Improve filtration with a in-wall skimmer
This upgrade for metal frame pools is a perfect compliment if you’re planning to upgrade to a sand filter, and without question the best bang for your buck improvement you can make to maintain sparkling clear water.
Top-right you can see my newly installed Hayward SP1091LX Dyna-Skim with the pump on sucking water into the assembly, removing anything floating on the surface of the water.
I highly recommend this kit which comes with everything you need and includes a handy vacuum attachment.
Adding an in-wall skimmer does require cutting a large hole in the wall of your pool liner which might make some DIY’ers nervous but if you read the instructions and take your time, it’s a pretty simple installation.
In-wall Above Ground Pool Skimmer Benefits
With a skimmer your pump will pull lots of floating debris through a basket where you can separate leaves, twigs and large insects before they get into your filter sand.
The skimmer will also pull lots of dust and dirt on the surface of the water into your filter before it gets a chance to sink to the bottom of your pool.
- Hayward SP1091LX Dyna-Skim
- Scratch Awl – Not everyone has one, but they are handy!
- Phillips screwdriver (#2 size)
- Utility knife
- A helper
Above Ground Pool Skimmer Installation Notes
1. Drain off enough water that you’ll have room to work on your liner without having the skimmer faceplate partially submerged.
2. Find a section of your liner near your pump/filter and center the skimmer faceplate in that section of the liner (near the top of the liner).
Make sure you are holding the faceplate so that the holes line up to the skimmer holes. You don’t want to start poking holes in your liner until you are certain this is correct.
I mounted my skimmer faceplate roughly 1/2″ from the seam at the top of the liner, knowing that once in place the water level would come up about 1/2 way up the faceplate.
3. Holding your faceplate on the inside of the pool in position, using your Scratch Awl, poke one hole at a time through the liner and insert a stainless steel screw from the kit. Once all screws are threaded, have your helper position the rubber gasket over the screws on the outside wall of the pool liner. Later after cutting the liner opening in step 5, you’ll remove the skimmer to open the butterfly gasket to sandwich both sides of the pool liner.
4. Have your helper now hold the skimmer assembly while you begin to tighten the screws. Snug up the screws until they are flush with the recesses of the faceplate and you see the gasket firmly compressed all around against the outside of the pool liner. At this point you’ve sandwiched the skimmer onto the pool liner.
5. Using the faceplate as a template (cutting from the inside of the pool), carefully cut the opening in your liner. I started by not trimming right to the edge, and came back to make a careful clean cut.
6. Remove the skimmer and faceplate so that you can position the rubber butterfly gasket so that it sandwiches both sides of you pool liner. Reinstall your faceplate and skimmer by tightening the 10 screws.
7. Attach your Skimmer to your pump/filter plumbing. See the link below to learn how I connected my Hayward Skimmer to my Intex Sand Filter.
8. Refill your pool and check for leaks. You may need to carefully snug up your screws. Don’t over-tighten as you are screwing into the ABS plastic Skimmer assembly!
Don’t want to cut a hole in your liner?
For a less invasive procedure with similar benefits, go with a wall mounted surface skimmer. This model from Intex works on EasySet (inflated ring) and metal frame pools and comes with everything you need to hook it up.
I decided to PVC plumb my Hayward Skimmer to my Intex Sand Filter/Pump. See how I made the custom connector to join the standard 1.5″ PVC plumbing that the Hayward Pool products use to the non-standard Intex pump thread fitting.