Hey guys, I have been studying and have read a lot about skimmer replacement and am just about ready to tackle this project but have a few more questions before I start this project.
I am very handy but need a little schooling on the correct materials to use.
This is a gunite/plaster pool in Southern California.
1) Should I cut the main drain line from the bottom of the skimmer and how do I get to it? I am worried about jackhammering the skimmer out, after I cut the deck, and breaking the main drain line from the vibration? Is this a needless worry? I guess I would need to cut the deck further back to dig a larger hole to get down to it?
2) What type of concrete do I use to pour around the new skimmer when it is set in and plumbed. (type/brand) and do I use a bonding agent (type/brand) or is the rebar enough to hold it to the existing pool? Also, do I place sand down for the first few inches of the skimmer? I am using a Sta-Rite U3 (the old one is a black-bottom skimmer) and the install instructions show concrete encasing all of the plumbing below the skimmer for 7-8 inches.
3) What type of concrete do I use to patch the deck? It is a basic concrete sidewalk that surrounds the pool, nothing special. Should I just use the standard 4,000psi Quikrete from Home Depot that people use for post holes? There is about 5" of sidewalk between the skimmer cover and the pool coping, do I cover the top of the skimmer throat with anything or pour the concrete right on top? Same question for the new skimmer encasement, do I pour it low enough to have a layer of gravel between the skimmer encasement and the new pool deck?
4) Most importantly, what do I use to seal the seam between the existing tile throat and the new plastic skimmer? I have hear so many different things my head is spinning!
Sorry for the long post, I tend to overthink things, I guess I need it dumbed down as I know nothing about different types of concrete/mortar/grout/etc.