Replace Pool Return
I need to replace the skimmer return fitting. My pool is already filled with water. Is it possible to replace the fitting without draining the pool?
I'm afraid if I do, water will get between the lining and pool wall. I cannot find instructions on this replacement.
I do this type of work in the field a lot without draining the pool. I always have a second person to hold their hand over the opening for the brief moments it is left open.
I work fast and usually do not loose much water. There really is not a danger of getting water behind the liner, but it is possible to loose a lot out the opening to the outside of the pool. I do these repairs with a full pool only because I do not have the time to wait for the pool to drain. The other advantage is that I can check for leaks and fix any problems before I leave and avoid a second trip back. For a pool owner doing the work themselves I would recommend draining the pool first.
You will only have to drain a few inches of water to get the level below the return. Without having the water to deal with, and get stressed over, you can pay closer attention to doing something you have never done before.
There are many different types of returns for above ground pools. The basic, and most copied design, is the Hayward return. Changing this fitting requires unhooking the filter hose and removing the hose adapter from the return. There is a large nut on the outside of the return, it needs to be removed next. A large pair of channel locks are needed to remove this plastic nut. The rest of the return assembly can then be pushed forward and removed from the inside of the pool.
The new return can be assembled in reverse order. If the return came with three gaskets they need to go on in a certain order. One rubber gasket goes inside the pool against the liner. The other rubber gasket goes outside the pool, against the wall. The cork gasket goes over the rubber one and next to the large nut.
The hose adapter needs to be cleaned and taped with Teflon tape before threading back into the return.