What are pool skimmers?

By American Pool Marketing September 11, 2014


What are pool skimmers?

What are pool skimmers?

There are many pieces of equipment that work together to keep a pool running smoothly. If you’re not in the pool maintenance department, you may not know as much about the system.

Learning about the various maintenance parts can give you a greater appreciation for how the pool operates and could help you diagnose any problems that arise. Skimmers are found in every pool, which can often be overlooked by guests and staff members alike. However, they’re responsible for some of the biggest cleaning tasks in the pool.

How do skimmers work?
Skimmers are the rectangular openings on the sides of underground pools. Aboveground pools have skimmers as well, but these are usually hung from the sides of the pool and float on the surface.

Skimmers draw in water from the surface of the pool, where most contaminants, including debris, sunscreen, body oils and hair, dwell. Skimmers are designed to pull the top 1/8 inch of the pool water. The suction power of skimmers is so slight that most swimmers don’t even notice.

An essential part of the skimmer is the floating weir, which is a swinging door located inside the opening. It’s hinged at the bottom and helps ensure that the water being drawn into the skimmer is limited to the top layer, optimizing efficiency and maximizing the amount of debris that’s pulled out of the pool. Additionally, the angle of the floating weir ensures that the contaminants cannot get back into the pool.

Once the debris and contaminants pass through the floating weir, they flow into a strainer basket, which catches larger pieces of debris, such as twigs. Connected to the skimmer basket is the suction line, which is the driving force behind the skimmer. Additionally, there’s the equalizer line, which prevents the skimmer from sucking in air if the water level drops below the main inlet.

How do I maintain the skimmers?
The final part of skimmers is the access hatch, which sits directly above the strainer basket. This allows pool maintenance technicians to empty the baskets regularly to ensure optimal flow. Additionally, maintenance specialists may use a skimmer suction line for the pool vacuum. Keeping skimmers clean will help optimize pool cleanliness.