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Thread: Replacing a skimmer on an in-ground, fiberglass pool. How to seal and backfill?

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    Replacing a skimmer on an in-ground, fiberglass pool. How to seal and backfill?

    My pool skimmer has been patched so much there's more putty than plastic, and it's leaking again. It's time to replace it. Fortunately, I have found the same size skimmer is still available. I know I'll need to saw and break out the concrete deck. I assume that I'll find the skimmer backfilled with dirt since the rest of the pool seems to have been done this way (unfortunately). When I replace it, what's the best way to seal the new skimmer to the fiberglass shell so it won't leak, and what's the best material to user for backfill so it won't shift? From what I've seen online, I suspect that I'll need to grind the back side of the shell to make it smooth and then use a lot of silicon caulk when I mount the new skimmer. I also have read that clean 3/4 inch gravel makes a good backfill for fiberglass pools, but I haven't seen whether this is specifically good to use around the skimmer.

    If you have replaced a skimmer in a fiberglass pool, I'd really appreciate advice. I can't pay the $1800 price contractors are quoting me, and I've done enough PVC plumbing and other construction work around the house to be crazy enough to try this myself.

    Thanks!

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    In the Industry

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    Re: Replacing a skimmer on an in-ground, fiberglass pool. How to seal and backfill?

    You shouldn't need to grind the back side of your shell. Make sure you get all the old sealer off before trying to attach the new skimmer. Use a high quality marine grade silicone to seal. Use a 3/8 - 1/2 " gravel not anything larger.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
    We build vinyl, fiberglass, stainless steel pools
    Certified in Hydraulics

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    Re: Replacing a skimmer on an in-ground, fiberglass pool. How to seal and backfill?

    Thanks, swimcmp!

    I started looking into marine grade sealants and I see that polyurethane sealants are recommended in boats for anything that is below the waterline. I'm wondering if 3M 4200 would be better than silicon. Anyone know?
    http://www.3m.com/product/informatio...e-Sealant.html

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Replacing a skimmer on an in-ground, fiberglass pool. How to seal and backfill?

    Welcome to TFP!

    Most members have had better results using a polyurethane-based sealant vs. silicone for areas near and below the waterline.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

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