Both the house and pool were built in the mid 1980’s. The pool deck had just been remodeled with pavers and coping stones for less than six months when the leak appeared. The pool area was beautiful, but now there was a plumbing leak directly below the skimmer. A new skimmer would be required to repair the leak.
To replace the skimmer would involve the removal of several coping stones at the pool’s edge along with enough pavers around the skimmer lid to allow the repair. Since the coping stones are glued to the deck, it’s nearly impossible to remove one without breaking it. Also impossible is re-setting the new skimmer to where it’s lid is exactly where the original lid was. New coping stones must be set and pavers must now again be custom fitted to where the pieces fit exactly around the new lid.
For at least the past forty years, almost every in-ground pool skimmer that was installed has been made of plastic. Nearly everyone understands that over time, plastic will become brittle and subject to breaking and cracks. Constant exposure to the chemicals that are used to treat the pool water, along with the added stress from vacuuming and pressure plates to name a few, accelerate the process which may shorten the skimmer’s life.
If you are thinking of having your pool deck remodeled, and your pool is twenty years or older and still has the original skimmer, really consider having the skimmer replaced. Also if your skimmer has been heavily puttied, especially in the bottom or on it’s sides, consider having it replaced as well. To replace the skimmer will unfortunately mean an additional cost towards the deck remodel, but will provide insurance that your beautiful new pool deck can stay intact.