How to Open & Close a Pool Skimmer

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Things You'll Need

  • Flat head screwdriver

  • Skimmer plugs

  • Hose

  • Water

A pool skimmer is located next to a pool, above ground or inground. It helps filter out dirt and particles, including leaves, from entering a pool's water filtration system. This unwanted material collects in the basket in the skimmer and periodically needs to be emptied.

Close a Pool Skimmer

Step 1

Locate the skimmer near your pool. The skimmer is next to the pool and usually has a white circular cover.

Step 2

Twist and pull off the skimmer cover. You may need a flat head screwdriver to pry the top off if it becomes stuck.

Step 3

Remove the basket from the skimmer. You can remove it by just pulling up on it. Dump out anything that may have accumulated inside.

Step 4

Insert a skimmer plug into the hole on the bottom of the skimmer. This will block anything from entering the lines during winter. Before you seal the skimmer, you will need to blow out any air from the jet pipes. You should consult a pool technician on how to do this.

Step 5

Replace the skimmer cover over the hole and push down. Wait until you hear a clicking noise to ensure it is secure.

Open a Pool Skimmer

Step 1

Remove the plugs from the skimmer by pulling in an upwards direction.

Step 2

Fill the pool with water until the water level reaches the middle of the skimmer. You can do this easily with water from a garden hose.

Step 3

Put the skimmer basket into the skimmer. It should drop into place. If it is cracked, you will need to replace the basket. You can purchase a new skimmer basket from a pool supply store.

Step 4

Replace the skimmer cover. Push down until you hear a clicking noise to make sure it is securely in place.


Make sure that the skimmer plugs used to close a pool are not cracked. If they have holes or are cracked, they will not work properly. You can purchase new plugs from a pool supply store.