My Pool Skimmer Is Not Skimming

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The skimmer is an important component of your pool's filtration system. Both in-ground and above-ground pools utilize a skimmer to provide a place for the filter to begin its circulation process. Signs of a failing skimmer are usually a heads-up that other aspects of your pool maintenance need to be addressed.


Pool Skimmer Purpose

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The pool skimmer is the first point of contact in the filtration process. The water enters the skimmer and travels via a pool hose to the pool pump where it's then sent to the filter tank. The filter tank, whether it be a cartridge, sand or diatomaceous earth filter, is responsible for separating the dirt and debris from the water. The water is then sent via another pool hose back out the pool's return jet. If the correct water flow does not start at the skimmer, the entire filter system fails to do its job correctly. Several things can lead to the skimmer not performing correctly.

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Dirty Basket

Inside the pool skimmer is a basket that is responsible for preventing large pieces of dirt and debris from entering the filter system. Without the basket, large pieces of debris can enter the filter pump and block circulation and water flow. Therefore, if your filter pressure is low, check the skimmer basket for large debris, such as leaves and small water toys, that may have become trapped inside the skimmer basket. Remove these items to allow a free flow of water to the skimmer.


Water Level

The ideal water level for optimal filter operation is somewhere between the halfway and two-thirds point of the skimmer's vertical height. Water height is critical for skimmer and filter operation. When the water level is too high, the skimmer becomes flooded and incapable of trapping the larger pieces of dirt and debris that the skimmer basket usually holds. Too much water in the pool allows this debris to float back out of the skimmer basket and into your pool.



The pool skimmer is the point of suction for the filter system. When the suction power of the filter decreases, this is an indication that the internal pressure of the filter is higher than normal, which signals it's time for a cleaning. When the filter becomes too dirty, it must be backwashed. This ensures a consistent and clear flow of water from the skimmer through the filter system. The circulation power of the filter decreases when it needs to be cleaned. The debris in the skimmer basket will float back out of the pool without the suction power of the filter. Backwash your filter, as per the manufacturer's guidelines, to restore normal filtration.



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