Pool Care Maintenance: Replacing Cracked Skimmer Lids/Covers


It might not be the most glamourous swimming pool accessory, but the humble pool skimmer serves an important safety function: That sturdy, industrial-grade plastic disc is the only thing that separates your foot from a hole filled with swampy pool debris. That’s right: Without a cover, your unassuming skimmer basket is a straight-up safety hazard; a broken ankle just waiting to happen.

That skimmer basket lid seems a little less boring now, doesn’t it?

We’ll admit it: Skimmer basket covers may never be a fascinating topic, but you can’t deny that they’re essential – and when they break or crack, it’s critical that you replace them ASAP. But there’s good news: They may be lacking in the excitement department, but replacing your skimmer basket lid is probably one of the easiest swimming pool maintenance tasks you’ll ever have to tackle.

In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about replacing your skimmer basket lid.

Why Replace Your Skimmer Basket Cover?

Skimmer basket lids aren’t made to last forever. They’re made of plastic, but even the sturdiest plastic can grow brittle over time, especially when it’s exposed to the elements 24/7. After a few years, even the best lid will need to be replaced.

Eventually, your skimmer cover will simply be too fragile to function. A single footstep or a carelessly placed piece of patio furniture will cause it to shatter, leaving your basket uncovered and your feet and ankles at risk. The best option is to replace your skimmer basket before it fails under pressure.

Buying the Right Replacement Skimmer Cover

Want to make sure you’re choosing the correct lid? Start by checking your existing skimmer lid for a brand or model number (many lids will have this information molded into the plastic somewhere). If the info isn’t there – or if it’s simply too worn to be legible – choose a skimmer with the same shape and measurements.

Swimming Pool Skimmer

Skimmer Lid Replacement in Four Easy Steps

Replacing your swimming pool skimmer lid is quick and easy. All you need is a screwdriver, a replacement skimmer lid, and about 10 minutes.

Step 1: Turn off the power to your pool pump.

Safety first! You never want to maintain any part of the skimmer while your pool pump is on.

Step 2: Locate the screws and remove the damaged lid.

Your skimmer lid will usually be held in place by two screws. Locate these screws and remove them carefully. Once the screws are out, remove the cracked skimmer cover and set aside.

Step 3: Put on the new cover.

Your new skimmer lid should fit exactly like the old one. Simply set it on top of the skimmer and tighten the screws until it’s securely in place.

Step 4: Turn on your pool pump.

Once your new skimmer lid is on, it’s time to turn on the pool pump.

Protect bare feet! Sweep the area for small parts.

Before you start using your pool again, be sure to check the area for any small parts or debris – such as extra screws, pieces of broken plastic, or anything else that could be painful if stepped on.

Skimmer Lid Do’s and Don’ts

Here are a few tips that can help you prolong the life of your skimmer basket cover – and keep you and your guests safe by the pool.

Don’t:

  • Walk or step directly on your skimmer lid.
  • Place heavy objects – such as patio furniture or tools – on top of your skimmer cover.
  • Leave your skimmer basket uncovered – it’s a safety hazard!

Do:

  • Check your skimmer cover regularly for signs of wear like small cracks, chips, or damage.
  • Keep an extra lid or two on hand – that way, you’ll always have a quick backup in case of emergency.
  • Remember to turn off your pool pump if you need to replace your skimmer cover.

What if they don’t make my skimmer cover any more?

If you’ve got a skimmer cover that’s especially old, or if you simply can’t figure out who manufactured it, no worries. Most covers are universal, so as long as you choose the right size and shape, you should be able to find a suitable replacement. If you’re in doubt, check with your local pool professional or any store that sells skimmer parts.