It’s a dirty job keeping your swimming pool clean, but an important one. Especially if you’d rather not swim amongst leaves and other floaties the next time you jump in the water.
But inside your pool skimmer, the item most prone to breaking is the basket. If you want to continue filtering out all the debris from your water, you need to understand your options to replace the pool skimmer basket and the best choices.
In this article, I’ll share your options for replacing a pool skimmer basket, to ensure you’re removing all of the junk from your pool, once and for all.
We hand-picked the following pool skimmer baskets based on their popularity, price-points and differentiating features.
A more complete review of each can be found later in this article.
A pool skimmer basket is a rather simple piece of pool equipment, fitting inside the skimmer it helps collect everything that’s floating on the surface of your pool.
Working much like the strainer in your kitchen drawer, the skimmer basket is where all the leaves and other nasties collect. The water is pumped and strained through the skimmer, and the mesh of the basket traps the most significant bits so you can easily remove them.
Vital to the good health of your pool, using a skimmer is far easier than trying to manually fish out all the leaves with a net, as it can merely run automatically in the background.
Without a pool skimmer, the floating debris in your pool would eventually make its way to your filter and pump, clogging the intakes and causing a huge problem.
Knowing which type to look for will narrow down your options, but it doesn’t help you measure the nuances that make or break a product.
Let’s go over some of the main criteria you should apply to your decision making process when looking for the perfect pool skimmer basket for your swimming pool.
The key to a good pool skimmer basket is that it must be easy to install. Because you’re going to be taking the basket out pretty much every day to toss the leaves, you don’t want this to be a fiddly or cumbersome task.
Most baskets are weighted and use gravity to hold them in place within the skimmer, while others have a twist lock system. If you notice your basket is a little light (and floats instead of sitting in place), you can always add a small rock to the basket to weigh it down.
Buying the right sized basket for your pool skimmer is one of the most important considerations. If you’ve got a bad fit, it won’t seal properly, and leaves and other debris will make it through the skimmer heading straight to your pump.
And you know as well as I do, cleaning out a blocked pump system is not fun.
The easiest way to find the right sized basket for your skimmer is to look up the product number written on the side (or bottom) of the basket. Failing this, measure the outside and inside diameters of the basket, the height, and diameter of the base, then buy a replacement with these same dimensions. Most are pretty standardized anyway.
Having a good handle on your basket will make it easier to remove and empty the debris at the end of each day.
You’ve got a few options here, from the cheapest plastic handles which have been known to break), to metal rods which are much sturdier.
There are even some versions which offer a combined handle-funnel system. A design that allows water to continue running through the skimmer even if the basket is full, allowing you to reduce the strain on your pool pump and the skimmer.
As with any piece of pool equipment, you want it durable and robust enough to not only help collect all of the junk in your pool but to withstand the constant rays of the sun.
UV resistant plastic is going to be your best defense against the sun, and many skimmer baskets will be sold as such. Always check the product specifications to make sure you’re buying a durable product that will not fail in the first few weeks of use.
So far we’ve covered what a pool skimmer basket is, why you need one, and what features are important to focus on.
In this section, we’ll be looking at specific skimmer baskets, each of which were hand-picked for review based on the same criteria I’ve outlined in this guide.
Let’s get right into it.
Designed by Pentair, this pool skimmer basket is ideal for replacing the baskets of the Pentair Bermuda Gunite and Vinyl Liner skimmers.
The curved metal handle is far sturdier than plastic-handled variations, making it easy to remove this basket once it’s full of leaves. It’s also nice how the handle can swivel and move out of the way when you’re cleaning it out.
The downside is one you’ll barely notice until you grab a ruler, but the handle is pulling the basket ever so slightly out of its circular shape. It’s also a little smaller than the advertised 8-and-a-half-inch diameter, which could make it a problem properly fitting your pool skimmer.
- Curved metal handle makes it easy to remove
- Constructed from thick and sturdy plastic
- Some users found their baskets broke after just a few weeks
Designed by Aladdin, this is another option for a basket replacement for Pentair Bermuda Gunite and Vinyl Liner skimmers.
