pool pump is turned off to stop the suction, the weir will float into a vertical position. In this position, debris can be prevented from floating back into your pool.

However, some pool skimmers doesn’t equip with a weir but only features a floating barrel which is a built-in part of its basket. This basket is able to collect leaves, as well as other larger pieces of debris, so that you can easily remove all the debris.

How to Replace a Weir

Sometimes we need to replace a weir. Fortunately, it is so easy to replace a new one. You can use a pair of pliers to easily removed damaged or old weir from the skimmer. And then insert the new one into the same position by pulling out the pins. And a spring will release retaining rods which push against the skimmers walls.

If you are looking for a weir, you can consider the following brands:

  • Pentair
  • Blue Devil
  • Waterways

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