Cleaning your pool manually yourself could potentially save you a lot of money. It’s not always doable, or practical, but if you can make the time to clean your pool manually, it’s quite simple.

When you should skim your pool manually

You may need to skim the pool every day, or even twice a day. It’s a good idea to do it in the morning and again in the evening during the swimming season. You should also skim your pool after rain or wind – any weather that promotes debris leaf fall and other debris getting into to the pool.

  • Even if you have an automatic skimmer, you should skim your pool whenever there are a lot of leaves, flowers, or other debris, floating on the surface.
  • Try to make sure that you skim the pool manually with a pool net before the large pieces of debris start falling to the bottom of the pool.
  • At the very least (if you need to stick to a routine) it’s best to skim your pool manually in the mornings.

How to skim your pool with a pool skimmer net

There are a variety of pool skimmer nets on the market. They are designed for different sizes and types of pools, as well as varying amounts of leaf litter and other debris that must be skimmed from the surface on a daily or regular basis.

Some tips on the right skimmer net to use:

1. Make sure that you have the right skimmer net for the task. You will create a lot of unnecessary work for yourself if you try to skim a large swimming pool with a small, shallow pool net, or with a pool net hat the has too short a pole.

2. Use a telescopic pole. This is the best kind of pole for a swimming pool net as it can be lengthened and shortened as needed.

3. Clean your net thoroughly after use and re-attach the skimmer net to the pole ready to be used the next day – or when you need to skim the pool again. This is a very good habit to get into. It will help to preserve the pool net over the long-term, make it the whole process of skimming your pool manually much faster, and increase the efficiency of the net. If you have not had a chance to clean the pool net thoroughly after the last time you skimmed the pool, at the very least make sure that your scrape out all old left-over debris before putting the net in the water to start skimming.

Manual pool skimming steps:

  • Attach the net to the end of the aluminum pole.
  • Walk along the edge of the pool, dragging the net through the water in a circular motion to scoop up as much debris as possible. Then use extend the telescopic pole to the other side of the pool and sweep it back toward you, repeating until you have walked the perimeter. Start with the areas where leaf litter and other debris may have clumped together, where the most debris is, or where it’s likely to start falling to the bottom of the pool.
  • Tip out the debris every few steps. Do this as needed to ensure that the debris doesn’t flow back into the pool and to maximize the skimming effect of each drag.
  • You will also need to top debris out to prevent the bag getting too heavy for you to maneuver comfortably. You will need to tip out the debris more often if you are using a mesh insert or basket inside the net to skim fine particles.
  • When you have skimmed the surface of the pool as much as you can, run the pump. The automatic pool skimmer (in-built or attached to the side in an above-ground pool) will continue to filter the surface water. It can do this while you continue cleaning if you are skimming the pool as part of a more thorough pool cleaning that includes brushing and /or vacuuming.
Vacuuming your pool manually through the automatic skimmer

Vacuuming your pool manually through the automatic skimmer:

Manually cleaning your pool with a pool skimmer net is not always enough. To do get the bottom and sides of your pool clean, you will need to vacuum the pool.

  • Attach the vacuum head to the top of the telescopic pole that you would usually attach the pool skimmer net or pool brush to.
  • Attach the vacuum hose to the vacuum head. Attach the other end of the vacuum hose to the special vacuum skimmer plate (the ‘skim vac plate’).
  • Attach the skimmer plate to the ‘return line’ situated just below the surface of the water on the side of pool. (This is where water is pumped back into the pool from the filtration system. Doing this for around 45 seconds will send water through the skim vac plate up the hose to fill the hose and expel air through the vacuum head.)
  • Pull the skim vac plate from the return line, pull it up out of the water and place the skim vac plate over the filter basket on the edge of the pool. You will need to lift the skimmer ‘weir’ door to do this.
  • Close off any other skimmers to ensure all the suction from the pump goes through the skimmer you are using.

The vacuum is how ready to use. The debris that gets sucked up will end up in the skimmer basket.