If you answered yes to above ground pool then we must determine the scenario for this skimmer installation. Is this a new installation or a replacement? If you are replacing a skimmer, attempt to use the exact model that came with your pool. If that skimmer is no long available we suggest replacing it with a skimmer with a larger mouth. You will need to cut the wall of the skimmer for it to fit properly. But if done right it will secure the installation. Using a skimmer smaller than the original skimmer is not an option as there will be no way to secure it safely into the wall section.
There are three major types of in ground pools; they are Vinyl, Fiberglas, and Gunite. The key difference between vinyl/fiberglass and gunite is the face of the skimmer. A skimmer made for vinyl/fiberglass pools you will notice that the face of the skimmer has gaskets that are meant to act as a seal between the face plate and the liner or shell of the pool. These gaskets are made of rubber or cork. A gunite skimmer does not require this gasket. The vinyl/fiberglass pool skimmer also contains a faceplate that must be screwed into place as to ensure a proper seal of the liner and gasket.
Once the type of pool is settled we must determine your pipe size. The standard for pool piping is either 1.5" or 2" PVC. We do not want to mix and match pipe size to ensure a proper flow through your system. When the pipe size is determined be sure to use a skimmer with a corresponding pipe size.
Depending on the state in which you reside you may be required to use a dual port skimmer. The requirement for this type of skimmer is a part of the Virginia Graeme-Baker Act. The dual pipe reduces the pull of the drain ports which lessens the chance of someone being injured by being strong suction from either the drains or skimmer. If no requirement is necessary then you can use the single pipe. But if you have small children we would suggest looking into the dual pipe.
How many skimmers will be installed? The advantage of using multiple skimmers is belter coverage over the surface of your pool. This helps eliminate a blind spot where debris may settle in one corner because the skimmer is out of reach.
Now we must determine the throat length needed for your application. The throat is the length of the opening from the front face of the skimmer to the body of the skimmer that houses the basket. Most skimmers have a standard length throat but a few have options for an extended throat. An extended throat is for pools that require the skimmer be set further back from the edge of the pool than a standard installation. This is sometimes due to the design of the pool; for example ones with brick block.
If you are attempting to replace a skimmer and want to keep it simple use the same skimmer model if possible.
Try our Flo Pro Skimmer Baskets if your pool is in an area with heavy foliage. The basket features an extended arm handle which not only makes it easier to access but also acts a flow relief when your basket is full. The handle is perforated like your basket allowing water to flow freely through it.
Our last last useful add-on for a new skimmer installation is a Float Valve and Equalizer Kit (Part Number: SP1070EFVKIT). It is recommended for commercial pools but also a great accessory on residential installations. The Float Valve is a great safeguard for your pool pump. If your pool water level was to drop below an acceptable level this valve would prevent the skimmer from drawing air. If your pump runs dry of water for a prolonged time it will damage the pump.