Pool skimmers don’t only keep your pool clean by filtering debris. They also help to prevent damage to the pool pump. They do this by keeping debris and residues out of the pool filtration system. However, even the best pool skimmer cannot prevent 100% of particulates from entering the filtration system. Not without some help – from you, and why you need to know how to skim a pool.

Manual pool cleaning will require you skimming with a skimmer net on a telescopic pole, followed by manual vacuuming with a skimmer net attached to a vacuum head. This really is only way to clear debris that has sunk to the bottom of your pool and clean your pool enough for the pool chemicals to do their job. And the better you do it, the better the result!

So, if you are serious about skimming your pool as effectively and efficiently as possible, read on for some tips on how to skim your pool like a professional!

Step 1: Switch off the pool pump

As you are about to get a lot of leaf litter moving about the pool with the skimmer net, you’ll want to switch off the pump, so as not to overload the automatic skimmer. That’s if you have emptied it, if there is a lot of debris the bottom of the pool, the skimmer is most likely full. You can clean that later before running the pool pump again.

Step 2: Brush the sides, steps, and bottom of the pool

Start with the shallow end of the pool or the steps. Use the pool brush on a telescopic pole to brush any debris down to the bottom of the pool. You want to condense as much of the debris as you can in one area for easy cleaning with a manual skimmer net. Use the brush to really scrub at the sides of the pool and the steps as these areas cannot be vacuumed (Step 4)

(Note: if there is not a lot of debris, it would be better to run the pump and brush the debris toward the pool drain).)

Step 3: Skim – with a heavy-duty skimmer net for large amounts of debris

If there is a lot of leaf litter, you will need to use a deep, high volume, heavy-duty pool net. Ideally, also use a net that has a fine mesh attachment that fits in the bottom. This will help the net pick up smaller pieces of debris as well as larger leaves, flowers, and insects.
There’s a fair amount of technique to manual pool cleaning with a skimmer net. You’ll need to adapt your pool skimming technique to the size of your swimming pool, how much debris needs to be skimmed and where you need to skim – from mostly the surface or debris floating from the bottom. However you do it, the principles remain the same:

  • to make long sweeping motions across the surface until you have cleared as much debris as possible, then
  • push the net just above the bottom of the pool to skim sunken debris.

Step 4: Vacuum the bottom of the pool – with a skimmer net attached to the vacuum.

Vacuum the bottom of the pool. Use a slow sweeping motion, pressing down with the same kind of movements you’d use to mow your lawn. Go back and forth over the same areas a few times, slowly moving from one end to the other, with each sweep of the vacuum overlapping with the last to suction up as much of the fine particulates your skimmer net could not catch.

There you have it. Skimming your pool like a pro is easy! It simply takes time, patience, technique, and the right pool skimming equipment.

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