How to Repair a Skimmer Leak in an Above-Ground Pool

A skimmer leak in an above-ground pool can lead to a lot of wasted water, as the pool must constantly be topped off. In addition, with the water level dropping below the skimmer inlet, the skimmer is not able to skim debris off the top of the pool. The debris sink to the bottom and the pool requires more frequent vacuuming or skimming by hand. Fortunately, repairing skimmer leaks is simple.

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Repair skimmer leaks to keep your pool looking good.

Step 1

Drain the pool to an inch or two below the bottom of the skimmer faceplate.

Step 2

Remove the faceplate from the inside of the pool, turning the nuts in the back of the unit with pliers or a socket wrench while holding the screws in the front of the faceplate stationary with a screwdriver. The screws will hold the skimmer unit in place and prevent it from falling to the ground and cracking.

Step 3

Remove the skimmer unit from the back of the pool and the skimmer faceplate from the inside of the pool, being careful not to drop the screws into the pool.

Step 4

Peel off old caulking carefully and remove the skimmer gasket.

Step 5

Coat one side of both pieces of the new skimmer gasket with silicone caulk and press one on the outside of the pool wall and the other on the inside of the pool wall. The gasket on the inside of the pool wall will be between the pool wall and the pool liner.

Step 6

Coat the other side of each gasket with silicone caulk. Coat the back of the skimmer faceplate with silicone caulk and push back into position from the inside of the pool. Put the screws back through the faceplate, aligning with the existing holes in the liner.

Step 7

Lift the skimmer unit back into position on the outside of the pool and align the screws with the holes in the skimmer unit.

Step 8

Hold the screws through the faceplate stationary with a screwdriver and tighten the nuts on the back of the unit with pliers or a socket wrench. Do not overtighten or the faceplate or skimmer unit will crack.

Step 9

Fill any possible cracks in the skimmer unit's housing with silicone caulk on both sides of the unit.

Step 10

Inspect the plumbing around the base of the skimmer unit. If the plumbing is made of flexible pipe and attached with a hose clamp, tighten the clamp a little. Do not overtighten or the connector on the base of the skimmer unit may crack. Wait 24 hours before refilling the pool and check for leaks.