It is common for newcomers to become confused by the terminology and technical details associated with swimming pools. A word you may hear about swimming pools is “skimmer”. What exactly is a skimmer and what role does it play in your pool filtration system?

In this blog post, we will take a deep dive into the world of skimmers. 

We will explore the importance of skimmers, their functionality, the different types available, and tips for choosing the right skimmer for your pool. Moreover, we will compare skimmer pools with infinity pools to provide you with a more comprehensive perspective.

What is a skimmer?

Skimmers play a crucial role in maintaining the cleanliness of your pool by removing debris and contaminants from the water’s surface.

Skimmers act as the first line of defense in keeping your pool water clean and inviting. These nifty devices are installed at the waterline of the pool and work by drawing in water from the surface. As water enters the skimmer, debris such as leaves, bugs, and other floating particles are captured in a collection basket or skimmer weir, preventing them from sinking to the pool’s bottom.

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Regular maintenance and cleaning

Skimmers must be kept clean and clear to ensure optimum efficiency. Maintaining your skimmers regularly avoids debris build-up and ensures a pristine and crystal-clear pool, enhancing the swimming experience.

 Strategic positioning

Select skimmers that fit your pool’s size and design. A strategic placement ensures better water circulation and a cleaner system.

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Benefits of a Skimmer

Skimmers operate based on the principle of suction. They are connected to the pool’s circulation system, usually through the pool pump and filter.

As water is drawn into the skimmer, it passes through the skimmer basket or weir, which traps larger debris. The filtered water then moves on to the pool pump, where it undergoes further filtration to remove finer particles.

However, skimmers serve more than just a purpose of collecting debris; they play an essential role in the filtration system of your pool.

Improved water circulation

Skimmers play a crucial role in promoting proper water circulation. As the water is drawn into the skimmer, it passes through the filtration system, where impurities are removed. This helps to maintain balanced water chemistry and prevents the formation of stagnant areas in the pool.

Efficient filtration

Skimmers work hand in hand with the pool’s filtration system to remove larger debris before it reaches the main filter. By doing so, skimmers help prolong the life of the filter and reduce the frequency of maintenance tasks.


Enhancing treatment efficiency

Skimmers also play a vital role in the distribution of pool treatments. Whether you’re adding chlorine tablets, algaecides, or other sanitizing agents, skimmers act as the gateway for these treatments to enter your pool’s water circulation system. As water passes through the skimmer, it carries the dissolved treatments along, ensuring even distribution throughout the pool.

Exploring Different Types of Skimmers

These are the most commonly used skimmers and are typically built into the pool’s design during construction. Traditional skimmers are durable, efficient, and can handle a wide range of debris.

Ideal for above-ground pools or situations where installing a traditional skimmer is not feasible, floating skimmers are portable devices that skim debris from the water’s surface. They offer convenience and flexibility.

Maintaining Skimmers for Optimal Performance

Just like any other pool equipment, skimmers require regular maintenance to ensure they continue to function at their best. Cleaning the skimmer basket and removing any trapped debris is a simple yet crucial task that should be performed regularly. Additionally, inspecting the skimmer lid and seal for any cracks or damage will help prevent water leakage and maintain efficient treatment distribution.

Additionally, it is important to regularly check the level of water in your pool. Low water levels can cause air to be sucked into the skimmer, which can damage the pump. For optimal operation, the water level should be approximately halfway up the skimmer.

Skimmers required for a pool

The number of skimmers needed for a pool depends on several factors, including the size of the pool, the amount of debris that is expected to enter the pool, and the desired filtration rate. Generally, it is recommended to have one skimmer for every 300 square feet (ca. 28 m²) of pool surface area.

Therefore, for an average-sized swimming pool — 32 feet (ca. 10 m) × 16 feet (ca. 5 m) —  at least two skimmers are necessary to ensure effective filtration. Nevertheless, there are other factors that can affect the number of skimmers required, such as the pool’s shape and location.

Positioning your skimmers according to a filtration drawing

When skimmers are strategically placed, they can effectively remove debris and contaminants from the water surface, preventing them from sinking and causing further contamination throughout the pool.

Following the filtration drawing for skimmer positioning is crucial because it ensures that the skimmers are strategically placed to effectively capture debris and contaminants from the pool’s surface. This not only improves the overall cleanliness of the pool but also enhances the efficiency of the filtration system, leading to better water quality for swimmers.

Pros and cons a skimmer pool

Regular pool or overflow pool pool

Compared to skimmer pools, overflow pools — infinity or zero-edge pools —  offer a luxurious alternative. Infinity pools, unlike skimmers, allow water to continually overflow over the edge of the pool, where it is collected and filtered. In addition to creating an impressive visual effect, this method has been found to produce more uniform filtration of water.


In the quest for a spotless and inviting pool, skimmers play a vital role. By efficiently removing debris from the water’s surface, they contribute to maintaining a clean and enjoyable swimming environment. Whether you opt for a traditional skimmer, or a floating skimmer, choosing the right one for your pool’s specific needs is essential. So dive into the world of skimmers and ensure your pool stays sparkling clean all season long!

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