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Quick tips on skimmer and water levels

The skimmer is an important part of your swimming pool’s circulation system. It draws water from the pool surface to pull in floating objects like leaves, twigs and other debris, along with smaller particles including oils and sunscreens. The system captures detritus in a skimmer basket and prevents it from sinking to the bottom of the pool or being pulled into the filter system.

The skimmer intake area incorporates a weir — a pivoting flap — that allows water and debris in. The debris remains in the basket while the water carries on to the bottom of the skimmer and through the filter pump. Turning off the pool pump causes the weir to stay in the closed position and prevents detritus from re-entering the pool.

Water level is important

Keep an eye on the pool’s water level, as it should reach the middle of the skimmer box to ensure normal operation. If it falls below this, you’ll need to turn off the equipment and fill the pool before resuming normal operation. Don’t forget to check the chemistry after you’ve added water and rebalance it if necessary.

Vacuum point

The skimmer can also provide a vacuum point if required. The skimmer’s suction hole works while the pool pump is on, meaning you can attach a manual vacuum hose or suction-side cleaner hose to the hole and remove any unwanted materials.

For in-ground pools, access to the skimmer basket is generally through a door or hatch built on the pool deck. The basket should be checked and emptied at least once a day. Take care when emptying the skimmer basket, as debris can quickly and easily be sucked into the pool filtration system, becoming clogged and risking further problems.

The key to hassle-free pool ownership is understanding what your equipment does and how it should be operating. By keeping an eye on things and performing some basic daily checks, you’ll ensure plenty of carefree swim days each season.

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