The swimming pool skimmer pulls water from the optimal of your salt water pool and gets rid of leaves, bugs and other debris before the water gets run via the filter, rechlorinated and also returned back to the pool. But the pool skimmer opening additionally gives another important purpose: It’s wright here you affix the end of your pool hose to vacuum your pool.

You are watching: How to increase suction in pool skimmer

Generally the pool skimmer has a really solid suction because of the tiny opening and also close proximity to the pump. That and the reality that the only other means the pool pump draws in water is from the main drainpipe at the bottom of the pool. When you lose skimmer suction, it might be because of a full skimmer basket, blockage in the piping, a leak, or a lot of most likely a water filter that either demands to be backwaburned, rinsed or replaced. It might likewise be a difficulty with the skimmer valve that is either partially closed accidentally or on purpose and also forgained about.

Here are a list of things to examine throughout your salt water pool device that could be causing you the trouble.

Table of Components (Click Link To Go There)

Skimmer And Main Drain Valves

When we first bought our home with an existing pool, I had to familiarize myself through the pool system on my own as no training was available and I didn’t feel prefer paying our pool agency $75 for their pool school. Yeah, I’m cheap but I additionally favor figuring stuff out myself.

We have actually typical white pool piping through the familiar red plastic handles to control waterflow. I learned that one valve opens up and close the skimmer. One valve opens up and also closes the major drain. And a third valve constantly stays open up and also isn’t ever before touched just bereason. That’s all I know and I don’t touch it.

The trouble with these red plastic knobs is that with constant usage and through our harsh winters, inevitably via opening and closing the skimmer over time for whatever before factor, the plastic valve knob on the pipe starts to wear off and also loses its grip. Similar to a screw head gets worn out if you tighten and also loosen the exact same screw repeatedly.

Long story short: A few times, I couldn’t open up the valve entirely because the threading on the red manage or on the valve actuator itself wore out and also I left the valve closed.

Always double check to encertain that your valves are left entirely opened once you want them open up and that you didn’t accidentally shut them or restrict them. And if you have actually youngsters who like to play earlier there, they might have accidentally closed a valve without anyone knowing.

Pool Filtration System

In my experience, the greatest factor you lose suction everywhere in the pool mechanism and also why return water jets into the pool suddenly gain really low circulation is as a result of an issue with your pool filter. In all likelihood the filter demands to be backwamelted (sand also or D.E. filter) or correctly rinsed (cartridge filter).

Our cartridge filter gets clogged when algae sets in and also late in the seaboy if I haven’t rinsed it newly. I’m amazed by exactly how much heavier the massive cartridge gets (we have actually a 2-cartridge Sta-Rite System 3 filter) when it’s full of crud. The amount of sand and also mud that washes out is unreal. It’s still hefty after rinsing but not rather as much as prior to cleaning it. Especially if algae is a difficulty. That really clogs filters. I’ve additionally had an inch of sand sitting at the bottom of the filter real estate that I literally scoop out.

And periodically after a few years of use, assuming the cartridges aren’t ready to be reput they might have to be soaked overnight in a filter cleaner to alleviate oils and other contaminants that a hose rinsing alone won’t attain. I was amazed at how filling a huge, clean garbage bucket complete of water and also adding a $7 bottle of filter cleaner would aid the cartridges as soon as I popped them in and also left them overnight to soak. I rinsed them off the following day, reset up them in the device, fired up the pump and also felt the significant strong pressure of water from the rerevolve water jets inside the pool.

Keep an eye on the push gauge on your filter bereason typically a PSI reading of 8 – 10 or worse implies it’s time to backwash or rinse. Poor filtration have the right to seriously impact water flow and also suction.

Pool Skimmer Basket

Pool skimmers can get packed through leaves and also debris over time and after heavy wind or a rain storm.

The pool skimmer basket gets filled via leaves and also various other debris. And occasionally a dead animal. Sad but true. All of this debris have the right to block water circulation particularly if you haven’t checked the skimmer in a few days, were amethod from your home, have leaves and also twigs that blow into your pool, or have actually had hefty rain and wind which blows even more debris right into your pool.

Our skimmer basket has actually also sucked in roof tiles that broke off in the time of a wind storm and plastic chip bags and various other junk that someexactly how flew into our backyard! This stuff definitely blocks and also restricts water flow.

If something gets lodged in the skimmer, it deserve to pressure the skimmer trap door open and if it continues to be open, water won’t circulation in and also it will certainly suck air. I’ve that take place too. You will certainly hear a problem if the pump is running though. You will hear the sound of air being sucked in and the pump struggling. The sooner you gain to the trouble, the much better.

