A chlorine floater is one of the most common ways swimming pool owners sanitize their pool water. They add chlorine tablets in the floater and it wades around the surface of the pool disbursing chlorine into the water.
This can sometime lead to the floater getting caught by the skimmer suction. When the chlorine floater is caught by the skimmer it will get stuck at the opening of the skimmer. This will restrict suction, skimmer effectiveness and can cause the water being sent back through the jet return to not have much water flow.
The best way to keep the chlorine floater from getting stuck in the skimmer is to tether it in front of the return. Tie a rope on the chlorine floater and attach it to the pool railing for above ground pools, or a heavy weight out of the water for underground pools.
I would not tether it on the suction side of the skimmer or in an area that is extremely idle, especially around pool ladders or areas that contain metal in the water.
Chlorine floaters are a great way to chlorinate your swimming pool water. I have an article you can check out by clicking here where I compare chlorine floaters vs. automatic chlorinators.
You place chlorine tablets in the floater, close the lid and let it float freely throughout the pool. The same way beach balls, goggles, ping pong balls and other objects end up in the skimmer, the chlorine floater will be no different. The suction is more than a plastic float can whithstand and it eventually will likely end of up trapped at the skimmers entrance.
If you have used a floater for anytime at all, you probably recall looking at your pools skimmer and seeing it stuck “again”. You walk over push the floater away from the skimmer and into main part of the pool water.
There are however a few things you can do to try and remedy this problem so that it no longer is being hung up.
Tether The Chlorine Floater
The easiest and most common way to stop your floater from being a victim to the suction of the skimmer is to tie a rope to the floater and a railing on the side of the pool. If you cannot use a railing, you might be able to use a heavy weight or water bottles on the ground with the rope attached to it
When tethering your floater down, I would recommend you place it in an area that is in front of your jet return. This will push the flow of the water in the direction of the floater. This will reduce any chance of chlorine buildup in one location and keep the circulation of the water and chlorine throughout the pool.
Avoid Tethering It Near Ladders / Railing
When using a rope to tie down the floater, try to avoid placing it in an area that is extremely idle, especially near a ladder, steps or railing that is in the water. The chlorine buildup will be more excessive in this area and less diluted causing damage to the metal components in the water.
Change Jet Return Position
If you are looking for an alternative to tethering your floater, you could try different jet positions. By doing this you may be able to push the floater in a direction that keeps it from coming within the suction zone of the skimmer.
I always recommend having your skimmer point toward the bottom of the pool and in a circular motion as I talk about in >> this article, but if you point the jet upward keeping a more wavy water surface, this could reduce the chance of the floater coming in contact with the skimmer as it keeps a stronger current on top.
Another option would be to point the return toward the skimmer pushing water away from it, reducing suction. The issue I have with this is that it will likely push debris that otherwise would be caught by your skimmer reducing the effectiveness of the skimmer and pump and is counter productive. I would not recommend this unless it is absolutely necessary.
You could get some PVC pipes and make a fountain that connects to your pools jet return. With the proper setup you could even allow some water to flow toward the bottom of the pool while creating a water fall over the top of the water.
When doing this make the water fountain pour over the skimmer area and this could keep the floater from entering the splash zone. This is kind of unique and fun idea that your family and kids will enjoy as well when swimming under a fountain spraying in the pool water.
One of these ideas will help you in keeping your floater where it is supposed to be – in the water – and not in the skimmer. If you are looking for the best chlorine tables to add to your chlorine floater, check out my article here and stock up on a years supply and save!