How to Tune Your Pool Skimmer


hello everyone and welcome back this is

Josh small the voice here with another

video for swimming pool science today we

are cruising the streets of Arcadia and

neighborhood located in the heart of

Phoenix just west of Scottsdale where

the streets are lined with quaint houses

that eventually get bulldozed in favor

of McMansions to line the pockets of

developers in today's video we're going

to look at skimmers and how you can

optimize yours to keep your pool looking

its best I figured we'd start with a

little history and go back to the

beginning to the first conventional

skimmer as we know it these copper

skimmers were massive made by companies

like landon Patek and swim right

most of them underneath the basket

housed a suction side de filters these

massive relics from over half a century

ago are constructed of copper back when

plastics and polymers were considered

exotic materials this antique is 36

inches deep and 12 inches wide and it

actually falls on the smaller side of

the scale for skimmers of this era

sometime in the late 60s or early 70s

swim quip came out with the benign

skimmer this would quickly become the

go-to standard for in-ground skimmers

here I've laid out the typical plumbing

setup for your basic swimming pool with

the pump being tied to the back hole of

the skimmer and the main drain being

tied to the front hole of the skimmer

the main drain plays an important role

as it's the place where the majority of

your water should be drawn from the

skimmer merely plays the part of a

junction box between the main drain and

the pump so how do we tie the main drain

and the pump together if there are two

separate pipes well that's this guy's

job and if you're like most people it's

sitting in your yard or maybe you threw

it away a while back the skimmer

diverter valve sometimes referred to as

a UFO or flying saucer is a key part of

the skimmer being able to do its job so

let's clear the clutter away and take a

look at this thing when we flip it over

you'll notice there's a hole in the

bottom with a slide valve attached to it

this is what allows us to control how

much water is pulled from the main drain

verses from the skimmer you can open and

close the slide valve as much or as

little as you need typically you want it

open about a pencil width make sure the

o-ring on the inside is attached and

I'll show you why here in just a little

bit there's a float about the size of a

chlorine tablet built into the skimmer

diverter valve and that plays an

important role

if the skimmer is ever starving for

water that float drops down seals on the

o-ring and allows the pool to draw from

the main drain exclusively in order for

that to take place a tight seal must be

maintained there's an o-ring at the

bottom of the skimmer

that's coincidentally the same size as

the filter lid or ring of a Pentair tr6

tea filter you can see how bad this one

is it's falling apart failing and needs

to be replaced the great thing about the

b9 skimmer is that it's still in use

today and the parts are very common

now that the diverter valve is in place

I'll go ahead and close the weird door

and starve the skimmer for water and

you'll be able to hear it lock down into

place as the water level drops that pop

we just heard that's the float locking

down to seal things up tight and now

we're pulling exclusively from the main

drain notice how we're not seeing any

water movement whatsoever in the skimmer

of course if this is an entrapment issue

all we've got to do is just lift up on

the diverter valve and start the process

over again and we're back to pulling at

our normal settings the other important

component I often see missing from a

skimmer is this guy right here the weird

door it plays a very important part in

speeding the water up at the very very

surface in order to trap and pull in

debris as you can see this piece of

debris going right by the skimmer that's

missing it's weird or this is because

without the weir the skimmer will draw

water from top to bottom all the way

through instead of just from the very

top check out what happens with the same

piece of debris with the weird or

installed goes right in the skimmer and

then look at that look at the difference

in water velocity at the surface let's

take a closer look not only does the

weir speed up the water at the surface

but it also creates a depression where

the debris gets trapped let's take a

look at another important function that

the weird door serves when the pump

turns off the weird door floats up and

traps the debris inside the skimmer so

that it can't float back out again

without the weird door and with no

current to hold the debris into the

skimmer the debris just floats back out

now that we have a better understanding

of the important components above and

beyond the basket let's look at what you

do if you've got a plug in a suction

side cleaner but you don't have a

dedicated suction line this device here

is called the vac mate it allows you to

plug in a suction side cleaner into the

skimmer while still having the ski

function it's got a basket attached to

it to catch the debris and the basket

unscrews and screws back on easily check

out how easy this thing goes into your

skimmer it just drops right in and

replaces the basket the vac mate also

comes with a retention device to hold it

down in place once it's in place you can

then plug in your hose for your cleaner

and then use the dial on top of the

skimmer side to adjust how much power

your cleaner has versus how much you're

drawing from the skimmer there are some

new innovations coming to the skimmer

recently we're seeing a lot of these

quick skin skimmers being installed and

they have a venturi effect that has a

return that shoots through the bottom of

the skimmer underneath the basket out

into the pool drawing additional water

through the skimmer to pull more debris

and if you want to vacuum your pool no

big deal you just remove that coupler

piece and you have access to vacuum when

we get a call about a leaky pool one of

the first places we check is the joint

between the plastic mouth of the skimmer

and the tile grout a lot of times these

will open up or they'll be a shift in

the deck and it's an easy fix which can

be sealed with some epoxy or some tile

grout in some cases you may find

hairline cracks on the inside of your

skimmer keep an eye on these and if they

get bigger they can also be sealed with

epoxy the skimmer is often overlooked

but it's a very important component to

your swimming pool circulation system

make sure your diverter valves are set

your o-rings are good and check that

weird or sometimes they get stuck and

when the leaves are falling make sure

you're emptying those baskets often when

those get full the pump stars for water

and it can cause undue stress on your

equipment and you'll break baskets left

and right I hope you found this video

informative if you did click the like

button don't forget to share and we'd

love it if you subscribed and hey if you

want to leave some constructive feedback

in the comments we'd really appreciate

the input thanks for watching and we'll

see you next time