Wide Mouth Skimmer Gaskets
(Fairview, WV, USA)
I have an older 24' round swimming pool. Getting ready to replace beaded liner, along with new skimmer gaskets and return. My dilemma is the skimmer gaskets.
My skimmer is a wide mouth type with 2 gaskets. It mounts on the outside of the pool wall and mounts with 4 screws from the inside wall. This (I think) must be done before installing faceplate and 2 gaskets.
The 2 new gaskets are rubbery and flexible. The new gaskets must be stretched before lining up with pre-drilled holes on pool walls. Is there an easy way to do this or am I just plain stupid. Please help.
There is nothing stupid about your question. Skimmers can be a confusing thing. Many inground applications would require the skimmer box to be mounted to the pool wall. This stays attached even during a liner change. This is not the case with above ground pools out of the ground.
So forget the four little screws. Start by using a Phillips screw driver and poking through the liner in the top corner holes. Take the faceplate and one gasket, insert the top corner screws through the faceplate, gasket, liner and pool wall. The screws are now poking through on the outside of the pool. Hang the second gasket over these screws. Grab the skimmer in one hand and a screw driver in the other and start the two screws. Tighten them enough to hold the skimmer in place but not too much.
You will now move to the bottom corners
and insert two more screws. Making the gaskets too small for the skimmer is crazy, I have seen it a million times and makes me mad every time. Be very careful, you can't be making new holes in the gaskets, they will stretch, it's just an unneeded pain.
So work the gasket down over the bottom screws on the inside, poke them through the liner, pull the outer gasket into place and tighten the screws just a little.
I would then go to the center screws on the top and bottom and do the same thing. It becomes harder to adjust the gaskets but it can be done. Remember, use the existing holes, don't make new ones.
When all the screws are in place tighten them down, but before you do make sure you can see gasket all around the skimmer on the outside. Those too small of gaskets have a way of not coming down far enough on the bottom side of the skimmer. If you do not see it the thing will leak every time. With that done you can cut the liner and the skimmer is installed. Sounds easy huh? Not at all.
Compare that with a Hayward gasket. It's big, extends beyond the skimmer by an inch or so. It's a rigid cork type stuff and it hangs over those first two screws with all the rest of the holes lining up perfectly. No stretching, no tugging and no double and triple checking to make sue the thing is lined up correctly. It only fits one way and that is the correct way.