What is a Spa or Pool Skimmer Used For?

pool-skimmersA pool skimming for the backyard pool is much like the gutter systems in the commercial pool: it has the practical role of capturing debris floating on the water surface like oils (sun block), dead insects, twigs, dirt, flower petals and leaves. The skimmer is designed to capture the debris before it sinks to the bottom of the pool.

The skimmer system for the in-ground pools appears high on the sides where the suction pulls in and traps the debris.

Most of the pool skimmers have a convenient trap door or hatch for easy access. It is also well located to hookup with a pool vacuum.

In-ground pool swimmer

The typical in-ground pool skimmer is made of precast concrete or PVC (or other plastic material) and has a tank with an open area on the top side. A weir is used to perform the skimming action and helps to regulate the volume of water that enters the skimmer. The weir has the ability to adjust the water pulled, which makes it possible to limit this to the surface only for the most effective pool cleaning.

A well placed skimmer has the potential to keep nearly 500 sq ft of pool surface water clean. In the event debris is left to build up in front of the skimmer, this can put extra stress on the pump. For this reason, it is critical to give the skimmer basket a daily clean throughout the swimming season.

The skimmer is best installed using an equalizer line. This is a type of pipe that runs from the lower half of the basket through the surface of the pool wall and into the water. A benefit of the equalizer is to minimize the risk of sucking air into the system which is a possibility if the water level drops due to evaporation. Air in the system can lead to a stalled pump.

Most of the pool skimmers have built in automatic chlorinators and automatic water level controls.

Robotic pool skimmer

The latest options to enter the market include the robotic and floating pool skimmers. They run on solar or battery power and simply float on the pool surface to collect the debris. A popular choice like the Solar Breeze NX is said to reduce workload and time, especially for pools located in areas prone to a high volume of leaves or insects. Plus, it runs independently of the pool pump to lower the cost of energy bills.

An alternative system like the SkimmerMotion with its whirlpool-like motion is designed to hook up to the automatic pool cleaner to gather floating debris. Any collected debris is passed to the filtration system.

Add chlorine tablets

Many pool owners favor the idea of adding chlorine tablets (also called chlorine pucks) to the skimmer basket to speed up the cleaning process. But, there are pool experts that advise against this practice. For instance, higher concentration of acid can lead to increased failure of the filter and a more regular need to install a replacement.

Above ground skimmer

The thin walls of the aboveground pools mean the floating skimmer system is the most practical option. Alternatively, there are the skimmers that hang on the pool’s side. This type of swimming needs regular cleaning, at least daily, to keep it working efficiently.

Spa and hot tub skimmer

The skimmer for a redwood hot tub isn’t likely to feature a basket, but instead relies on a plastic screen to pull the debris from the surface. Also, there are certain spas that have a skimmer with an integrated cartridge filter.

This type of skimmer is also known as: ball skimmer, floating skimmer and surface skimmer.

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