How Many Skimmers Does a Pool Need?

Written by Michael Dean
May 8, 2024

pool and skimmer

Many different parts of your swimming pool system keep your swimming pool clean. The filter pump removes the smallest particles, and your chlorine levels prevent algae from growing in your pool water. Your skimmer basket stops large debris, such as sticks, leaves, and dead animals, from blocking your plumbing and damaging your filter pump. It is a very important piece of your pool that every swimming pool should have installed.

Not every pool requires only one skimmer; larger pools may require two or even more skimmer baskets. So, how many skimmers does your pool actually need? Read on to find out!

Main Takeaways

  • You should have one skimmer basket for every 400 square feet of surface area.
  • If you install too many skimmers, they may interfere with each other and have the opposite effect.
  • If you have too few skimmers, your skimmer may not be able to capture all of the debris.

How to Calculate How Many Pool Skimmers You Need

My general recommendation is that your pool should have one skimmer basket for every 400 square feet of surface area your pool encompasses. The depth of your pool doesn’t really make a difference in the case of skimmers because they only draw water from the surface of the pool.

This essentially means that if your pool is over 400 square feet and you only have one skimmer basket, you either need to install a new skimmer basket or purchase a floating skimmer.

If your pool is more than 400 square feet but less than 600 square feet, I recommend using a floating skimmer to pick up the slack for your skimmer basket. This is because installing an entirely new skimmer can be a tedious process that may not actually help you much.

On the other hand, if your pool is over 600 square feet, it should have two skimmer baskets. Otherwise, you will constantly be manually skimming the water with a telescopic pole and net.

Is Having Too Many Pool Skimmers a Problem?

As a general rule, try not to install more pool skimmers than necessary. Although it may seem like a good idea to have as many installed as possible due to their cleaning ability, it may actually have a negative effect.

Each skimmer produces its own current to filter out the debris from the water. If there are too many skimmers creating currents in the pool, they will interfere with each other’s process of cleaning the pool effectively. In short, too many skimmers will cancel each other out and prevent each other from adequately cleaning the pool by reducing the suction.

Rather than installing one too many skimmers in your pool, purchase a floating skimmer or a skimmer net. If trees and nature surround your pool, you may often find leaves floating on the water, which can be unsightly and dirty your water. A floating skimmer or skimmer net can help clean the pool without interfering with your pool’s skimmer basket’s current.

Is Having Too Few Pool Skimmers a Problem?

If your pool’s surface area is larger than 400 square feet and you are only using one skimmer basket, you will likely notice that the skimmer cannot catch all the larger particles in your pool. The current that the pump creates will not reach far enough to suck all of the floating debris into the basket.

Generally, large pools that professionals install will have the correct number of skimmer baskets. If yours does not, you might want to contact a pool professional to assist you (I can help if you want to shoot me an email) or consider investing in a high-quality floating skimmer. There are also external skimmer baskets on the market that can be attached to your pump without having to carry out any major plumbing or excavating. You can check my recommendations for the best pool skimmers for some good options.

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Find Your Right Number

Skimmer baskets are essential and often overlooked pieces of equipment for your pool. Make sure that your pool has enough skimmer baskets to support it and properly clear the debris in the water. But don’t jump the gun and install a skimmer basket in a pool that doesn’t need one—this may have the reverse effect!

Do you have more questions about your skimmer basket? Feel free to reach out to me. Always happy to help. You can also read one of my other skimmer help articles below.

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