HELP, was our skimmer set too low.

Liz315

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Jul 12, 2020
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This image from the Hayward website shows where this style skimmer should be in relation to the water level and coping. Yours should move up at least 1" to 1.5" above where it is now.
From this photo though it looks like they want the water level higher than halfway which I feel helps my situation.
 

Bperry

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Aug 20, 2020
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Ok thanks everyone, I appreciate everyone’s help. I really need to talk to Hayward and understand where they want the waterline and then communicate with my pool builder to see where we will be and if it is ok. I don’t need or expected perfection but I do need it to function properly. Seems like there are a ton of variables to take into account so between the 2 of them i should be able to find out.

I have to agree with JamesW. They just need to come out, see the problem, then fix it. It’s not even under a concrete deck and not plastered yet so fixing this skimmer is not as time consuming as it could be.

Liz, I’d see if you can find someone with a pool and look at how the skimmer operates. Pool water level will go up and down several inches depending on evaporation, splashing, rain, etc. In your case, it can only go up or down an inch before the skimmer stops skimming or the pump runs dry. Kids splashing in a single day of swimming can get enough splash out to make the pump go dry. You don’t want to have to do that kind of babysitting and future owners of your home doing a pool inspection may recognize that issue.
 

skimmerswimmer

Well-known member
Jul 30, 2013
488
Long Island, NY
From this photo though it looks like they want the water level higher than halfway which I feel helps my situation.
It won't help with the expected range/change in the water level though. Bottom line is that skimmers should be set so that your median or target water level is both halfway up the skimmer and halfway up your tile. Usually this would accommodate for a water level that can go up 2 inches with rain or down two inches with evaporation and the skimmer will still function properly. In your case if you water level goes up 2", the functioning part of the skimmer is below the water line and if you lose an inch to evaporation, the skimmer goes dry.
 

jimmythegreek

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Aug 10, 2017
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Can you take a tape measure amd measure the actual opening of the skimmer where it meets the tile both directions. It almost looks like they mudded the front up amd the opening is shallower height wise than normal

While many suggestions of adding tile etc are good fixes amd work arounds I would not accept this. This is a brand new pool, not a DIY reno. The fix is to raise the skimmer and install properly. Stuff happens, especially with subs. This is one of the reasons many PBs install their own coping, not subs. I'm hoping you have more progress payments left amd have leverage. Have your husband reach out and have an in person with the PB if your not comfortable. Dont settle you will regret it, I promise
 

Liz315

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Can you take a tape measure amd measure the actual opening of the skimmer where it meets the tile both directions. It almost looks like they mudded the front up amd the opening is shallower height wise than normal

While many suggestions of adding tile etc are good fixes amd work arounds I would not accept this. This is a brand new pool, not a DIY reno. The fix is to raise the skimmer and install properly. Stuff happens, especially with subs. This is one of the reasons many PBs install their own coping, not subs. I'm hoping you have more progress payments left amd have leverage. Have your husband reach out and have an in person with the PB if your not comfortable. Dont settle you will regret it, I promise
Thanks Jimmy,
I’ll measure tomorrow, the tile is a tad higher at the bottom than the skimmer opening maybe a 1/4” lip if I’m remembering correctly.
The tile and coping crew is not a sub they do it in-house. The only thing they sub out is the actual shooting of the gunite.
 

Liz315

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That's shocking his own crew installed this coping and tile. Did he tell you this or have you seen these guys on the pool build overall as well? Is this the only skimmer? Do you have main drains?
Yeah I saw the guys I know it’s theirs. He wasn’t on the job to see it though. It is the only skimmer unfortunately. I’ll take a photo of the bottom of the pool tomorrow also not sure what I have.
 

Hadiguy05

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Mar 19, 2021
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@Liz315,

First let me say I'm sorry that you are experiencing this. Your pool experience should be a good one. I believe in matters such as this we should be objective not subjective.

For the skimmer to function properly it should be set to the level that the OEM deems acceptable. The OEM can also give you some guidance on proper water height levels to allow the skimmer to skim and ensure enough water gets back to the pump to prevent cavitation.

If you don't feel this is correct you and your husband should apply pressure on the pool builder to come out in person to look at it and to ensure it meets the OEM specification and is functional for your everyday use. If they say it's correct, but isn't within the OEM specifications, have them put in writing that its acceptable and they accept any liability associated with it in the future.

I'm certain everybody here just wants what's best for you and has given some great advice. It's very hard to refute what the OEM's specification is, the contractual water depth for the pool and ensuring placement such that typical industry standard has been met for allowable deviation in water height and things still function within the OEM standard.

