If you use a floating chlorinator, like I do, a skimmer guard is one of those must have above ground pool accessories. Not only do chlorinators get stuck in the skimmer opening, anything else floating in your pool will do the same thing.
Do the kids leave their air mattresses or other pool toys in the pool when they are done swimming? And then you come out later to the loud noise of the pump sucking air.
Above ground pool pumps are not supposed to be sucking air, but that is what happens when the skimmer opening is blocked. Eventually this will burn out a pump. It has the same effect as running the filter system when your skimmer hose has broke and the pool has emptied itself to below the skimmer opening.
Not only do floating objects interrupt the flow of water, they also prevent the skimmer from doing what it is intended to do, skim the water.
Installation of a guard is easy. It just pops in. You do, however, need a new faceplate for it to seal correctly. To change the faceplate you will need to lower your water level to just below the skimmer opening. The easiest way I can think of to do this is to get in the pool. Have your helper on the outside holding on to the skimmer. Just remove the skimmer screws and exchange faceplates with the new one. If your helper is doing his job correctly, the skimmer will not move, and realigning the holes will not be necessary. If it does move, not a big deal, just get your top two corner screws through the faceplate and the side wall. The outside person should then be able to set the skimmer onto these screws while you are tightening them.
The photo shows a wide mouth skimmer but the one being sold is for a standard square Hayward type skimmer. If you own a Doughboy or Lomart pool, this product is not for you, at least not at this time.
Skimmer guards are fine for pools in all climates while skimmer plugs are a must for cold weather pools. These plugs are sized to fit just about all above ground pool skimmers and do not need a new faceplate.
The product reviews for this product are almost all positive with a few complaining about leaks. There could be reasons for leaks that would not make the product defective. Too much liner or gasket left inside the faceplate might cause this. There might be other reasons, make sure the unit seals before completely closing the pool. I would grease the unit up real good with aqua lube, the same stuff you use on your hair and lint pot o-ring. This would not only help it seal but would make installation and removal easier.
Using a Skimmer Plug allows you to keep the pool full of water all winter, this lets the winter cover sit higher and with the use of a pillow under it the leaves are easier to get off.
Here are a few of the reviews, enough to convince me to give it a try, if I did not live in Arizona.
Perfect product love not having to drain the pool below the skimmer.
Worked good, good seal and lasted through winter just fine.
Works great, very easy to install and completely seals the skimmer. We are under drought restrictions and every bit of water I can save is a benefit.
Fit as should no leaks great product!
Very simple design; worked well for winterization.
Fit our pool skimmer perfectly and arrived on time. no problems!