Skimmer Basket Sizes: How to Choose

Owning a pool is a big responsibility as it is a difficult job to keep the water properly balanced and free from debris and other floaties. Skimmer baskets help to catch any debris in your pool, but what size do you need?

In general, when you install a pool, it will come with a skimmer installed with a model number. You can use this number to look up the basket size you need online. If you can’t find the model number, check the diameter of the existing basket or use a measuring tape to measure the skimmer vac.

Still not sure what size basket you need? Let’s look at three ways to measure for a skimmer basket and how many your pool will need. 

What Are Skimmer Baskets?

Man removing a skimmer basket from a swimming pool

Skimmer baskets are an important aspect of any pool and are responsible for helping keep the pool clean. Skimmers are usually built into the pool but can be added to an above-ground pool later as well. 

A skimmer is a device that is used to trap floaties and debris, which may make its way into the pool. Skimmers come in both robotic and automatic varieties, and they work by drawing the top ⅛ of the pool water into the pool’s filtration system.

This water is then forced into the skimmer, where hair, bugs, or other items that float are trapped in a basket device. This basket must be cleaned from time to time of the trapped debris. 

Skimmers are unique because they help with filtration, but they don’t affect the chemical composition of the pool, meaning you don’t have to constantly check your pH balance when using one. They also help protect the pool filter from large items, which could damage and break it. 

How Many Skimmer Baskets Does My Pool Need?

The number of skimmer baskets you need will depend on the size of your pool. Larger pools need more skimmer baskets than smaller pools. 

The rule of thumb is to have one skimmer basket for 400 square feet of water surface your pool has. You can find this number by taking the length of your pool and multiplying it by the width. Divide this number by 400 to find the number of pool skimmer baskets you need. 

If you have a round or abnormally shaped pool, it can be more difficult to find the surface area of your pool. In these cases, it is recommended to use a pool calculator to help. 

Where Should the Skimmer Baskets Be Placed?

There is no rule of thumb dictating where you should place your skimmer baskets. It is advised, however, to space them out around the exterior of your pool and place them in the path of the water headed toward a filter. 

How to Choose the Right Size Skimmer Baskets

A pool skimmer basket with the lid off

When you are first installing your pool, it is recommended to follow professional advice for choosing skimmer baskets. The installer of your pool should be able to recommend skimmer baskets depending on the size of your pool. 

That being said, if your pool is already installed and you are looking to replace your skimmer baskets, there are a few different ways to find the size you need. 

1. Check the Skimmer Lid

The skimmer lid on your pool should list the model number of the skimmer. You can then look up online which size of skimmer basket you need. You can also take this model number to a pool store, and they can help you deduce what size skimmer basket you need. 

2. Measure the Basket

If the skimmer lid is missing or the model number isn’t visible, then remove your skimmer basket from the assembly. Allow it to dry, then place it upside down on a piece of paper. 

Using a pencil or marker, trace around the rim of the skimmer basket. Then take this drawing to your local pool store, and they can help you find the right size. (Don’t take the skimmer basket itself because they are quite fragile!)

3. Measure the Assembly

If you really want to have your work cut out for you, you can remove the skimmer basket and use a measuring tape to measure the skimmer assembly. After you remove the basket, reach down and find the ledges the basket sits on. 

Measure the distance between these two ledges, and the result you should get should be ½” or ¼” smaller than the skim vac plate, which is also located in this area of the skimmer. There is a lot of room for error in this method, and it should only be used if the 2 aforementioned methods can’t be used. 

Leave a Comment