Pump Basket

Find Out to listen for the sounds your pump makes. I alert right amethod from sound alone once the pump is sucking air and is having actually trouble pumping as just stated over. It provides a certain sound that indicates somepoint is blocking it somewbelow and I have to go look and also uncover out easily what’s resulting in it. In my suffer, it’s frequently the pump basket that is full of debris particularly if we had a storm or I haven’t checked the basket in a few days.

Do you empty the basket after eexceptionally time you vacuum the pool? The pump basket collects all the junk from vacuuming. I have actually emptied completely full baskets complete of leaves, twigs and other stuff that I couldn’t believe made it in the basket after vacuuming. Long twigs several inches in length, dead worms, leaves, mud and also various other crud. It’s a number of pounds hefty at times from all the vacuumed stuff it’s holding.

Key Drain

Do you have a major drainpipe blockage? The main drain is at the exceptionally bottom of the pool at the incredibly deepest component. It’s like a drain in a bathtub except that it’s harder to reach. Unless you like diving right into the pool and also going all the way down with goggles to check your main drain (Personal note: I’ve never done this!) you deserve to just visually examine the main drainpipe while standing external the pool looking dvery own at it once the water is still.

How does it look? Is tright here anypoint blocking it or restricting flow? While a blocked primary drainpipe shouldn’t necessarily restrict skimmer water circulation, if tright here is a blockage or leak down tbelow, it’s going to cause you trouble either way. Remember: Things acquire sucked right into the major drainpipe by the pump so when it sucks somepoint in, even via the pump shut off it can reprimary stuck there until it is rerelocated even if you can’t watch it from external the pool looking down.

Pool Skimmer Water Height

I always usage the pool skimmer as my gauge to encertain the water level is correct and to visually watch just how a lot water was lost given that the last time I checked! Water evaporation in the summer (it’s real and significant) and also water shed to splashing (not as big a deal) is conveniently visible once you use a common measurement to quickly look.

So eexceptionally day I walk outside to the pool and also take a look at the skimmer and make a note of where the water level is and compare it mentally to wright here it was the day prior to, or the last time I checked. You can conveniently watch when water demands to be topped or conveniently spot a possible difficulty prefer a pool leak.

The water level for my pool demands to be 1/2 to 3/4 of the way up the pool skimmer. If it’s much lower, the skimmer won’t attract in sufficient water and also will suck air. Not good! Water hregarding be high enough to circulation right into the skimmer inlet via no air current. This have the right to negatively impact suction on the skimmer. You may should add water to the pool if as well much has actually evaporated which it will certainly during the summer, via sunny weather.

If the water level is as well high – frequently if we gain torrential rain which we have actually knowledgeable – the water level is unexpectedly higher than the skimmer opening and won’t appropriately skim. This won’t negatively impact suction on the skimmer but it will soptimal the skimmer from skimming! So if you ever notice leaves floating throughout your pool or near the skimmer, it could be because the water is also high. You might must drainpipe water until you have actually the proper elevation.

Vacuum Hose And Head Attachment

This isn’t a problem via the skimmer per se however if you’re having vacuum cleaning troubles via little bit suction, I have the right to nearly guarantee you have actually something stuck in your hose. The pool hose has a tendency to be extremely long so it have the right to reach each part of the pool. That means tright here a lot of room inside the hose for things to obtain blocked. If you pick up a hose, it’s reasonably hefty given it’s long length. So twigs, mud, leaves, etc may gain recorded understanding without you understanding around it considering that it’s currently a heavy object to start with. And it causes problems via vacuuming.

Because the hose isn’t transparent, you can’t view the blockage even though it’s tbelow. In my experience, twigs and also then leaves from the bottom of the pool get clogged over time and also cause the vacuum to job-related imappropriately. I’ve had actually to take the pool hose and either knock it versus the ground to loosen blockages or hose it out through a high push hose to clean it out.

See more: The Hills 10 Year Anniversary Special, Lauren Conrad Confirms 'Hills' 10


The skimmer is supplied for not only skimming the height of water to remove leaves and other floating debris but additionally for pool vacuum cleaner. You deserve to shed suction in the skimmer for a variety of factors as discussed above yet the main ones in my experience is a blockage somewbelow in the piping, a packed skimmer or pump basket or more likely a filter that needs to be backwamelted, rinsed or replaced. Specifically, the sand also in the instance of a sand filter or the cartridges in a cartridge filter might have to be reput if after cleaning, the difficulty stays and you can’t find a blockage, leak or various other problem.