What is a Pool Skimmer Sock, and Do You Need One?

If you own a pool, you’ve likely experienced small debris floating in the pool. You’re using a skimmer and running your pump regularly, but that doesn’t seem to get everything. Adding a skimmer sock is an easy and inexpensive way to help keep your water cleaner.

What is a Skimmer Sock?

A pool skimmer sock is a thin nylon net that goes inside the skimmer basket. The mesh of the skimmer sock is smaller than the holes on the skimmer basket, so the sock can pick up more debris than the skimmer basket alone.

The very fine netting can catch things like hair, pollen, grass, dirt, and bugs. It can also trap algae to prevent it from getting into the pump system. Ordinarily, these things would make it past the skimmer and into the pump and filter.

Man pulling out skimmer

Why Would You Use a Skimmer Sock?

Using a skimmer sock helps remove additional debris from your pool. It helps to keep your pool filter cleaner. This means less backwashing if you have a sand or DE filter. Or less hosing off and cleaning of cartridges.

As a result, you’ll have cleaner and clearer water.

How Does a Skimmer Sock Work?

A skimmer sock goes into the skimmer basket as an added layer of filtration. The skimmer sock helps to remove finer particles that are too small to be collected by the skimmer alone.

Basically, it acts as an additional layer of filtration. And the better your water is filtered, the clearer your water will be. No more cloudy water.

Where Do You Put a Skimmer Sock?

The skimmer sock goes inside the skimmer basket. It will sit inside the basket trapping the debris that would usually pass through the holes in the skimmer basket.

How Do You Use a Skimmer Sock?

Place the skimmer sock around the rim of the skimmer basket and put the basket back into the skimmer. Over time, it will collect a lot of gunk from your pool. When it’s time to clean, you can remove the sock and rinse it to reuse it or simply throw it away and get a new sock.

Recommended Skimmer Socks

Not sure where to buy skimmer socks? Here are 3 recommendations to get you started.

Impresa Products 20-Pack of Pool Skimmer Socks

Impresa Products 20-Pack of Pool Skimmer Socks - Excellent Savers for Pool Filters, Baskets, and Skimmers - The Ideal Sock/Net/Saver to Protect Your Inground or Above Ground Pool

About:

Quality nylon material with a strong elastic band makes these socks a great choice. They work for in-ground or above-ground pools. These are available from several stores so they’re easy to find. The estimated use time for each sock is 4-8 weeks. With that lifespan, you should be able to get through your pool season with one pack of these socks.

Pros:

These socks have a universal design that fits most brands of skimmers. They have a life expectancy of 4-8 weeks per sock. The socks are easy to install and also work with spas and hot tubs.

Cons:

Users with skimmer baskets with handles complain about the sock not fitting well.  Some users state that when the sock gets full of debris, the suction becomes strong, and the sock can get lodged in the pool filter.

50 Pack of Pool Skimmer Socks

50 Packs of Pool Skimmer Socks Reusable Effective Pool Filter Basket Socks to Save Pumps, Filters, Baskets and Skimmers- The Ideal Sock/Net/Saver to Protect Your Inground or Above Ground Pool (50PCS)

About:

These socks are made from nylon with very tight netting. They have a universal size to fit the majority of skimmers on the market. An elastic band at the top of the sock helps to hold it on the rim of the skimmer basket.

Pros:

The mesh netting is very tight so it will collect lots of debris. A large pack size means you’ll have plenty of socks! Using this sock will make your skimmer basket easier to clean.

Cons:

Users state that the elastic band is tight, and it can be a struggle to get the socks in place. Because the netting is so tight and a lot of debris gets collected, these need to be changed very frequently to keep it from stressing the pump.

Coopache 30-Pack of Pool Skimmer Socks

Coopache 30-Pack of Pool Skimmer Socks - Filters Baskets, Skimmers Cleans Debris and Leaves for In-Ground and Above Ground Pools

About:

The Coopache skimmer socks are super stretchy to offer a one-size-fits-most product. They are made to fit above-ground or in-ground pool skimmers. These socks are also compatible with skimmer baskets with handles.

Pros:

These socks have usage of up to 8 weeks. They are easy to install, even with a handle in your skimmer basket. Because of the stretchability, they can fit a variety of shapes and sizes for skimmer baskets.

Cons:

Users state these socks are very thin and tear easily. They need to be replaced more frequently.

Other Ways to Use a Skimmer Sock

Skimmer socks can be useful to help distribute chemicals for your pool. Stabilizer and Cyanuric acid can be placed into the skimmer sock and placed in front of your return jets to help dissolve the chemicals.

It is not recommended to place chlorine into the socks. Chlorine will erode the material of the socks. The concentration of chlorine released might be too strong for your pool water. You also don’t want the chlorine too close to your pool equipment in a concentrated dose because it can cause damage to the pump and filter.

By the way, you should never add chlorine to your skimmer basket. Or most other chemicals for that matter. If you want to read more on this, check out: Should You Add Pool Chemicals to the Skimmer?

When Should You Use a Skimmer Sock?

There is no right or wrong time to add a sock to your pool maintenance routine. They work regardless of if you’re just getting the pool opened or if it’s been open for years.

Socks can be particularly helpful during seasonal changes-like pollen in the spring or leaves dropping in the fall. So, if you don’t use one all the time, you might want to consider using one during times when your pool has heavier debris.

Are Skimmer Socks Effective?

Skimmer socks can be a very low-cost effective way to trap additional particles that the skimmer basket can miss. Many pool owners have reported clearer water after using a skimmer sock.

Downsides to Skimmer Socks

They can fill up with debris quickly and need to be changed or cleaned regularly. Because of the thin material, you can usually only get a few uses out of each sock before it would need to be replaced.

If you don’t clean the socks regularly, the skimmer can get clogged. This will place additional stress on your pool pump because the water flow is reduced.

Alternative to Skimmer Socks

If you’re looking for some DIY alternatives to purchasing skimmer socks, you can try a pair of pantyhose or a hairnet with very fine netting. The material is very similar to the skimmer sock net but not as durable.

Hairnet or hair cap as an alternative to skimmer sock.

How Much Does a Skimmer Sock Cost?

Skimmer socks are sold in packs of 10-50. Prices can range from $10 up to about $40, depending on the quantity and quality of socks you purchase. 

How Long Do the Skimmer Socks Last?

Generally, you should get a few weeks out of each sock. However, you can treat them as disposable and just get a fresh one each time it needs to be changed if you don’t want to clean them.

The life of the skimmer sock does depend on a few different factors.

  • Quality of the Sock
  • Amount of Debris
  • Chemicals Used

First, the quality of the sock material can impact how long it lasts. Second, the amount and type of debris you are collecting can change the life of the sock. The larger, heavier materials are more likely to stretch the sock or cause it to rip.

Using chlorine or other chemicals in the skimmer sock can deteriorate the material and require it to be replaced sooner.

Should You Get a Skimmer Sock?

We recommend using skimmer socks. For the small cost of the socks, you will save money on maintenance and repairs of your pump and filter. Because the socks can also trap algae, your pool chemical costs can be reduced too.

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