In order to maintain a clean pool, modern pool set-ups have in place an essential pool cleaning system consisting components that work together to produce the best results. One of such components is the “pool skimmer basket” or “pool strainer basket”.
This basket-like apparatus arguably does most of the work which is to trap all large debris such as leaves, toys and even animals, while allowing water free of debris to pass. At the end of the day/week all you have to do is empty the pool skimmer basket and you’re good to go.
Top 5 Best Pool Skimmer Baskets: Editor Pick’s
As with all equipment, eventually your current skimmer basket would wear off and become less effective. At this point you’d need a replacement with top-quality products that rival the original. So, in this pool skimmer basket review, we’d be taking a look at the best pool skimmer baskets from verified purchasers point of view.
At this point, you have a general idea of what pool skimmer baskets are and what they do. Now, depending on the type of pool and filtration systems installed, you would come across various types of skimmer baskets based type of pool filtration systems or source of power.
Whatever type you end up getting, as long the dimensions, cost, durability, and ease of use are right for you; they ultimately serve the same purpose.
Types of Pool Skimmer Baskets (Based on type of Pool)
In-ground Pool Skimmer Basket
As the name implies, these serve as skimmers for In-ground pools. They can best be described as small rectangular baskets that are attached to the sides of the pool. They are positioned such that the water level is about half of the full height of the basket for best functionality.
The most common types are made of white plastic material, and some have a weir- a semi-automatic door that opens and close according to the water levels and movement. The weir closes off when the water is turned off so the debris does not float back into the pool.
Above-ground Skimmer Basket
These also represent the type of pools they are found in i.e. above-ground pools. They consist of a plastic arm that attaches the basket to the side of the pool for proper functioning. A variant of this- the floating skimmer basket would be described below.
Floating Skimmer Basket
Unlike the in-ground and above-ground skimmer baskets where the name implies that it is used for in-ground and above-ground pool set-ups respectively, the floating skimmer baskets are not meant for “floating pool” (no such thing exists). Floating skimmer baskets floats around the pool and consists of a skimmer basket vortex that serves as a vacuum that randomly collects debris.
Types of Pool Skimmer Baskets (Based on Source of Power)
The classification above based on location and type of pool overlaps with this typing. Here, the skimmer baskets are simply classed according to who is operating the skimmers. All these types can be used with above-ground and in-ground pools.
Manual Pool Skimmer Baskets
These are the least expensive and by far the easiest to operate cleaning devices. They are basically a mesh net attached long handle. The handles are usually light weight for comfort. These are used for filtering mainly large debris like leaves and twigs. Manual skimmers are operated by hand and require no source of electricity.
Automatic Skimmer Baskets
Automatic skimmers are water powered and require no other source of energy to operate. They are directly connected to the inlet drain of the pool by a hose. This water pressure from the hose powers propellers that move it around the pool as it filters debris.
Above-ground automatic skimmers are hooked on to the pump with screws while in-ground pool skimmers are found at the side of the pool with half of it below water level.
Self-contained Skimmer Baskets
These are powered by solar panels that ae already built in. They are less expensive to operate as they depend on sunlight rather than the pool’s pump. They move around the pool and filter small and large particles of debris whether or not the pool’s pump is working.
How do Pool Skimmer Baskets Work?
Pool skimmers are the genesis of the circulation system of the pool and in a way serve as gate keepers into the pool’s filtration system. This description is made on the assumption that you use an in-ground pool.
The pool pump uses negative pressure to pull water through the skimmers. As the water passes through the skimmers, large debris such as twigs, leaves, insects, toys are trapped within the mesh of the skimmer and cleaner water makes its way to the pump and back into the pool. This prevents blockage and damage of the expensive pump and circulation system.
What Other Functions Do Skimmer Baskets Serve?
In addition to the most common use of skimmer baskets for filtration, the best pool skimmer baskets, serve other purposes in the pool filtration system. You should keep these other functions in mind when deciding the best pool strainer basket for you.
