How Many Skimmers Does a Pool Need?

Today, we find skimmers accompanying pools almost everywhere. Being a rather useful soulmate to pools, drains, etc., it takes on the hefty job of clearing away the debris.

But unfortunately, most owners do not know the ins and outs of it. Therefore, if you are one of the confused souls wondering whether you’ll need a bunch of these for the job or just one, in this read we’ll explain it thoroughly.

So how many skimmers is your pool going to need? The most straightforward answer to that is that it depends upon the size and shape of your pool. Most of the time, 1-2 skimmers at opposite ends do the trick, but if you own a pool that is massive or has a rather peculiar shape, it might need more. 

The number of skimmers that pools need depends upon the size of the pool. In an average-sized pool, one is acceptable and two is good.

According to the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (ASAP), there should be a minimum of one skimmer every 400 sq. ft. for public or commercial pools and one skimmer every 800 sq. ft. for a residential pool. 

For example, if you have a 1500 square foot residential pool, you would need two skimmers. Skimmers are typically located at opposite ends of the pool, and these are situated to create the appropriate current within the pool.

One too many, and the current will be divided, rendering your skimmers useless and a few too less. There will not be enough suction for the debris to be collected.

Where to Install Pool Skimmers?

Considering skimmers, most of them are placed near the top of the pool, so collection of debris can be made possible. In case you are applying more than one skimmer, make sure you do so with a comparable distance between the two.

None of them should deter the other from performing its job. It shouldn’t be way above the water, neither should be deep in the water. Both of them result in irregularity in performance of the skimmers.

What are Pool Skimmers?

A pool’s skimmer is a large opening in the pool wall that connects to the pump and is used to collect floating debris and oils and is essential to a pool’s operations.

A pool will be “gross” and potentially unusable without a skimmer due to the clutter. A skimmer on a properly maintained pool usually is not noticed until it fails on a hot day. Then you end up dealing with the chaos that most pools can portray without skimmers.

Pool skimmers are the first line for pool filtration or cleaning system. When water comes in from the source, the skimmer creates a current that draws in any debris such as leaves, insects, sunscreen, etc. Most people might think that skimmers are unnecessary, but they couldn’t be farther from the truth. 

Plenty of times, these are knees deep working towards the maintenance of the pool. Without pool skimmers or inadequate working, the pool filters might not be cleaned, leading to the accumulation of debris and algae, which in turn can cause strain, wear and tear on the pool pump, which can be costly to repair.  

How Does A Pool Skimmer Work?

Pool skimmers are relatively simple. Water enters through the skimmer door. Following it, the water is then passed through the skimmer basket, which filters any debris such as leaves, insects, sunblock, and other chemicals. It is then drained into pipes near the pool pump and is pumped back into the pool. 

Since skimmers are located near the pool’s surface, these can also create a mild current in the water, sucking 1/2 inch of water inside. The current and its suction are so mild that the swimmer remains unaware of it.

Furthermore, maintaining the water level in the pool is instead a necessity. The equalizer line prevents air from getting sucked in within the skimmer when the water level is down. 

Types Of Pool Skimmers:

Pool skimmers can be of different types;

  1. Manual skimmers
  2. Automatic skimmers
  3. Self-contained skimmers

Manual Skimmers:

As the name suggests, manual skimmers have a vacuum attached at the end of the hose, which filters debris out of the water. This type of skimmer is helpful for larger debris.

Automatic Skimmers:

Automatic skimmers are the most common type of skimmers that you usually see in any given swimming pool. These skimmers are reconnected to your filtration and pump system. Automatic skimmers create a current in the pools by suction. Around 1/2 inch of the water is sucked and filtered off the debris and then pumped back into the pool.

Self-contained Skimmers:

These are the latest variants of pool skimmers in the market. Self-contained skimmers are solar-powered and have their pumps for pumping water.

These don’t require installation and can be just placed into the pool to filter out larger and smaller debris. These are also, by far, the most expensive option.

Maintenance Of Pool Skimmers

It is essential to clean the skimmer and skimmer basket regularly, especially in swimming seasons. A clogged skimmer basket will put a strain on your pool pump and will reduce the lifespan.

Once a week is enough, twice if you have herbs and shrubs that pour tons of debris into your pool. Cleaning a skimmer is particularly easy, and you can do it yourself. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Turn off the pump (this is a crucial step, if you don’t turn off the pump, any debris on the surface will get sucked into the system since you have the basket).
  2. Take off the lid.
  3. Take out the basket. 
  4. Pick larger debris out of the basket and put that in a trash can.
  5. Use a hose for cleaning smaller particles out of the basket.
  6. Put the basket back in.
  7. Put the lid on.
  8. Repeat with other skimmers. 

A pool skimmer can be one of the most important decisions you can take whether you are thinking of installing a pool or have one already. Otherwise, we are afraid a swim with debris, oil, trash, and whatnot as mates doesn’t make quite an enjoyable experience. 

Here are few of my other equally in-depth pool guides:

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