So you need to replace your skimmer weir? Many pool owners – or even people who had a swimming pool growing up – don’t know where to begin. The skimmer weir is a plastic flap that allows water to flow through the skimmer while trapping debris.
This article will explain what a weir is, where you can locate it, and will walk you through how to replace it and maintain it. Let’s dive in!
- Skimmer weirs wear out over time since they are exposed to the elements constantly.
- When installing a new skimmer weir, it is very important to ensure the pump is turned off.
- A weir is used to prevent debris from flowing out of the skimmer after being sucked in.
What Is a Skimmer Weir and Where Is It Located?
A pool skimmer is that little plastic box on the side of your pool right where the water level is. Sometimes there’s more than one, and sometimes it will be on the outside. It suctions water from the surface into a filtration system, which takes care of debris.
A weir is a barrier at the front of the skimmer that controls flow, so only a thin layer runs over. It also restricts debris from entering back into the pool after being sucked in. People have implemented weirs in streams, rivers, and pools for ages.
Keep in mind, not all skimmers utilize a flap-like weir. The other type is shaped like a barrel and sits in the skimmer basket.
You’ll know you need to replace your skimmer if there is excess debris in the pool and if the weir is flapping around too liberally. Most of the time, weirs break because the pins break off or crack. Some people try to repair them with glue, but a new weir is pretty cheap and easy to install, so I would forgo the mess that comes with adhesive.
Keep in mind that weirs wear out over time and require considerable care and maintenance. They’re not extremely durable pieces of equipment, given they’re made of plastic and styrofoam and are exposed to sunlight and the elements 24/7. You should expect to change your weir semi-regularly.
If you would like to change it less regularly, I would keep an eye out for hard pool toys or large debris, such as broken tree branches bumping up against it. This will damage it or reduce its efficiency, which ultimately means you will have to replace it again sooner than you would like.
Step-by-Step Process for Replacing a Skimmer Weir
Before going out and buying a skimmer weir, you should know what size, make, and model you need. Weirs are sold in different sizes to match the width across the opening of the skimmer.
The most common type of flap-like weir uses a pin system, but some use a wire system. The wire system is somewhat more user-friendly because you just have to pull a wire.
To be clear, this guide will tell you how to install a weir with a pin system, not a wire system.
- Shut off the pool filter and pump for safety reasons. Ensure no water flows through the pool. This is very important.
- To access the broken weir, you will need to remove the skimmer lid on top of the skimmer, usually held in by two or more screws. Take out the screws.
- Now that the broken weir is exposed, reach inside and feel along the weir’s bottom for two lock pins. This is the release point.
- To free the broken weir, press each pin simultaneously (listen for that clicking sound) and pull it away from the wall. It should slide right out. If not, then it’s too big for the skimmer.
- Now it is time to install the new weir into the skimmer. Finally! Line up the pins on your new weir with the holes on the side of the skimmer. Then, release the pins to secure the weir in place. Again, listen for that clicking sound, so you know it is securely fastened.
- Open and close the flap a few times before putting the skimmer lid back on to ensure there are no problems and it moves with ease. If it’s not opening and closing correctly, it’s not the right size, or you didn’t line up the pins correctly.
Put the lid back on top of the skimmer and screw the screws back in. That’s it! You’re done! Until next time, that is.
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For more information on the basics, head to my pool skimmers 101 guide. If you need to fix other parts of your system as well, make sure to read my article on how to replace your skimmer basket.
Questions about installing a new skimmer weir? Drop me a line.