The Pool Profit

Reasons Why Your Pool Skimmer Is Not Working

A swimming pool is an excellent addition to any home. Whether you want to kick back and relax on hot summer days or invite friends and family over for an afternoon get-together, swimming pools are fun for everyone. To keep your investment in the best shape possible, however, will require routine maintenance.

If you own a swimming pool, you’re likely to know how much maintenance is required to keep it running properly. Pool skimmers, in particular, are one of the pool items that need the most upkeep. In some instances, you might notice that your pool skimmer isn’t working. Fortunately, there are several tips for dealing with this issue when it arises.

In this article, we’ll discuss what a pool skimmer does and how it works, as well as some of the most common issues that pool owners face with their pool skimmers and how to fix them.

How Do Pool Skimmers Work?

Pool skimmers are the starting point for the pool filtration system and one of the most critical components of any pool setup. While different types of skimmers are used for various kinds of swimming pools, they all serve the same purpose: to skim the water and catch debris to keep the water clean and the filtration system and pool pump from becoming clogged.

Without a pool skimmer, floating debris can damage the pool’s filtration system and cause expensive repairs. However, most people might not even notice that the pool skimmer is there.

Pool skimmers are installed on the pool’s surface and consist of skimmer baskets, a weir flap, and an open water channel through which water flows. The weir door controls the flow of water into the pump, forcing more water to enter the pool skimmer from the surface, creating the illusion of water flowing over a dam.

This prevents a significant amount of water from entering your pool’s pump and filtration system, allowing the water to flow from the skimmer to the pool pump, then to the filter, and finally back to the pool.

Common Issues with Pool Skimmers

Now that you understand the basics of how a pool skimmer works, let’s take a look at some of the most common issues that pool owners face with their pool skimmers and how you might be able to fix the problem.

The Weir Gate/Flap is Missing or Stuck in a Closed Position

If there is a lot of water and debris being drawn into the skimmer, but the debris keeps returning to the pool (mainly when the pool pump is off), there’s likely a problem with the weir gate or flap. A floating medium is used in this door to keep the top of the door level with the water’s surface. When drawn in by suction, it is supposed to trap the debris inside the skimmer.

Check that the float medium is still there, as they are normally just a push-fit and can become dislodged over time. In some instances, a twig or debris could also be stuck in the door and prevent it from floating freely.

Inadequate Water Levels

If you notice debris floating on the surface of your pool that your pool skimmer is not suctioning, there could be an issue with the water intake. In some instances, it could be due to a clogged skimmer or an issue with the water circulation system. Inspecting your water levels could help you identify the problem.

Your pool’s water level should be at the midpoint of the skimmer opening. If the water level in the pool is too low, refill it to the optimal level. Alternatively, if your water levels are too high, it could prevent water from entering your swimming pool and drawing in debris to the skimmer.

You can also use the pool filter drain line or waste line to drain the excess water to a safer location. You can also contact a local sewage company to see if they can direct the water to your home’s drainage system.

Insufficient Suction

If you’ve done everything mentioned above and the skimmer is still full of water, there’s likely a suctioning issue that you need to address. Insufficient skimmer suction could indicate several other problems. In most instances, the primary cause is that the pump is not pulling water as it should and not priming the pool water as a result.

If the pool skimmer does not appear to be suctioning, inspect the following components.

Skimmer Valve

Check that the flow control valve in the pipe that connects the pool skimmer to the pool pump is fully open and not blocked by any debris or excess water.

Skimmer Basket

Check to ensure that the skimmer basket (or skimmer baskets if you have more than one skimmer) is not full and clogged with debris.

Pump Strainer Basket

Additionally, check that the pool pump strainer basket is not clogged with debris, preventing proper water flow to the pump.

Backwash Pool Filter

If the sand filter needs to be backwashed, the debris trapped in it will reduce the flow of water through the pool filter.

Cartridge Filter

If your pool’s filtration system uses a cartridge filter rather than a sand filter, it may be clogged and need to be cleaned.

Download the PoolStar Command App for Assistance!

Pool skimmers are a must-have for every swimming pool, whether it is an above-ground pool or an in-ground pool. Ensuring that it’s working correctly is critical to the safety of your pool. Fortunately, the PoolStar Command app is a valuable resource that allows you to stay ahead of any pool maintenance and repair to ensure your pool is always in the best condition possible.

Giving you access to a wealth of pool-related resources, tips, techniques, and helpful guidelines to make pool ownership more manageable than ever before, the PoolStar Command app is a valuable resource for any pool owner. 

Not only can you integrate all of your PoolSmart IOT systems to build a centralized smart pool control center, but you can also register to receive real-time water chemistry updates and gain access to vital pool maintenance programs. If you’re looking for the best way to gain additional control over your pool and save money in the long run, download the PoolStar Command app today!