You and your family are in my thoughts. FWIW kudos to you for taking this on and never giving up. I know that together you and your husband shall turn the corner with your PB. It shouldn't have to be that way, but also your husband should also be aware that the contractor is not valuing your concern and addressing them with any effort of validity. The end result could be one of three things. First, the skimmer isn't correct and will be more of a pain to fix later or now (physically and financially) for them. Second, the skimmer is correct and all of your concerns have been addressed correctly and objectively and the pool is "trouble free" :) or three you're stuck with something that doesn't work correctly. In my mind #1 & 2 are the only acceptable outcomes for you and your family.

Good luck and we can't wait to see pictures of your completed project!
 
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Auburn02

Well-known member
Oct 8, 2019
267
Mobile, AL
I found a photo from when they did the gunite and the skimmer looked fine. It looks like they actually added material to build the tile up to the tile line. My concern here is the slope allowed to go down as I’ve never seen it that way(not that that means much). I’m hoping that metal piece now that I see it again could be what holds the plastic flap?
Maybe I missed it in these 7 pages, but do we know WHY they added some 1-2" of substrate above the bond beam and then laid the coping on top of that? Was the pool set too low and this was their solution to get the decking to the correct height for the surroundings? Or was the shell too shallow for the agreed water depth and this was their plan to add another couple inches of interior depth?
 

Liz315

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Hi everyone sorry, things have been very busy. I appreciate everyone’s feedback so you guys definitely deserve an update.

So to answer the last question 2” was added just to the back of the pool when they went to put the coping in and level it they had to build the back up to be level with the front.

So my builder did come out here to check it out and he assured me it was not a problem and in reality skimmer are set even lower to accommodate pools with auto covers. He still insists they would fix it if it causes a problem in the future which he says he can pretty much guarantee it won’t. I know not so reassuring typically, however he came highly recommended from someone we know who builds homes and he has built tons of them for him including his. He is also a nice guy that I do trust will stand behind his product.

So last Tuesday the pool was plastered and it finished filling Thursday, we did pool school Friday. I’ve been brushing away and took the water to be tested today and added a bunch of acid.

The pool builder has been very responsive to questions and had a tech out to work on a couple white spots in the plaster. Not sure if this is a trick of the trade but it worked. He used granular acid in a sock that he tied to the end of a poll to slowly and carefully work out the spots. They came out so I was very happy.

NPT Quartzscape in French grey is the color and the pool is beautiful.

Thanks again for everyone’s help.
 

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mguzzy

Gold Supporter
The pool looks GREAT! but given the theme of this thread what we all REALLY want to see is a pic of the SKIMMER!

Willy Wonka Suspense GIF
 

Auburn02

Well-known member
Oct 8, 2019
267
Mobile, AL
So to answer the last question 2” was added just to the back of the pool when they went to put the coping in and level it they had to build the back up to be level with the front.
So the shell and bond beam was 2" different in height from one side of the pool to the other? Mine was vinyl so maybe this is completely normal with a rebar/gunite build, that just seems strange to me.

Oh well, like mguzzy said, let's see the skimmer. The water level looks pretty good there, which makes me think it's gotta be way up at the top of the skimmer mouth opening.
 

Liz315

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Here you go. There is a lot of movement in the pool water with the sundeck return but it’s skimming.
 

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cowboycasey

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Inside the skimmer basket where is the water at, still in the middle?

It sure looks like the water is half way up the 2 inch lower skimmer... crazzzy
 

JamesW

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Mar 2, 2011
28,264
I don't think that anyone ever doubted that it would work.

It will work as long as you keep the water level in a very narrow range.

You just have to watch it every day to make sure that the level is good.

That's not something you should have to do, but it is what it is.

You could get an automatic fill and install a drain line to help keep the water level in the tight range.
 

Auburn02

Well-known member
Oct 8, 2019
267
Mobile, AL
Inside the skimmer basket where is the water at, still in the middle?

It sure looks like the water is half way up the 2 inch lower skimmer... crazzzy
Hard to say where it rests exactly with the bubbler running, in the pic it's higher at the right than the left presumably due to wave action and you can tell the entire top of the skimmer opening is wet from the same. But either way it's as James said, will work, narrow range. The current level appears to be in the range.
 

kellyfair

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Forgive me, I don’t know much about in-ground pool construction. In the second photo looking towards the house, there are gaps under the gray stone. Will that be filled in? Should it be?

Also when I zoom in on skimmer the water level does look high. I’m wondering about that dark line... is that a reflection?

If you are happy, that is all that matters. The water is a beautiful color and I like the size!
 

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