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Thread: New Skimmer-But Leaking-Have tried 6 times--help!!

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    New Skimmer-But Leaking-Have tried 6 times--help!!

    HI:
    I have a 24 ft round, with a deck built around it. I decided to replace the yellowed wide mouth skimmer this year with a new one---BIG mistake...

    I got a new HP Pump, and a Heater, had the electrician out--all go.
    NOW--i get the skimmer- clean everything-use the clear sealant-put the 18 screws in--still leaking around the bottom screws-puled it off, cleaned off the sealant, trried again and again--i get it to slow-but still leaking.
    I live in an area-where pool installers do not want to come out for just a skimmer..
    Can anyone help me-guide me?
    By the way--I think i figured out the gasket--does it go like a picture frame in the actual steel hole cut out? then you screw the plastic front and back on?
    OR-- do this gasket merely go on the front ONLY--inside the pool? OR--does it go on the rear
    and no gasket touching the inside of pool? I googled --cant find A GOOD ANSWER--THANKS SO MUCH!
    IG pool gunite/Plaster, 33 x 20, 20000 gal., 4.5ft-5-3.5ft, Triton FNSP-36 DE filter 36sqft 90gpm 43200 in 8 hrs, WhisperFlo Triton 1.5HP, Polaris 280 with booster pump, and a Dog that loves to swim,South of Houston.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New Skimmer-But Leaking-Have tried 6 times--help!!

    I have a gasket on the inside and one on the outside...not sure if this helps you. Good luck, hopefully someone else with more equipment knowledge will appear.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: New Skimmer-But Leaking-Have tried 6 times--help!!

    Welcome to TFP!!

    hopefully someone else with more equipment knowledge will appear.
    I have a gasket on the inside and one on the outside...not sure if this helps you. Good luck, hopefully someone else with more equipment knowledge will appear.
    POOF - here I am There needs to be a gasket of some sort on either side of the pool wall (it can be the brown, fiber/ cardboard ones or even just a piece of good liner). You need to have a gasket on both sides of the wall panel for a proper seal. The gaskets should be (going from the outside of the pool) skimmer - gasket- pool wall- liner - gasket - faceplate.

    I hope this is clear enough, if not - I or another member will answer any follow up questions you have
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Re: New Skimmer-But Leaking-Have tried 6 times--help!!

    HI:
    Thanks..
    It came with a butterfly type gasket-does this just go inside the pool area--then i get another one for the outside--on the exterior wall?
    OR-[-does this 1 gasket-get opened up--then spread out to fit in both areas??
    IG pool gunite/Plaster, 33 x 20, 20000 gal., 4.5ft-5-3.5ft, Triton FNSP-36 DE filter 36sqft 90gpm 43200 in 8 hrs, WhisperFlo Triton 1.5HP, Polaris 280 with booster pump, and a Dog that loves to swim,South of Houston.

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    Join Date
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    Re: New Skimmer-But Leaking-Have tried 6 times--help!!

    Lisa, I got your PM - it read like this

    HI:
    My email is:
    {edited by Ted}NONE OF ANYONE ELSE'S BUSINESS (MY edit )
    I really appreciate the help-as i cant get an installer to come out and my kids are really wanting to try the new heater out.
    That white gasket is like 2 gaskets in 1--its attached-but a double gasket--do i place this on the inside of pool wall-then the face plate-then buy another one for the exterior??
    many thanks,
    Lisa Subject: New Skimmer-But Leaking-Have tried 6 times--help!!
    A gasket like that is often used on AG pools. The idea is that you have one gasket to do the job of two - you simply open up the gasket so that it's on both sides of the panel (think of an OREO cookie - the gasket is the yummy ~chocolate ~ wafers and the panel is the noxious cream middle (sorry, had a BAD experience with some 'Double Stuffeds' 20 + years ago :P ))

    I really like these type gaskets because they leave NO chance of water getting through the gap that might be left, had you used 2 separate gaskets 8)

    I hope you don't mind that I shared your PM with the rest of the forum - while I FIRMLY believe in folks being able to communicate with each other "off boards", I thought this info might be of use to others here and edited your personal info

    The gasket you have is BETTER than having to use 2 to do the same job
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Re: New Skimmer-But Leaking-Have tried 6 times--help!!

