Technical advice sought for skimmer box replacement on in ground fibreglass pool


In The Industry
Aug 19, 2019
very country Australia
Hi there,
you guessed it I'm New here. I'm a plumber living in country NSW Australia and I stumbled across this forum during a desperate search for information. I don't actually own a pool but I get several clients who ask me to try and solve their pool related problems (usually broken pipes and leaks) so its a bit of a new area for me. I've previously tried to discuss some pool issues with pool specialists located a hundred miles away and received less than enthusiastic responses. So I'm hoping some of you might divulge your experience or expertise regarding a structural issue I have encountered with a skimmer box in a fibreglass in ground pool. I tried to discuss it with the local pool chemical guys who also stock literally a hand full of spares, one of whom scratched his head and said "aww gee I dunno" in the most cliched imaginable way (really nice guy actually for real) and the other just said "run".
Ok, I know skimmer boxes mongrel job.
Scenario 1
step one drain pool below escutcheon. step two demolition saw concrete surrounds step 3 dig, dig, dig some more. step 4 cut out old skimmer box and temporarily plug pipes so trench does not fill. step 5 throw in new box reconnect pipes back fill and rehabilitate easy right? that's about the time I wake up!
The reality is, on inspecting the job the pool is about 40 years old the walls have bowed out when I tap the side it sounds hollow like the sand has cavities where the escutcheon protrusion is the original one has been previously relined with fibreglass moulded all the way into the throat. When I put a spirit level vertically over the escutcheon bezel it has a bow in it of approximately 5 to 8 mm which makes me think If I remove the old one a new one would never pull it up flush after all its only a bit of plastic if try to conmpact fill behind it to plumb up the bowed wall section will the glass shell crack am I better off to build up strips of glass and grind it flush again could I preheat the back of the glass and then use some custom back shed engineered clamps to try to straighten the wall section until the new box is mounted up then compact behind it do i just tell my customer sorry mate and run like ****. If the world is flat why does the water not fall out of the pool in orbit well right yes that last one gives you an Idea of my frustration. Am I better off to just pour several gallons of epoxy around the base of the skimmer box to seal the cracks and hope it does not melt or combust in the process.
any way I'm open to anyones expertise or advice thanks heaps in advance.


Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
Northern NJ
Welcome to TFP.

Pictures of your problems may allow more specific advice.

Here is one thread on skimmer replacement...

@bdavis466 @MinerJason @jimmythegreek advice for a fellow down under trying to make a living and do the right things?


TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
Morris Cnty NJ
If it's just cracked and already been glassex into throat I would just glass the inside as well. Do the right prep and lay enough strand into it so it bites and holds well and build it up. It will ne a nightmare to remove and replace that's another can of worms waiting to blow up at you