What is a floating pool skimmer?

27th May 2017

What is a floating pool skimmer?

What is a floating pool skimmer?

The biggest complaint most swimming pool owners make is the the time it takes to maintain a pool. Lets face it, cleaning a pool isn’t a fun job and most people would prefer a better way.

There are some amazing robotic cleaners on the market that zip up and down your pool and its walls cleaning, scrubbing and sucking up debris. The bottom of your swimming pool looks amazing but the surface still has leaves on it. You find yourself still having to dive through a build up of leaves and insects on the pools surface each time you go for a swim. This is the dilemma: How to clean the pools surface quickly?

We propose that you have been going about cleaning your swimming pool the wrong way. When you clean a house it makes sense to clean from top to bottom. You dust first and then vacuum last. Your pool should be treated the same way. Clean the top and do a basic vacuum of the bottom.

Most pool cleaners focus on cleaning the leaves off the bottom of the pool after they have sunk. Sometimes this can take days and during this time the leaves are decomposing, raising the nitrogen levels and attracting nasties into your pool. You then need to add more chemicals such as chlorine to offset the nitrogens. This costs you time and money. Not to mention swimming through all that mess! So whats the alternative?

Prevention is! In the form of a a pool surface cleaner!

Prevent your leaves from sinking - skim them off first. If the leaves never reached the bottom you would save time, money and be less frustrated.

Pool skimmers act as a mobile / floating skimmer box. They are often seen as an accessory to your bottom pool cleaner however many people use them as a stand alone cleaner. As they are pool surface cleaners they prevent the majority of leaves and debris sinking to the bottom. Floating pool skimmers will suck debris in from 360 degrees taking advantage of the entire pool. In the picture below the fixed skimmer box is around a corner leading to a dead spot for leaves. A floating pool skimmer fixes this problem as it will suck from 360 degrees.

As with any pool cleaner, pool skimmers will not remove 100% of leaves and debris but they will come close. Especially if you choose a quality pool skimmer. Many swimming pool skimmer owners use their floating skimmer as their only pool cleaner, preferring to give their pool a quick fortnightly vacuum. This is a simple, cheap and effective way to maintain your pool. You can however interchange them with your bottom cleaner, and they are the perfect companion to a robotic pool cleaner.

Pool skimmers also offer other benefits that traditional bottom cleaners and robotic cleaners don’t offer

Pool skimmers save you money on chemicals:  Less leaves in the water = less nitrogen = less chemicals

Pool skimmers run with your normal pump cycles = no need for separate pumps or electrical sources

Pool skimmers will improve the overall health of your pool by improving circulation of the water and reduced dead spots:

Dead spots are stagnant areas of water that are missed by your traditional fixed skimmer box. As micro-organisms are concentrated on the surface of the pool, these dead spots become hotspots for bacteria. NSW Government Health Dept states on the publication “Public Swimming Pool & Spa Advisory Document” that the “surface of the pool contains the highest concentration of pollutants” and this is from “body fats, oils, sunscreens, sputum and windblown debris” These contaminants are removed with the use of a pool skimmer, however fixed skimmer boxes are usually not placed in the optimum position and dead spots are common. A floating skimmer connected straight to the filtration system will cycle these contaminates to your pool filtration system. They will move about your pool with its currents increasing the surface area cycled through the system, also reducing or removing dead spots. 

How to choose a pool skimmer? Are all pool skimmers equal? 
We have a series of questions you can ask when choosing a floating pool skimmer. 

There are a range of products that all aim to clean the surface of the pool. Ranging from $100 to $800 or more. Buying a good quality surface skimmer is an investment and will save you money in the long run if you make the right decision. There are a series of questions you should ask before making your choice.

Pool Skimmer Comparison

Does it float with the wind?

The Dragonfly will float with the wind unlike other floating skimmers that are self propelled.  The self propelling nature of these skimmers affects the surface tension of the water making them less efficient at using the natural currents and water tension to delicately “suck” the debris into the water. 

Just picture a smooth pool covered in a layer of insects and along comes a fast moving “boat” through the debris. Sure, the boat will suck up the leaves but lots of fine debris is going to be pushed down and away from the boat due to the rough conditions. A skimmer that uses the natural currents of the wind will delicately suck up the insects and the leaves. It uses the surface tension to its advantage. 

Self propelled cleaners, such as your traditional bottom cleaner are rougher on your hoses due to their jerking motion around the pool. The Dragonfly floats with the wind so is very delicate on your hoses and connections. There is less wear and tear saving you money over time.

Does it require other accessories to work?

The Dragonfly can plug straight into your existing skimmer box. Nets are not required, you can add a leaf canister to reduce the load off your filter but it is not necessary. 

Keep in mind that nets will not remove oils and other small debris. They are an ongoing cost in money and time to purchase them. 

Does it connect to your pools filtration device?

Any product that does not connect to the pools filtration system has one main disadvantage. They do not improve the circulation of your pools water. Water that is cycled through your filtration system is being cleaned. A floating pool cleaner connected to your pools filter will cycle more surface water than the fixed skimmer box. This makes your pool safer and cleaner and saves you time and money in the long run. 

Where is it manufactured?

The Dragonfly is manufactured in Australia

Is the pool skimmer made from UV resistant plastic.

The Dragonfly is made from quality Luren S UV resistant plastic, not cheap plastic that degrades in the sun.

What is the warranty?

Four years. The Dragonfly has one of the longest warranties on the market and with only one moving part rarely breaks down. Other robotic pool cleaners have more parts that can break down and have much shorter warranties.

Is a pool skimmer right for your pool? Hopefully you now have a head start to make a decision on which pool skimmer might be right for you.

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