Skimmer Guards - Further Reading

Skimmer Leaf Guard

Leaves.jpg In the fall with leaves falling the skimmers can get clogged with leaves if your pool is open all year. Storms can blow leaves off of trees, clog skimmers, and starve pumps of water at times when you most need the pump running and possibly freeze protection.

There are commercial products and DIY skimmer leaf barriers.

Commercial Products

Skimmer Guard

Skimmer Guard works on above ground and in-ground vinyl liner and fiberglass pools. They have two sizes that fit in front of the skimmer mouth:

  • Intakes 7 5/8" wide x 5 5/8" tall (Hayward SP1084L)
  • Intakes 15 1/4" wide x 5 5/8" tall (Hayward SP1085, Pentair Widemouth)


Milk Crate Skimmer Guard

Skimmer Leaf Guard Milk Crate.jpg

Attach it to the skimmer around the end of October and remove it when the leaves are down about 2 month later.[1]

Parts required:

  • 1 milkcrate (target/walmart 3 dollars?)
  • Hardware cloth (it is a roll of plastic gid with 1/2 inch squares- $10 home depot)
  • Zip ties to attach hardware cloth to the inside of the milkcrate $1
  • PVC pipe and fittings maybe 5-6 dollars
  • Small bungee to attach to my skimmer cover holes
  • PVC glue 3 bucks if you don't have it

Basically, when bushels of leaves are falling, this device prevents leaves from getting into the skimmer, they bunch around the milkcrate where you can skim them or ignore them if you are busy and they sink so you can use the leaf rake to scoop them up every couple of days.

It is free to rotate and slide up/down on the pipe, and has a PVC tee (not glued) on the bottom that is removable. Just use the tiny bungee to strap it down.

Steam Insert for Hotel Pans Skimmer Guard

Skimmer Guard Steam Insert 1.jpg

Use a steam insert for hotel pans, sold my restaurant supply stores, or ordered from Amazon. They're made from stainless steel and they're cheap. A couple of eyebolts, fender washers and a bungee cord and its done.[2]

Skimmer Guard Steam Insert 2.jpg

Use pool noodles that split down the center and attached around the edges of the pan to protect the pool surface. They formed a friction fit secure enough that no adhesive was needed.

The bungee is extended into the skimmer and hooks into a small hole drilled above the water line. Works like a charm.

Skimmer Leaf Trap

Skimmer Leaf Trap on Instructables is built with PVC pipe and a net to hang over the skimmer opening.

Skimmer Guard to Keep Swimmers From Blocking Water Flow

Pat (@Texas Splash) has a single skimmer and has the problem of when visitors are over, they don't realize his skimmer is the ONLY source of water to the pump.[3]

So what do they always do? They gravitate to, and lean-up against, the skimmer opening. In just a few seconds, the 2HP pump sucks all the water dry in the suction line as their body and/or swimsuit blocks the opening.

So Pat made this thing out of just PVC, not even glued, just pressed together. Pat said he only uses it when there are rowdy guests over since the family knows better than to block the skimmer opening.