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Thread: Skimmer not effective

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    Skimmer not effective

    Hi Guys,

    I'm sure there is no substitute for manually skimming your pool, but my skimmer straight up doesn't do anything.

    It's at the west end of the pool and the wind seems to blow everything to the east side. Observing the skimmer, i rarely see any debris enter it, and the basket confirms there is essentially nothing getting picked up.

    One other thing is that i am a newbie and i haven't adjusted my return jets since buying the house. They seem to be set up in a generally circular pattern, but pointing up towards the surface, which I've never seen before. Can these be adjusted to better push stuff into the skimmer?
    28,000 gallons / Plaster / Hayward 30" Sand Filter / PoolCleaner 4x / PoolSkim / Hayward RS1500 / CircuPool RJ60

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    Re: Skimmer not effective

    Wind does more than returns pointed up with surface debris for many pools.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Skimmer not effective

    Is your water at the correct level as marked on the skimmer plate? Does the skimmer weir float at the water level?
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
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    Re: Skimmer not effective

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    Is your water at the correct level as marked on the skimmer plate? Does the skimmer weir float at the water level?
    I'll check as soon as I get home...
    28,000 gallons / Plaster / Hayward 30" Sand Filter / PoolCleaner 4x / PoolSkim / Hayward RS1500 / CircuPool RJ60

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Skimmer not effective

    You want to aim the returns so there is a strong circular movement to the water in the pool. Strong winds can interfere, but a good current in the pool can carry debris around to the skimmer against "normal" winds.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Skimmer not effective

    Assuming youve tweaked your returns sufficiently and you have good flow, fresh filter etc everything working correctly .... and still have a problem......

    Welcome to the club. Skimmers are often located based on ease of plumbing Vs prevailing winds theory and just aren't that efective in many instances. If you are in an area with heavy debris inflow to the pool you may want to bolster your skimming cleaning power with aftermarket devices that are suction, or return powered.

    There are a number of devices in the cleaner section that may be of use to you.
    Pool devil, Pool skim, and Dragonfly are the ones I've tested.

    Let us know if we can help.

    Uncle Dave
    20K Gallon Gunnite pool/900 Gallon in ground Spa/2HP WhisperflowSpa
    Pentair Master temp 400/Hayward Sand Zebrite/Jandy RS-8 Aqualink/Jandy 2HP Epump
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    tsunami's Avatar
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    Re: Skimmer not effective

    Does the skimming action get any better when turning the valve more towards the skimmer side?
    40 X 26 Free Form Pool with attached 9 X 7 Spa raised 18" with 8 Jets and Spillover, and an Art Rock Waterfall/Grotto with accent rocks, 26,000 gallons
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    NWMNMom's Avatar
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    Re: Skimmer not effective

    Our return eye is turned a bit up and more to the direction of the skimmer. We experimented with turning it in other directions but it seemed to work so much better when turned that way - it just keeps the circulation going around towards the skimmer better
    18x33x52 Buttressfree Seaspray (Wilbar) AGP - 1.5hp Pentair Maxim w/22" Pentair Meteor Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG System, Biltmore Walk In Steps - 2/4x20 Solar Panel Setup - Doheny Jet Drive (RIP -Pool Rover Jr) - finally hard plumbed the whole darned thing -
    Beats Driving to the Lake!

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    Re: Skimmer not effective

    Quote Originally Posted by tsunami
    Does the skimming action get any better when turning the valve more towards the skimmer side?
    Not certain - but I can't do that consistently as the pool vac pressure would drop below where it needs to be.

    On the water level, I'm definitely too high- there is no marking on the skimmer but watching it w/ the lid off there is almost no visible flow (although it is definitely drawing water thru it with a lot of suction).
    I'm going to backwash it tonite and I've adjusted the float to keep it down - not sure I can backwash 1-1.5 inches in a day w/o flooding the yard but I'll try it could of times over the next week or two.
    28,000 gallons / Plaster / Hayward 30" Sand Filter / PoolCleaner 4x / PoolSkim / Hayward RS1500 / CircuPool RJ60

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    Re: Skimmer not effective

    If the water is too high the weir (piece that slides up and down in the basket) will not function normally.

