How to Replace Above-ground Swimming Pool Skimmers

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The trickiest part of replacing a wall skimmer is keeping the liner intact. It only takes one person to replace a pool skimmer, but having another person to quickly hand you the necessary tools can be a big help.

When it comes to maintaining an above-ground pool, there are some tasks that must be carried out every day, like checking the pool chemical levels, and then there are those once-in-a-while tasks like replacing the skimmer. The daily maintenance tasks become second nature and don't require special expertise, but replacing the pool skimmer takes a little bit of planning. Pool skimmers are not tough to replace, but it can be a little tricky.

Step 1

Lower the pool water level to approximately two inches below the skimmer level. This makes it easier to remove the old and install the new skimmer. It also prevents the water from seeping in between the liner and the pool wall.

Step 2

Detach the hose from the existing skimmer. Place the open end of the hose in the pool to keep water that may flow back from the filter in the pool.

Step 3

Loosen and remove the screws on the skimmer faceplate. The faceplate is the decorative cover that hides the not-so-attractive screws affixing the skimmer to the pool wall. Loosen and remove the screws that attach the skimmer.

Step 4

Place screws in a few of the holes that affixed the faceplate to the pool. It is especially important that you put the screws in the holes located at the bottom of the faceplate quickly. This is the trick to prevent the weight of the water in the pool from pulling the liner down. Do this as soon as you remove the old skimmer. It only takes a few minutes for the weight of the water to start tugging on the vinyl liner. The time it takes for you to place the old skimmer down and align the new one is enough time for the water to shift the liner. Putting the screws in a few of the bottom screw holes helps to keep the liner in place.

Step 5

Align the replacement skimmer and the rubber seal (the rubber seal comes in the replacement skimmer kit) over the existing holes. Insert but do not tighten the screws to attach it to the pool wall.

Step 6

Remove the holding screws starting at the bottom of the skimmer. Position the faceplate over the holes and reinsert the screws. Once you have the bottom part of the faceplate attached, insert the screws in the remaining holes and tighten all of them to affix the faceplate to the wall.

Step 7

Connect the hose from the filter pump to the new skimmer.

Step 8

Add water to the pool so that the water level reaches at least the middle of the skimmer. Run the pool filter and check for leaks.

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Cellina LaForey

After spending over 20 years writing for businesses in both the insurance and technology industries, Cellina LaForey now spends her time as a freelance writer. The time she spent working with Fortune 100 companies has provided the experience necessary to easily transition into full-time writing.