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Thread: Clear membrane formed in pipe preventing skimmer suction

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    Clear membrane formed in pipe preventing skimmer suction

    The skimmer farthest from the pool equipment wasn't suctioning. American leak detection came out to see if the pipe was clogged with debris. They found a clear membrane had formed sealing the pipe and capturing leaves behind it. They had a camera on the end of a scope and showed me where they poked holes in the membrane using the scope so they could blow out the leaves. Since they didn't have a firm enough tool to remove the membrane completely it will probably clog again with leaves. Dave the owner said he would check his equipmnet supplies to see if he could come up with a tool and if not would try to recommend a company that could help. He said he had never seen a PVC pipe sealed off like that. I was thinking of calling a plummer. Has anyone had this problem before and/or have recommendations for removing the rest of the membrane? I'm really baffled at the cause of the clog. Any help you can provide is much appreciated.
    Tracy -- 30,000 gallon in-ground gunite pool with above ground SPA (two fountains). Controller(s): Zodiac iAquaLink2.0 + Jandy AQPLM AquaPalm Salt Water Generator: Hayward AquaRite Salt Generator Complete 40,000 Gallons | Power Center and Salt Cell Kit | AQR15 Filter: Pentair FNS60 50 p.si., Model sm20-2, rated flow 125 GPM Cleaner: Polaris Heater: Pool Pump:SQ FL FR 2HP EE 230V Pentair Superflow Pump

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Clear membrane formed in pipe preventing skimmer suction

    Can you isolate that pipe at the equipment pad or is it tied into the other skimmer?

    If the pipe runs all the way to the pad then maybe there's a way to open it up and use a Drain King.


    Matt
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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Clear membrane formed in pipe preventing skimmer suction

    Sounds pretty bogus to me. Nothing is going to form like that on its own. Probably a plastic bag or something stuck in the pipe.
    TFP Moderator
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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Clear membrane formed in pipe preventing skimmer suction

    I would think a pipe snake would work just fine to remove the clog. How long of a snake would you need to reach it? You can either rent a 50 to 100 foot snake with a built in driver or you can purchase cheap 20 to 25 foot snakes that can be operated by a basic drill or driver if you have one.

    A plumber or company like Roto-Rooter would certainly be able to do it as well.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Clear membrane formed in pipe preventing skimmer suction

    I agree with JT. Either a piece of plastic/bag or an deflated pool float or toy.

    Too bad they didn't provide you a picture of it from the camera.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    morzh's Avatar
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    Re: Clear membrane formed in pipe preventing skimmer suction

    I was about to say the same, nothing can form this sturdy and flexible. Probably a piece of plastic.
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    Re: Clear membrane formed in pipe preventing skimmer suction

    Is in place pipe repair ever done on residential pipe this small? That's the only thing that comes to mind that would make me describe it as a membrane.
    17,100 Gal 27' x 52" AGP steel wall vinyl; 44gpm Cooper sand filter; Hayward 1hp sp1580 single-speed; 1.5" plumbing, 1 skimmer/jet, inline chlorinator.
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    Re: Clear membrane formed in pipe preventing skimmer suction

    You obviously have some type of bag or plastic toy stuck in the suction line. I have used a compressor to great effect when blowing out suction plugs. For difficult plugs, I have rented a bottle of compressed air and put a drain king on the outlet hose. That has worked 100% of the time. A CO2 tank works also

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    Re: Clear membrane formed in pipe preventing skimmer suction

    That's what I thought. American Leak Detection said they never saw that before.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yes I agree. I was going to call a plummer.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yes, I should have asked. They did show it to me. Next time I will. Thanks for the tip.

    - - - Updated - - -

    We have only owned the pool for 16 months since we just purchased the home. I'm not sure what repairs were done. The previous homeowners would not provide service receipts for the pool. We have never put small plastic objects in the pool.
    Tracy -- 30,000 gallon in-ground gunite pool with above ground SPA (two fountains). Controller(s): Zodiac iAquaLink2.0 + Jandy AQPLM AquaPalm Salt Water Generator: Hayward AquaRite Salt Generator Complete 40,000 Gallons | Power Center and Salt Cell Kit | AQR15 Filter: Pentair FNS60 50 p.si., Model sm20-2, rated flow 125 GPM Cleaner: Polaris Heater: Pool Pump:SQ FL FR 2HP EE 230V Pentair Superflow Pump

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    Re: Clear membrane formed in pipe preventing skimmer suction

    I can isolate it at the equipment pad.

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