If you’re looking at a pool skimmer issue, these simple troubleshooting tips may just be everything you need.
A pool skimmer is the first deterrent against the accumulation of debris in your swimming pool. It works by assisting in the collection of leaves, garbage, bugs, toys, and other objects that float in the pool.
In short, pre-installed and automatic pool skimmers help clean the surface of the water of foreign materials that would have caused bigger problems if they found their way to the filter or pump.
But as important as pool skimmers are, they may encounter some problems that need a little troubleshooting. The good news is that, unless your pool skimmer is completely messed up, most of these problems are minor and, thus, may only need a quick fix to restore function.
Before probing into these troubleshooting procedures, let’s understand more what a pool skimmer is and what causes pool skimmer issues in the first place.
What does a pool skimmer do?
Pool skimmers come in two varieties. One is a net attached to a telescopic pole used to scoop out leaves on the pool’s surface. The other is built into the pool’s sides and serves as the access point for your pump and filter. This article primarily refers to the second type of skimmer, although both serve the same cleaning purpose.
If you have noticed that tiny rectangular “passageways” somewhere along the top of the walls, those are pool skimmers. These contain skimmer baskets that keep rubbish out of your pump and filter. Water is sucked into the skimmers by your pool pump. The heavier material that would cause a clog is removed as the water goes through the skimmer basket.
It also allows the filter to complete its job of removing tiny impurities, resulting in cleaner water.
Why Your Pool Skimmer Is Experiencing Problems
Why isn’t your pool skimmer performing as it should? It could be for a variety of causes. A blocked skimmer will be unable to perform its function effectively. The swimming pool itself may have a high or low water level, insufficient suction, issues with the weir door, and air lockage, among other issues.
Now, as previously mentioned, most of these problems are fixed easily. If something isn’t fixable, the best solution is to call for professional help. But since professional pool services can be pretty expensive, you may want to find out if you can troubleshoot these issues before asking for assistance.
What To Check If The Pool Skimmer Malfunctions
- Water Level
If the pool’s water level is either too high or too low, it will cause issues with the pool skimmer.
If the level is too high, you will see enough water flowing through the skimmer, but none of the leaves and debris enter the weir door. The water waves are supposed to push waste materials into the pool skimmer as the pool pump pulls the water to the filter for more cleaning.
Solution: Reduce the water level. By altering the position of the multiport valve handle, you can lower the water level in your pool by draining surplus pool water through the filter’s waste outlet. If the waste line has a two-way valve, it must also be opened.
Now, the opposite can also happen. The skimmer might bottom out and suck air into your filter system, causing the levels to drop. You shouldn’t let this happen since your pool pump’s motor is at risk of being burned out. And for the record, the motor won’t be the only thing getting burned; your pockets will catch fire, too!
Solution: Raise the water level. You can use either a water hose or a well hose in your residence, call for water delivery, or ask the local fire department to do it for you.
- Skimmer Weir Door
The weir door regulates the pump water inflow and prevents significant volumes of air from entering your pool’s pump and filtration system. The debris may still be pulled in but doesn’t stay inside. It could be that there is something stuck in there that prevents the floating medium from floating at the proper level. Or, there could be something wrong with the hinges of the weir door.
Solution: Remove the twigs and any debris that could be stuck in there. Ensure that the floating medium is there and if it’s not, give it a little push to dislodge it.
- Skimmer Basket
The skimmer basket holds all the debris that gets sucked into the skimmer. A basket full of trash could shut down the pipe between the pump and the skimmer. This means that the water volume coming to the pump is limited, resulting in low PSI. When the pump has less water, it has to work harder, resulting in even lower water pressure.
Solution: Remove any leaves, bugs, rocks, or other debris that may have clogged the skimmer basket.
- Skimmer Valve
The float valve on the skimmer has two purposes. It controls the flow between the main drain and the skimmer and prevents air from entering the pipes if water levels drop.
Solution: Sometimes, we forget and overlook the most simple things. Somebody might have left this valve close or just half-open. Make doubly sure the skimmer and main drain valves are open all the way through.
- Pool Sand Filter
The telltale sign of a pool filter needing a backwash is poor skimmer suction. This is a direct result of the reduced flow of water through the pool filter. Another dead giveaway is an exceptionally high gauge reading.
Solution: The only real solution here is backwashing. Backwashing is a method of cleaning a swimming pool filter by reversing water flow. It should be done until the waste pipe is completely clean of water.
Simple problems need simple solutions. The entire swimming pool system may be made up of a complicated network of conduits and filters, but sometimes, it may just need a little back rub, so to speak. Most pool skimmer problems could be fixed by cleaning, dislodging debris, or turning the valve on. Do not let these simple swimming pool issues get in the way of absolute summer fun!