DIY Pool Skimmer: Simple and Cheap

Ned Kampmann

Buying a new skimmer can be quite expensive, which is why a homemade pond skimmer can be the perfect solution. It will save you money and will give you the opportunity to adjust your DIY skimmer to your own needs as well.

To make your DIY pond skimmer you will need following items.

• A trash can.

You can choose any size you need but it is important to buy a durable and flexible one, so that holes can be easily made in it. Ideally the can will have a square shape, which will make the process of connecting elements easier.

• A set of standard size 40 4″ PVC pipes.
• A set of standard size 40 1 ½” PVC pipes.
• Two toilet closet flanges of 4″. The size should fit the PVC pipes.
• A four way PVC connector.
• Three PVC end caps of 1 ½”.
• Two electrical conduit connectors, a male and female one, both of 1 ½”.
• A rubber toilet gasket. Its size should fit over the electrical conduit connectors.
• Four bolts of stainless steel. They should fit the closet flange holes.
• One tube of outdoor silicon caulking. Make sure it is a sunproof type.


Step 1

You should mark a circle for the future inlet on a trash can, a few inches from the top. Cut your inlet out.


Step 2

Move to the bottom part of your trash can. Cut the outlet out a few inches from the bottom.

diy pool skimmer step by step

Step 3
Take your rubber gasket and place it on male conduit connector. It is important to place this one on the inside of the tank while the female connector should be on the outside. Make sure that they fit each other tightly.
diy poon skimmer steb by step

Step 4

Using the PVC pipes you should make a cross shape as is shown in the picture below. It should be of a size that allows it to fit inside the trash can. Place it at the bottom. It is important to make a lot of small holes all over this cross shape. Three legs should be capped while the fourth leg bears a male conduit connector on it.

diy skimmer instrusctions

Step 5

Now it is time to use silicon.
Spread it over the electrical conduit bulkhead and gasket.

Step 6

Cut a piece of 4″ PVC pipe and place it under your cross shape inside of the can. It will prevent your construction from moving.

Step 7

Now that you have prepared a base for your DIY skimmer, dig a hole for your pool. Place the skimmer inside. It is important to choose the right depth, as if you place it too deep you will not be able to fill your skimmer with enough water.

how to make a homemade pond skimmer

Step 8

Connect a discharge pipe to the skimmer. Direct it downwards to let the water flow freely.

homemade pond skimmer instructions

Step 9

Place rubber lining on the inside of your pool but do not make any holes in it yet.

Step 10

Put one closet flange close to the opening. Make holes in the liner and attach it to the skimmer walls with four bolts.

Step 11

Generously spread silicon all over the opening and between layers.

Step 12

Use bolts to connect the two closet flanges.

Step 13

Allow some time for the silicon to dry. Cut two layers out in the area of rubber lining inside the flanges.

Step 14

Take your 10-12″ section of 4’’ PVC pipe. Cut a 45 degree angle into it.

Step 15

Place two screws in the pipe opposite the 45 degree cut. They should be angled at the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock positions.

Step 16

Now fit your pipe inside the closet flange.

Your DIY pond skimmer is complete. You can also use nylon mesh tarp to modify the skimmer and protect it from leaves and dust particles.

diy pool skimmer photo

As you can see, a homemade pond skimmer is not that difficult to make and will save you a great deal of money.

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