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Replacing the Skimmer on an Above Ground Pool

by Felicia Williams

Because we didn’t properly close the pool at the end of the season, we had a lot of repairs to do this year. One of the most obvious repairs to be made was to replace the skimmer. The skimmer had cracked as a result of the winter’s freeze/thaw cycles.

We knew we would have plenty of work to do and we deserve it. If you don’t take care of what you have you’ll spend a lot of time and money repairing unnecessary damage (another lesson learned).

Buying a Replacement Skimmer

The first thing to do is to make sure you buy the right sized part. Of course, after making a trip over to Namco and purchasing a replacement to the cracked skimmer I realized that I bought the wrong one. Instead of the wide mouth in wall skimmer, I bought the smaller wall skimmer. Actually, the wide mouth wall skimmer is a regular skimmer with an adaptive wide mouth. The small skimmer is attached to the larger wide mouth.

Here’s what I mean. This is the “Deluxe in-wall skimmer as sold by Namco that I bought the first go ‘round (notice the smaller square opening):


Instead, I should have bought this one with the wide rectangular mouth:

Widemouth Skimmer

After returning the smaller one in favor of the larger one, it was time for me to get to work.

How to Replace the Wall Skimmer

The first thing I had to do was make sure I had the right tools. All I needed was a Phillips head screwdriver (and plastic gloves because the old skimmer was pretty nasty and I didn’t’ want to touch anything). Here’s what I did:

  1. Detached the hose from the skimmer.
  1. Removed the skimmer faceplate by removing all of the screws. There were close to 20 screws. If you’re going to do this you first must make sure the water level is about an inch or so below the skimmer faceplate. You don’t want water getting in between the pool wall and pool lining.
  1. After removing the faceplate, I had to get in between the pool lining and the pool wall to remove the screws that held the skimmer to the pool wall. There were 4 of them. Once I removed the four screws I was able to remove the old skimmer.
  2. Skimmer Hole
  1. Because the pool was filled to just below the skimmer faceplate, I noticed shortly after removing the faceplate, the weight of the pool water tried to pull the lining down so that the holes in the lining no longer lined up with the holes in wall of the pool for the skimmer. To prevent any further shifting, I quickly replaced a few screws in the holes that would hold the bottom of the faceplate. The last thing I wanted was a saggy pool lining .
  1. Placed the rubber seal over the replacement skimmer (the rubber seal goes between the outer pool wall and the skimmer), lined up the holes and replaced the four screws that held the skimmer to the pool wall.
  1. As a matter of precaution, I placed duct tape over the screw heads so that it wouldn’t pierce through the pool lining. It might not be necessary, but I’m a little cautious at times.
  1. Once the skimmer was attached to the wall, then I put on the new faceplate by attaching the rubber seal to the faceplate and using the same old screws I had before to affix it to the pool and viola! The skimmer was replaced.

One task down and oh so many more to go...

About the Author: Felicia Williams is a wife, mother and grandmother who likes to write about a host of topics.

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: HouseholdTidbits.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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  • John W.
    May 17, 2019, 8:24 pm
    How did you get between the pool liner and the inside face plate to remove the screws?
    • Felicia
      May 17, 2019, 9:32 pm
      Once I removed the faceplate, I was able to fit my hands between the lining and the pool wall to remove the 4 screws. The lining around the skimmer hole was not glued to the wall so access was easy.

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Last Modified: 24 March 2020

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