Should I Use The Main Drain Or Skimmer?(Guide)

Should I Use The Main Drain Or Skimmer?

Should I Use The Main Drain Or Skimmer?

Using either a skimmer or main drain will depend on the pool’s quantity of leaves and other debris. Indeed, the amount of suction required will dictate what to use. More leaves and debris will need more suction at the slimmer than the main drain.

Without appropriate suction (meaning skimmer), it will not be possible to adequately strain debris floating on the surface.

But if the principal contaminant is dirt at the bottom of the pool, you will need more suction at the main drain.

And it might be necessary to switch all suction from the skimmer to the main drain if the pool water level drops.

You will avoid sucking air into the skimmer inlet by drawing all water through the main drain.

Generally, Spa circulation pumps will draw water from your pool using a suction that comes through the skimmer inlets at water level and the main drain at the pool’s bottom.

The water gets into the circulation pump by being pulled using negative pressure before being pumped through the filter and then back to the pool.

Generally, the pump suction in most pools will be diverted entirely either to the skimmer or to the main drain. But there are instances it is divided between the two.

Do Hot Tubs Need Skimmers?

Yes, Hot tubs need skimmers. Without skimmers, hot tubs would not be able to function well. Skimmers are designed to skim the water, apprehend debris, and avoid clogging the filtration system and the pool pump.

Additionally, skimmers are meant to maintain clean water to guarantee health and safety for the swimmers.

Unfortunately, a skimmer can get clogged with debris. This is an unfortunate thing as it disables the skimmer’s role entirely.

Should I Use The Main Drain Or Skimmer?

But even if it’s not disabled completely, your skimmer will not perform its role as needed. If the water level is too high or too low, you will have problems.

On the other hand, you will need to be wary of inadequate suction, problematic weir flop, and air lockage to prevent problems with the skimmer.

Indeed, skimmers can be said to be the starting point for any proper hot tub setup as they are an essential part of such systems.

They perform their role so subtly that you might not even notice when having fun in the hot tub or swimming pool.

Skimmers are installed on the surface and are handy in captivating floating debris that is infamous for causing damage to the pool’s filtration, occasioning damage, and costly repairs.

What Does A Hot Tub Skimmer Do?

A skimmer is helpful in the ongoing maintenance of a hot tub or a swimming Spa. A skimmer will effectively remove floating physical debris from the water, including leaves and insects.

There are integral skimmers forming part of the filtration system for hard-sided tubs. However, inflatable tubs require manual skimming as they have different filtration and circulation capability.

For hard-sided tubs having their integral skimming functions, you will find the skimmer at the main body of water entrance to the hot tub.

This is where the water gets heated and treated before returning to the main tank via the jets.

Removing physical debris before getting to the primary filtration system is essential as it avoids blockages in the circulation pump impellers and the central pipework.

By default, anything entering your hot tub that is not the water threatens your hot tub. It also poses a contamination threat to bathers.

A manual skimmer can be used for hot tubs that do not come with a skimmer like an inflatable hot tub, but it will only remove debris recognized by the naked eye.

How Do You Clean A Spa Skimmer?

Usually, cleaning a Spa skimmer is not hard at all. To keep a hot tub clean, it’s advisable to maintain frequent maintenance.

The tools for this endeavor are the same as those used in cleaning swimming pools—only that it’s on a smaller scale.

You will need to use a long-handled leaf skimmer net to remove large pieces of floating debris.

Alternatively, you can use a bucket and a soft sponge as low-tech tools, which help clean interior Spa walls.

Remember, due to a Spa’s small size, even a minimal amount of debris lowers the efficiency of the circulation system.

Anytime you use your Spa, bring out the skimmer and use a Spa wand twice a week to remove debris that settles to the bottom.

Again, debris-free baskets are helpful for the proper operation of the circulation system.

The skimmers should be cleaned twice a week by removing leaves and other things that might obstruct the water flow. But for in-ground Spas, a strainer basket can be used.

Spa water should be drained fairly often as total dissolved solids build up quickly. When you empty the Spa, it is an opportunity to clean the inner surfaces.

You can brush the Spa interior as this eliminates calcium scales and other algae buildup. However, take cognizance of different Spa materials as not all Spa surfaces will withstand stiff brushing.

