Swimming Pool Repair Tips
SWIMMING POOL SKIMMERS
Sometimes also called Scuppers, the pool skimmer is a real time saver. Properly operating, the skimmer is designed to draw floating debris into the skimmer basket, before it sinks to the bottom. Pool Skimmers are simple devices.
Aboveground pool skimmers, and inground vinyl liner pool skimmers, shown on the left, fit into a hole cut into a pool wall panel. The tab with 3 holes, shown on the left side of the face plate is used to secure the plastic pool skimmer to the wall of the pool.The faceplate is screwed onto the front of the pool skimmer, sandwiching the pool liner between paper or rubber gaskets. A pipe fitting is threaded into the bottom of the skimmer, and then rigid or flexible pool pipe is glued or clamped onto the threaded adapter. This pipe is then run to the pool filter pump.
Inground pool skimmers (shown on the upper right) do not have a front face plate. They are set into a notch in the beam of a concrete (gunite / shotcrete) inground pool on the back side of the beam. Set in concrete, they can be difficult to remove without hours of jackhammer work. The front side of the skimmer is parged with concrete and /or plaster, and the throat, leading into the skimmer, is tiled to match the perimeter tile band. Most inground skimmers have two ports in the bottom of the skimmer. This allows the pool builder to either connect a Low-Water Suction port (or a main drain) into one port, usually the front port, and use the back port to connect the pipe that is run to the pool filter pump. Another use of the second port is to connect two skimmers together, in series, so that one pipe goes to the pool filter pump (rarely plumbed this way). Usually, the front port is plugged with a threaded plug, and the back port is plumbed to the pool filter pump.
Both types of skimmers have several things in common, they are both made of ABS plastic, and both aboveground and inground pool skimmers have a skimmer basket, skimmer lid and skimmer weir. The lid, obviously, allows access to a skimmer basket, to be emptied as needed. The skimmer weir is the floating gate or door that creates a small dam that the water falls over. This speeds up the water, as the area of flow is reduced, improving skimmer suction and performance. Secondarily, when the pump shuts off, the weir, which contains air or a piece of closed cell foam, will float into a vertical position that will assist in keeping the leaves inside of the skimmer.
For safety reasons, keep the skimmer lid tightly secured onto the skimmer. Cracked lids or those that are not in place can cause severe leg and ankle injuries if stepped on. Secondly, very small children could lift the lid and fall into the pool skimmer head first.
Skimmer baskets should be replaced if cracked or dry-rotted, so they don't allow debris into the pump basket. Skimmer weirs are very important for proper functioning, and should be replaced if they are missing or broken. Generic spring loaded weirs can be used if the OEM weir is not available. These are ordered by their width, from 5" to 9"
Pool Skimmer Troubleshooting Tips: