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Thread: Liner around skimmer

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    Liner around skimmer

    So I was stupid when installing the skimmer on our new pool. I just noticed that the liner pulled away from the skimmer gasket and is leaking water. Any suggestions on fixing this other than starting over with a new liner. I waited to install the skimmer until the pool was pretty mush almost full. I clearly did not do it correctly. Help!!!
    13,541k g, AG, SHarkline Heritage 24', Hydromax AC DE95 Filter, Vinyl

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    Re: Liner around skimmer

    Any way I can fix this without draining the pool? We are in a drought and will have issues filling pool back up. Even draining down past the skimmer will be an issues. I thought of trying duct tape maybe? It's a butterfly gasket which is definitely not providing enough coverage to create a good seal.
    13,541k g, AG, SHarkline Heritage 24', Hydromax AC DE95 Filter, Vinyl

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    TomGallopavo's Avatar
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    Re: Liner around skimmer

    I'm no expert but I can't see any way around draining it. If it is an overhang liner you be able to get some slack from the other side of the pool. Someone much wiser may chime in.
    Spring 2016 Install, 24'x54" Saltwater LX AG Round Pool (13500 gal.), AquaPro 200 SQ. FT. Cartridge Filter System 2-HP 2-Speed Pump, Solaxx Saltron Retro Jet RJ Saltwater Chlorine Generator, Aqualuminator Above Ground Pool Light, TF-100 Test Kit w/ Borate and Salt, Well Water.

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    Re: Liner around skimmer

    So if I drain past the skimmer, any suggestions on how to fix this long term? It's less than a centimeter away from the skimmer plate.
    13,541k g, AG, SHarkline Heritage 24', Hydromax AC DE95 Filter, Vinyl

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    Re: Liner around skimmer

    Hi Dbustamante00,

    I had this same problem this year. I noticed that the liner had pulled away from the bottom of the skimmer and was severely leaking last year when I closed the pool. I decided to lower the water level below the the bottom of the skimmer and then I put the pool to bed for the winter. I was doubly annoyed because the liner was installed new in 2014.

    I was very worried when I saw it and didn't know what to do. Over the winter I came up with the idea of putting a large patch on the inside of the liner between the the liner and pool wall. I think you must drain the pool down below the skimmer for this idea to work.

    My liner had pulled down from the skimmer about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch. I guessed that since the liner was 18 months old, that it had settled away from the skimmer all that it was going to and that my patch only had to span the gap; i.e. there would be little or no further downward pulling on the liner since it had already done all the pulling that it was going to do.

    My plan was for the patch to completely cover the opening with an overlap of about 2 inches on all sides. I was able to buy a large piece of vinyl patch material and a large can of vinyl glue at the local pool store. I cut a 12 in x 12 in section of patch. I let the patch sit in the sun for a couple of hours so it got soft and the fold marks flattened out.

    I carefully got everything ready pool side because the glue spreading was going to be tricky; a lot of area to cover before the glue starts to setup and I was by myself. I also had a small wallpaper seam roller and a small piece of wood that I could fit behind the patch so I could roll it smooth. My pool liner is beaded so I was able to pull it out of the bead in the area of the skimmer to do this work. This allowed me to get to both sides of the patch area. After I got the patch on I also went around the seams with the glue to make sure that everything was sealed. I let it sit for 24 hours and I have to admit that it came out pretty well.

    The last part would be lining up the skimmer faceplate and cutting into the patch to assemble the skimmer. I let the patch area sit for a few more days and then with my son there for moral support we cut a small "x" (3 in x 3 in) in the middle of the patch where the skimmer opening would be. We then held up the skimmer faceplate and aligned the skimmer faceplate by two corners and starting at the top right corner, we punched a hole through the liner into the skimmer screw hole and did the same at the lower left. My son held the faceplate and kept it aligned from the pool deck and I was in the pool looking at the skimmer.

    This was so tricky because we had to work from either the top of the liner or from inside the little "x". We also had to line everything up with all of the gaskets. It goes faceplate -- gasket -- liner -- gasket -- spacer -- gasket -- skimmer. We found out that we needed the spacer because it helps mount the skimmer structurally to the pool deck. Many parts lists for the Hayward SP1092 skimmer say the space is not needed anymore. I don't know what you have so you might be able to skip the spacer and one gasket. I also didn't like the paper gaskets that were provided so I made two of my own from rubber gasket material that I had around. The gasket between the skimmer and the space is the paper one and the other two are the rubber ones.

    We made sure everything looked good and then went around and carefully punched all of the other holes with the awl and tightened all of the screws up. After that I trimmed the material from inside the skimmer hole and we were done.

    That was about 4 weeks ago and so far so good. No leaks and I've been checking daily.

    I'm sorry but I don't have any pictures of the patching and assembly; only of the skimmer with the faceplate removed before the repair and the skimmer area after the repair. I'll see if I can post them.

    I hope this helps. I was very leery of trying this on my pool but it was either this or a new liner and install which would have been $1100. The cost for the materials was about $8 for the vinyl, $8 for the can of glue and a few more dollars for the gaskets and for some Magic Lube to lube the gaskets. Maybe $20-$25 total plus my time and anguish.

    Good luck. If you have any questions please ask.