How Do You Vacuum A Pool That Doesn’t Have A Skimmer?

The first thing when vacuuming a pool is priming your vacuum by removing all the air from the system.

And because a vacuum system works by being fixed to a skimmer, connected to the pump. When the bubbles stop flowing from the vacuum head.

The free end of the vacuum hose should be brought to the strainer bucket. In doing this, the end of the hose should be kept beneath the water at all times.

This ensures no more water enters the hose. The lid needs to be removed from the strainer basket like the float valve.

When vacuuming a pool with algae, you will need to vacuum to waste. This lets you vacuum the algae up and then send it out through the backwash line.

This will prevent algae from getting into your filter sand. Alternatively, you can bypass your filter to prevent algae from flowing back into your pool with vacuum to waste.

This is possible by turning off the pump.

Why Are There Two Holes In My Pool Skimmer?

Having two holes in a pool skimmer helps keep the pump from running dry if the water level is unstable.

Two hole-skimmers need a skimmer float to sit over both holes with the basket sitting on top of that inside the skimmer. A hole with a moveable flap at the bottom of the skimmer float.

This opens and closes the hole. If your hole is closed, you will not be using the skimmer as it can only be used when the hole is open.

The main drain is a bottom skimmer used when the flap opens.

Should My Pool Skimmer Be On All The Time?

Generally, your pool water should undergo filtration every 24 hours. However, the pump does not have to run all the time.

It’s best to remove all debris floating on the pool surface using a hand-held skimmer as it is an energy-saving maintenance activity.

Some situations do not need you to have the pool pump running. For instance, during heavy rains, refrain from running your pump.

Remember your pool equipment is at risk of flooding so that the pool pump can be submerged.

Therefore, you need to shut off the power from the main panel and remove your pool pump.

Once a pool pump gets submerged and waterlogged, it has to be replaced, and it’s a costly endeavor.

But in good weather, you can run your pool pump for up to eight hours without any concern or fear.

And unless you are doing a chemical treatment, it’s always recommended to run the pool pump during the day only.

How Do You Connect A Skimmer To A Pump?

To connect a skimmer to a pump, you will need to hook up hoses to the pool pump and the filter.

One end of the hose from the skimmer pipe should be connected to the pump, even as the opposite end is connected to the return hose that connects to the pool filter valve.

Another hose needs to be attached to connect the pool pump and filter. You cannot successfully do this without hose clamps and water pump pliers.

Now link a single pump hose to your skimmer pipe below the skimmer basket. You will need to have the hose locked over the pipe with a hose clamp.

The opposite end of the hose should then be attached to the pump. Proceed to have the return hose connected to the pool’s fitting pipe and clamp it down.

The other end of the return hose should be connected to the return valve of the pool filter. Ensure that you have a tight seal, as this is possible with the hose clamp.

The connections between the pump and the pool filter can be made using another hose.

Water pump pliers can secure the connections even as hose clamps are used to seal the pipes and hoses.

After this, the pump needs to be activated, but first, you need to check the connections to ensure they are done correctly.

Should The Skimmer Valve Be Open Or Closed?

Although there are different versions of skimmer valves, their operation is the same. Skimmer valves should be open.

If they are not open, the cleaner cannot operate at maximum efficiency. But these are the only parts that need to be open; The skimmer and cleaner valves.

Consequently, while you can have the main drain+skimmer or cleaner+skimmer open, you should never have the main drain+skimmer+cleaner all open simultaneously.

Again, the pool’s main drain should never be open when using a suction cleaner. A pool’s main drain pulls water from the pool’s bottom through the pump and filtration system.

But a suction cleaner does that as well, so you don’t want to replicate roles. It is only that the water drawn by the suction cleaner is going through another line.

Regardless, it pools water from the bottom of the pool.

If, for any reason, you take the cleaner out of the pool, you will need to set the valves differently by opening the main drain and closing the cleaner valve.

While opening all the valves can’t hurt your equipment, the cleaner can’t operate correctly in such instances.

Do I Need A Skimmer Diverter Valve?

No, Skimmer diverters are not a must-have. Indeed, you are not obligated always to use pool skimmer diverters.

Interestingly, there are scores of swimming pool owners who are oblivious of the existence of such tools.

