Cleaning swimming pool of fall leaves with skimmer

How To Vacuum A Pool Using A Skimmer? [Comprehensive Guide]

Storms can bring in all kinds of debris and dirt in your pool. Most of the pool owners use hand skimmers to eliminate those twigs, leaves, and other yard waste. And, of course, no one can ignore those algae infestations.

To deal with such weather events and infestations, you need a full power system to skim your pool waste. But what if the skimming system is not doing its job. Well, it's time to vacuum your pool manually.

This comprehensive guide will show you how to vacuum a pool using a skimmer, other than the skimming system.

What does a pool skimmer do?

These pool skimmers are very useful. They are for drawing the water directly from the surface and sucking it through the filtration system of your pool. These skimmers can draw up to 0.125-inch of pool water from the surface into it.

It does so to remove all those contaminants and debris on the pool's surface. These include the likes of hair, leaves, sunscreen. This entire process is completed before everything begins to sink in and settle down at the bottom.

You might be thinking of using this skimmer all the time, but that's not recommended. Instead, if you are looking to save your energy bills and maintenance costs, leave these skimmers for the heavy-duty jobs after some significant weather events or some algae infestations. Instead, use a hand skimmer or manual pool vacuum to clean the pool manually for the rest of the jobs. 

pool vacuum

How to connect pool vacuum to skimmer?

Setting it up

Before vacuuming your pool, assemble all the parts for your skimmer. First, connect that telescoping pole to your vacuum head. Now, take the open vacuum hose and attach one end to the outlet fitting on the pool vacuum head.

After that, submerge that pool vacuum head to your pool's bottom on the deeper end. Make sure to push it to the entire length of your vacuum hose under the water and keep going till your vacuum hose fills up with water.

You are doing this to purge the air from those vacuuming components. When the vacuum hose is filled with water, it's an indication that all air is purged. If any of these air pockets enter the intake line of the pump, your pump will be exposed to unnecessary wear and tear, and you will have to bear unwanted maintenance costs.

Connecting it with the suction port

You are still not ready to vacuum your pool. After assembling your vacuum head, it's time to connect it with the skimmer suction.

  • Locate the skimmer on your pool on one of its sides.
  • Remove the lid of the skimmer and the skimmer basket (pump strainer basket).
  • You have to thread the house now and do it carefully right through that skimmer inlet. Keep that open end of the vacuum hose submerged all the time.
  • You have to plug that open end of the vacuum hose directly into the suction port of your skimmer. This suction port is right at the bottom of the well.

The Process

When you start vacuuming your pool at the shallower end, you will have to do it in long but slow strokes. Ensure to overlap the strokes to ensure you are vacuuming everything at the bottom of your pool.

Do it slowly to get better results because rushing will only make your job longer. Because you are going too fast and kicking up the dirt that will settle in a while.

If you see the water is getting cloudy, wait for the dirt to settle down and begin your vacuuming process.

Once you are done, detach the vacuum head from the pole and drain all the water. Now, connect the cleaning brush to the pole and scrub any materials off if any materials are collecting along the pool walls.

You can test your pool's chemistry and make some adjustments. Now clean the equipment using a hose. You are all done here, and it's time to swim. Just make sure to keep the pool clean before you take a swim in it.  

How Does A Pool Skimmer Work

How Does A Pool Skimmer Work?

Pool skimmers are integral to the cleaning and maintenance of your pool. These skimmers are essentially the gateway to the filtration system of your pool. Get rid of any debris and keep the circulatory system of your pool working at all times. And this applies to all kinds of automatic pool cleaner skimmers.

Skimmers use suctions for capturing debris and waste in a pool right before it sinks and lands at the bottom. This waste may include dead bugs, flower petals, dirt, leaves, twigs, sunscreen oil, and anything else.

Skimmers have a lot more to do than collect the bad stuff from your pool. It also makes the life of your pool filter a lot easier. A skimmer will collect all the larger contaminants, while the pool filter will take care of the smaller contaminants. Together they enhance the cleanliness of your pool.

Some skimmers also come with inbuilt chlorinators that make the pool even more sanitary. Therefore, skimmers are very important in improving the overall longevity of your pool filter and pool circulation pump.

Types of Skimmers

There are different types of skimmers as well, and we will explain them below for your guidance.

Floating Skimmer

Some pools feature floating skimmers that are directly attached to the pool vacuum. These skimmers continue to float around the pool and randomly collect debris from the surface of the pool. This skimmer is commonly used for an above-ground pool.

Robotic Cleaner/Skimmer

Most of the swimming pools found in the states are stationary. Nevertheless, these skimmers are being replaced by robotic skimmers pretty fast. A robotic cleaner is either a semi-automated or a fully automatic pool cleaner. A semi or fully automatic cleaner either runs on battery or solar energy. This robotic cleaner also floats on the water surface and moves around while collecting debris and waste in your pool. A semi or fully automatic cleaner is best for your inground pool.

