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Pool Skimmers

Have you ever considered how your swimming pool stays free of leaves, bugs, and other debris? The unsung hero of your pool's cleanliness is the pool skimmer. This essential component works tirelessly to ensure your pool is inviting and hygienic. 

Each type is crucial in removing debris from above-ground pool skimmers that adapt to water levels to swimming pool skimmers designed for in-ground pools

Our experience in pool care will help you navigate these options, ensuring your pool remains a pristine oasis for everyone to enjoy. 

Get ready to explore the world of pool skimmers and discover their essential role in pool management.

How Does a Pool Skimmer Work?

A pool skimmer keeps your pool clean by pulling water from the surface and any floating debris like leaves and bugs. This debris is caught in a basket inside the skimmer, preventing it from reaching the pool's main filter system. 

After catching the large debris, the water moves to the main filter for deeper cleaning; then circulates back into the pool. To keep the skimmer working well, cleaning the basket regularly is important. 

This ensures the skimmer can continue efficiently drawing in water and catching debris, helping maintain a clear and inviting pool. Whether you have an above-ground or in-ground pool, maintaining your pool skimmers is a simple but crucial part of pool care.

Benefits and Importance

Pool skimmers are vital in keeping your swimming area enjoyable and safe. Here are the key benefits:

  • Water Quality: Skimmers improve the water's clarity. Removing debris and contaminants from the surface prevents the pool from getting cloudy and dirty, ensuring the water always looks inviting.

  • Equipment Lifespan: They help extend the life of your pool's main filter by catching large debris before it can cause clogs or damage. This means less stress on your filtration system and fewer repairs.

  • Health and Safety: By removing materials like leaves, bugs, and oils, skimmers reduce the risk of algae growth and keep the swimming environment clean. This is crucial for a safe swimming experience, minimizing the chance of skin irritations or infections.

  • Convenience and Efficiency: Many skimmers work automatically, saving you time and effort in pool cleaning. They also promote better water circulation, which can lower energy costs by making your pool pump and heater work more efficiently.

Types of Pool Skimmers

Various pool skimmers help keep the pool clean by catching leaves, bugs, and other things floating on the water. Let's look at the types of pool skimmers:

  1. Fixed Skimmers

Found in the walls of in-ground pools, these skimmers are a permanent part of the pool structure, usually sitting right at the waterline. 

When the pool pump is on, water flows into these skimmers, bringing with it leaves, bugs, and other debris. Inside, a basket catches the bigger pieces so they don't clog the pool's filter. Fixed skimmers are always at work, helping to keep the pool surface clear.

  1. Floating Pool Skimmers

Unlike fixed skimmers, floating skimmers are not attached to one spot. They are free to move across the pool's surface, drawn by the water's movement and the wind. 

As they float, they collect debris from all over the pool, ensuring no corner is untouched. Their adaptability makes them perfect for any pool, especially where the water level changes often or debris collects in hard-to-reach areas.

  1. Manual Skimmers

The most basic form of pool skimmers, these tools require a human touch. Consisting of a long pole with a net at the end, manual skimmers are used to physically scoop up debris from the pool's surface. 

While they might seem simple, they are incredibly effective for quick cleanups and removing debris that floats into the pool between automatic or built-in skimmer cycles.

Brand-Specific Types of Pool Skimmers

When choosing a pool skimmer, considering the brand can make a big difference in quality, compatibility, and specific features. Here's a look at some well-known brands and what they offer:

  • Hayward

Known for their reliability and efficiency, Hayward pool skimmers are popular. They offer a wide range of models for both in-ground and above-ground pools, including automatic and manual options designed to suit various pool sizes and maintenance needs.

  • Pentair

Pentair skimmers are for their innovative designs and durability. They provide excellent surface cleaning for all types of pools, ensuring that your pool water remains crystal clear. 

  • Waterway

Specializing in residential and commercial pool products, Waterway offers easy skimmers to install and maintain. They are known for their high-quality materials and effective debris removal, making them a solid choice for pool owners looking for longevity and performance.