    Hi:
    thanks very much!

    >> I still have the LEAK..even after placing the gasket on correctly--
    The skimmer is a Swim-n- Play Wide mouth.brand new.
    I had my 2 boys help me hold the skimmer in place, while I attached the 18 screws,to the face plate--water level was then filled to cover 1st set of screws on bottom faceplate-
    water dripping on exterior pool wall, at very bottom where skimmer and exterior wall meet.
    Any ideas??

    I guess maybe I'm missing a tip/trick--that's Easy for someone that did it before?
    I called Swimnplay-the tech rep-said he just starts at the Top middle,and bottom middle screws,then goes left,then right, then does the far left,then finishes far right.

    It did help-get the screws to Catch better-I got everyone tightened, used clear sealant-but still a small drip.
    I had to go to Lowes, get more sand to remake the Cove on outer wall, as the initial leak was real big, but after now 7 tries- the leak drips, but it was dry last year.
    I already pitched the old skimmer, or i would put it back on.

    Thanks Much!
    IG pool gunite/Plaster, 33 x 20, 20000 gal., 4.5ft-5-3.5ft, Triton FNSP-36 DE filter 36sqft 90gpm 43200 in 8 hrs, WhisperFlo Triton 1.5HP, Polaris 280 with booster pump, and a Dog that loves to swim,South of Houston.

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    Re: New Skimmer-But Leaking-Have tried 6 times--help!!

    UPdate:
    Yesterday, I went and bought another new Gasket.
    I followed instructions- using it on BOTH sides as the butterfly gasket-
    I did not put clear sealant on the gasket itself-but ONLY around the metal sides of pool

    SO far-seems it sealed- I am letting it set for 24 hours before adding water, and now I have 1 last question..
    The Bracket--that is round, and seems to stabilize the basket and skimmer- could it be
    I was previously tightening this too much, thus breaking the seal of the skimmer?

    I plan to put this on today, hook up the hose to the pump, and add water--this will be the real test.
    IG pool gunite/Plaster, 33 x 20, 20000 gal., 4.5ft-5-3.5ft, Triton FNSP-36 DE filter 36sqft 90gpm 43200 in 8 hrs, WhisperFlo Triton 1.5HP, Polaris 280 with booster pump, and a Dog that loves to swim,South of Houston.

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    Re: New Skimmer-But Leaking-Have tried 6 times--help!!

    well.. still leaking-- i'm out of ideas now!!!
    IG pool gunite/Plaster, 33 x 20, 20000 gal., 4.5ft-5-3.5ft, Triton FNSP-36 DE filter 36sqft 90gpm 43200 in 8 hrs, WhisperFlo Triton 1.5HP, Polaris 280 with booster pump, and a Dog that loves to swim,South of Houston.

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    In the Industry

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    Re: New Skimmer-But Leaking-Have tried 6 times--help!!

    Hi, this might help a little. As far as gaskets go, when I have two to work with, one goes between the liner and the faceplate and the other goes between the wall and the skimmer. When there is only one gasket, it goes between the liner and the wall. The butterfly gasket can go just over the wall, the way I use it, or it can go over the wall and the liner.

    The butterfly gasket was invented to protect the exposed surface of the sidewall from rust. With a butterfly gasket, the wall is protected from water and possible rust. In the old days, using two gaskets, this exposed surface was treated with silicone or clear finger nail polish, having the same result, no rust.

    Butterfly gaskets are easy to use. Just mount it directly over the wall and line up all of the holes. Set the faceplate in place and poke through the two top corner screws. Let the faceplate hang, check the gasket for alignment, then hold the skimmer up to the screws and get them started. Do the two bottom corners next. Recheck gasket alignment, tighten corners and set the rest of the screws.

    The most common reason for butterfly gaskets to leak is that they are many times to small. If they were bigger, and fit better, you would have far less problems. When the top two screws are started you need to make sure the gasket is pushed down far enough that the bottom corners go through the holes in the gasket and seat it properly.

    You need to be able to see the gasket from the underside of the skimmer. Sometimes, with all the screws loose, the gasket can be pushed down, so that it comes out below the skimmer, and then the screws tightened.