Keeps Water Free from Micro debris
If you’re in a large family of have a lot of friends and visitors that make use of you pool, micro debris such as oily substances like shampoos, sunscreens, makeup, etc. The addition of pool skimmer basket socks- a pantyhose-like material with a finer mesh would go a long way to get rid of, or at least reduce the levels of such materials.
Serves as a Conduit for Chlorine Tablets
You can directly add chlorine tablets to your skimmer baskets. This increases the concentration of chlorine and therefore the purity of the pool water. This is because water is pulled through the skimmer and dissolves the tablets before even getting into the pump. This is far more effective than just directly dropping the tablets and letting them float around in the pool.
Tip: In order to prevent damage of equipment, the partly dissolved chorine tablets should be removed when the pump is not running to prevent stasis.
When is it Time to Clean the Pool Skimmer Basket?
This depends greatly the usage and location. For instance, a skimmer basket used by a family of 5, once a week, under the clear skies would need less cleaning than one used by a family of 10, twice a week with a tree branch overhead.
General consensus encourages pool owners to clean the pool skimmer baskets at least once a week because even without usage, a lot of junk falls into the pool and you wouldn’t want that to sit in the basket for too long. This is because the organic debris tends to break down after a while and may form smaller particles that may find its way into the circulation system.
With heavy usage, windy climes, trees overhead, it is advisable to increase the frequency of clearing out and cleaning your pool skimmer basket.
How to Clean the Pool Skimmer Basket?
This is a pretty straightforward process. When you decide your skimmer is ready to be cleaned, all you have to do is turn of the pump and take out the basket and empty whatever dirt you find in there and replace it. You may decide to wash with soap and rinse out if you encounter sticky or oily debris.
Recommended Pool Skimmer Basket Reviews:
Now that we know what a skimmer basket is and how it works, recommended products based on verified purchaser review and experiences would be given below. These recommendations are made based off of criteria such as value for cost, durability, brand reputation, etc. Here are the top 10 recommended pool skimmer basket reviews:
1. 20-pack of pool skimmer socks- Perfect savers for filters, baskets
- Traps All The Gunk And Debris: Made from durable...
- Protects Your Filter System, Saving You Money:...
- Makes Cleaning Your Filter Basket A Breeze:...
This product is made from durable, ultrafine and elastic nylon mesh. This makes it able to filter out even the finest pieces of dirt like hair, leaves, pollen, insects and even oil. This way even the finest of debris cannot find its way into your filtration system.
- Can be used with most, if not all skimmer baskets
- Comes with 20 pool filter socks
- Premium design material
- Not suitable for chlorinated water
2. Hayward SPX 1082CA Basket Assembly Replacement for Select Hayward
- Basket assembly replacement
- Genuine Hayward replacement basket assembly for...
This model works with most Hayward models. It is for pool owners who own auto-skimmer baskets and need a replacement or for first time purchasers. It is also compatible with other filter brands and offers high value for cost.
- High value for money
- Reputable manufacturer
- Ease of installation
- Fragile Handle
3. Coop ache 30-Pack of Pool Skimmer Socks
- AVOID EXPENSIVE REPAIRS: Pool skimmer socks...
- MESH FILTER SOCKS: these nylon filter sicks are...
- ULTRA DURABLE MESH POOL SKIMMER SOCKS: These...
This is suitable for both in-ground and above-ground pools. The product is made from long-lasting elastic and ultrafine mesh which can be reused for as long as 5 years. The ultrafine mesh makes it suitable for filtering dust, oil, little insects and other debris. Also, due to the elastic properties they fit well over the most popular skimmer basket brands like Swim quip, Hayward, etc.
- Easy to install
- Compatible with wide range of skimmer brands
- High durability
- Handle breaks easily
4. Swimming Pool Replacement Skimmer Basket for Hayward SP1070E B-9
- Handle basket replacement
- Fits Pentair Bermuda gunite and vinyl liner...
