How does a swimming pool skimmer box work?

Swimming pool skimmer


If you live where the temperatures are soaring and cool water is the one and only resource to bring you relief only, then having a swimming pool in your backyard is an absolute must. When things get too hot, you can cool off your body and your mood with just one dip. And while there are many perks of having a pool, there are some things that you, as a new pool owner, must not skip out on, and one of them is getting a swimming pool skimmer box.

First things first – What is a pool skimmer?

Every swimming pool has a complex filtration system that keeps the gunk out of your pool and, as a result, ensures the pool users’ health. In simple terms, a pool skimmer is an opening made inside the pool that sucks in water and pushes it into the filtration system to clean the water thoroughly. Essentially, a skimmer is the first step or the gateway to the pool filtration system. Once filtered, it also pushes the water back into the pool.

So, if you are thinking of building a swimming pool, get your contractor to make space for a skimmer because it is key to the entire filtration process.

If you don’t want a skimmer built into your swimming pool, you can opt for any of these types –

  • A robotic pool skimmer. If you didn’t get to build your pool from scratch or your home already came with a pool but no in-built skimmer, then going for a robotic skimmer makes the most sense. They cost anything from $60 to $500, so you can choose one that best fits your budget.


  • Hand skimmers. If you are on a tight budget, a hand skimmer is perfect. It definitely needs more effort than the automatic skimmer, but hey, everyone can use a little workout every once in a while, right? Hand skimmers are net baskets attached to a pole long enough to catch big debris and clean your pool.


  • Self-contained pool skimmers. This type of skimmer is new to the pool technology world. Most of them are solar-powered and work well for environmentally conscious people. They don’t need any installation, they just need to be put inside the swimming pool, and it does the whole job for you!

What are the different components of a pool skimmer?

Certain parts of the pool skimmer stay the same within a wide range of prices and designs. These parts are:

The skimmer lid. The lid is visible and keeps the big debris from getting into the pool filtration system, preventing blockages. It also protects the swimmers from getting sucked in.

The skimmer mouth. The mouth of the pool skimmer opens into the filtration system, where the water gets pulled in for filtration.

The weir. This is a one-way flap that swings open with the flow of the water that prevents leaves and twigs from entering back again into the pool. The positioning of the weir is super important, as a poorly positioned weir will not be effective at all.

The skimmer basket. This is where all the collected debris goes after being sucked in.

The suction line. Connected to the said basket, the suction line gives the skimmer the power to suck out all the bad stuff.

The equalizer line. This part of the skimmer box prevents air suction from happening while the system is on. This can occur if the water level in the swimming pool has reduced below the main inlet. The equalizer line steps in and handles the situation in this condition.

How do pool skimmers work?

When a swimming pool skimmer is running, the suction starts, and all the debris of the pool floating gets sucked into the weir (the flap). All the gunk gets dumped into the skimmer basket. After turning off the pump, the skimmer basket should be routinely cleaned out.

How to maintain a pool skimmer?

Just like everything else, a product’s life is increased, or at least preserved, when it is given routine maintenance. For a skimmer, the maintenance involves cleaning out the skimmer basket at least once a week. You can sometimes skip a week in the middle, but cleaning out the basket once a week is the best gift you can give your swimming pool. Remember to clean the basket only when the pool pump has been turned off.

How many skimmers does a pool need?

Different pool sizes have different requirements. The APSP (Association of Pool and Spa Professionals) suggests that every 400 square feet of swimming pool area require one skimmer.

Why do pool skimmers have two holes?

The reason why a skimmer box has two holes is pretty simple, the first hole sits at the waterline of the pool to collect the debris and gunk floating in the pool, and the other one connects the skimmer to the equalizer line, which comes in handy when the water in the swimming pool is low. It ensures that the pump has water flowing in it at all times and does not run dry.

Should you leave the pool skimmers on all the time?

While you can leave the pool skimmer on all the time it is not necessary, besides, as, with all-electric equipment, it is a great idea to give the mechanism a break once in a while.

In conclusion, you can go for a pool skimmer that best suits the size of your pool and your budget, but you should not skip getting your pool a skimmer box in the first place. Since you have invested in a pool already, you might as well get the whole experience, right?

Additional Read: 5 Common Maintenance Myths About Swimming Pool Filters