    I do feel your pain, I have spent three hours installing a pool and had to come back to spend another hour getting the stupid skimmer to stop leaking. I do think, that if you look up under your skimmer, you may find the problem.

    Later, Dennis
    Pro pool installer for over 35 years
    Shadebuilder.com

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    98xc600's Avatar
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    Re: New Skimmer-But Leaking-Have tried 6 times--help!!

    I had the same problem with my skimmer as well. What I did to stop mine from leaking was lube it up good with magic lube. It's been good for 2 years now.
    16' by 32' cornelius AG vinyl liner, 6' deep end, 14500 gal.
    Hayward 250 Lb sand filter
    Hayward 40 GPM pump
    2-2' by 20' sun grabber solar heater.
    4 gal Liquidator. BBB

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    Re: New Skimmer-But Leaking-Have tried 6 times--help!!

    HI:
    UPDATE,
    Well- I had bought this "Magic Putty" from TV a couple months ago..
    I got some- rubbed it together and stuck it on the exterior of the skimmer where it meets the
    pool wall, FIXED@@@@@@

    I am sooooo Happy!!!
    Thanks for the Great Ideas Guys!!!
    IG pool gunite/Plaster, 33 x 20, 20000 gal., 4.5ft-5-3.5ft, Triton FNSP-36 DE filter 36sqft 90gpm 43200 in 8 hrs, WhisperFlo Triton 1.5HP, Polaris 280 with booster pump, and a Dog that loves to swim,South of Houston.

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    pool4me's Avatar
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    Re: New Skimmer-But Leaking-Have tried 6 times--help!!

    Glad to hear you have it fixed.

    Just in case anyone is interested, this is how I install the "butterfly gasket". (This may be simple or "basic" for some but if it helps, this is what I do. I know it can be a pain if you've never done one).

    I never really used silicone, no leaks ever. (Although I think a nice small 1/6" bead on the front faceplate would not hurt - especially since some of these things are not that "crafted"). The problem most people have with silicone (like people have with caulking) is that they use way too much. Too much lets the gasket "squish around and move" - especially if you put it on both sides of the gasket. I've noticed this when people use silicone gaskets on car parts as well.

    LESS IS MORE when it comes to silicone .

    On the gasket:

    1. I make sure that I have 1 layer of duct tape around the skimmer opening. (Sometimes, after tightening the screws, the gasket can tear on the metal opening - and you should have a layer of duct tape anyway)..

    2nd - after installing the gasket, I install about 1/2 of the stainless steel screws --> FROM THE OPPOSITE SIDE <-- , stretching the gasket and making sure it's even. You want a screw in each corner and a few in the middle.

    I think most of the problems with the butterlfy gasket result in the gasket being "crooked" etc and then when you install the faceplate, it does not "sandwich properly" between the front and the back of the pool wall).

    Have a helper hold the back portion and install the screws FROM THE OUTSIDE. They will have to "thread them" through the duct tape and liner. At this time, you can:

    Make sure the liner is in the right spot and the screws come through both gasket sides. (I've seen people remove these to find that they completely missed several holes in the gasket.

    The screws won't get tight (obviously) but you still want them in all the way.

    3rd - Now take your faceplate from inside the pool (again - obviously) and put it on, making sure the gasket stays in the right spot (it will).

    At this point, you could have a small bead of silicone on the faceplate if you want.

    Have your helper remove one of the corner screws and then intall it from the correct position from inside the pool through the faceplate. DO NOT TIGHTEN IT MORE THAN A FEW TURNS.

    Do the same with all 4 corners to start.

    Then do the center holes on the top, bottom and sides of the faceplate. Keep an eye on it as you remove each screw and insert it from the front so the gasket does not shift/move on you.

    When installing the screws into the faceplate, make sure you see the hole in the gasket behind the faceplate.

    After all of the srews are in, slowly tighen a bit more in a pattern from OPPOSITE SIDE TO OPPOSITE SIDE etc. (This isn't exactlly rocket science as to order as long as you DO NOT TIGHTEN ALL SCREWS ON ONE SIDE AND THEN begin moving from one side to the other. If you do this , you could crack the faceplace or skimmer body or the gasket could be uneven.

    On the second "tightening", leave about 1/2" or 1/4" between the plastic faceplate and the liner/pool wall on the inside and the back of skimmer body and the pool wall on the outside.