Wall Pool Skimmer

Wall pool skimmers are very much like rectangular baskets that are directly built into the walls of your swimming pool, where it meets the landscape around it. These work well with an inground pool. This skimmer is accessible through the hatch, or there will be a trap door present on the deck area of your pool.

These parts are made of precast or PVC concrete. Inside this skimmer, there is a basket that will hold leaves and other debris from the pool. In addition, there will be a door on the front side which is called a weir.

This weir performs the skimming action and pulls in a thin layer of water from the surface. Water movement and level determine how this weir closes and opens. It will close when the pool circulation pump is off, and this will prevent the debris from floating back into the pool from the skimmer basket.

You must fit an equalizer line to all skimmers in your pool. This line runs from the skimmer basket into the water through the pool wall. This line prevents air bubbles from entering into the pool filtration system when the water level of the pool drops below the level of the weir. 

Automatic robot cleans the swimming pool underwater

Do you leave the skimmer basket when vacuuming pool?

Now, you don't leave the skimmer basket when vacuuming the pool. You have to remove the skimmer basket before attaching the inlet fitting with the open vacuum hose. These skimmer baskets are part of your pool's filtration system.

They allow an overflow of water on the surface right into the suction pipe. This pipe goes to your pool's filter. These skimmer baskets can easily collect bugs, leaves, twigs, and toys. Sometimes small animals like lizards and frogs are caught up in skimmers. These skimmers come with different fittings from different manufacturers, but some also come with universal fitting.

How to adjust pool skimmer suction?

At times the pool vacuum system might not be working, and there can be different reasons behind it. In most cases, any excess air bubbles in your system can be the culprit. There might be a blockage or even a leak in your vacuum system.

The first thing you need to do is empty your skimmer basket in your vacuum system. Next, you have to make sure you don't have any debris build-up. The next step is to check the pool pump basket for any debris or blockages. After checking and confirming, you need to put it back in.

When you replace the basket, you have to make sure the hole is facing that in-pipe. Also, check to see that the O-ring is in good condition when reassembling the pool pump. Finally, close the pump's lid securely and see if leaks are going into or coming out of the pump.

Now turn your attention to the filtration system. First, it will help if you examine all those connections for any leakages or deterioration. Next, check the gate valve and its setting. Eventually, perform the backwash if everything is looking good.

The pressure should be around 75 PSI if you are looking for suction that is working correctly. If you still find any problem, there is a leak in your system. You need to go for a repair by a professional pool technician.

Pool skimmer not working properly 

Your skimmer relies on the pump system for pulling the water in. The water goes through the circulation system of your pool. A skimmer that is not working means that there might be something else that is causing the problem. And you might have to go for a technical maintenance process or even a repair.

However, your pool skimmers can also stop working if it is clogged, if it needs backlogging, and if the skimmer basket is too dirty. Maybe your pool doesn't have much water in it, or if there is too much water in your pool.

This happens when rainfall has occurred. Therefore, keep an eye on those skimmers and make sure they are working; otherwise, your filter system will fail.

Pool circulation problems, skimmer and more

Maintaining clear waters in your pool need several things. First, you need to maintain a proper balance in the pool's chemistry. Apart from that, you also have to maintain adequate circulation in your pool.

Maintaining an optimal circulatory system in your pool is a multi-phased process. It's much more than sleeping those simmer baskets and weirs working. 

You have to identify and clean any dead spots and optimize the placement of returns and the angles. You also have to choose the right pump for the pool, and of course, there are various other components in the pool if your vacuum loses suction.

If all this seems a bit too much to you, you can always hire technical assistance. But you cannot keep ignoring the maintenance and repair of your pool in a timely fashion. This way, you are jeopardizing not only your health but your family's health and well-being as well. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you keep the entire circulatory system of your pool in its best condition.

A good practice is to go for handheld skimming daily, and right after a storm or an algae infestation, run your pool skimmer to keep the water free from any contamination. Also, keep checking the pool's chemical composition to ensure its safety.

Wrap - Up

Vacuuming a pool is straightforward, particularly with the right tools. For instance, your filter can only handle the smaller contaminants. If you are looking to tackle those twigs or algae, or leaves after a weather event, use a skimmer.

Of course, the handheld skimmers work fine, but you will have to do a lot more than just handheld skimming after a storm or an algae infestation. Therefore, you need to choose the right type of skimmer for your pool.

Your skimmer will easily take care of the larger contaminants and enhance the filter's overall performance. Therefore, your skimmer plays an important role in the pool's comprehensive circulation system, and you have to keep it in tip-top condition.