How to Install a Skimmer in Above-Ground Pools

Written by cellina laforey
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How to Install a Skimmer in Above-Ground Pools
Install a new skimmer on an above-ground pool (Blue transparent and clear water in swimming pool. image by RUZANNA ARUTYUNYAN from

When it comes to installing an above-ground pool, the most difficult steps involve levelling the ground, setting up the pool walls and making sure the lining is properly installed. Once the difficult steps are all taken care of, the easy part is installing the skimmer. The good thing about installing the skimmer yourself the first go around is that if it becomes damaged due to weather or some unforeseen event, you'll be able to quickly replace it.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Skimmer kit
  • Permanent marker
  • Drill
  • Cutting tool

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  1. 1

    Drop the water level in the pool. The water should be no higher than 2 inches below the skimmer hole. This gives you ample room to work without getting your tools wet.

  2. 2

    Trace the template on the outside of the pool wall. The pool skimmer kit comes with a traceable template that allows you to accurately cut the screw holes and the hole for the new skimmer and faceplate. Using a permanent marker, trace the skimmer opening and screw holes.

  3. 3

    Cut out the skimmer hole with your cutting tool. Make sure to cut both the pool wall and pool liner.

  4. 4

    Drill the holes for the screws. As with cutting out the hole for the skimmer, make sure the drill holes go through both the pool wall and the pool liner. Shortly after drilling the holes for the screws, insert a few screws along the bottom portion of the faceplate holes. The weight of the water will pull the pool liner down. By placing screws in the holes until you're ready to attach the faceplate, the liner will remain in place.

  5. 5

    Attach this skimmer to the outside of the pool wall. Before attaching the skimmer, make sure to place the rubber seal in between the pool wall and the skimmer. Visually align the skimmer screw holes with the pre-drilled holes in the pool wall. After it's aligned, attach the skimmer by inserting the screws in the holes from the inside of the pool towards the outside of the pool and into the skimmer.

  6. 6

    Affix the faceplate to the inside of the pool. As with the skimmer, make sure to insert the rubber seal in between the pool liner and the faceplate. Remove the place-holding screws and use them to attach the faceplate to the pool.

  7. 7

    Connect the hose from the filter to the skimmer and raise the water level in the pool. The water level should reach the mid height of the skimmer faceplate.

Tips and warnings

  • When cutting the pool wall, have someone hold a wet towel on the inside of the pool to catch any metal shavings that may fall into the water.
  • The first few days after installing the skimmer, check the pool wall near the faceplate for leaks. If water is seeping from the skimmer attachment point, tighten the screws.

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