    The water should be below the top of the skimmer opening, but above the bottom

    When you take the cover off is the water above or below the concrete?

    Uncle Dave
    20K Gallon Gunnite pool/900 Gallon in ground Spa/2HP WhisperflowSpa
    Pentair Master temp 400/Hayward Sand Zebrite/Jandy RS-8 Aqualink/Jandy 2HP Epump
    12 - 4x10 Solar Panels/Barracuda G3/ BBB

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    Re: Skimmer not effective

    hey guys I drained off about 1.5" of water and the skimmer seems to be much more effective now. I'm still tweaking the return jets to try to get as much stuff down to that end as I can, but I think it is performing acceptably at this point.
    Thanks for all your help!!
    28,000 gallons / Plaster / Hayward 30" Sand Filter / PoolCleaner 4x / PoolSkim / Hayward RS1500 / CircuPool RJ60

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    Re: Skimmer not effective

    Quote Originally Posted by dombey
    hey guys I drained off about 1.5" of water and the skimmer seems to be much more effective now. I'm still tweaking the return jets to try to get as much stuff down to that end as I can, but I think it is performing acceptably at this point.
    Thanks for all your help!!

    UPDATE: skimmer is now rocking at least when the wind stops blowing - pool looked great this morning with the exception of the steps area - there is literally no way to adjust the returns to a circular pattern and simultaneously get that corner, so I think I'll just skim that by hand every other day - at least it is concentrated in one small area.

    Thanks for the help guys.
    28,000 gallons / Plaster / Hayward 30" Sand Filter / PoolCleaner 4x / PoolSkim / Hayward RS1500 / CircuPool RJ60

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Skimmer not effective

    Quote Originally Posted by dombey
    UPDATE: skimmer is now rocking at least when the wind stops blowing - pool looked great this morning with the exception of the steps area - there is literally no way to adjust the returns to a circular pattern and simultaneously get that corner, so I think I'll just skim that by hand every other day - at least it is concentrated in one small area.

    Thanks for the help guys.
    Good deal!
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: Skimmer not effective

    [/quote] UPDATE: skimmer is now rocking at least when the wind stops blowing - pool looked great this morning with the exception of the steps area - there is literally no way to adjust the returns to a circular pattern and simultaneously get that corner, so I think I'll just skim that by hand every other day - at least it is concentrated in one small area.

    Thanks for the help guys.[/quote]


    Is there a return near that area?
    If so you may try a poolskim on that return.

    In time of heavy debris influx I put a poolskim near my stairs as well.

    Uncle Dave
    20K Gallon Gunnite pool/900 Gallon in ground Spa/2HP WhisperflowSpa
    Pentair Master temp 400/Hayward Sand Zebrite/Jandy RS-8 Aqualink/Jandy 2HP Epump
    12 - 4x10 Solar Panels/Barracuda G3/ BBB

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    Re: Skimmer not effective

    Quote Originally Posted by Davegvg
    Is there a return near that area?
    If so you may try a poolskim on that return.

    In time of heavy debris influx I put a poolskim near my stairs as well.

    Uncle Dave
    Uncle Dave and I are two members who have so much debris constantly going into our pools that we have to use some extra assistance keeping the "stuff" gathered up. I use the Pool Skim that is somewhat close to my steps in the shallow end. In the fall and winter I used two Pool Skims. Pool Skim works off of a return.

    The Pool Skim bags hold a lot more than one would think. The debris, plant stuff, dust, hair (doggie in my case), bugs, etc. get really packed in. If I was relying on my one skimmer I would have to change the skimmer sock several times a day, cut off the pump at night, or else my skimmer would get too full and put extra stress on the skimmer and pump. I put a fresh Pool Skim bag on yesterday, mid day, and it is almost full of mostly leaves and blooms from my two large American Holly Trees. If it gets too full it doesn't affect any other part of the pool system, like an overly filled skimmer will do.

    It helps to be able to adjust the flow out of other returns to get the amount of water needed going to the return with Pool Skim. I do this by using different sizes (openings) of eyeball returns to regulate or block off flow to the other returns.

    If the stuff doesn't get collected by the Pool Skim, lots of it will end up on the bottom requiring more time the cleaner has to run and/or goes down the main drain into the pump basket which can, at times mean, opening it up and cleaning it out daily..... real hassle. What doesn't sink would eventually end up in the skimmer, filling it too full in a few hours.

