I am a long-time lurker and occasional poster (normally seeking info). I have received loads of great advice over the years so this is my time to contribute to a topic which I know has a lot of interest with other board members.
I bought a hydropools widemouth skimmer last year and have been dreaming about installing it ever since. Apart from trepidation about plunging a knife through my perfectly good liner I also didn't want to loose depth from my pool by mounting it below the welded seam (as I have the 48" deep pool). I have read a few posts referring to other members mounting the skimmer high on the seam but despite searching could never find any posts or pictures.
Well, this year I finally decided to not only install it but to install it high, above the seam.
As you can see from this photo :
I installed it above the welded seam with the screws for the top of the faceplate passing through the sleeve for the top rail. To make this install I drilled holes through the sleeve on a downward angle from the outside to the inside so that when the two parts of the sleeve were pulled together they would line up better. It was a little tricky getting the screws started but I got the corners in first and the once they started to pull the sleeve together it was easy to get the others started. The biggest problem I had was trying to tighten the screws. I realised in the end that this was due to the type of skimmer I had. The instructions that came with it were aimed at the permanent AGP owner and talked about cutting through the metal wall and then installing the liner and fitting the skimmer (note: no mention of part filling the pool with water). Everything I read on this board relating to fitting to an Intex advised partial filling, so that is what I did.
I got to the point where I could tighten the screws no more but there remained an 1/8th inch gap between the seal and the pool liner. To say I was despondent would be an understatement, I was convinced that I had destroyed my pool
At this point I still had not actually cut the liner and I soon realised that the uncut portion (inside the faceplate) was as taught as a drum and theorized that maybe the tightness of the liner was stopping the faceplate from fully tightening This particular skimmer pulls the liner between the faceplate and the outer part of the skimmer body to create the seal, the liner was pulled so tight that it couldn't be pulled in and thus the screws got too hard to turn anymore.
I slept on it overnight, then got up and quickly plunged the knife into the liner to relieve the pressure (before I could change my mind). The pool was now up to temperature so I could get into the pool to finish tightening the screws from the inside they snugged down nicely and VOILA! No leaks.
I cannot express how happy I was. I hated the old floating intex skimmer. I now have great circulation and skimming and also the vacuuming is way easier and better.
I would now like to replace the Intex return with the one that came with my skimmer but the hole is a little larger but would be covered by the gaskets in the new return. Has anyone tried installing a standard return in the intex hole?
I hope this was useful to others as have seen a lot of members looking for posts with pictures. Feel free to ask questions.