The skimmer is an important piece of equipment for above ground swimming pools. This device is designed to effectively collect debris, bugs and even small toys that may be left in the water. It is meant to assist the pool owner in cleaning the pool, although a skimmer can often be costly and difficult to maintain if in the wrong hands. It is important to follow some simple steps and advice to save yourself money and future issues with your above ground swimming pool skimmer.
Choosing the Right Skimmer
Each skimmer is designed to protect a different type of pool. Likewise, there are many different brands and models of skimmers from which to choose. You will want to keep in mind the type of lining that exists in your above ground pool and the material from which your pool is made. For instance, skimmers may be specifically designed for vinyl or for fiberglass. The size of the pool also is important. Some skimmers are only designed for a specific size of pool, while others are designed for large pools. You will likely not need to spend more than $120 on a high quality skimmer, regardless of the type or size of skimmer for your above ground pool. If the price is higher, it usually means that there are more accessories with the skimmer.
Installing your Skimmer
If you choose to install the skimmer on your own, it is important to make sure that the installation is done while the water level is low or when the pool is drained. This is important so that the lining of the pool is properly set up for your pool before it is secured. By installing the skimmer without adjusting the lining properly, you may find yourself looking for a new liner very quickly. If your skimmer comes with a serpentine gasket, also install this while the water level is low or empty. It is important to properly align the skimmer with any holes that you have poked through the lining, and to screw in the faceplate of the skimmer securely. Choose screws that are have anti-rust coating or are made of a hard plastic so that no erosion takes place. Follow the instruction manual carefully.
Winterizing the Skimmer
Some pool owners completely tear down their above ground pools and store them safely in an indoor area so that the harsh winter weather and low temperatures do not damage the equipment. Regardless of whether you tear down your pool or not, it is best to remove the installed skimmer for the winter. You should clean it and dry the skimmer thoroughly before storing it for the winter. Otherwise, the skimmer can grow mold indoors and this can ultimately cause damage, so much so that you may need to replace it completely. Another way to winterize your skimmer is to take a weatherproof plastic trash bag or large Ziplock bag and wrap it tightly around the skimmer while it is still connected outdoors. This will not completely protect it from the weather and is not the ideal method for winterizing, but it can go a long way for people whot do not have the time to completely uninstall their pools and skimmers. If you choose this method, make sure that the plastic is air tight. You may need to re-check the wrapping every two to three weeks. Be prepared to re-wrap if the plastic has come undone or does not appear to be holding as tightly as necessary.