    Last:

    Now look in between the skimmer body and the pool wall, and also between the faceplate and the liner.

    You should see the gasket "between the plastic portions of the skimmer and the pool wall" and it should be straight. - Because it's a Butterfly gasket, you have a "squared off edge" around the skimmer opening when it's seated. IF IT IS NOT STRAIGHT, take a PLASTIC putty knife and gently (especially on the inside when the liner is), put it between the gasket and the plastic and gently slide it across.

    In most cases, you will see the squared edged of the gasket align with the pool wall and the edge of the gasket "flip into the opening" between the skimmer and the pool wall.

    On the outside, have your helper look all around the skimmer and make sure the they see the gasket in between the plastic and the pool wall. You can do the same on the inside of the pool.

    Continue tightening the screws side to side / top to bottom until everything is tight. You should see a consistent view of the gasket on the outside of the pool wall when the screws are tight.

    On the inside, it's a bit tougher to see (impossible many times) since the faceplates are often beveled toward the pool wall.

    If you see a nice consistent gasket "line" around the skimmer on the outside, you most likely have the gasket aligned properly and you should have a nice tight seal.

    Keep in mind that sometimes (based on skimmer) it may be tough to see the gasket (even on the outside) and sometimes you can see some of it but not all of it. Usually you can see it. The important thing is that you can see that it's consistent and straight as you begin to tighten the screws. Sometimes as it get's tighter, you can no longer see that gasket.

    Hope that helps



    You will
    33'x15' x 52" Aqualeader
    Gallons ? - (I use appx 13,500 to calculate "stuff")
    33 x 15 x 4.3 x 5.9 = 12,558. or . . The Pool Calculator = 14,400
    Hayward S-166T 100Lb Sand Filter - Hayward Power-Flo LX 1HP Pump
    Intex S.W.G.

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    Re: New Skimmer-But Leaking-Have tried 6 times--help!!

    My kid races motocross, I'm forever rebuilding his race bikes SO I work with gaskets A LOT and can tell you one thing that holds true for ANY and ALL gaskets.
    If you over tighten a gasket, it's guaranteed that it will leak - the actual leak will not be AT the screw/bolt, but rather between two screws, you should snug all the screws up equally then tighten them up a bit more equally (say 1/4 turn) - you do NOT want to squish a gasket too much, it should have gentle pressure on it, enough to not leak through flexing the skimmer up/down.
    If you put putty on the outside, you may still have a leak between your wall and liner which you will not visually detect, try cheking your soil against teh pool wall directly beneath the skimmer one day when you know nothing has splashed out for a bit, if it's damp, you need to redo your work.

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: New Skimmer-But Leaking-Have tried 6 times--help!!

    On the outside, have your helper look all around the skimmer and make sure the they see the gasket in between the plastic and the pool wall. You can do the same on the inside of the pool.

    Continue tightening the screws side to side / top to bottom until everything is tight. You should see a consistent view of the gasket on the outside of the pool wall when the screws are tight.

    On the inside, it's a bit tougher to see (impossible many times) since the faceplates are often beveled toward the pool wall.

    If you see a nice consistent gasket "line" around the skimmer on the outside, you most likely have the gasket aligned properly and you should have a nice tight seal.

    Keep in mind that sometimes (based on skimmer) it may be tough to see the gasket (even on the outside) and sometimes you can see some of it but not all of it. Usually you can see it. The important thing is that you can see that it's consistent and straight as you begin to tighten the screws. Sometimes as it get's tighter, you can no longer see that gasket.
    Does anyone know if this is true of Hayward skimmer baskets? (The model number is SP1091WM). I bought the pool used and just installed the skimmer basket the other day with the old used butterfly gasket. Filled the water level to the middle of the basket only to find out it was leaking at the bottom of the basket on the outside pool wall. I just bought a new gasket and installed it and am about to fill the pool to mid-basket again. I dont recall being able to see the gasket "line" at all last night when i installed the skimmer. So now reading the above post I'm wondering if I did it right or if I should try removing it and starting over again.
    15x33 AGP (somewhere around 11-12k gallons)
    1.5 HP Hayward PowerFlo Matrix Pump
    150 pound hayward sand filter

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