Owning a pool can be one of the best investments a homeowner can make. It provides a comfortable, relaxing space to unwind after a long week, and serves as a fun way to entertain guests. To get the most out of your investment, there are certain tools and equipment you should familiarize yourself with that will help keep your pool in tip-top shape.

Fortunately, ProTuff Products is in your corner. We manufacture the very best pool products on the market, allowing you to spend more time enjoying your pool and less time cleaning it. This guide will help you learn all there is to know about pool skimmers and help you pick out the one that best suits your needs. With the right pool skimmer, you can maximize efficiency when cleaning your pool – saving you time and money in the long run. 

What Does a Pool Skimmer Do?

A pool skimmer can be your best friend when it comes to keeping your pool clean and free of debris. In simplest terms, a pool skimmer is a cleaning device that cleans debris and trash from the pool’s surface. Pool skimmers work to get the trash out of your pool before it sinks to the bottom, where cleaning can be more difficult. With a pool skimmer, you can remove items such as:

  • Leaves, sticks, and other debris
  • Pieces of trash floating in the water
  • Bugs and small animals 
  • Other unsavory small objects that don’t need to be cluttering up the water in your pool

In general, pool skimmers are not made to remove large items or bulky pieces of trash, such as large tree limbs. Still, the best pool skimmers are made to be resilient, making them a great multipurpose tool for getting most kinds of trash and debris out of your pool. Keep your water clean and free of debris by using a pool skimmer of some sort daily.

Do You Need a Pool Skimmer and a Net?

Most pools will come with a built-in pool skimmer, so you are probably wondering if you also need a manual pool skimmer, which could be a “flat skimmer” or a “pool rake” (which typically has a deep bag made of some sort of netting).. If your pool didn’t come equipped with any type of pool skimmer, you are probably wondering which type is the best investment. It probably doesn’t help that many backyard pool owners inadvertently interchange the terminology, so if you are at all unclear, we will break it down for you. 

The truth is, you probably need more than one type of pool skimmer to get the cleaning job done efficiently, and here’s why:

  • Clean water keeps your pool’s pump from clogging or malfunctioning.
  • A pump that runs properly keeps water circulating, which helps chemicals circulate efficiently and prevents stagnant water. 

A “team” of pool skimmers allows you to clean more thoroughly than relying on just one type, so let’s take a deeper look at the types of pool skimmers to determine which combination is right for your pool.

Different Types of Pool Skimmers

There are several kinds of pool skimmers. The right kind of pool skimmer for you will depend on your pool type and your specific needs. Here are the four most popular types of pool skimmers and everything you need to know about each kind. 

Manual pool skimmers

A manual pool skimmer is vital for quickly grabbing and removing trash and debris from your pool’s surface without a lot of fuss. A manual pool skimmer is made up of a framed mesh screen, often referred to as a “net,” that is attached to a pole, which you can use to maneuver around and easily scoop out the trash. If you opt for a manual pool skimmer, you can easily grab it from its storage space and clean your pool as necessary – which we recommend doing on a daily basis. Most pool owners store their manual skimmer on a set of hooks, which can be attached to your patio or garage area, keeping the skimmer neatly off the ground and ready for its next use. 

A pool rake is another manual cleaning tool, but is different from a skimmer in that it has a deep bag that allows you to collect large amounts of debris. Pool rakes can also be used to clean the bottom of the pool when debris sinks. They are particularly useful after storms, or if you skipped a couple days of cleaning. 

A built-in pool skimmer

Many pools will come equipped with a built-in skimmer, which can be found in the gutter-like opening at the top of the pool waterline. These built-in pool skimmers are connected directly to the pool’s plumbing and work to help the water circulate, filtering out trash and dirt. Built-in skimmers tend to work better in larger pools, where the suction is better. You will need to regularly clean the basket of trapped debris.

Automatic pool skimmers

Automatic pool skimmers can also connect to your pool’s filtration system, and work by moving along the surface of your pool, picking up water through a hose, and filtering out the trash and debris. They usually have propeller-like paddles to help the skimmer move in the water, and are typically water-powered, requiring no other source of energy to operate. These can vary greatly in price but can provide great backup for a manual pool skimmer.

Robotic pool skimmer

A robotic pool skimmer is a self-contained method of cleaning your pool that relies on either solar energy or battery power in order to run. Robotic pool skimmers are energy-efficient and easy to use, but they can cost quite a bit more than other kinds of pool skimmers. When you are budgeting for your overall pool care expenses, take that into account and see if a robotic pool skimmer is a good addition to your pool cleaning routine. 

Now that you know all about the different types of pool skimmers, here are the features that a good pool skimmer should have. 

Features to Consider When Buying a Pool Skimmer

There are a few different factors you should consider when you are shopping for a pool skimmer. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you search for the best pool skimmer for you:

  • Overall price. How much are you willing to spend on a pool skimmer? A good quality pool skimmer should be affordable but still reliable. You don’t want to have to sacrifice quality in order to get a skimmer that works. 
  • Ease of use/installation. Every type of pool skimmer works differently, so you’ll need to assess what you want your pool skimmer to do and how easy it will be to install. Automatic skimmers tend to take a little longer for the initial setup, while manual skimmers are usually the easiest to put together on your own.
  • Durability. When buying a pool skimmer, make a note of what materials it’s made out of. The better quality materials are used to construct the skimmer, the longer it will last. You should also look to see if the materials the skimmer is made from are rust, mold, and mildew-resistant, in order to keep mold and toxic materials out of your pool. Check reviews. Positive reviews from satisfied customers are a good indication that the skimmer you are considering is built to last. 
  • Lifestyle. Finally, what does your schedule look like, and how much time can you realistically devote to cleaning your pool? If you aren’t able to commit to cleaning your pool every day, consider getting several skimmers – such as a robotic skimmer that you can back up with a manual pool skimmer. 

How Often Should You Use a Pool Skimmer in Your Pool?

We get it, you’re busy. However, when you own a pool, making time to clean that pool on a regular basis is a necessity. By cleaning your pool often, you can spot potentially bigger issues that can be corrected before they turn into expensive repairs. It also helps to keep your pool clean and inviting at all times. Finally, cleaning your pool can be relaxing in itself. With the right tools at your disposal, cleaning your pool doesn’t have to feel like a chore.

Owning a pool skimmer is a great pool maintenance practice since you will be able to snag debris and trash before it accumulates. Most experts recommend that your pool be cleaned every day with a skimmer, with other deep cleaning tasks such as vacuuming done on a weekly basis.  

ProTuff Products Makes the Best Quality Pool Skimmers

While it’s important to consider things like durability and price when picking out a pool skimmer, there’s nothing quite like a lifetime guarantee. ProTuff Products is a pool equipment company that features an unlimited lifetime guarantee on all of our products, including our top-rated pool skimmers. We are committed to your satisfaction as a customer. Our goal is to make the dream of pool ownership simple and fun.

To learn more about ProTuff Products, contact us or subscribe to our weekly newsletter for more pool care tips.

Disclaimer: Pool ownership and maintenance is very complicated, and we know every situation is unique. While we’ve done our best to cover the best practices here, we encourage you to reach out to ProTuff directly at [email protected] with any specific questions you may have.

What Features Should a (Good) Pool Skimmer Have?
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