However, skimmer diverters can help control the water temperature through circulation and clean water.

Pool skimmers are beneficial tools you attach to a pool skimmer. They are essentially a disc that is placed in your skimmer. After connecting this disc, the way the water flows is changed.

This gives you more control over your water flow, diverting the water from the floor drain or skimmer to the pump.

After water gets to a skimmer, it either comes from the bottom or top of the pool.

There are two holes under your skimmer basket, with one hole leading to the filter and pump line while the other leads to the main drain at the water’s bottom.

Both holes regulate the circulation and suction of the pool water.

Pool skimmer diverters have an integrated lever or switch to control the selected flow. Generally, you will have the entire piping opened.

However, it can be switched off or even partially closed, although this will depend on what you hope to achieve.

What Is The Purpose Of The Main Pool Drain?

A pool’s main drain helps your swimming pool move and process wastewater efficiently. Although an in-ground swimming pool might be piped differently, it also benefits from the main drain.

Indeed, many in-ground pools have plumbing systems that process and return huge quantities of water. They do this with relative ease due to their main drain.

Essentially, pool main drain systems have two mechanisms to circulate and filter their water.

Unlike skimmers that sit near a swimming pool’s waterline to take in water through gravity and direct it to flow down to the filter, main drains sit at their lowest points.

Indeed, they have to rely on suction to pull water through them. It is the main that will suck heavy particulate matter that sinks to your pool’s bottom.

Interestingly, the swimming pool main drains don’t drain anything. On the contrary, the main drain is a suction device.

That’s why you will find that there is a pump in the connection used to pull water down into the drain.

After being sucked into the main drain, water is whisked via piping to the swimming pool’s filtration unit.

When Should I Use The Main Drain On An Inground Pool?

Although it’s hard to drain all the water without damaging the pool, there are instances you don’t have a choice.

For instance, if you have total dissolved solid levels, your pool is due for draining. Other times, your pool might require some repair that needs the water to be completely drained.

Again, if you want to repaint the pool or refinish it, you will need to drain the water completely.

Although pools demand much maintenance, regular draining is not part of what you need to do often.

But there will be certain circumstances that might call for draining. Water quality is at the chore of draining, so maintaining high-quality water will free you from costly draining

Total dissolved solids (TDS) are accumulated substances in the pool. This happens over time, eventually causing the water chemistry to become unstable.

This leads to more running and maintenance costs as you will require more and more chemicals to sustain your pool water within the correct parameters.

Luckily you do not always have to drain the pool entirely to deal with this problem.

When draining your pool, it should be dictated to the material that makes your pool. This is because certain materials will be affected by particular wither elements.

Should The Main Drain In The Pool Have Suction?

Yes, The main drains in a pool have suction. As I have pointed out, the mechanism of the main drain is to act as a platform for suction to take place.

Indeed, it has been rightly referred to as a suction device. The main drain is not complete without a pump, as the pump is what enables the water to be pulled down the drain.

Usually, you will avoid the main drain suction entrapment of a swimmer by equipping main drains with anti-suction covers.

Different methods are used in the circulation of water that doesn’t require using the main drainage.

But if you have the main drainage in your swimming pool, it is recommended to at least have a suction entrapment-proof cover.

You might be aware that federal laws regulate swimming pools, so you cant have it the way you want.

How Does A Pool Skimmer Diverter Work?

Pool skimmer diverters work to ensure that you have proper circulation of water in your swimming pool.

If you do not have a pool skimmer diverter, you will have a cesspool of algae and debris in your pool water. A pool skimmer enables the sucking of water from the pool’s top or bottom.

For instance, having many leaves floating on your pool water calls for most of the suction to be set from the top of the swimming pool.

However, for those who use a pool flocculant, the suction should come from the bottom of the pool. This way, all the clumped particles at the bottom of the pool will be picked.


The amount and location of leaves and debris on your pool will dictate if you need to use the main drain or skimmer.


Hi! I' am Tom. I was a manager in one of the biggest stores for over 10 Years, am also an SEO by night. I don't like to call myself a blogger; they are very analytical, do email marketing, and know all SEO stuff. I faced many questions from customers about different products, and there was hardly any help on the internet. After learning all the things about these products as a manager the hard way, I decided to start a blog and help other people.

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