Winter Damage - Skimmer Wall Caved In

MelissaNH

Member
May 22, 2020
13
Rochester, NH
Hi Everyone! We live in NH and over the winter our skimmer wall caved in. We have had no luck getting a pool repair service in our area to return our call. This is our first above ground pool and it's brand new (this will be our second summer owning it). We are so upset and wondering what, if anything, we can do to repair it. I would be incredibly grateful if anyone who has experience with this damage could advise me. Thank you so much in advance!
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zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
12,415
Houston, Texas
Contact the manufacturer to see if you have any warranty claim available to replace the wall. You might be able to remove the skimmer and return fitting and tap out the dent.Use a block of wood on either side of the crease and try to tap it out. How was the pool winterized? Did the skimmer fill with ice over the winter?
 
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MelissaNH

Member
May 22, 2020
13
Rochester, NH
Hi zea3! Thank you for your reply. Yes, it was winterized, but unfortunately, not correctly, I'm thinking! It's our first above ground pool. Yes, the skimmer basket filled with water and froze. We are thinking this is why it happened? :(
 

MelissaNH

Member
May 22, 2020
13
Rochester, NH
Hi kimkats! Thank you for your reply. The water is drained a few inches below the skimmer. It was drained down below the skimmer when we winterized it, but we got so much snow in the winter and rain in the spring that we had to drain it today after we took off the cover.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
3,065
NY
I recommended (on a whim) to somebody else who had a cave in to try a paint roller with a cover/roller on it and work it in a left / right motion. They were able to get most of theirs fixed from the inside.

I would drain below the crease and try while adding equal parts of prayers and curse words. I might even pull out the big guns and say prayers WITH curse words.
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
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Jul 10, 2009
12,415
Houston, Texas
Did you close the pool yourself or did a company close it for you? Was anything put in the skimmer to protect it? We usually advise chopped up pool noodles or empty plastic bottles to take up space and provide a crush zone for any ice build up.
 
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MelissaNH

Member
May 22, 2020
13
Rochester, NH
zea3, my husband did it himself and I think he assumed he knew what he was doing because we had an in-ground pool for 15 years (I know! NOT the same kind of pool :( ). What's really strange is that we purchased and assembled our pool in the fall of 2018. It was too cold to use it, but we got it ready thinking we'd build the deck in the early spring and have it all ready for our first summer with it (2019). Over the winter of 2018, it was perfectly fine and it was a much tougher winter than this last year. In the fall of 2019, he closed and winterized it the same way he did the first year, but we didn't get so lucky. He is thinking he should have purchased something that attaches to the front of the skimmer to keep water from going into the skimmer? Is he correct? We did lower the water level well below the skimmer, but with the heavy snow and cold temps, I don't know how you can keep the water from going above the skimmer line. Your pool noodles and plastic bottles idea is great! Thank you for sharing!
 

Casey

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 16, 2007
11,466
SW PA
You left the hose hooked up so the skimmer would fill up with water? Never really thought about that but I'm glad I take my hoses off.
I think he plugged the skimmer hole n with the weight of the cover from accumulating precipitation, it pushed the pool water down which made it rise, filling the skimmer box and freezing it.

Did I get that right?

It's very unfortunate. I'm so sorry. I hope you guys can try n fix it?
 

MelissaNH

Member
May 22, 2020
13
Rochester, NH
I think he plugged the skimmer hole n with the weight of the cover from accumulating precipitation, it pushed the pool water down which made it rise, filling the skimmer box and freezing it.

Did I get that right?

It's very unfortunate. I'm so sorry. I hope you guys can try n fix it?
Casey, is the skimmer hole to the right of the skimmer basket in the picture I attached? If so, you are RIGHT! He did! :O
 

MelissaNH

Member
May 22, 2020
13
Rochester, NH
Hey Guys! GOOD NEWS! We lowered the water about six inches below the skimmer, removed the basket, placed 2x4's on each side (lined up in the middle of the skimmer hole) and using a bolt, my husband screwed them together and VOILA! It's not perfect and it still makes me want to cry when I see it, but from the front, looking into the pool, you could never tell it happened. We got lucky and were able to get an Aquadoor before the pool place closed for the long weekend. My husband put the skimmer back together with the new Aquadoor frame (ready for winter!) and we're filling the pool now so we can clean it. I want to make sure this doesn't happen again so I will be searching this sight for advice and tips on how to properly and most effectively close our pool for our harsh New England winters! Thank you all, so much, for your responses! I will attach a picture below (I have to switch over to my phone in order to do it!).
PS... I really hope my husband didn't compromise our liner with those 2x4's! I was very concerned and did not agree with his method, but I lost that battle :rolleyes:
 
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zea3

Mod Squad
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Jul 10, 2009
12,415
Houston, Texas
Good news is that liners can be patched, if it got a little nick in it. Sometimes water goes into the skimmer slowly enough when it is cold enough to freeze that you end up with a plug of ice in the bottom of the skimmer, then more ice forms on top and weights the skimmer down enough to bend the pool wall.
Doesn't look too bad! Just keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn't leak at the corners of the skimmer.
 

MelissaNH

Member
May 22, 2020
13
Rochester, NH
Awesome job. Plant a bush on that side and as long as it looks good inside it can be our little secret. There’s a lot of ‘us’, but we won’t tell !!
Newdude, thank you for making me smile :) Yes! It's our secret! We're very fortunate in that the damaged area is in the back and you can't see it! From the front, I am sooo grateful you can't tell that we almost wrecked our pool! :eek: When it's all clean and ready, I'll share a pic!
 
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zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
12,415
Houston, Texas
If you find it leaks at the corners you may need a thicker gasket to make up for the dent so the skimmer sits flush against the inside pool wall.
 
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