  • Polaris

While Polaris is famed for its pool cleaners, its skimmers are equally efficient, often designed to work with its cleaning units. Polaris skimmers are a go-to for those looking for automated solutions to pool maintenance, offering advanced features that enhance debris removal.

Choosing the Right Pool Skimmer

When picking the perfect pool skimmer, a few key points will guide your decision to ensure your pool remains a clean, enjoyable space:

  • Pool Type and Size: The kind of pool you have, be it above-ground or in-ground, and its size directly influence which skimmer is best. Larger pools might benefit from automatic or multiple skimmers for effective coverage.

  • Budget: Skimmers come in a range of prices. Decide how much you're willing to spend, but remember that investing in a good-quality skimmer can save money in the long run by reducing maintenance costs and extending the life of your pool equipment.

  • Ease of Maintenance: Consider how simple the skimmer is to clean and maintain. A skimmer that's easy to access and clean will make your life much easier.

  • Compatibility with Existing Equipment: Ensure the skimmer works well with your pool's current pump and filter system. It should enhance the system's efficiency, not hinder it.

  • Environmental Factors: Think about the usual debris in your pool area. For example, if your pool is near trees, you'll need a skimmer that can handle leaves well.

  • Special Features: Some skimmers offer unique benefits, like floating skimmers that adjust to water levels or automatic skimmers that roam the surface to collect debris.

Maintenance and Troubleshooting

Keeping your pool skimmer in top shape is crucial for a sparkling, clean pool. Here's how to maintain and troubleshoot them:

  • Routine Cleaning: Whether you have a fixed or floating skimmer, cleaning the basket regularly is a must. This prevents clogs and ensures the skimmer can do its job effectively.

  • Seasonal Care: As the seasons change, so do your pool's needs. Prepare your skimmer for winter by following the proper winterizing steps, and adjust your maintenance routine in the summer to handle increased debris.

  • Troubleshooting: If your skimmer isn't working as expected, check for clogs in the basket or leaks in the system. Also, ensure it works well with your pool's pump and filtration system. 


The right pool skimmer is crucial for maintaining a clean, healthy, and enjoyable swimming environment. Whether you opt for a floating, automatic, or manual skimmer, brands like Hayward, Pentair, Waterway, Sta-Rite, Polaris, and Jacuzzi offer a range of options that cater to different needs and preferences. 

Regular maintenance, alongside understanding the specific features and benefits of each type of pool skimmer, can significantly enhance your pool's cleanliness and longevity.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Pool Skimmers?

Pool skimmers are devices designed to remove debris and contaminants from the surface of your pool water. They draw water in and trap leaves, bugs, and other floating debris in a basket to keep your pool clean and clear.

How Do Pool Skimmers Work?

Pool skimmers function by creating a water flow that sucks in the surface water along with any floating debris. This debris is then caught in a basket within the skimmer, preventing it from entering the pool's filtration system and ensuring the water remains clean.

What Types Of Pool Skimmers Are Available?

Several types of pool skimmers include above-ground pool skimmers, swimming pool skimmers for inground pools, floating skimmers, automatic skimmers, and manual skimmers. Each type serves the same purpose but is designed for different pool setups and maintenance preferences.

Are Pool Skimmers For Inground Pools Different From Above Ground Pool Skimmers?

Yes, pool skimmers for inground pools are often built into the pool structure, while above-ground pool skimmers are designed to attach to the side of the pool and can be more flexible in terms of installation and removal.

How Often Should I Clean My Pool Skimmer Basket?

It's recommended to check and clean your pool skimmer basket at least once a week or more frequently if your pool is located near trees or areas with lots of debris. Regular cleaning ensures the skimmer operates efficiently and maintains water quality.

Do Automatic Pool Skimmers Require Electricity?

The pool's filtration system powers some automatic pool skimmers, while others may require an external power source. It depends on the design and functionality of the skimmer you choose.

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