Frequently Asked Questions
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1. How long does SkimDoctor 2.0® take to assemble?
It takes approximately 2 minutes or less to attach SkimDoctor to your skimmer basket. All fasteners are provided and no tools are needed.
2. How does the SkimDoctor work?
SkimDoctor 2.0 uses several physics principles to create a vortex in your skimmer and increase surface water velocity. First, by forcing water to flow through SkimDoctor’s narrow slots, SkimDoctor 2.0 increases the speed of the water in your skimmer. This phenomena is called the Bernoulli principle and also explains the flow of water in white water rapids.
In addition, the SkimDoctor 2.0 tube itself forces water to flow around the tube, thereby narrowing the water channel, and creating a second Bernoulli effect.
Because SkimDoctor 2.0 increases the speed of water, debris is drawn more quickly into your basket, which may allow you to run your pump less.
It’s important to remember that water velocity and energy savings are only some of the benefits of SkimDoctor 2.0. SkimDoctor 2.0 also prevents you from having to put your hand through all that gunk to remove the basket. SkimDoctor 2.0 also increases the storage capacity of your basket. (It is still a good idea to empty your pool basket frequently).
3. How should I use the SkimDoctor 2.0 in my pool?
The width of the SkimDoctor’s slots determines water speed inside your skimmer. Rotating SkimDoctor’s inner tube so that the outer tube covers more of the inner tube’s slots will increase the speed of water. Conversely, rotating the inner tube so that the outer tube covers less of the inner tube’s slots will decrease the speed of water in your skimmer. The SkimDoctor’s ears on the inside tube allow for easy rotation of the inner tube. The science behind the SkimDoctor is explained here.
In general, when your skimmer is working well, you will likely need to only cover a small portion of the outer tube slots or none of the slots at all. On the other hand, when your skimmer is not working well, you will likely need to cover more of the outer tube slots. It’s important not to cover the outer tube slots too much so that your pump does not draw air. The SkimDoctor 2.0 new design makes it impossible to completely close off the slots but still requires the end user to adjust per your particular situation. We recommend that you do a small number of adjustments to find the best setting for your pool. Also, if you notice air being blown out of the water jets, you should uncover the SkimDoctor 2.0 slots more until no more air is seen. If you have a variable speed pump and you wish to only adjust once we suggest you set the openings in the slot to the highest speed your pump runs if you have it set to change setting automatically. If you make these changes to your pump manually you can adjust the slots as per pump speed setting.
4. How should I position the SkimDoctor?
There is no wrong way to install the SkimDoctor. In our preliminary tests, we have found that the SkimDoctor 2.0 works best when the SkimDoctor slots are to the left and right of the skimmer. For a good reference just point the SkimDoctor log on the tube to the front towards the pool water or to the back of the skimmer away from the pool water. because water will flow around the tube like water draining in a sink. Likewise you may need to do a small number of adjustments to find the best setting for your pool. See the next drawing for reference.
If there is large debris, large amounts of leaves or large leaves you could benefit by placing one slot directly toward the skimmer opening if you are having trouble with debris getting stuck in the chamber in the other position. Also remember in situations of high volumes of leaves or large leaves you may need to discontinue the use of SkimDoctor in these high impact times and resume use after these conditions improve.
5.How should I empty Skim Doctor?
Hold the basket or basket ring with one hand and unscrew the SkimDoctor tube with the other hand from the basket and ring turning the tube counter clock wise. Set the tube aside and briskly shake the basket back and forth or tap the basket bottom with your hand so that the debris becomes dislodged and shakes out of the basket. Do not hit the basket or ring on hard surfaces which could break them.
If there is a lot of small debris or debris is suctioned to the sides of the basket, hold the basket with ring attached upside down with one hand holding the basket and tap the side of the basket with the other hand to help loosen. Rotate the basket using this method. Another method is to tap the basket gently against the inside of your “plastic” trashcan. Caution, do not tap against metal or hard trashcans or hard objects that could potentially damage your basket or SkimDoctor ring. If the basket has suctioned debris very hard against the basket so that these methods do not work you may have to use a garden hose to loosen. Always check your ring bolts that they are still secure and hand tight. Screw the SkimDoctor tube back into the basket ring, readjust SkimDoctor and enjoy you pool!
