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Thread: How to drain pool with no main drain

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    How to drain pool with no main drain

    I posted a picture of my single-hole skimmer a while back trying to find out how I could turn it to allow suction from the main drain, but I don't think anybody had seen such a skimmer before. I believe it is an old style "Anthony" type skimmer as illustrated here (picture of the part that I believe is broken). The tab that allows you to turn the adjustment is long broken off, leaving no way to turn it. This means that backwashing is impossible except for in short bursts until the water level goes below the skimmer and I have to wait for the hose to refill. I also have no way to drain the pool in any meaningful way except to use a sump pump that would take a day or two just to get 25% of the water out, and I'd be unable to run the filter for that time.

    In short, I have to figure out how to "fix" this or work around it before I have to tear up the concrete and replace the skimmer (which means I'll lose my budget for tile when I resurface).
    20k gal. IG plaster w/spa. 2 HP Aqua-Flo "A" pump, Hayward DE6020 filter. "The Pool Cleaner".

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: How to drain pool with no main drain

    I have used a vacuum hose stuffed down into the skimmer hole and the vacuum head on the other end to drain down below the skimmer many times. I have a rubber collar for my Baracuda Ranger pool cleaner that fits on the end of my hose and forms a tight seal in the skimmer hole. Its called a skimmer cuff and you should be able to get one at a pool store that sells pool cleaner parts.
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    morzh's Avatar
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    Re: How to drain pool with no main drain

    When I needed to drain my AGP with the lowest level being the skimmer one, I rig up the pump's suction port with the hose that goes to the level I need (you have to prevent it from floating), fill the basket from garden hose, close the lid so the water does not drain and start it. Took several attempts but did work
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: How to drain pool with no main drain

    Hmmm.... if the main drain is teed into that single line, a rubber stopper would plug the skimmer completely and allow you to draw from the main drain. Something like this: Shop The Hillman Group 1-Pack Neoprene Hole Plugs at Lowes.com

    Another alternative is an expandable freeze plug from an auto parts store, like these: Dorman Products - Search Results

    I'd look for an oversized washer to ensure the thing stays above the bottom of the skimmer. Look for a "fender washer" at the hardware store.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: How to drain pool with no main drain

    I was under the impression that the main drain has some kind of blockage from reading the thread in the link. I that correct sbcpool?
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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: How to drain pool with no main drain

    My daughter's pool skimmer looks identical to yours, broken parts and all. As Richard says, plugging the hole in the bottom of the skimmer should allow the water to come from the main drain. Plug the hole and see what happens.. either the pump will run out of water or it wont'. Just be ready to turn the pump off if needed.

    How long do you backwash? I've never had to backwash so long that the water dropped below the skimmer level. Ever.. I may be just reading this wrong, but if you are doing all this work just to get ready to resurface and retile of your pool, you might be wasting your time. I've had two pools re-done and in both cases the contractors came in with their own pumps and took the water out. The pool pumps was not used.

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    Re: How to drain pool with no main drain

    Sorry I couldn't comment earlier You have an old American Products or Anthony skimmer with a one hole diverter suction valve. The early Anthony skimmer diverters were brass while the American are plastic. The plastic ones just twist out as do the brass ones although some of the real earlier ones were threaded. Amy type of expansion plug in the hole would give 100% suction to the main drain.

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    Re: How to drain pool with no main drain

    Thanks to all for the replies. I'll try to address everyone's suggestions and questions.

    Plugging the hole causes the pressure to go to zero immediately. If it's a diverter-type skimmer, plugging the hole won't do anything to rotate that flange out of the way of the line from the main drain. The lever is in the full skimmer position (you can see a little bump where the lever used to be) but I have no way to rotate it.

    I'm more worried about having no circulation in the deep end of the pool than I am about backwashing and draining. The plumbing design on this pool is very poor. There's only one skimmer at the shallow end of the pool and three returns all on one side of the pool (and a return in the spa, which overflows into the pool). Two of the returns are within five feet of each other in the shallow end and one return is in the deep end. You can barely feel the water coming out of the return in the deep end, so with no suction from the deep end and one barely-working return there's almost no circulation in the deep end.

    I now have hope that the assembly can be removed and replaced. Judging only by what I can see in my skimmer, it looks like this may be the part. Now I just have to figure out how to pull the old part out without breaking it (in case I can't get it out).
    20k gal. IG plaster w/spa. 2 HP Aqua-Flo "A" pump, Hayward DE6020 filter. "The Pool Cleaner".

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