November 4, 2022

What Is a Pool Skimmer and How Does It Work

pool cleaning

Are you a pool owner and worried about regular pool cleaning? Since you are here, it means your answer is yes. Don’t worry; the following guide helps you clean the pool by installing a manual or automatic pool skimmer.

Pool owners focus on keeping the pool clean and often forget about looking after the pool skimmer. However, the skimmer is an integral part of the pool filtration system, which can last for decades if properly maintained.

  1. Everything about the pool skimmer
  2. Types of pool skimmers
  3. Working of pool skimmer
  4. Benefits of pool skimmer
  5. Maintenance of pool skimmer

The primary goal of the pool skimmer is to keep the pool’s surface clean by removing debris, such as pollen, leaves, bugs, and other small items which are blown into the pool. Keep reading to learn more about the functionality of the pool skimmer.

Everything About the Pool Skimmer

Pool Skimmer

This needs to be a picture of a skimmer…not the main drain.

A pool skimmer serves as the pool vacuum and is installed on the upper sides of the swimming pool to remove debris. Generally, if a skimmer is installed at a good position, it can clean 500 square feet of the pool surface, which is excellent.

There isn’t any universal rule for installing pool skimmers; instead, it majorly depends on the following requirements:

  • Pool size
  • Filteration system
  • Budget

Types of Pool Skimmers

You can find a variety of pool skimmers, from affordable ones to automatic suction machines, which are more expensive. However, the three most common pool skimmers are automatic, manual, and self-contained.


Generally, pool owners install automatic skimmers on the pool edges after consulting with pool contractors. The contractors then connect the skimmers to the drain via a hose.

You can further segregate the automatic pool skimmers into the following categories:

  • Above-ground model - It’s an affordable model in which you install pool skimmers on the pool sides using clamps or screws. 
  • In-ground model - As the name suggests, the constructors install a fixed structure made of concrete to clean the in-ground pool.


It’s a simple net that you attach to a lightweight extendable pole. Whenever you want to remove debris from the pool surface, you can sweep the net all across the pool surface to collect leaves, insects, and other visible debris.

It’s not just one of the most affordable but also a convenient method to keep the pool clean. On the downside, it requires manual effort as you must dedicate time daily to cleaning the pool’s surface.


As the name suggests, these pool skimmers automatically operate to collect the debris. If you have integrated solar panels, you don’t need to turn on the pool pump to operate the self-contained pool skimmers.

Due to the offered functionality, these are the most expensive pool skimmers with complex operations and higher running costs.

Working of a Pool Skimmer

Pool Skimmer

Understanding how pool skimmers operate is essential before selecting between manual, automatic, or robotic skimmers.

A pool skimmer works like a vacuum by suctioning debris and water via the flap door. As the water passes through the flap, the pool skimmer collects the leaves into a basket while filtering the clean water back to the pool.

As a pool owner, it’s your duty to empty the basket regularly if you don’t want the pool skimmer to clog, and the pump to overheat.

A standard mechanical pool skimmer consists of the following components:

  • Lid and mouth - The main entrance area where the water enters the pool skimmer.
  • Weir - The flap is one of the most functional components of the skimmer, as it doesn’t allow the debris to float back to the pool.
  • Basket -  The tiny holes in the basket let the water pass through while collecting the debris.
  • Suction line - It supplies power to the skimmer to vacuum the water, clean it and circulate it back to the pool.
  • Equalizer line - This line performs a dual role to prevent the skimmer from overheating if the water level reduces the primary inlet. Also, it doesn’t allow the skimmer to suction air in addition to water, as it can malfunction the pool filtration system.

Benefits of Pool Skimmers

Pool Skimmer

Keeping the swimming pool clean also guarantees the hygiene and health of the family members who swim regularly.

Finally, pool owners must remove the debris, leaves, and other garbage from the pool to prevent any damage to the expensive water filtration system.

A pool skimmer is an essential component of the pool filtration system and a long-term investment to keep the pool clean. That’s why you should consider the position of the pool skimmer while constructing a pool.

Maintenance of a Pool Skimmer

Pool Skimmer

If you don’t regularly maintain the pool skimmer by removing the garbage from the basket, it can clog your entire pool filtration system.

For instance, if the skimmer is clogged, it puts a strain or pressure on the pump that works significantly harder to circulate the water.

As a result, the pump seals stress out, further reducing the expensive machinery's overall life cycle.

Lucky for you, the automatic pool skimmers last for one or two decades if you regularly remove the debris in the pool. Furthermore, you need to frequently clean the basket, especially in the autumn seasons or if there is nearby vegetation.  Be sure to clean it after a windstorm.

To prevent health hazards, you should turn off the water pump before removing the skimmer basket.

Similarly, you can maintain the net of the manual skimmer by checking for wear and tear and other net cuts.

Stop Worrying About Pool Cleaning

Having a swimming pool at home is undoubtedly a luxurious amenity at home. However, the biggest challenge is to clean and maintain the pool.

The good news is that Clean Living Pool and Spa offers 100 percent satisfactory pool maintenance and consulting services.

This NSPF-certified pool and spa operator has more than 35 years of experience as the certified team members offer customized pool cleaning and maintenance solutions.

From repair services to pool consultation, they have got it covered for customers living in Las Vegas.

You can use the following services:

  • Affordable prices
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Friendly and professional staff
  • Attention to cleaning details
  • Quality repairs and maintenance

Whether you are a pool owner or considering constructing one, you should SCHEDULE an appointment with the experts.

They will not only guide you regarding the pool equipment and water chemistry but also help maintain and clean it.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is it worth having a pool cleaning service?

Owning a swimming pool comes with responsibilities, which is the price you pay for the joy of your own pool. However, you do not want all your free time to be taken up with pool maintenance. This is why you should hire a pool cleaning service to help:

  • Save Time
  • Stop Pool Cleaning Research
  • Spot Issues Early
  • Maintain Pool Value
  • Long-term Savings
  • Protect Your Health
  • Avoid Harsh Chemicals
  • Consistency
Experience the difference.
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