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Hayward Skimmer Cover - Above Ground

The Hayward above ground pool skimmer cover for my AG pool is designed to double as the cover as well as a diversion valve if you will, to close the normal flapper inlet and direct suction to the in pool connector for the bottom sweeper. This article is specific to a Hayward skimmer cover, but this may apply to others. Here is what it looks like:

The Problem

The original cover is made of fairly thin, cheap plastic which is prone to easy breakage. With that, when the cover is in the lower position to direct suction to the in pool connector, it may float up when the pump is not on. Then when you turn the pump on, it gets quickly sucked back down into the lower position. In my case, my pump motot is on a timer to come on every day, so after the cover had floated to the top a couple of times, then gets quickly sucked down and slamed into position, it cracked and finally a piece of the edge broke off. It is now useless as a "valve" to direct the suction... and that frankly, well sucks! or... not. Anyway, as usual with Hayward parts and local pool supplies dealers, the part is special order and was going to cost somewhere around $40. All the hastle and still get the same low quality plastic that will just break again. Original, now broken, cover shown here:

The Solution

Make your own. Its easy. Obtain a piece of 1/8" or 3/16" thick plexi glass or similar high stength sheet plastic large enough to span the footprint of the cover. I found a remnant piece at a local plastics shop for $3. Place the original cover on the new sheet plastic and trace it as seen here.

Now, cut it out using a jig saw or other suitable cutting tool.

TIP! I was using a fine tooth metal cutting blade in my jig saw and found that it was cutting very slow and therefore would melt the plastic and essentially seal the cut as I was cutting (well melting) along. I would suggest using a medium or maybe even course tooth blade to rip through the sheet quickly.

Finally, mount a handle of your choice to the top and it's good to go! I used a old draw knob here, but I think a handle of some kind would work better. Here is the new cover in action. Both as a cover and as a diverter. This new cover works awesome and there a no more worries that it may break under pressure again.

Final note: The plastic sheet that I used was a bit too thick and therefore the two tabs seen do not fit into the skimmer body slots and the body tab on the other end does not clip over the cover as it did on the original cover. I will be cutting a relief for the body tab and trimming the thickness of the two small tabs to make them all work. It actually works just fine as is, but this final tweek will dial it in nicely.


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