Made entirely out of plastic, the manufacturer has replicated the dimensions of the most popular skimmer baskets almost perfectly. It’s one of the most cost-effective replacement options, but that’s also what creates a problem.
Because it’s cheap, the basket has been known to tear apart under the pressure of the pump and a basket full of leaves. It’s also not properly weighted, you will need to add a rock or two to ensure it sits correctly inside your skimmer.
- Extremely cost effective
- Will fit most “standard sized” pool skimmers
- May break easily as created from cheap, flexible plastic
Designed by GVT, this pool skimmer basket has a different style of handle. Rising from the center of the basket is the tower-vent, which is a concept allowing water to continue flowing through the basket, even after it has been filled.
This is a safeguard for your pump motor and is a well-thought-out piece of pool equipment. Plus, the plastic of the basket feels well-crafted and “solid” to the touch.
If you’ve ever had a moment of hesitation before fumbling for the handle of your basket under a pile of leaves, this is the solution for you.
The only downside is the vent, it takes up space in the basket and can get in the way of proper skimming, especially once the basket fills. It’s also a nice little spot that spiders and other creepy crawlies can use to survive (instead of drowning), so be careful and make sure you look before you grab it.
- Allows your pool pump to continue working even when the basket is full
- One of the most heavy-duty basket options on the market
- The tower handle may make this too big to fit your skimmer
Designed by Pool Ruler, this basket will drop right into the Hayward SPX1070 pool skimmer perfectly, and is a great replacement option that’s very cost effective.
Made entirely from plastic, you’ll get a one-year limited warranty that covers manufacturer defects (not general wear and tear). Handy if you happen to get delivered a faulty product.
The only downside with this pool skimmer basket is the quality, the plastic feels a little thin, and the handle could be a bit more heavy-duty.
- Cost effective option that provides value for money
- Sizing is almost perfect, will drop straight into your skimmer
- The flimsy handle is far too thin and will break easily
- Additional weight needs to be added, so it doesn’t float
Designed by Pentair, this is a genuine replacement part for their pool skimmers, a heavy-duty option that is perfect when your basket needs to be replaced.
The metal bar of the handle is much sturdier than other baskets which use a cheap plastic strap, and it also adds a couple of ounces of weight to help it sit better in the skimmer.
The only downside is how the handle is mounted. It pushes straight into two holes within the basket, and it can pop right back out again if you’re carrying say a large basket full of leaves.
- Sturdy handle and reinforced rim are high quality
- The basket is a little large, so it may be a bit loose inside your skimmer
- Handle pops out far too easily when in use
Designed by CMP, this is another venting option which guarantees a continued flow of water no matter how full the collection basket is.
The difference is this vent is off to the side, tucked away so it will not interfere with leaf collection. What I like best is the ergonomic handle and grip built into the funnel, making it easy to grab and remove the basked from the skimmer.
The downside to this basket is more than just the spiders who seem to love this design. The handle which sticks up provides a perfect refuge for these little eight-legged monsters, but it’s also rather high, so it may not fit well underneath your skimmer cover.
- Adequately weighted, so it sits nicely in your skimmer
- Created from high-quality, heavy-duty plastic to stand up to the sun
- May not be the perfect fit inside your skimmer
When you’re replacing any piece of pool equipment, it’s always a good idea to go with a genuine part, so we’ve chosen the Pentair handle basket replacement for our winner.
Not only is it made from heavy-duty plastic, but the metal handle also makes it easy to install and use. It’s also a value for money buy for what you get, a replacement basket that’ll fit perfectly into your skimmer.
In close second is the CMP vented handle skimmer basket. Durable and tough, the vented design will help you avoid putting any unnecessary strain on your pump so you won’t need to stress about emptying the basket as soon as it fills.
This is a smart option if you’re looking for a replacement basket with a functional design.
When your pool skimmer basket breaks, you need a replacement to ensure you’re still able to filter out all of the leaves and other debris that collects in your pool. Don’t overthink it, choose the right product and ensure your water is junk free.