A pond skimmer is very important to your pond as it helps eliminate grass, leaves, sticks, fish waste, and other debris before they sink to the bottom of the pond.
If these organic materials sink to the bottom of the pond, they can be dangerous to your pond’s ecosystem.
This is because the organic materials produce ammonia, which can harm your pond’s ecosystem. That’s if there is a high concentration of it in the pond. Ammonia dissolves in water and causes acidic conditions that are not conducive for living organisms.
The work of the pond skimmer is to ensure that these organic materials are removed before they settle at the bottom of your pond water and cause havoc.
That’s why it is vital to purchase a quality pond skimmer if you care about your pond.
After purchasing a pond skimmer of choice, you can set it up by following the instructions given by the manufacturer.
And if the skimmer lacks instructions, you can check out videos on YouTube and install it in a few steps.
In this article, we’ve included a step-by-step guide on how to install a pond skimmer. This guide will help you save cash for hiring a plumber and instead install the pond skimmer on your own.
Identify the position of the skimmer in the pond.
Getting the right position of the skimmer in your pond is important for the effectiveness of the skimmer. If you install the skimmer in an inappropriate location, it will not help you in any way.
The best place for setting up the skimmer is opposite the waterfall for improved water circulation. Besides, installing the skimmer in this area will help it to suck up leaves and other floating items.
This is because the water flows naturally from the waterfall to the skimmer.
But if you install them next to each other or on the same side, you may have a dead spot in the pond. You don’t want this as it will not properly facilitate the removal of leaves, grass, and other debris.
Additionally, remember to drain your pond about halfway through the process of installing the skimmer. This makes it easy for the installation process to take place without you having to deal with water flooding your working area.
Draining the pond halfway also allows for easy removal of the pond liner from the area in which you want to install the pond skimmer.
After determining the installation area, dig a bigger hole than the skimmer box in that spot. Make sure that the bottom of the skimmer hole is firm and level on all sides. This includes the back, front, and sideways.
Add around 3 inches to the depth of the area where you want to install the skimmer and add sand. Using sand helps to level the hole and protect the pond skimmer from damage.
Next, is to attach the pond liner to the skimmer. Begin by removing the lid to have access inside the skimmer. Make holes into the faceplate and clean the liner on both sides before putting a large bead of silicone around the opening.
It is recommended to put the bead of silicone at least an inch from the edge of the door’s opening. Additionally, apply a small portion of silicone in all bolt holes.
Put the liner against the face of the skimmer with the help of another person. Note that the flange should face the pond and weir on the bottom. After that, exert pressure on the pond liner for the silicone to spread out evenly.
Find the two top-corner mounting holes with a nail or awl. Proceed to fasten the faceplate using bolts and washers – it should fit comfortably. Then trim the liner from the inside of the pond skimmer opening.
Apply another bead of silicone to the inside edge of the spot where the skimmer and faceplate connect for extra water resistance.
You can also add a bead of silicone on every screw that holds the door in place.
Before you install the pond skimmer, ensure to put sand in the hole, as stated earlier. Also, fill the back of the skimmer with sand to get rid of the gap between the skimmer box and the walls of the dug hole.
And at the top, you may be required to add topsoil or mulch when you’re done.
Install the pond skimmer and connect the plumbing. Start with the waterfall pump. Connect it at the back of the pond skimmer, behind the basket and filter mat.
Use Teflon tape to connect the tubing and ensure that all connections are water-resistant.
When carrying out plumbing, you should decide which holes will be used for overflow. Having an adjustable overflow will help you to manage the water level in the pond. Simply rotate it to your preferred angle.
This is crucial for ponds with a waterfall system or those that are located at the bottom of the stream.
After you’re done with the plumbing, cover the skimmer with a skimmer lid and hide the pond skimmer with rocks. Put rocks around and on top of the skimmer so that they can hide the skimmer. Then fill the pond with water.
For smooth operation of the skimmer, ensure that the water level is 1.5 inches from the top of the pond skimmer’s weir door. This is crucial because a weir door underwater will not permit floating leaves and other debris to enter the skimmer smoothly.
On the other hand, a weir door that is set too high will flap and not work effectively.
With these steps, you can now go ahead and install a pond skimmer of your choice. You don’t need to spend thousands on hiring a professional plumber to install a skimmer in your pond.
Note that for your skimmer to work effectively, you need to choose the right type and size for your pond.
Pick a pond skimmer by considering the water that you need to pump. A skimmer that works for a small pond may not do the same for a large pond. This is especially important f you have a new pond or have moved houses.
Apart from picking the right skimmer and installing it properly, you also need to maintain the skimmer for longevity. Remove the leaves, grass, sticks, fish waste, and debris from the filter.
You don’t want leaves to decay in your pond and produce tannin acids or fish waste to release ammonia. It may hamper the ability of organisms to live in your pond.
The frequency of cleaning the filter depends on where you’re pond is located. Some people may have to clean more often than others.
Use silicone to waterproof parts of the skimmer during installation. these include the face of the skimmer where the door is and over the screws that hold the skimmer door in place.
Apply silicone in large beads and allow it to spread to hold different parts in place in watertight seals. Additionally, allow the silicone time to dry before filling the pond with water.
We hope you find this guide helpful and that you can install a pond skimmer easily and effectively.