- Measurements are 5-3/16" Deep x 5-3/4" Wide...
This can be used with both above-ground and in-ground pools. The material is made of fairly durable plastic that serves as a suitable replacement for Hayward handle baskets. This is compatible with other filters that match its shape and size. It keeps large leaves, stones, twigs, grass out of your filtration system for a long period of time.
- High suction power
- High value for money
- Not easy to remove
5. Skim Doctor 2.0 Pool Skimmer Basket TURBOCHARGER for in-ground pools
- 3x Faster Cleaning - The SkimDoctor 2.0 catches...
- Swift and Dry Cleanup - Tired of getting your...
- Fewer Pool Chemicals Needed - By improving water...
The Skim Doctor 2.0 comes with vortex technology that pulls debris from you pool into the pool skimmer basket, making sure that there is no debris floating above the basket.
It works optimally with both low-flow and variable-speed pumps. All these including the easy-empty design, makes the Skim Doctor 2.0 one of the best pool skimmer baskets.
- Universally compatible
- Fast Dry cleanup of your skimmer basket
- Easy to assemble
- Easy to remove
- Basket not included
6. GVT SP-HP Skimmer Basket
- Designed with a tower-vent that provides...
- Protects your pump motor from running dry
- Allows you to remove an overfilled basket without...
This skimmer basket saves you the hassle of having to turn off your pump and dig through the build-up of debris to remove and empty the basket. The basket is designed with a tower-vent that allow continuous flow of water even when the basket is completely filled with leaves and debris.
- Ease to clean
- Ease to remove
- Protects pump from running dry
7. Pentair 08650-0007 Sta-Rite U-3 Skimmer Basket
Like most Pentair products, this skimmer basket has a simplistic design and is made of premium quality and lightweight metal earning its reputation for high durability. It is compatible with Pentair brands and other skimmers with the same dimensions and can be used for both above-ground and in-ground pools.
It keeps large leaves, stones and other debris out of your swimming pool for many years.
- High value for money
- May get clogged up when filled
8. DOLPOL 30 Packs Pool Skimmer Socks
- Ideal for filtration system protection - the...
- Wide compatibility - stretch band can work with...
- Lower your maintenance cost - the fine mesh filter...
The skimmer socks are made from elastic and ultrafine nylon mesh. This makes them able to trap micro debris such as oil, scum, pollen, hair and macro debris like leaves, grass, etc. preventing blockage of the filtration system. It fits snuggly over virtually any shape and size of skimmer baskets due to its high elasticity.
- Easy installation
- Low maintenance cost
- Wide compatibility
- Effective against micro debris
- Disintegrates with prolonged contact with chlorine tablets
9. Pentair R38013A Basket for Floating Weir, Admiral Skimmer
- Genuine Pentair brand replacement parts
- Pentair R38013A Basket (for Floating Weir) for...
- Also a direct fit replacement for the American...
This is the second Pentair skimmer basket on this list and for good reason. The simplistic metal design gives it a premium look and long-lasting properties. It is only for floating weirs. Can be used by both in-ground and above-ground swimming pools.
- High durability
- Price commensurate with value
- Easy to install
- No assembly required
- Gets clogged when filled up
10. Val-Pak Products V22-110 U-3 Skimmer Basket
- U-3 Skimmer Basket (B-9)
- Manufactured To The Highest Standards To Provide...
- Best Value For Your Money
The chlorine-resistant plastic build of this skimmer basket provides both lightweight and high durability. Can be used for both in-ground and above-ground pools. The meshes are large enough to allow water to pass but small enough to trap contaminants preventing the clogging of the filtration system.
- High value for money
- Long-lasting build
- No assembly required
- Handle breaks easily
Guide for Buyers
It’s easy to head to an online store or physical store and get the fanciest and most expensive skimmer baskets only to head home and realize that it wasn’t right for you pool. Here, we’re going to give you factors to consider before getting out your wallet and handing cash to the sweet-talking salesperson. Consider the following things before heading to the store to ensure you get the best pool skimmer basket for you:
- Swimming Pool Type
This is the single most important factor to consider when buying pool skimmers. It’s up to you now to know the type of pool you own and the best skimmer basket your pool needs.
