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Thread: Skimmer issues

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
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    Skimmer issues

    I've noticed that our pool skimmer seems to be a bit weak in removing leaves and debris before this stuff sinks to the bottom. Our Zodiac MX8 dutifully cleans this mess up, but our neighbor's trees dump quite a bit of leaves into our pool. So, I'd like to optimize our skimmer efficiency before the fall when the leaves are really dumping!

    I think one issue may be that the water level is too high. I'm trying to set our automatic water level valve to reduce the H20 level and hopefully this will help. A second issue is that the weir on the skimmer is always horizontal and not increasing surface flow. At first, I thought about replacing the weir, but noticed that when I hold the weir up when the pump is running, there is a huge flow of water into the skimmer, and the water starts to drain out of the skimmer. When the pump is off, the weir returns to a vertical position. So, it seems as though too much water is going through the skimmer but not enough of this is surface flow. Note that the returns in the pool do make for a clockwise flow on the surface, but leaves seem to just float by the skimmer as they approach.

    A couple of points... first off, there are two inlets at the bottom of the skimmer where the skimmer basket is placed. One is clearly plumbed to the suction side of the filter pump. I believe the second one may be an equalizer, but I don't know if this port is clogged or not. It would seem if this were functional, then blocking the inlet of surface water by holding the weir would not lead to draining of the skimmer since the equalizing pressure of the water in the pool should cause water to flow into the skimmer from that second (equalizer) port. Second, I don't know where the equalizer port is plumbed. There is a single main drain at the bottom of the pool, and what appear to be two side drains (e.g. on the side of the pool near the skimmer and built in spa). I guess I could run a hose down with one of those rubber drain cleaner attachments to see if that equalizer line is plugged. Note that this pool looked like a swamp when we bought the house 2 years ago due to the previous owners lack of maintenance during the 90d escrow! This could have led to a backup of gunk in the equalizer line.

    So my question is whether or not a plugged equalizer line might be causing too much flow in the skimmer, and as a byproduct, limiting surface flow due to the weir being pulled full open?
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Skimmer issues

    Look at the back side of the weir. There should be a piece of foam there that makes the weir float just under the surface when water is flowing across it. Look to see if it's the right size and is in good shape.

    Some skimmers have one bottom port plugged off. Are both of yours connected to something?
    Sometimes they connect the main drain to the bottom of the skimmer and there has to be a diverter in the skimmer to make the pump flow from the main drain.

    You could try blowing air back through the lines to see where the bubbles come from. Just keep the pressure under 30 psi or so.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Skimmer issues

    Dave:

    Okay, good to know. I didn't see any attached foam, so you are probably right about that. I guess I need to get a replacement weir. Hopefully that will help. I like the idea of blowing air into the other port to see where the equalizer is plumbed to. I do think it must be clogged though since I didn't observe any kind of equalization going on.

    Thanks for your comments...
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Skimmer issues

    You can cut a piece of closed cell foam (like styrofoam) to put in it. Even if it's just to try it out.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: Skimmer issues

    Yeah, that's a good idea Dave, if even just to see if it makes a difference. I'm betting that by just holding it up a bit, that it will enhance the flow over the weir, giving enhanced skimmer activity. I know for sure that there is no foam backing on the weir in there at the moment. It must have come loose at some point.
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Skimmer issues

    Just a quick note- some skimmer weirs have the foam inside the body of the weir, you may have one of those. Also you say that the weir does go the vertical when the pump is off and that the water level is high - you need the pool water to be~ 1/2" below the top of the skimmer for it to properly function - next time you're in the pool, take a look into the mouth of the skimmer and see the 'lip' I'm talking about.
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Skimmer issues

    So I pulled out the weir from the skimmer and found that the foam backing was indeed missing. I cut out some closed cell foam and it fit nicely. Then I put the weir back into place in the skimmer, and it works perfectly. That was the trick. I think the plastic it is made from gives it some buoyancy, which is why it swung back to the vertical when the pump was off. But having the foam there keeps it propped up when the pump is on, dramatically increasing the surface water flow. This should really help during the fall deluge of leaves from the neighbor's yard.

    Thanks to all for suggestions!
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Re: Skimmer issues





    GREAT to hear!
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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