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Thread: Skimmer replacement questions

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    Skimmer replacement questions

    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.

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    foobert's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Bay Area, CA

    Re: Skimmer replacement questions

    Welcome to TFP

    That is an ambitious project to tackle as a DIY job. I understand being capable and I have a huge DIY spirit. I've done concrete work, tile, etc... but, there's no way I'd tackle THAT job. I'm not prepared to deal with a broken shell, damaged plaster, or a leaking skimmer throat after it's all done

    I'm not sure how many pool builders hang out on the forum, but, I hope you get some answers. I've got 2 skimmers that I'd like replaced when my pool gets remodeled and I'd like to understand the process before paying someone else to do it
    24.5K G, pebble, SuperFlo VS 1.5, 48sq DE filter, Hayward H250FDN, Autopilot RC-52, Poolvergnuegen & 3 daily swimmers in season.

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    Re: Skimmer replacement questions

    Ya, I'm still not 100% on it, the more I research, the more I think it is a larger project than I want to get into. If I hire a pro, I know in the end, when he finishes in a day, it will be one of those things that wasn't as difficult as it seemed, but at least I'll be back up and running sooner. This will take me a week or so to knock out doing as much as I can after work each day.

    I'm in an awkward area out of town and have been told 3 times that the pool repair guy is not interested in the work because of the location of my house. Haha, maybe if I can hold off I should try them again in winter when things slow down and see if anyone wants the work!

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    techguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Antelope, CA

    Re: Skimmer replacement questions

    It's one of those things that easy to do when you know what to, and not to, do. I think this is one if those things you need o pay experience. That being said... Get a real professional not some guy learning on your pool/dime. I may be mistaken but I don't think there are too many in ground skimmers replaced.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    SouthWest Alabama

    Re: Skimmer replacement questions

    Judging from the questions you asked, it's obvious that you haven't done much concrete work in the past. We all can't be experts at everything and given the potential complexity of this job, I'd write the check. I bet that in the slowest part of the season you can find a subcontractor that's more than willing to do the work. If you hire a PB they're most likely going to use a sub to do the work so you might start trying to find out which subs are preferred.

    Why does the skimmer need replacing?

    As an aside, I'd have whoever did it, run the main drain back to the pad if it isn't some huge problem.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Skimmer replacement questions

    It is leaking from where the main drain connects to the bottom of the skimmer, I has been epoxied and is still leaking. The skimmer is one of the old black-bottom skimmers that is well past its lifespan.

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