Swimming Pool Brushes, Nets & Poles Telescopic Poles Pool Brushes Nets: Skimmers, & Rakes FAQs

Swimming Pool Brushes, Nets & Poles

Swimming pool maintenance is so much easier when you have the right tools for the job. And few pieces of equipment are as important as brushes, nets and poles. These three simple tools will help you take care of day-to-day maintenance like skimming leaves from your pool’s surface or scrubbing a bit of stubborn algae from your pool walls -- ensuring that your pool is clean, healthy and ready for swimming.

If you’re new to pool ownership (or if it’s been a while since you’ve shopped for pool maintenance gear), you might have some questions. How do you know which equipment is right for you? Do you need a skimmer or a net, or both? What kind of brush is best for your pool finish?

Read on for a quick and easy guide to three important pool care tools!

Telescopic Poles

A telescopic pool pole -- or pool “telepole” -- is a key piece of equipment in your pool maintenance toolkit. This simple, versatile tool functions as a universal handle for a variety of tools, such as pool brushes, the pool skimmer net, leaf rake and more.

In other words, you’ll use your telescoping pole a lot. Which is why it’s important to select one that’s built to last. Not sure how to choose the right pole for your pool? When shopping for a telescopic pool pole, look for one that’s:

Pro tip: Most swimming pool owners prefer expandable poles in the 8- to 15-foot range.

  • Expandable. The best pool telepoles are adjustable, allowing you to choose the length you need, whether you’re skimming leaves off your pool’s surface or fishing twigs from the deep end of the swimming pool floor.
  • Lockable. A good expandable pole should be equipped with a button or an inner/outer “cam lock” that keeps your telepole firmly in place.
  • Sturdy. Look for a swimming pool telepole constructed from tough, durable materials such as aluminum, fiberglass or carbon fiber.
pool brush with net

Pool Brushes

A pool brush is an essential tool for scrubbing algae, dirt and stains from your swimming pool’s walls and floors. Pool brushes are typically designed to fit onto your telescopic pole, and they’re available in a variety of sizes, from large, all-purpose brush heads to small, specialized ones designed for very specific purposes, such as removing algae from tough-to-reach corners or steps.

If you’re shopping for a pool brush, the most important consideration is your pool’s finish: For gunite or concrete pool finishes, opt for a brush with stiffer bristles (think stainless steel) to help scrub away tough algae deposits. For vinyl or fiberglass swimming pool liners, opt for a softer nylon or polypropylene brush, which will remove stains and buildup without damaging your pool’s walls.

Nylon brushes + pebble finishes = BFFs

Sometimes called “aggregate,” pebble finish is made from plaster or cement, with large pebbles or sparkly glass beads mixed in to create depth, sparkle, and texture. If you’ve opted for aggregate, avoid brushes made from steel -- they can be a bit too harsh. We recommend nylon brushes for pebble finish. Nylon will help you keep your aggregate finish sparkly-clean (and damage-free) for years to come.

pool net with leaves

Nets: Skimmers, and Rakes

There are two main types of leaf nets: skimmers and rakes. Both types of nets are designed for quick, easy removal of debris from your pool, and both types fit easily onto a standard telescoping pole.

What’s the difference between the two? In general, it’s about the design of the net:

  • Leaf skimmers are equipped with flat, shallow nets, which make them easy for removing small amounts of debris from your swimming pool’s surface.
  • Leaf rakes feature deep bags, making them ideal tools for scooping out large, heavy amounts of leaves and debris.

Which type of net is right for you? That depends on several factors. For example, if your swimming pool is surrounded by lots of leafy, flowering trees and shrubs (think crepe myrtles or maple trees), you might want to consider a pool skimmer for quick and easy spot cleaning. For less frequent, but heavier, debris removal (think, after a heavy rainstorm), a leaf rake is probably the better choice.

Of course, it’s not a bad idea to invest in a rake and a skimmer. That way, you’ll always have the right tool for the job. Of course, whether you choose a rake, a skimmer, or both, we recommend opting for a net constructed with a sturdy and durable aluminum frame. (Aluminum is tough enough to withstand extreme temperatures and exposure to swimming pool chemicals.)

swimming pool pole and brush

FAQs: Swimming Pool Brushes, Nets, & Poles

What does brushing a pool do? Why does a pool need to be brushed?

Brushing your pool’s walls and floor will remove dirt, algae, and other types of buildup, preventing future maintenance issues like stains and discoloration.

How often should I brush my pool?

It’s a good idea to brush your pool once a week or every other week, as part of your weekly pool maintenance regimen. If you notice stains or buildup between cleanings, you can spot-clean as needed. (Smaller brush heads are great for quick jobs like this.)

What is the best pool brush for corners?

For clearing dirt and debris out of hard-to-reach places, look for features like a swivel head or curved/angled brush ends.

Do pool cleaners replace manually brushing the pool?

No. Robotic or automatic pool cleaners are great for sweeping debris from the bottom of the pool, but they’re not a replacement for the good, old-fashioned pool brush. This is especially true when it comes to the walls of your pool and hard-to-access areas (think corners and stairs) that your pool vacuum can’t reach.

What is a leaf skimmer? And do I need a leaf skimmer for my pool?

A leaf skimmer is a flat, shallow net designed for quick, easy leaf removal. We recommend leaf skimmers to anyone who has trees, shrubs, or flowering plants near their swimming pool.

What is a telescoping pole?

A telescoping pole -- also called a telescopic pole or a “telepole” -- is a true pool maintenance necessity. Your telescoping pole will serve as the handle for a variety of maintenance tools, such as leaf skimmers, nets, vacuum heads, and pool brushes.

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