New Hayward Skimmer Leaking

mopar440_6

Well-known member
May 22, 2015
53
Carlisle, PA
I installed a new Hayward wide mouth skimmer kit about three weeks ago before we topped the pool up and started the SLAM because the original skimmer had significant cracks and the gaskets were dry and failing. Today, after vacuuming, I went under the deck to bump the filter and noticed that the new skimmer is leaking, 3 small steady streams, at the bottom of the wide mouth extension where it passes through the pool wall. I got the screwdriver and tightened all of the screws again but to no avail, still leaking.

So, my questions:
1- Is there a means to fix this without draining below the skimmer and resetting/replacing the butterfly gasket? (I hope so, we just finished the SLAM this morning)

2- Should I ignore it and just top up the water as needed? (We have a well with no restrictions).

3- If I have to drain and reinstall, should I use some kind of silicone or other additional sealant?
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,250
Key West, FL
I would not apply any silicone or sealant.

Are you sure the gasket is installed correctly, typically there are 2 gaskets, one on the outside, one on the inside (on top of the liner). There may be a cork (or similar material) that separates the 2 gaskets, but that is not part of the assembly, it's just to prevent the 2 gaskets from sticking together.
 

mopar440_6

Well-known member
May 22, 2015
53
Carlisle, PA
Hayward uses "butterfly" gaskets, the cross section of which looks like a 'U' where the liner and pool wall go in the valley of the 'U'. Gasket was not shipped with a cardboard or cork divider and was installed such that one side of the gasket is on top of the liner and the other is outside on the pool wall.

That said, the pool wall where the skimmer and return go through is a large sheet of stainless steel and does not appear to be the same material as the rest of the sections of pool wall. The stainless sheet is relatively thin (I would estimate .030" or less) which allows the skimmer to move and flex the wall section if the pump surges. Is it normal to have a different wall section for the skimmer and could the lack of a rigid wall be compounding my issues?
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,250
Key West, FL
Ah I see, that's totally than the ones I'm used to. I've seen the walls you refer too. I don't have an answer for you for that, I wish I could help. Maybe a Bump will get you more answers... bump!
 

phonedave

Well-known member
May 30, 2012
742
Montville NJ
So, my questions:
1- Is there a means to fix this without draining below the skimmer and resetting/replacing the butterfly gasket? (I hope so, we just finished the SLAM this morning){/quote]

Tightening the face plate evenly is just as important as getting it tight. Back off all of the screws a little, and then tighten them in a cross pattern (like you would lug nuts). Don't remove the screws all of the way, or else your skimmer box is going to come off the wall. You are trying to make sure that your butterfly remains flat and the face plate compresses it evenly.



2- Should I ignore it and just top up the water as needed? (We have a well with no restrictions).
Not unless you want that water running down the outside of the pool to cause a rust spot that will eventually open up like a zipper.

3- If I have to drain and reinstall, should I use some kind of silicone or other additional sealant?
I would not. I do use pool lube when I assemble stuff (including my new skimmer), but I would not use any sort of sealant unless specifically instructed by the manufacturer to do so. The key is to keep every thing flat and smooth as you tighten it up.

-dave