When Avast Marine asked us to review their new and affordable Swabbie automatic neck cleaner for protein skimmers, we thought we’d give them a little bit a challenge. Instead of sending us a po-dunk little skimmer neck cleaner we tasked Avast with custom building a ginormous neck cleaner for the nearly six inch diameter neck of the larger Alpha Kone skimmer series. The reason that a larger diameter is a challenge is because the greater the diameter of the neck, and the more extended the wiper is from the central axis, the more torque it will experience with every rotation.
Undaunted, Avast marine rose to our challenge sending us a beefed up version of the Swabbie which could handle the load of wiping a skimmer neck with an adjustable radius wiper blade. Installing the Swabbie on an Alpha Kone 300 was as easy as switching out the lids and adjusting some thumbscrews. As you’d expect, a thin layer of skimmate buildup on the neck of a skimmer isn’t too hard to wipe down and since the Swabbie’s wiper blade is pivoted on a single adjsutable screw, the pressure from the neck helps to self-correct the alignment of the wiper blade to the sides of the neck skimmer. With this design you could even wipe down cone skimmer designs with a continuous cone all the way up in to the skimmer head. Continue reading for some more observations on the Swabbie neck cleaner by Avast Marine.