In-Ground Swimming Pool Maintenance: Facts About Skimmers & Skimmer Baskets

If you own an in-ground pool, it’s obvious that you’d want to protect your investment and use it for as long as possible. In order to avoid problems which might be costly to fix, it’s important to have a basic understanding of how your pool works. While most parts of a swimming pool seem rather straightforward, what people often have trouble understanding properly is the pool’s filtration system.

Most people believe that the filtration system of a pool consists solely of the filter and the pump. However, that’s not the case. Everyone knows that these elements are indeed crucial for maintaining your pool , but in order for them to be as effective as possible, they need to be supported by something called a skimmer.

skimmer basket

What Is a Pool Skimmer?

For an in-ground pool, a skimmer is a plastic element that’s located in an opening on the side of the pool and connected to the pump through plumbing. The pump creates suction that draws in the debris floating in the water. Inside the skimmer, there’s a skimmer basket which is designed to strain the water and keep large debris such as leaves and twigs away from your filter. By doing so, it can prevent debris from damaging the filter, thus prolonging its lifespan. Additionally, it also helps the pump operate more efficiently. Without a skimmer and a skimmer basket to capture debris, the pump will need to work harder and as a result, it is likely to wear down sooner. After flowing through the skimmer, the strained water reaches the filter where smaller debris such as dust, pollen and algae is captured.

When to Clean the Pool Skimmer?

In general, it’s recommended to clean your pool skimmer at least once a week. However, if you have a lot of trees in your yard, if it’s been windy or if there are any other factors that may lead to your pool getting dirty more quickly, you should check the skimmer basket more often. It’s best to clean out your skimmer basket every time you notice there is debris in it. You don’t want things like twigs and leaves sitting there for too long and starting to break down.

skimmer basket 2

How to Clean It?

Cleaning the skimmer is one of the easiest tasks related to pool maintenance. All you have to do is turn the pump off, open up the skimmer lid located on the ground next to the skimmer opening and reach in to pull the basket out. Discard the debris in the basket, rinse it off with water, and then put it back in the skimmer – and you’re done. It’s crucial to turn off the pump every time you do this or the suction it creates can pull your hand in which can lead to serious injuries. Since the skimmer basket will regularly come into contact with all sorts of rough debris, such as rocks, it is one of the pool parts that are most likely to get damaged. Luckily, it’s also one of the most inexpensive pool parts. So, if you’re looking to replace your skimmer basket, a new one can cost you between $20 an $50.