What Does My Pool Skimmer Do?
Many Homeowners believe they know everything about their pool skimmers. Then you have a few who believe they do not know enough. The inground pool skimmer is one of the most important parts of a swimming pool.
When thinking about a pool skimmer, imagine being in the swimming pool with a small container catching floating debris and leaves. That is the essential part of the skimmer, which holds a small basket that collects the debris. This basket prevents the debris from going into your filter or pump, causing a blockage.
Inground pool skimmers are a rectangular shape. Depending on the size of your pool will dictate how many skimmers the pool will have. They are located inside the pool, toward the top of the wall. Normal operation requires the skimmer to be filled to the middle of the skimmer with pool water. If the water level is not to the middle of the skimmer box, you will need to add water to your pool. If you pool water level drops below the skimmer, you will need to shut off your equipment and fill the water back up to the middle of the skimmer box and then turn on the equipment. If you have a main drain and the water drops below the skimmer, you can close the skimmer and run your pool equipment on the main drain. Once the water level is back to normal operational level, you can open the skimmers back up.
Skimmers are typically made of white plastic and a have a door or flap known as a weir. The weir is located over the entrance into the skimmer box, it will flap open and close according to the water level and the movement of the water. While the water is moving and the equipment is on, the weir will flap open and close collecting debris. Once your equipment turns off, the weir will close so that all trapped material will not go back into the pool. Once debris is collected into the skimmer basket, it is important to remove the skimmer lid, located in your swimming pool deck. Once the cover is removed, you will simply lift the skimmer basket out of the skimmer well and empty the basket. Once the basket is empty, you simply place the basket back into the skimmer well. It is very important if the skimmer basket is broken or cracked you need to replace it immediately to prevent
Another important role the skimmer plays is allowing you to place chlorine tablets straight into the basket. A benefit of placing sticks or tablets into the skimmer basket is the water from the pool will run over the sticks/tablets causing them to dissolve much quicker than using a floater in the pool. The chlorine sticks or tablets will provide higher concentration of chlorine into your swimming pool water. Furthermore, this means that your pool water is sanitized and preventing bacteria. The important part is making sure you consult with your pool professional to use the correct sticks/tabs in the skimmer basket, so it does not cause damage to your pool pump or remove the sticks/tabs from the basket when the pump is off.
The skimmer also serves as a point to manually vacuum your swimming pool. Even if you have an automatic or robotic pool cleaner, you will have times that your pool needs to be vacuumed manually. Once you have your manual vacuum put together, you insert the vacuum hose into the skimmers suction hole. It is important to use a skimmer vacuum plate when vacuuming through your skimmer, that prevents clogs of debris from being sucked through. Manual vacuuming will result in much cleaner water.
The skimmer is a vital part of your pool and its circulating system. Make sure you protect and care for it.