Introduction: Swimming Pool Skimmer Extension
For anyone who has a swimming pool seeing this after you have removed the pool cover is certainly not a welcome sight. After following the proper instructions for winterizing my pool I still ended up with very green water with a lot of algae as can be seen in the photo above. Needless to say the winterizing kit did not perform well this time for me.
Sometimes the pool owner may empty the pool completely and re-fill with clean water. This can be quite expensive. I could not bear the thought of doing that so I swept the sides, the bottom, chlorinated and added algaecide and replaced the sand in my filter. Even after doing this and running the pump constantly I still was not able to get rid of it all. I did not feel that the skimmer was pulling enough of it out, after all the skimmer only removes what is on the surface hence the name skimmer. The heavier particles will not rise to the top of the water so removing it with a skimmer is not going to be as effective.
To improve the performance of the skimmer I thought I would try making an extension that would connect to the skimmer and drop down into the water vertically as seen in the photo. The device is held in place by the suction of the skimmer inlet. There are slots running the length of the vertical section where water/debris can be pulled into it from the top to the bottom of the pool. Make no mistake you will still need to vacuum the bottom but I was not able to do this in the beginning because I could not even see the bottom.
I was very surprised at how much better and quicker the process was to remove the algae even as bad as it was in my case. After 1 day and 1 night it looked liked Photo 2. Even though I still was not quite there I was quite happy with the progress. I had to do 2 backwashes during the first day so I knew it was working well. I hope you will find this simple device as useful as I did.
Step 1: Materials and Tools You Will Need.
1. 1 1/2" pvc x 42" long (qty. 1)
2. 1 1/2" pvc x 8 1/2" long (qty. 1)
3. 1 1/2" pvc x 1 1/2" long (qty. 1)
4. 1 1/2" pvc coupling (qty. 1) - Cut 1/2" off the end of one end of this part to keep and discard the rest. Photo 3.
5. 1 1/2" pvc end cap (qty. 1)
6. pvc primer and cement ( 1 set) - Shown in photo 1.
7. pvc skimmer elbow (qty. 1) - Shown in photo 2.
9. 1/4" drill bit and drill
10. marker or pen
11. tape measure
**All of these materials can be purchase from Home Depot or Lowes.
Step 2: Parts Preparation- Skimmer Suction Elbow
1. Mark the skimmer suction elbow approx. 1/4 to 1/2" above top of disk as shown in photo 1.
2. Using a hacksaw cut off the elbow at the mark.
3. Using a short piece of 1 1/2" pvc tubing trace the outline of it centered on the top (cut off side) of the skimmer disk and cut it out with the jigsaw as shown in photo 2.
4. Prepare the elbow and 1 1/2" long pvc tube by applying primer (purple) to the parts as shown in photo 3.
5. Apply cement inside the pvc 90 degree elbow and insert the 1 1/2" long pvc tube into it as shown in photo 4.
6. Prepare skimmer suction disk and 1/2" long pvc coupling ring (photo 5) by applying primer.
7. Apply cement to the protruding 1 1/2" pvc tube extending out of the pvc 90 degree elbow and around the opening of the skimmer disk hole (both sides).
8. Insert 1 1/2" pvc tube into the hole of the skimmer disk and install the short 1/2" coupling ring onto the end of it as shown in photos 6 and 7.
Step 3: Parts Preparation- Vertical Slotted Pipe
Attached is a drawing of the vertical slotted pipe with dimensions for reference. Cut pipe to length if it has not already been done and cut slots as shown in drawing.
Step 4: Final Assembly
Complete assembly as shown in the photo above. Make sure the slots are turned toward the correct side. They should be located toward the side that the water flow is coming from. Use primer and cement for connection of fittings.
If you find that the skimmer does not have enough suction to hold the pipe in place first make sure you do not need to backwash filter to improve suction. If that doesn't take care of it you may need reduce the size of the slots. Remember you want just enough to hold it in place without too much restriction in water flow. This arrangement worked well for me so I hope it will for you also.