When your pool skimmer has no suction, the cause is most likely a blockage. This can put the entire filtration system of the pool into question, as there will be low water pressure. And if your pool skimmer is clogged, how then do you unblock it? Also, how do you prevent the skimmer from clogging again?
Check the valve
The first thing to do to increase the suction is to check for blockage and air leaks. If one of the skimmers does not suck, it would be necessary to remove the basket from the skimmer. Then check if there isn’t a flow control valve at the bottom of the skimmer, which would be almost closed.
Indeed some skimmers have a kind of valve which more or less obstructs the suction inlet. This is to balance the suction flow rates of the two skimmers.
So, ensure that the non-return valve works well; that it is not blocked or incorrectly installed. If the problem doesn’t come from there, then there are strong chances that the pipe is blocked.
How to adjust pool skimmer suction by unclogging it
For the pool water to be clean, the skimmers suck up the impurities. The skimmers send these impurities into the swimming pool filter (via the swimming pool pump).
If one of your pool skimmers is clogged, it’ll be difficult for the water to pass through the pool filter for cleaning. This, obviously, is not good news.
In this case, open the skimmer that you think is blocked. This helps you to look at its state thanks to the access hatch, which is located above. Some skimmers are equipped with a small plate under the filter to regulate the flow. And when it moves, it sometimes clogs the hose connected to the swimming pool pump.
If this is not the case, it may be that a clog has formed. This could be the result of an accumulation of waste, and it could be clogging the hose of the skimmer. In this case, it will be necessary to dislodge the clog.
You can do this by exerting pressure in the pipe in the opposite direction to the suction. This can be done by connecting a hose or an air compressor, which will send water (or air) into the skimmer with enough force to remove the clog.
Caution: These operations require more or less complex assemblies. If you do not know how to do this, it is more advisable to call a professional!
You can also give the filtration system a backwash, especially if the problem persists after unclogging. Quite often, if the system hasn’t been backwashed for some months, a good backwash will bring good pressure back. And we’re looking for about 75 PSI after a backwash to indicate good pressure.
If the problem persists, check the pool bottom. Is the bottom of the pool loaded with “coarse” dirt? It is safer to remove as much as possible, before restarting the filtration.
How to prevent a pool skimmer from clogging
In most cases, when a skimmer becomes clogged, it’s because the elements that were in the skimmer basket have reached the pipe. And as the skimmer skims all the impurities and waste (grass, twigs, plant debris, insects, etc.) that are on the surface of the water, a clog can form in the pipe that goes to the filtration.
It is, therefore, essential to regularly check the condition of the baskets of your skimmers. This is also to ensure that they are not worn or cracked.
Also, small toys do block and clog skimmers. Therefore, after each swim, it is advisable to clean the pool!