6. I have a low suction skimmer; will SkimDoctor 2.0 work in my pool?
Yes. In our internal tests, we have seen that SkimDoctor can increase water velocity in excess of 600% at the slope (as compared to a basket alone) in low suction skimmers. In fact, we have seen that SkimDoctor shows the greatest improvements in low suction skimmers. The reason behind this marked improvement is due to the fact that the width of the inner tube slots can be easily reduced by rotating the inner tube relative to the outer tube.
7. How do I tweak my pool to get the most out of SkimDoctor 2.0?
If your skimmer is not working well or seems to not have enough suction here are some tips that may help. If you have a 3 way valve at your pump between the pump inlet and the skimmer and bottom drain line you, should be able to direct more suction to your skimmer and less to the bottom drain. Or if you have independent valves on your bottom drain line and skimmer line going to the same pump, closing down the bottom drain a bit should give you more suction to the skimmer. Always make these adjustments gradually until you see the results you want. Also setting your jets in the pool to gently move the water around the pool in one direction and on to the skimmer. Turning off water features and water sprays during non use is a good idea as this can disrupt the calm flow of water to the skimmer.
8. My pump seems to be cavitating and drawing in air, or air coming from jets, what can I do?
There are several options, in some cases you may need to do one or more of these suggestions.
- Check that you do not have the door on the SkimDoctor 2.0 closed off too much. If so, open the doors more.
- If your doors on the SkimDoctor 2.0 are fully open and this condition persists, use your 3-way valve adjustment (if you have one) to route more suction from the bottom drain and less to the skimmer.
- If you do not have an adjustment to your skimmer and drain, add more water to your pool.
Because SkimDoctor 2.0 uses a vertical water entry system to achieve better surface tension most users will benefit from running their water line a little higher than they used to. For example, if in the past you have found that your skimmer will draw air if the water gets below an inch in the skimmer you should now consider 2-3 inches as a new marker to add water. Experiment with your water level height until you find the right spot for your pool and situation. A full pool is more inviting and SkimDoctor 2.0 can give you the ability to raise the water level in your pool without suffering low efficiency at the skimmer. Keep in mind that the water level must be below the top of the skimmer for it function at all. Under normal conditions, rain water can sometimes force the water level in your pool skimmer too high causing poor performance, don’t drain it all off, try closing the doors down a little more until you see the draw pick back up while lowering the water if needed. Save the rain, it free!
9. Will the SkimDoctor 2.0 work with my skimmer basket?
Yes. SkimDoctor 2.0 for “in ground” pools fits all major skimmer baskets used in in-ground pools and SkimDoctor 2.0 for “above ground” fits all major above ground baskets used in above ground pools. The new SkimDoctor 2.0 for above ground pools does now fit the majority of all small above-ground pool baskets.
10. Will SkimDoctor remove all the leaves from my pool in the fall?
Yes and No. As with any pool basket there is a limit as to how much debris it can hold and once it is full, that’s it, no more is going in. Also because SkimDoctor 2.0 reduces the channel size to increase speed, in situations of excessive leaves or large leaves the channel may get blocked. While SkimDoctor does increase basket capacity it’s a good idea to check the basket often with or without a SkimDoctor 2.0. If you find that you have a situation of large amounts of leaves or large leaves that are hanging in the SkimDoctor 2.0 channel you should unscrew and remove the SkimDoctor Tube and just use the basket and ring until leaf fall has subsided where by simply reattach the tube screwing it back to the basket ring at your descretiuon.
11. Can SkimDoctor harm animals or small pest?
Yes & No. As with any skimmer, any small animal or small rodents like mice and other small critters can drown when they wander into the skimmer. With SkimDoctor 2.0 because of its increased tower height small animals and rodents do benefit from the ability to hold onto or get atop the tube ring aiding their chance of survival.
12. Should I turn the pump off before emptying SkimDoctor 2.0?
Yes. Most all pool professionals and pool manufactures agree that you should turn the pump off before emptying any pool basket to prevent any debris that is not contained from being drawn down the suction line and into the pump. One benefit of SkimDoctor 2.0 is that the doors can be closed smaller to help prevent debris from floating out. Always remember to reopen the adjustable slots if you use this method.
13. What is the clicking sound when I turn the inner tube and why wont the doors close all the way?
The clicking mechanism is to give incremental adjustment while helping to keep the inner tube in the position you set it at. The outer tube doors are oversized to prevent the doors from being completely closed and starving the pump totally of water, it’s a safety mechanism.