Cutting New Skimmer Opening in Pool Wall

I recently installed a used 24 foot pool that was given to me. Upon closer inspection the pool wall where the skimmer goes is badly rusted.

I can not install the skimmer the way that it is. How can I fix this quickly, easily and cheaply? Cause come to find out NO pool is FREE!


The best way to fix your problem is to put a metal plate over your existing skimmer opening and cut a new one.

The metal plate should be taped to the inside of the wall and should be several inches larger than the skimmer opening. I have seen these plates riveted in place but duct tape actually works just fine.

A new opening can then be cut into a good section of wall. I start by setting the faceplate on the outside of the wall in the exact location I want the skimmer to be. I then mark the two top corner holes. I use a 1/4" drill bit and drill two holes. I now use a couple of nuts and bolts and bolt the faceplate to the wall, again, on the outside of the pool. Using the faceplate as a guide I drill out all the screw holes.

I then use a sharp razor blade and score the square opening several times, as deep as possible. The faceplate then gets removed and a large hole drilled into the center of the opening. I use a 2" hole saw for this. I then use tin snips and cut from the center to each corner of the skimmer opening, to where the lines have been scored. You now have four sections that can be easily bent back and forth until they break off.

The entire area can then be flattened with a small piece of 2 x 4 and a hammer. You now have a new skimmer opening cut into a good section of sidewall.

The liner needs to be held back out of the way during this procedure and it is also helpful to keep a damp towel under the work area on the inside of the pool. You want to keep all the metal shavings off the liner.

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Jun 08, 2013
Old Skimmer Opening
by: Vince

One thing I don't get. The old skimmer hole is covered with a sheet metal patch from the inside, but there is the hole in the liner where the old skimmer used to be. How do you patch the old skimmer hole in the liner, if putting the new skimmer hole in a new location on the pool wall?


Good point Vince. I should have been a lot more clear on this. Patching the old skimmer opening and cutting a new one works best when you are replacing the liner. It's not the best idea if you are trying to use an existing one.

It is possible, however, to patch a skimmer opening in a liner. I have done it many times. You need a large piece of actual liner vinyl and a tube of Boxer vinyl patching glue.

The patch get glued to the back side of the liner so it is held in place by the water pressure.

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