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SKIMMERS: BUYER’S GUIDE & FAQ


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Is there anything else I should consider while picking out a skimmer? [open]
There are a few factors to keep in mind while choosing the perfect skimmer for you. You'll want to consider the price, compatibility with your pool, durability and how difficult it is to install. [Shop All Skimmers]
Is there a difference between wide mouth skimmers and other skimmers? [open]
As the name suggests, wide mouth skimmers have a wider mouth opening than others. More and more above ground pools are veering toward wide mouth skimmers now, but some still go toward smaller, standard size mouths. [Shop All Skimmers]
How do I attach my vacuum to my skimmer? [open]
Some vacuum and pool cleaners attach to your skimmer, relying on its suction to clean your pool. If there is a vacuum plate for your skimmer, place it on top of the basket to catch any unwanted debris. If you don’t have a vacuum plate, remove the debris basket and connect your vacuum hose to the suction port.

For both methods, make sure your hose doesn’t have any water in it. This is completed by attaching one end of the hose to the vacuum and then slowly gliding the rest of the hose underwater. The opposite end will go in last; you'll see air bubbles until all the air is removed and water will begin pushing through the other end.

In addition, keep your pump turned off to stop the suction until you have completed the steps above. Once the hose is attached and primed you’re ready to begin vacuuming and can turn the pump back on. [Shop All Vacuums]

SKIMMERS

Every pool has a skimmer. A skimmer is part of the cleaning system, skimming the surface of the water for debris. It’s connected to the pump and filter system, causing circulation. Water is also slowly pulled from the pool to run through the filter before being returned.
How it Works [open]
Most pools — above ground and inground — have a built-in skimmer system connected to the top of the wall, in some cases larger pools may have several. These systems have rectangular openings that suck in water and debris while the pump is running.

Water is pulled out of the skimmer to the attached pump and filter to be cleaned and sanitized before being sent back into the pool through the return jet. Any debris is caught by the basket is held there until you manually dump out any leaves, bugs and anything else it has accumulated.

When the pump is not running, the weir door keeps the debris trapped in the basket. This flap closes when the pump is turned off while remaining open while the filter is running to allow debris to pass.

The lid closes off the top of the skimmer. This prevents any additional debris from entering the skimmer and stops animals and others from accidentally entering the skimmer. You’ll open the lid to gain access to the inside of the skimmer, where you’ll be able to inspect it and get the basket to empty it. [Shop All Skimmers]
Picking the Right Skimmer [open]
To pick the right skimmer for your pool, you’ll need to consider a few things. First, is your pool inground or above ground?

For above ground pools, the most important thing is picking the right size. If you’re choosing a replacement skimmer the easiest option would be to order the same skimmer model to ensure the perfect fit. If that’s not possible, you’ll want to pick a skimmer the exact same size or slightly bigger. Since a skimmer system involves a hole cut into your wall, you can’t choose a smaller skimmer.

For inground pools, you’ll want to consider the dimensions, but you’ll also need to consider the surface of your pool. If you have a vinyl or fiberglass pool, you’ll require a rubber gasket to form a seal between your pool’s surface and the faceplate. This isn’t required for gunite surface pool.

When looking at the dimensions, you’ll be looking at the mouth and the depth of the skimmer, also known as the length of the throat. You’ll want to ensure that the skimmer you purchase has a long enough channel between the skimmer mouth and the portion of the skimmer that houses the basket.

For both types of pools, you’ll want to consider the pipe size. Mismatched sizing will affect the flow. You’ll also need to consider your state’s requirements. Several states require a dual pipe to reduce the suction power of the skimmer and drain.

Finally, you’ll want to ask yourself how many skimmers you need. Small pools only require one, but larger pools may require multiple skimmers to proper circulate and collect debris. [Shop All Skimmers]
More Questions?
If you still have more questions or are unsure of what skimmer to buy for your pool, call our in-house pool experts at 1-800-356-3025.