A pool skimmer is an integral part of keeping your pool ready to use all season long. Using pool cleaners to maintain the cleanliness and integrity of your pool can be accomplished in a variety of ways. While “pool skimmers” most commonly refer to the handheld pole nets, pool skimmers can also be mechanical to make cleaning the entirety of your pool even easier than before. If you’re spending a lot of extra effort trying to keep your pool clean, there are options to help you save time.
There are a variety of types and styles of pool skimmers. Depending on the size of your pool and the amount of debris you regularly see, a robotic skimmer may be the best way to help maintain the cleanliness of your water. While you should always have a handheld skimmer on hand for light items, mechanical skimmer systems can change the way you maintain your pool.
Purpose of a pool skimmer
Pool skimmers are essential to make sure that debris and impurities don't build up in your pool. Handheld pole skimmers with nets can remove larger debris from the water and bottom of the pool, including leaves, bugs and sticks.
Mechanical pool skimmers, also called pool cleaners, can be more effective and efficient than manual cleaning. Most pool skimmers are designed to clean the top ? inch of water before the debris can fall to the bottom of the pool and create slime or clog the drain. Pool skimmers also clear sunblock, lotions and other oil left behind by swimmers.
Inground pool skimmers
The pool skimmers on most inground pools are built into the sides of the pool. They look like rectangular openings and have a door called a weir which opens to draw debris in but won’t allow it to float back out. Some experts recommend putting a tennis ball into the skimmer which helps catch more of the excess oils and dirt on the water’s surface and reduces the strain on the skimmer and pump.
Inground pool skimmers can be accessed through a hatch in the top of the skimmer, where owners can retrieve and clean the basket that catches the debris. Skimmer suction lines can also be used in conjunction with pool vacuums.
Above ground pool skimmers
Above ground pool skimmers are typically located in a unit that hangs on the side of the pool, with the basket slightly submerged in the water. It works much like an inground pool skimmer in that it pulls the top layers of water into the basket to filter out debris. The basket should be emptied daily to help keep the skimmer working at an optimal level.
Some people opt to install skimmers in their above ground pools that are more like inground pool skimmers in the walls. This involves cutting into the thin wall of the above ground pool and potentially damaging the liner, which is why these types of skimmers should be installed by a professional.
Both above ground and inground pool skimmers pull the water so gently that most swimmers don’t notice the current. An equalizer line prevents the skimmer from continuing suction if the water levels drop below the skimmer line.
Mechanical and robotic pool skimmers
Mechanical and robotic pool skimmers have made cleaning the pool much easier than the standard handheld pole skimmer. Robotic pool cleaners can either float on the surface or clean deep down on the floor of the pool. Some robotic skimmers require an outside power source, while others can be powered by solar panels.
Floating pool skimmers move with the current and wind. They don’t require a power source and gently clean the surface of the pool. However, if there is no wind, it may remain stationary. Mechanical floating cleaners are self-propelled and move around the pool regardless of wind or currents.
Using pool cleaners for the bottom of your pool takes a lot of time and effort out of cleaning. Robotic pool cleaners move along the bottom of the pool, cleaning up the dirt and debris that was missed by the skimmer. Automatic pool cleaners can also be used on the walls of the pool, steps and other terrain to remove debris effectively.
If you’ve spent a lot of time with a handheld skimmer and you’re looking for a more effective skimmer system, consider investing in a robotic pool skimmer. Robotic floating and all-terrain pool cleaners will give you more time to relax and enjoy your freshly cleaned pool.