Above ground pool skimmers are essential parts of a pools filtration system. Your first line of defense against the build up of pathogens in your swimming pool water. These pathogens include algae, bacteria and viruses. While pool skimmers, and the pool filtration system, do not clean the water alone, your pool skimmer and the filtration system it is a fundamental part of the whole cleaning system for your pool.

Pool skimmers are built into in-ground pools, but they need to be added to above-ground pools. They are ideal for pools that need extra skimming on in-ground pools – whether due to environment (lots of trees and shrubs) or usage. However, they are ideal for above ground pools with no in-built skimmer.

Above ground pool automatic skimmers

There are five categories of automatic pool skimmer you can use for an above-ground pool. Some are designed exclusively for use in above-ground pools

Fixed above ground pool skimmers

Fixed or Clip On Automatic Pool Skimmers:

  • these skimmer baskets are attached to the pool pump and clipped, or otherwise fixed to the side. These pool skimmers float on the water, but they do not float around the pool. They can also be attached to the water jet returns.

Thru-wall Automatic Skimmers:

  • These act in the same fashion as in-built skimmers. However, even there is no opening built into the side of the pool (as with an-built pool), these must be attached to the pool pump to skim automatically. They can be attached permanently through an opening cut into the side of the pool. They can also be mounted manually as needed.
above ground pool skimmers

Floating above ground pool skimmers

  • Floating skimmers can be attached to the side of the pool, or they can move around the pool, attached to the pool cleaner vacuum.

Benefits of floating pool skimmers: With different mesh baskets and attachments, Floating skimmers can be used to skim both fine particulates as well as large pieces of debris such as rotting leaves, flowers, hair, moths, butterflies, and large insects. They can be used in addition to a fixed skimmer to reduce the need for manual skimming. They can also be used alone in above-ground pools.

Robotic above ground pool skimmers:

  • These self-contained pool skimmers are sometimes referred to as ‘free-floating skimmers’. However, they do not float; they move around the pool on motors.
    These popular above-ground pool skimmers can be either straight battery, solar powered, or run off the mains. However, robotic skimmers are usually solar powered with battery that can be charged by the mains. They can also be remote controlled, with docking station for in-pool storage.

Benefits of robotic pool skimmers: Since self-contained skimmers run on solar power, they do not use any electricity. Depending on how often you would otherwise need to run your pool pump, a solar-powered robotic pool skimmer can save significantly on your pool’s power usage. They also pick up a lot more debris, a lot more quickly.

Manual pool skimmers

  • Manual Skimmers and Skimmer Nets: Manual skimmers are used for in-ground and above-ground pools. However, they are always included in definitive lists of skimmers for either type of pool. This is because they skim better than any other skimmer when it comes to cleaning up large amounts of large debris, fast. With your muscle power, of course.
    Manual Skimmer Nets come in a variety of sizes and models with differing capacities. They also come with telescopic poles that can be extended for cleaning large and deep pools. Accessories that give these nets extra cleaning capacity include mesh baskets for finer debris and hose attachments for vacuuming.

Above-ground pools come in many different shapes and sizes. They are used for different purposes (e.g. an indoor heated therapy pool vs an outdoor residential pool; a spa pool with jets vs a plunge pool). Some pools get use more than others. Other pools must be cleared of debris more often. They need to be cleaned of different types of debris. There are many variations that can determine how much skimming power you need and what kind of skimmer would be best for your pool.
There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ pool skimmer for every above ground pool; however, there is an above-ground pool skimmer for every pool.