How to Replace a Swimming Pool Skimmer

Written by kelly shetsky
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Devices affixed to the side of the pool wall, skimmers are susceptible to shifting earth and erosion. Small leaks are inevitable because of the constant flow of water. Copper plumbing further aggravates the project because of the addition of chemicals into the skimmer that eat away at the fittings. It's common for skimmers to separate from the pool wall, suffer freeze damage or have collapsed pipes.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Cloth rags
  • Concrete saw
  • Soil or dirt
  • Collar (if needed)
  • Concrete
  • Trowel

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  1. 1

    Drain the pool until the water is just below the skimmer level. Turn off all equipment. Use rags to plug the suction port and throat to keep debris from coming into the pool.

  2. 2

    Cut the area around the skimmer with a concrete saw to loosen the unit. You can use a jackhammer or sledgehammer, but you run the risk of causing more damage than needed. Remove the concrete, taking care not to damage the plumbing.

  3. 3

    Clear away the coping, tile or other material from around the mouth of the skimmer. If you have a vinyl or fibreglass pool, the process is less invasive and involves unbolting and disassembling the skimmer.

  4. 4

    Cut the plumbing to the old skimmer and pull it out.

  5. 5

    Put the new skimmer in the existing location. Plumb it to the existing water lines. Fill in with soil to set it in place. Some skimmers require a collar that fits in the space of the old unit. If the new skimmer is larger or deeper than the original, cut the hole to size.

  6. 6

    Pour concrete around the skimmer to increase stability. A ready-mix solution will work because you only need a small amount. Trowel until smooth and allow it to dry completely. Replace tiles or other materials.

Tips and warnings

  • To avoid having to replace the skimmer, patch leaks and skimmer movement with underwater pool putty, recommends the website Pool Center.
  • Wear protective eyewear when using power tools.

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