    Neither Uncle Dave or I have affiliations with the after market skimmers. But we both swear by them. The way I managed the debris before was running my Polaris round the clock, emptying the skimmer basket several times a day, and putting up with much more stuff in the pool than I prefer.

    Pool Skim was one of the best $99 I ever spent.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Skimmer not effective

    Wanted to add. The water goes through the Pool Skim and out the bag creating a great flow in the direction you point the bag. Mine, located near the steps in shallow end, pushes lots of water towards the skimmer, located on same wall, but down in the deep end. Very little makes it to the skimmer but what isn't caught by the Pool Skim, usually by wind blowing stuff in at middle of pool, on that side, makes it to the skimmer really fast. The stuff that blows in on the other side is pushed diagonally across the pool by return pointed diagonally from skimmer at deep end, directly towards the PS. I had the shallow end return pointed up with some ripple on water, to get the water to circle around steps that are located off to the side. But, I get better action by restricting down the shallow end wall return and pointing it down some towards the bottom. The Pool Skim, then, has enough venturi action and strength to pull everything near there to it.

    In the fall and winter, with two PS I change the configuration leaving the one in and other either on shallow end wall or return opposite the other PS. That catches virtually all the leaves (and other stuff) blown into pool.

    BTW... I live in the woods with high, "normal" winds, and really ferocious high winds, winds usually daily, year round.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Skimmer not effective

    Quote Originally Posted by Davegvg
    ...If so you may try a poolskim on that return...
    I have a corner where all the floating debris seems to gather and was thinking about going the poolskim route.

    What kind of adapters to connect to the return does the poolskim come with? My returns aren't really fixtures but are just open pipe (1 1/2" maybe).
    TFP Method Advanced Intermediate
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    Re: Skimmer not effective

    Quote Originally Posted by svenpup
    Quote Originally Posted by Davegvg
    ...If so you may try a poolskim on that return...
    I have a corner where all the floating debris seems to gather and was thinking about going the poolskim route.

    What kind of adapters to connect to the return does the poolskim come with? My returns aren't really fixtures but are just open pipe (1 1/2" maybe).
    The PS comes with some adapters for common returns. I'll bet some of our guy/gals with more plumbing experience can help you with that.

    How many returns do you have and approximate locations and skimmer(s) location?

    They'll be along soon.

    EDIT.... I just posted a comment on the topic "The Pool, the Tree....." A poster asked about adaping to a non "regular" return but I commented on something different.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Skimmer not effective

    does your pool suffer from leaves and debris or dust and silt- or all of the above?

    I have an extreme debris/ helicopter issue-but not the awful combo of large leaves and dust/silt dirt problem GG has that forces a backwash every week.

    I live 5 miles form the Ocean and the West to East winds combined with the absolute lack of maintenance my neighbor fails on his ash tree creates a horrendous small debris problem for me.

    You may find these little helper products to be a lifesaver as well, or at a minimum well worth the time savings a few bucks worth of investment creates.

    To reiterate what GG said earlier & because we sound like the "Bobsy Twins" at times- no one pays us to "pimp" these third party products, and we are not affiliated in any way with any of the products in our sig lines. Im in the TV & film business.

    Here are a few picts of the environment I have to contend with, as you can see why I buy and test all these products.

    Uncle Dave
    Attached Images Attached Images
    20K Gallon Gunnite pool/900 Gallon in ground Spa/2HP WhisperflowSpa
    Pentair Master temp 400/Hayward Sand Zebrite/Jandy RS-8 Aqualink/Jandy 2HP Epump
    12 - 4x10 Solar Panels/Barracuda G3/ BBB

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    Re: Skimmer not effective

    Quote Originally Posted by svenpup
    Quote Originally Posted by Davegvg
    ...If so you may try a poolskim on that return...
    I have a corner where all the floating debris seems to gather and was thinking about going the poolskim route.

    What kind of adapters to connect to the return does the poolskim come with? My returns aren't really fixtures but are just open pipe (1 1/2" maybe).
    1.5" should be fine, but if you have oddball return lines like I have you will run into problems finding an adapter.
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

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