DIY Skimmer replacement for inground pool - yes or no?

Jameso78

Silver Supporter
Sep 18, 2020
47
North Texas
Pool Size
45000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
Setup - 14 year old inground pool, approx 45K gals, gunite with plaster, spa waterfall into pool, 3 skimmers and main drain for suction, 2.5 HP Hayward Energy/RS pump, all valves/filter/lighting/heater are Jandy... all skimmers and main drain have separate shut off valves at equipment pad

It appears I have 2 skimmers that have sub-terrain leaks - when either is open, I am getting significant air into the pump and of course back into the return lines... when I close off both, I have no air, but that leaves me with 1 skimmer and the main drain for suction... looking for thoughts on what else I should test with those 2 skimmers? any value in getting a submersible camera down there to verify what may be the issue? any other place I should check, like sub-terrain at the equip pad as well? if indeed it is a skimmer(s), is that a doable DIY job?

thanks...James
 
Last edited:

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
13,857
Pleasanton, CA
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Have you eliminated any fitting above ground as the cause of the leaks?

If so, then it would more likely be the underground lines than it would be the skimmers. Those can be repaired but you need to know were the leaks are. A leak detection company might be able to tell you were the leaks are located.
 

Jameso78

Silver Supporter
Sep 18, 2020
47
North Texas
Pool Size
45000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
I did notice some seepage around my pump lid, I took it off, cleaned and lubed it well, and am not noticing anything there now... but seems pretty certain I have something going on between the pump and 2 of my skimmers...was wondering if the shutoff valves themselves might be the source, but I don't see any visible water...any other way to test them?
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
13,857
Pleasanton, CA
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Note that you don't have to see water leak out for a fitting to leak air in. It is not symmetrical and the density are quite different.

But yes, valves can leak. Are these the type with screws in the top? They have o-rings that can leak and can be replaced.
 

Jameso78

Silver Supporter
Sep 18, 2020
47
North Texas
Pool Size
45000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
Update- so far, I have found my pump lid seal was bad, it is replaced... all my shut-off valves for each skimmer and main drain had at least 1 o-ring that was broken on the diverter shaft, all have been replaced...the air is significantly reduced in now in my pump, but definitely still have something else going on with 2 of my skimmers, I still can't turn them back on with out a lot of air coming in... still need to check the valve on my actuator , I suspect it may have the same problem around the diverter shaft as well...doing some more detective work now, stay tuned...
 
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Jameso78

Silver Supporter
Sep 18, 2020
47
North Texas
Pool Size
45000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
Update - I have another skimmer back in operation, appears its only issue was the leaking shut off valve I repaired with new o-rings, all good on that one...I was able to do a pressure test on the remaining skimmer back to the shut off valve, and pinpointed a leak under the deck in the pipe... I put a plug in the bottom of the skimmer for now to stop the water from leaking out, will have to tackle the deck cut out later... at least I dont have any skimmers leaking, very thankful for that!!!
 
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Jameso78

Silver Supporter
Sep 18, 2020
47
North Texas
Pool Size
45000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
Update - I am still seeing air bubbles in my pump when running, but dont believe its in any of the suction active suction feeds. I did replace the o-rings on the actuator valve that controls pool/spa mode function, it didnt make any difference. Shutting off the suction feeds do not make any difference in the air, and I have poured water around joints, valves, etc to see if I could find anything, but nothing so far... I do get water coming out around my lid when I shut off the pump along with some backpressure... the gasket on the pump lid is new and I did put some pool lube on it... any other thoughts?
 

Jameso78

Silver Supporter
Sep 18, 2020
47
North Texas
Pool Size
45000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
Mark, Yes, I did that early on, tightened both plugs, and have run water over them with no change in the bubbles... I also removed the lid and re-examined the o-ring, the lid, the pump housing, etc but cannot see anything obvious on any of those surfaces. Also did the running water test on the input pipe into the pump, nothing showed up there as well... Thought maybe there's a crack in the pump housing that's not exposed till the lid is tightened, didn't know if that happens much or not...
 

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markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
2,782
Atlanta Ga
I had a new union valve that had a high spot beside the O-ring..Chased that for a while..It was hard to see and was just barely sucking in air so doesn't take much
 

Jameso78

Silver Supporter
Sep 18, 2020
47
North Texas
Pool Size
45000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
Thanks Mark, good to know... I think it has to be somewhere around the pump at this point.... I guess one thought is it could be sucking air around the shut off valve on the one bad skimmer line I mentioned earlier...I'll keep troubleshooting...thx!
 

Jameso78

Silver Supporter
Sep 18, 2020
47
North Texas
Pool Size
45000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
OK, did a couple things - I re-examined the shutoff valve on the non-functioning skimmer, there was some fine debris on the diverter that could have been keeping it from sealing all the way, so cleaned and re-assembled it. I also rotated the clear plastic piece of my pump lid by 90 degrees, thinking maybe it is warped in some way... fired my pump back up and now have no air bubbles! I am leaning towards the lid warp as the problem, will wait and see... I'll tackle the broken suction line on my skimmer that is out of order sometime over the holidays, as I'll have to cut out a piece of concrete deck to get to it...I'll shut this post down now and color it done!
 
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