- Above-ground pool skimmer- These are meant for above-ground pools. The best above ground pool skimmers generally are attached to the side of the pool with nuts and bolts apart from the floating variety that randomly floats around the pool picking up debris.
- In-ground pool skimmer- These are attached to the sides of the in-ground pool with concrete and is halfway immersed into water.
- Skimmer type (based on power source)
As already stated in greater detail earlier in the article, there are three types of pool skimmers based on their source of power. Ensure you choose the best skimmer basket for your pool in order to prevent wear on your pump system.
- Manual Skimmers- They operate using human power and are the cheapest ones you can come across, but they function only for filtering large particles like large leaves, stones and others. This is mainly for individuals that want to be actively involved in the pool cleaning.
- Automatic Skimmers- These are water-powered and move randomly round the pool gathering dirt. This random movement also prevents it from getting stuck at one corner of the pool. Since they are powered by a water pump, they may exert undue stress on your pump.
- Self-Contained skimmers- They are solar-powered; hence they work only when the sun is shining. They also randomly float round the pool collecting dirt. The only downside is the high cost for acquisition. This is suited for those that do not want to be actively involved in the pool cleaning process but want a high frequency of cleaning.
This factor can be pretty discouraging especially for families on a budget. It is important to compare the prices and specifications of various skimmers and check if they meet your needs. There are always cheaper alternatives to expensive skimmers that offer similar levels of functionality.
- Mode of Operation
This simply means finding the pool skimmer that meets the specific needs you require. Some skimmers can clean only the bottom of the pool, some clean only the top while some can do both.
Although not a major factor, it is still very important pool skimmers. Some brands are more reputable than others in offering long-lasting products with some additional features.
- Additional features and compatibility
Before you purchase a skimmer, use a measuring tape to get the dimensions of your pool sections. These dimensions should be compatible with the extension parts and joints of the skimmer so as to enable the pool hold the skimmer in the right position.
- Ease of installation/ Replacement of parts
You should generally pick a skimmer basket that can be installed easily, preferably on your own. This is to cut cost on hiring an engineer for the task.
Also, the sections of your skimmer should be easy to replace in case of damage or loss.
Unless you want to be changing your skimmer, particularly the pole every week, you should select a skimmer with high durability.
The plastic material used in manufacturing the mesh, pole and frame should be heavy duty and have a premium feel. This reduces corrosion and degradation caused by exposure to the pool chemicals and UV light.
- Mesh Size
This is a less important factor but important nonetheless. The mesh size would depend on the primary debris you deal with. Large meshes are suitable for collecting large leaves and twigs but not so effective for collecting hair, insect or other animal matter.
All the above mentioned factors should be carefully considered in order to prevent the purchase of low quality, incompatible and a product with low value for cost.
- How frequently should I empty my pool skimmer basket?
Generally, it is advised to empty skimmer baskets once a week but, you may adjust the frequency based on usage and location of the pool.
- What is the materials used in making skimmer baskets?
Different manufacturers employ the use of different materials. The most commonly used materials are corrosion-resistant metal and plastic.
- Are Skimmer Basket Socks Mandatory?
Without skimmer basket socks, small-sized debris like hair, oil, make-up can get past the larger meshes in conventional skimmer baskets. So, yes they are necessary.
- Do I really need a skimmer basket?
Well, that depends on if you want your pool to be clean and your filtration system to last as long as it could. If you want all these, then yes, you definitely need one.
Every pool owner wants a clean pool and a constantly patent pool circulation system. And one of the surest ways to ensure these is to understand the functions, types and features of skimmers baskets. Then purchase the best pool skimmer basket for you and clear it out as frequently as needed.