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Thread: Pool without a proper skimmer

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    Pool without a proper skimmer

    Just bought a house in Miami with an in-ground pool under a screen enclosure... it's been well-maintained and works fine, but probably pretty old. The weird thing is that it doesn't have a proper skimmer assembly... just an opening (like what a skimmer assembly would have) about 4.5"tall x 6.5" wide at water level leading to a round area (with your typical plastic cover) that's about 7" in diameter at the bottom and very shallow--the pipe opening leading to the pump is maybe just 4-5 inches below water level--not enough room for the kinds of baskets I'm used to seeing (and no unit that a basket would fit snugly into). While the architecture is reminiscent of a skimmer assembly, I don't use that term because this whole area has no plastic lining like what you see in a normal skimmer kit... it just has the same finish as the rest of the pool.

    I don't have the budget to turn this into a huge project, but my instinct is to address two issues:

    a) somehow put in a weir door to create a proper skimming action, except there's nothing in the side walls of the opening that it could securely attach to... and the opening is smaller than most weir doors I've seen

    b) put some kind of a filter to prevent debris from entering the pump (though the screen enclosure keeps this from being a daily danger), but like I said, a normal basket wouldn't fit

    I don't have a picture right now, but I can try to take a couple later on. Any advice on this situation?

    Thanks in advance!

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Pool without a proper skimmer

    Welcome to TFP.

    A few pictures of things would help.
    Maybe a replacement weir with a couple of dimples drilled into the "skimmer" walls. Or a couple of plastic "cups" the size of the pins glued to sides.

    as for the basket you could use a skimmer sock in the pump basket if that's the best you can do.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pool without a proper skimmer

    There are some replacement doors that have spring-loaded "feet" that hold it in place with friction. The bigger problem may be finding one that is narrow enough to fit the smaller opening. I can also imagine you will have to be careful how much of the water flow you try to pull from the skimmer. Too much and a vortex is likely to pull in air since the water is shallow.
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    Re: Pool without a proper skimmer

    Thanks for the replies already. Attached are some photos.

    The small size of the opening would appear to be a problem... from my searches, the smallest I found was about 4-11/16"x5-1/16"... too tall and too narrow. If you can find something closer, please let me know... even if it's not perfect I might be able to jerry-rig it. And I would guess getting the width right is more important so I can use one with spring-loaded feet.

    One good thing... I remeasured the depth from the water line to the pipe opening, and it's actually more like 6.5", but yes, I will still need to watch for a vortex here.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Pool without a proper skimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by dlopez
    The small size of the opening would appear to be a problem... from my searches, the smallest I found was about 4-11/16"x5-1/16"... too tall and too narrow. If you can find something closer, please let me know... even if it's not perfect I might be able to jerry-rig it. And I would guess getting the width right is more important so I can use one with spring-loaded feet.
    You can add blocking parts on either side if too narrow and cut the door height to fit can't you? Is there any real purpose to having a door if you don't have a basket to catch much in? Wouldn't you be better off letting it fall to the bottom? Do you have an automatic cleaner?

    As for a basket - is the width of the space about the same as any of the skimmers you've seen? If it is, then maybe you could salvage one and use as an insert if it is slightly smaller than the opening. You could cut it out of an old skimmer and seal it with caulk or the like to try it. Then take the basket for it and cut it down to the right height.

    Is this your only suction?
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  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Pool without a proper skimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by dlopez
    Just bought a house in Miami with an in-ground pool under a screen enclosure... it's been well-maintained and works fine, but probably pretty old. The weird thing is that it doesn't have a proper skimmer assembly... just an opening (like what a skimmer assembly would have) about 4.5"tall x 6.5" wide at water level leading to a round area (with your typical plastic cover) that's about 7" in diameter at the bottom and very shallow--the pipe opening leading to the pump is maybe just 4-5 inches below water level--not enough room for the kinds of baskets I'm used to seeing (and no unit that a basket would fit snugly into). While the architecture is reminiscent of a skimmer assembly, I don't use that term because this whole area has no plastic lining like what you see in a normal skimmer kit... it just has the same finish as the rest of the pool.

    I don't have the budget to turn this into a huge project, but my instinct is to address two issues:

    a) somehow put in a weir door to create a proper skimming action, except there's nothing in the side walls of the opening that it could securely attach to... and the opening is smaller than most weir doors I've seen

    b) put some kind of a filter to prevent debris from entering the pump (though the screen enclosure keeps this from being a daily danger), but like I said, a normal basket wouldn't fit

    I don't have a picture right now, but I can try to take a couple later on. Any advice on this situation?

    Thanks in advance!

    Most metropolitan cities will have pool maintenance stores... Maybe bring some pictures down to the local store and ask around for supplies and instructions.

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Pool without a proper skimmer

    ^just so you know, funny things happen when folks go to the pool store, which is why they usually join TFP That said, an indie store that is also a pool builder might be a good resource for conversion parts and/or advice if they've seen this style before. But talk to the service manager, and no one under 30 and no one from the retail side. Trust me on this.
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    Re: Pool without a proper skimmer

    Just to provide a little followup, I ordered this basket from Amazon, and it fit pretty well:
    Hayward SPX1082CA
    It's not perfect, but it's not going to move around much and should provide some basic protection to the system.

    Still haven't figured out what to do about the weir door... I had previously been to 2 pool supply stores prior to posting this thread, but they weren't helpful.

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Pool without a proper skimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by dlopez
    Just to provide a little followup, I ordered this basket from Amazon, and it fit pretty well:
    Hayward SPX1082CA
    It's not perfect, but it's not going to move around much and should provide some basic protection to the system.

    Still haven't figured out what to do about the weir door... I had previously been to 2 pool supply stores prior to posting this thread, but they weren't helpful.
    Pictures of it installed?
    I was serious about the too narrow or too short - just modify with a blank of plexiglass if you need to. Later you can fabricate something once you get a feel for how they go together - maybe a plexiglass or lexan one would fade in the sun but it's easy material to work with for experimentation.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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