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Thread: New construction - which pool skimmer?

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    New construction - which pool skimmer?

    We're building a new house with a pool, and I'm trying to design the pool to minimize the maintenance time. Our existing pool has the basic weir-style skimmer. It does an ok job, but I have a few issues with it:

    1. I'm constantly cleaning it, particularly in the fall. If we leave town for a few days, the skimmer clogs with leaves and starts sucking in air.
    2. The weir is slightly too small for the skimmer opening (or maybe the opening is warped), so it gets stuck closed. I fixed this by installing a self-adhesive rubber bumper on the top of the skimmer opening - that keeps it from closing fully, but it's still a bad design or potentially a botched install.
    3. When we're swimming and stirring up water, the weir constantly bangs into the bumper with a loud "thunk". Even in pools where the weir fits correctly, it still makes that noise. Not exactly zen.

    Are there any skimmer designs that don't need to be cleaned often (or ideally cleaned at all) and don't use a weir?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New construction - which pool skimmer?

    Pretty sure the answer is no.
    The whole point of a skimmer is to collect debris before it sinks, so not sure why you would want to eliminate that function.
    You could always remove the weir, but it is what keep most of the debris in the skimmer and not floating back out into the pool.

    Since you are talking about a new build. You could go with an infinity edge and catch basin and not have a skimmer at all. But, you would still need to clean out the catch basin of all the debris that spills over.
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    Re: New construction - which pool skimmer?

    Thanks for the reply Jason. Not sure what I said that made it seem like I wanted to eliminate the skimmer function. I understand that removing leaves before they sink is a good idea. I'm just trying to find a skimmer that requires less maintenance.

    On a side note, I've noticed a few pool designs with skimmers that are set really far back from the wall, so the weir visually disappears under the coping. That might be a good option, but I can't seem to find any skimmers that do that. Any suggestions?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New construction - which pool skimmer?

    Well, you were complaining about everything a skimmer does: banging door, collecting debris, etc
    Only way to eliminate your complaints would be to eliminate the skimming function.

    I think most skimmers could be placed as far back from the pool wall as you want. There is always some amount of tiled area to interface with the skimmer, you would just make the tiled area deeper. BUT, I have a feeling that setting them back like that would lower the skimming effectiveness.

    I think an infinity edge, would eliminate all your complaints.
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    Re: New construction - which pool skimmer?

    Fair enough. I guess it's just surprising that, after 60+ years of pool technology, that's the best design we've come up with. Vacuums now come in bagless designs that don't lose suction - I figured there was something similar in the skimmer world if I looked hard enough.

    I'll look into an infinity edge. I admittedly don't know much about them other than that they look cool.

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: New construction - which pool skimmer?

    There are things like the PoolSkim which will eliminate the thunking at least, though it will still require cleaning...the only way to reduce the amount of maintenance is to chop down all the trees around, or move to the desert!
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    Re: New construction - which pool skimmer?

    And then I'll just have more maintenance with my filter. =P

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    Re: New construction - which pool skimmer?

    There are skimmers that use a circular floating weir design that might work for you. For example, the Pentair Admiral Skimmer Basket with Floating Weir.

    R38013B Floating weir, circular

    R38013A Basket, for floating weir

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    Re: New construction - which pool skimmer?

    Thanks James. I can't seem to find an explanation of how those work. Do you know of any documents?

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    Re: New construction - which pool skimmer?

    The basket is round. The weir is a cylinder with a lip at the top. The weir fits inside the basket with just enough room to allow the weir to move up and down without binding, or allowing debris to pass. The top rim of the weir floats just below the surface of the water and that provides the skimming action.

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    Re: New construction - which pool skimmer?

    Interesting. So that sounds like a part that I can buy and drop into my existing skimmer. Is that accurate?

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    Re: New construction - which pool skimmer?

    I have the pentair skimmers and they are quieter than the ones with doors, you might be able to retrofit an existing pentair skimmer to a circular weir.The reason why i say this is because the admiral skimmers give you the option of either weir.My skimmers have holes in the sides where a weir door can be installed, if i want.You would probably have to buy the entire basket assembly.
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    Re: New construction - which pool skimmer?

    Got it. Thanks for the help!

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    Re: New construction - which pool skimmer?

    There might be a basket that will fit. However, you have to match the dimensions.

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