    Bill

    Skimmer before (I think about 7/4/16 -- pool was filthy green almost black)
    Skimmer_Before_1.jpg

    Pool after (sorry I was just trying to get the pool but you can see the skimmer, 7/24/16)
    Pool_After_1.jpg
    Last edited by wbrober0; 07-28-2016 at 09:32 PM. Reason: Add pictures, dates, more text
    11,300 gal, AG vinyl, 15 x 30 x 3.75 ft Oval, Hayward SL166T, 100 lbs sand, 1 HP Power-Flo pump, single speed, Hayward CL-200 chlorinator (no longer used)
    Pool: Mardi Gras at least 25 y.o., Liner: New in 2014, Filter/Pump: New in 2008, Media: Replaced 5/2013. TF-100 Test Kit w/Speed Stir.
    Mickleton, NJ (South Jersey Philadelphia area)

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    Re: Liner around skimmer

    Thank you for your reply! I like how you went about repairing it. I'm going to give it a try this weekend. The one day we're getting a lot of rain I have to drain the pool several inches during a period of drought. My issue is working with the butterfly gasket. Once I get the patch on the liner over the skimmer opening, what is the best way to put the skimmer back on. Should I look into using a different gasket or try again with the butterfly gasket. I'm also worried that the liner might still pull away with more settling. The pool sat for more than a week with water just up to the skimmer line before I placed the skimmer on the pool and cut out the hole for the skimmer.
    Wish me luck!
    13,541k g, AG, SHarkline Heritage 24', Hydromax AC DE95 Filter, Vinyl

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Liner around skimmer

    I never took my skimmer off and I left the water below the bottom of the skimmer like in the first picture for the whole winter from mid-Oct to the end of May when I took the cover off. Then I left it as it was until the fourth of July weekend. That's when I did the patch and filled the pool and started filtering. I don't think leaving the water lowered is a real problem.

    My skimmer attaches to the wall of the pool so I can take my faceplate off and the skimmer stays put. There are 3 bolts on either side of the skimmer that hold it onto the wall of my pool. There are two little ears on the skimmer that you can't see in my photo. I think it is a Hayward SP-1090 or SP-1092.

    I've heard that butterfly gaskets are better because they are one piece that is folded over around the opening. You won't be able to use my trick of the little "x" in the middle of the opening because the butterfly gasket needs to fold over. I've heard of people cutting the butterfly gaskets but that might not look so great. You could probably buy two gaskets and not use the butterfly gasket.

    One way might be to remove the skimmer, fix the liner with the patch, then trace the opening with a pen on the patch from the outside, then carefully cut it away (the hole for the skimmer), then install the butterfly gasket, carefully punch out the holes with an awl (using the holes in the gasket as the guide), then install the skimmer. You will probably need a helper to steady and hold the skimmer.

    Could you move the whole skimmer assembly down to meet the liner? Then you could maybe just patch the top part. Since you usually keep the water level of your pool at the middle of the skimmer it isn't likely that you would have a problem at the top.

    Your skimmer and butterfly situation will be tricky. You will need another person on the outside of the pool to help steady and align the skimmer while you do the precision work from inside the pool. Check Youtube. I think I saw some videos on there about how to install skimmers when I was researching my problem.

    The method that I came up with was mainly because I did not want to (or was scared of!) removing my skimmer. Now that I've mucked around there I am not so shy about it. Actually I think I may have to replace the skimmer anyway because I've noticed some hairline cracks in it. That will happen next year if at all. I am going to try some epoxy first on the cracks.

    If you have some pictures of your problem that might help.

    I'll check back on this thread tomorrow

    Thanks,
    Bill
    11,300 gal, AG vinyl, 15 x 30 x 3.75 ft Oval, Hayward SL166T, 100 lbs sand, 1 HP Power-Flo pump, single speed, Hayward CL-200 chlorinator (no longer used)
    Pool: Mardi Gras at least 25 y.o., Liner: New in 2014, Filter/Pump: New in 2008, Media: Replaced 5/2013. TF-100 Test Kit w/Speed Stir.
    Mickleton, NJ (South Jersey Philadelphia area)

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    Re: Liner around skimmer

    So I put a patch below the skimmer. After many calls around to pool repair guys we decided to get as much use out of the pool this season with the patch in place and then in the spring drain the pool and replace the liner. I've been told that this type of repair is a ticking time bomb and that it won't make it thru the winter and the liner will tear and all the water will rush out and possibly take the pool wall out with it. In the fall we'll use the pool water to water our new lawn we're planning to put down and then come spring drain the rest of it and replace the liner completely. So upset about it, but you live and learn

    - - - Updated - - -

    Not crazy about my patch job, since I decided to not drain the pool at all. I did the patch under the water line and pressed my luck. As long as it holds up for 4 weeks until we close the pool for the season, I'll be satisfied. I unscrewed the skimmer plate and worked the patch up under the skimmer plater and put the screws back. I was told if I did this by the pool store guy I would risk my liner pulling away even more. It didn't move from what I could tell.
    13,541k g, AG, SHarkline Heritage 24', Hydromax AC DE95 Filter, Vinyl

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    Re: Liner around skimmer

    It is amazing some of the things you might hear at a pool store. How many might actually turn out to right seem to be rare.
    16X32 AB, Pentair SD filter, 3/4hp Pentair Optiflo, CircuPool RJ30+ swg, TF 100

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: Liner around skimmer

    if all you had was a centimeter to make up, you could have tried stretching the liner. Drain it below the skimmer, heat the liner (hair dryer, or careful application of a heat gun) and stretch it the required centimeter.

    I am also not sure how a properly applied patch is a "ticking time bomb" any more so than *any* leak in the wall of a liner (pin hole, toenail cut, leak around the return seal, etc) could cause the pool wall to rust and eventually give way.

    -dave
    27' Round ABG (17,000 gal) - +/- 11 hours of full sun per day
    Hard plumbed Hayward Perflex EC-40 DE filter w/ 1 HP pump (Got a new one June 2015)
    Filered 4 hours per day (on a timer)
    Pentair Aqualuminator - now working - and now dead once again, this time for good.
    Zodiac Wahoo

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