What Is A Pool Skimmer Used For?


Locating a pool next to a bough of trees brings an idyllic atmosphere beneath it, and a cool breeze that calms your nerves in the midday sun.

Together with the breezes, butterflies flutter along, and birds chatter excitedly, and leaves rustle alongside the pool…until there is a pool of leaves, bird litter, and other debris and twigs lying above the water.

You remember it has been a week since you last checked on the filter, which by this time is most probably clogged. Again, your sleek pool cover cannot be there forever because of the sun allure beckons.

That is where a skimmer comes in.

So, What Is A Skimmer?

A skimmer is pool equipment that uses a skimming movement to filter out the floating debris from your pool. It consists of a vessel that holds the debris, and a weir that provides the skimming action to separate the debris from the water.

Where Do I Place This Gizmo?

A skimmer is located between the channel that brings in water to a pool and the pump because it uses the pulling power of the pump for its operation. As such, when the pump is turned off, the skimmer is shut off, and therefore the debris held in it is prevented from entering the pool.

If you have several hanging bushes by your poolside, one or two automatic skimmers to float on the pool may be a great addition. These skimmers will scout your pond for leaves and trashes. Since they are programmed to move randomly within the pond, they will collect most of the leaves.

Some need to be directed toward a certain direction but, the tips are worth the hassle.

But How Does A Skimmer Work?

Water containing debris flows from the pool through a channel. The water moves because of the pull from the pump.

  1. Water moves into the skimmer through the weir.
  2. Any dirt and leaves floating on water are pulled to a weir basket through a skimming action.
  3. Water moves on to the pump, filter, and into the pool.
  4. Dirt and leaves remain in the basket and this should be let out daily.

A skimmer has two channels out, one through the pump and an equalizer channel that ensures the atmospheric air from the inlet channel is not sucked in if the water level falls below that of the skimmer.

Self-propelled skimmers float on the surface and move as they skim off leaves and dirt from the surface. They are equipped with a motor that creates the force of pulling the water toward the skimmer.  Hence, you really don’t have to follow them.

Some skimmers are attached to a telescopic pole to enable you to sweep the leaves along. If your pool is small, this could be the ideal way of ensuring the removal of any unneeded cover on the waster surface.

Parts Of A Skimmer


 A skimmer is very simple in operation and has the following parts:

  1. A weir that skims away any trash on top of the water
  2. A basket to collect the trash
  3. A safety cover to prevent any force of breakage from the top. For an above ground pool, a cover on the skimmer can prevent atmospheric air from being sucked in, which could interfere with the operation of the skimmer.
  4. Access flap which allows the basket to be emptied once it is full of debris
  5. The suction channel through which force of pulling the debris from the pump comes in
  6. Equalizer channel that prevents air from the inlet channel from seeping into the skimmer

Bonus Benefits

If your skimmer is powered by the sun, it will definitely give you the added benefit of the reduced cost of maintenance. Some skimmers are even more versatile and can work with a cloudy sky because they use batteries.

Because of the pulling action provided by a skimmer, a pool vacuum cleaner can be attached to it, which could reduce the time you spend scrubbing the pool bottom remarkably.

So, if you are wondering about what skimmer to use for your hot tub, you have options that fit your style. As long as the skimmer can fit in it, then any surface can be skimmed to perfection. Even on those hard to reach nooks and crannies, you can brush away the dead leaves using a brush on a telescopic pole, and then use a skimmer to grab those leaves.

Cycle Of Despair

You may be a pool owner who is familiar with the Pool Owners Cycle of Despair, which goes like this:

  1. Leaves debris, branches from hanging trees, and dead arthropods settle at the bottom of the pool.
  2. An algae bloom appears at the bottom of the pond due to the decomposition of the debris. This bloom has to be scrapped using telescopic brushes, thus increasing the cost of maintenance.
  3. Cost of vacuuming increases, due to the high maintenance cost on hoses, filters, and lubrication of the cleaner.
  4. Despair is set as the pool owners look for more exotic brushes and vacuum cleaners.
  5. Winter sets in and more dead leaves fall more than ever, and arthropods die to cold.

A skimmer will keep away that despair. Getting one for your pool will make you forget about the rotting fruits, leaves, and flowers, which because of their shape, give a lot of hassle to your vacuum cleaner.

Robotic Versus Manual, Which Way To Go?

An automatic skimmer gives you the peace of you not having to fix it in place. It skims freely in the water as it moves, and can be kept inside the shed when you are not using it for an extended period. On the upside, you can replace the weir on the automatic one to extend its lifetime.

A manual skimmer, on the other hand, has to be set in place, especially in such a way that its opening faces the direction from which the wind blows. This will enable the waves generated by the wind to draw the debris toward the skimmer. A pole skimmer can be dragged along to remove the trash and is very efficient on small pools.

Handy Skimming On Rooftops Too

You can use a skimmer on any pool, whether an above ground pool or in-ground. Moreover, even when there are no leaves, the body hairs, the dust particles from the air, and body oil, which float on top, can be separated from the pool water, regardless of the height of the pond from the ground.

Globo Surf Overview

A pool skimmer collects the debris that routinely collects on the surface of your pond. Using it regularly will reduce impurities in your pool. Consequently, you will minimize the cost of maintenance on your pump and filters, and ensure that the water is safe for recreational use.

More Pool Reviews:


  1. What is a pool or spa skimmer used for? www.thespruce.com