How to Find a Leak in Your Swimming Pool Skimmer

by Pool Builders on 02-11-2009 in Articles

A leak in your swimming pool skimmer will display common and specific symptoms which will help to identify this as the problem. first you need to consider the most common locations for your pool skimmer to leak.

The most common leak point on a skimmer is the connection where the pipe meets with the port on the bottom of the skimmer. This leak will manifest itself initially as a difficulty in priming your pool pump. Additionally bubbles in the circulation system would be common and you would see these in the sight glass of the pool pump, and also often coming out of the return lines in the pool.

The next most common leak point on a skimmer is an internal crack which has developed from standing water inside the skimmer freezing. A close visual inspection will reveal this crack. Using a specialty two part epoxy to repair this type of crack is a great solution instead of the much larger job of removing and replacing the entire skimmer

Vinyl liner pool skimmers will often leak through the compression gasket and faceplate due to improper installation, worn gaskets or loose screws in the faceplate. The symptom of a leaking skimmer gasket is the development of rust on the galvanized steel wall around the mouth of the skimmer. This will often cause rust staining to the faceplate and skimmer mouth.

Concrete pool skimmers often develop leaks at the joint where the pool concrete meets the mouth of the skimmer. The skimmer itself on a concrete pool is buried in solid concrete usually three feet thick to help avoid this potential location for water loss. A quick and easy check for water leakage in this location is to tap the bottom of the mouth of the skimmer with your finger. The sound and feel should be completely solid indicating that the concrete is encasing the entire skimmer. Once a leak develops in this area the passage of water will slowly remove the concrete mortar and leave only sand which shifts and collapses. If your skimmer should hollow on the bottom of the mouth then you almost certainly have a leak located here.

Replacing a skimmer is a large job on both concrete and vinyl liner pools. If possible you should conduct a pressure test of the skimmer plumbing line as well as a hydrostatic test of the skimmer itself by plugging the bottom ports and filling with water to see if any escapes.

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