Introduction to Pool Skimmers
Swimming pools provide a fantastic chilling spot where you and your family can spend your weekends having lots of fun. We also know that swimming pools are one of the best places for partying and having other sorts of crazy events. However, to enjoy all this, you have the responsibility of taking care of your pool. You fail to perform your maintenance tasks, and your pool will not only be horrible to look at, but it could also become dangerous to swim in.
Pool Skimmers are designed to make your maintenance tasks even easier to undertake. These devices help in taking care of both the pool and the water inside it to retain the good looks of your swimming pool and its safety. Pool skimmers are supposed to remove dirt such as leaves, bugs, and debris before they find their way to the bottom of your pool.
Skimmers usually look like a basket with a cover at the top and an open channel at the bottom. This device then sucks water allowing for the circulation of your pool water through it. As water passes through the open channel, dirt will be filtered in the skimmer thus preventing development and accumulation of algae, bacteria, and other harmful material.
Types of Pool Skimmers
Pool Skimmers can be broadly categorized as:
- Skimmers for In-ground Pools – These are products that are designed to be used exclusively on In-ground pools. The skimmers are usually installed on the concrete pool sides below the water level where it filters the water just before it goes through the pool pump for circulation.
- Skimmers for Above Ground Pools – These skimmers are completely different from in-ground skimmers. They usually come with a safety cover, and they are also attached to the pool through screws and bolts.
Three main types of pool skimmers can be used in either in-ground or above-ground pools:
- Manual Skimmers
Manual Skimmers use a hose that is attached to both the outlet system and the pool pump to provide the suction necessary for filtering debris. As the name suggests, this product is designed for manual use. It, hence, doesn’t require electricity to function thus sparing your electricity bills. While this may be cheap to use we don’t usually recommend it because it is not very efficient for filtration. However, if you are on a tight budget, then you can still use it because it is, after all, better than having none at all.
- Automatic Skimmers
Automatic Skimmers are designed to move freely on your swimming pool while clearing debris. These ones are usually attached to the pump inlet using a hose. They are equipped with small propellers/paddles to facilitate their movement. These propellers don’t often make the skimmer get stuck in one part of the pool, but in some cases, you may have to redeploy them manually to ensure that every part of your pool is covered.
- Self-Contained Skimmers
These skimmers use advanced technology to harness the power from sunlight through inbuilt panels to clear your pool. Therefore, the skimmers need sunlight to move around your pool without which they won’t function properly. Another issue with these ones is that they are more expensive than both manual and automatic skimmers. On the bright side, self-contained skimmers can help to reduce your power usage by up to 65%.
So, how do I know which skimmer is best for my pool?
When you are shopping for a pool skimmer, there are basic things that you need to consider such as price, ease of installation and durability. The truth, however, is that these alone aren’t enough for you to make an informed decision. You could, for instance, go for an affordable skimmer but then end up with maintenance and breakdown issues which could be even more expensive than if you were to buy a premium skimmer. Likewise, you can decide to save cash by going for skimmers that are easy to install, and then they start malfunctioning making you spend extra money on a replacement which will be more than if you were to get an amazing skimmer and hire a professional to install it for you.
So yes, the above three issues are critical but you shouldn’t base your purchase on them alone. You also need to consider several other things. Ideally, the best skimmer should:
- Be propelled by wind – Contrary to popular beliefs, self-propelled skimmers tend to do more damage than skimmers powered by wind. A self-propelled skimmer is rough for your pool, and it can cause wear and tear to its surfaces. A skimmer moved by wind uses water currents and tension, and this allows for effective and safer collection of insects, leaves and other dirt.
- Be UV Resistant – Your pool skimmer is going to spend the rest of its life out on your pool where it is exposed to sunlight and other harsh chemicals. Naturally, you’d expect all pool skimmers to be made of UV-resistant materials, but this is not the case. There are so many skimmers made of poor materials whose exposure to the sun will leave them damaged and unusable within months. You must invest in a UV-resistant unit for better durability.
- Attaches to the pool system more easily – If a skimmer is not connected to your pool system properly, then there won’t be an efficient flow of water which means dirt won’t be filtered effectively. Go for a pool skimmer that can be installed to your filtration system more conveniently for a safe and clean pool.
- Be covered by an excellent warranty policy – Warranty policies are a good way of estimating a product’s overall quality. If you buy a skimmer that isn’t covered, then chances are it’s of a poor quality material that could break at any moment. Always look for skimmers covered by long-term warranties.
The Best Pool Skimmers
Based on the information above, the following are the three best pool skimmers in the market as of October 2018. We also took into account user reviews when coming up with this list.
- ProTuff Pool Net Leaf Skimmer Rake
ProTuff Pool Net Leaf Skimmer Rake features a sturdy 18” aluminum alloy frame that facilitates active movement and cleaning without bending, breaking or twisting. The frame is then secured with a tightly winged handle boosting its stability even further. It also comes with a deep and durable abrasion resistant nylon bag into which all the debris, leaves, and other dirt go in. This bag is bigger and stronger than the typical catcher net that you’ll find in other skimmers. This item is hence ideal for thorough cleaning helping to remove huge loads of dirt without breaking.
The skimmer also moves very smoothly. It is capable of withstanding mold and mildew thus making it a good option for big swimming pools. It also comes with a 100% lifetime guarantee that you can use to get a new replacement for free in case it tears or breaks.
- It doesn’t scratch swimming pools
- Can be used with all types of pools
- The skimmer isn’t very ideal for picking silt
- PoolSkim Pool Skimmer and Pool Cleaner
This award-winning tool is perhaps the most durable skimmer in the market right now. The item is made of polyurethane connectors and high-quality PVC that will offer excellent performance for a very long time.
The PoolSkim Pool Skimmer is an automatic skimmer that rests on the water forming a big whirlpool that traps all the dirt on top of the pool before dragging it out of the water. The product is also the most efficient because it can clean almost all forms of dirt including bugs, leaves, seeds, and grass.
This pool skimmer will connect to your pool system perfectly for effective performance. You can also run it 24/7 to ensure that your pool is continuously clean. You should also know that it doesn’t consume too much energy and hence you don’t have to worry too much about its power usage costs.
- Easy to use
- Can be used throughout the day
- Comes with a big easy-to-clean nylon mesh bag
- It isn’t so useful when it comes to trapping small particles of dirt
- Hayward SP1091LX Dyna-Skim Above-Ground Pool Skimmer
The Hayward Dyna-Skim comes with a huge basket with a front and top access point for collecting dirt. This makes sure that the cleaning process is fast and thorough leaving your pool sparkling clean. The two access points of the skimmer leave your water super clean hence reducing the burden of your filtration system. It is made of high-quality UV resistant ABS material making it a durable item.
This automatic skimmer also has a removable weir 1.5” straight tube threads. It comes with all the accessories necessary to get it working.
- Made of durable ABS material
- Features a removable weir
- Offers outstanding performance even for huge pools
- Comes packed with all the necessary accessories
- It doesn’t have a winter plate
Final Thoughts on Pool Skimmers
With the above information, we are confident that keeping your pool free from grass, leaves, debris, etc. is never going to be an issue again. You can purchase any of the discussed skimmers above or use the guide to look for another unique item that suits your personal needs.