interface of the plastic skimmer to the concrete pool, plaster, tile and coping creates
many opportunities for problems to occur. Common skimmer problems
include: separation from the pool wall (beam), freeze damage, leaking or
collapsed/ separated pipes (especially if flexible or black poly pipe
replacement involves removing the coping stone over the
skimmer, cutting the concrete deck on top of the skimmer and the
concrete that surrounds it. The skimmer is pulled off the wall and
cut from the pipe(s) beneath. The new skimmer (the same or a larger
one may be preferred) is plumbed and secured in place. Concrete
and coping is put back.
replacement is usually done at the time of a renovation, or by itself
if necessary. Cost comes out to about $1,200 for inground pool. Old
pools sometimes used flex piping from the skimmer to the pump, underground.
These pipes can crimp, usually where the pipe was bent, especially
right at the skimmer. Using chlorine tablets in skimmers for many
years can lead to this problem.
your plastic skimmer has pulled away from the concrete pool and is leaking,
use an underwater pool
putty to patch it up temporarily and stop the leak. This is a
very common pool leak source. You may want to use a dye
test to determine if your skimmers are leaking. Small debris stuck
in a small crack is also a clue of a leak. Skimmers can also get cracks
in the plastic from concrete expansion/heave. Again pool
putty is used to repair this.
your skimmer weir (the
flapper gate) has come out or broken, replace it
with new. The weir creates a small waterfall into the basket which
speeds up water flow, drawing more debris in. The weir also helps
to keep debris in the skimmer neck when the pump shuts off. Similarly,
replace a broken skimmer lid,
before someone steps in it.
you suspect that your skimmer line may be clogged, here are some useful
tricks. Use a plumber's
snake to try and break up the leaves & sticks (or whatever),
or better yet, try a "drain
king" which attaches to the garden hose and puts high pressure
in the line. Try it in both directions, that is, from skimmer towards
pump, and from pump towards skimmer. I usually use a plug at the skimmer
end to build up pressure in the line for 5-10 seconds. Repeatedly
doing this quickly is the best way to clear a pipe that I've used.