How to Replace a Pool Skimmer. A skimmer is a vital cog in a pool, used for removing debris and protecting your pool pump. Simple maintenance will extend the life of your skimmer and should be performed regularly, as replacing a skimmer is a large, difficult project for all but the most experienced do-it-yourselfers.
Maintain and Fix Your Current Pool Skimmer
Use a plumber's snake to remove clogs of leaves or other debris from your skimmer line.
Inspect your weir regularly and replace it promptly if it is damaged or broken. This will ensure that there is no further damage sustained by the skimmer or the pool drain.
Empty the skimmer's debris trap frequently.
Buy a floating pool skimmer if yours is broken, but you cannot afford to replace it. These skimmers float on the surface of the water and remove debris. While they are often not as thorough as a built-in skimmer, they can reduce the risk of damage to your pool pump.
Replace Your Pool Skimmer
Drain the pool.
Remove the concrete casing surrounding the pool skimmer, taking care not to damage the plumbing. While many people try to use a jackhammer or sledgehammer to break up concrete, a delicate job such as this is best done by cutting it with a concrete saw. Many people opt to hire a professional for this step of the replacement process.
Remove the coping, tile or whatever other material surrounds the perimeter of your skimmer mouth. If you have an above-ground pool, you may just need to unbolt the skimmer from the pool.
Take the old skimmer out of the ground by cutting it from the pool plumbing.
Buy a replacement skimmer, which you'll be able to find at your local pool supply store or online. You might get a better selection and price buying from an online retailer, such as Everything4Pools.com or PoolCenter.com (see Resources below). A skimmer should cost between $50 and $200, depending on the skimmer's construction, your pool type and the skimmer's features.
Install the new skimmer by connecting it to the existing pool plumbing.
Fill in the area around the new skimmer with dirt. You may need to use a special collar to ensure the mouth of the new skimmer works in the space of the old skimmer.
Pour new concrete above the skimmer. Ready-mix concrete will work well for this job, since you'll only need to fill in a small area. Build a form to hold the concrete in place while it dries if needed, then replace any tiles or other coping materials.
Hire a Pool Professional to Replace Your Skimmer
Get free estimates from several pool installation and repair companies. A skimmer replacement can cost upwards of $1,200 when professionally done, and beware of any quotes that are much higher or lower than the others. Alternatively, find a professional who runs a small handyman business, though you should be aware that it can be more difficult to judge the quality of their work.
Ask to see examples of the company's work. This should give you an idea of their quality and what they specialize in.
Check with the Better Business Bureau to make sure the companies you're considering have a clean history. This can be as simple as entering some basic of information at BBB's website (see Resources below).
Get everything in writing, including the initial price quote and any changes that might occur as the company completes the job. If you and the job manager agree to make an equipment or project change, make sure you have it documented, in case anything goes wrong.
Pay by check or credit card, and get a receipt. You might need this for your taxes, since replacing a pool skimmer might be considered an improvement to your home. You might also need it if you have a problem with the skimmer or construction in the future.
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