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Thread: Skimmer - No Suction - Need to add DE - Alternatives? Quest at a Halt?

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    Question Skimmer - No Suction - Need to add DE - Alternatives? Quest at a Halt?

    I have a post here documenting my new pool ownership experience that started in 2014. This year I'm going full force and got everything running except the skimmer's suction. I believe I have this "Clogged or pinched return line". To save you some time I've tried the following with no luck from the pump and skimmer side (although I can never get far on the simmer side due to the initial angle): snaking the drain, the drain king, blowing a small amount of compressed air using my air compressor (only from the simmer side so far). I've also tried moving the valve from main to simmer with the intent to pull whatever is in there. I don't have a leak because water will stay in the skimmer and in the pipe at the pump but clog isn't budging.

    1. Until I get the time to dig and replace the flex pvc, is there an alternative way I can get DE into the filter so the pool can continue to filter properly?

    2. Is it possible to maintain a chemically balanced pool while the simmer isn't working? **I've been using the skimmer net to remove leaves and apples from the pool daily.**

    3. Any other recommendations are highly welcomed.
    35x18 21,300 Gallon Pool with 8 752 Gallon Overflow Spa || IG || Plaster || DE Filter (American Products) 48 SQ FT || American Model 72 Separation Tank) || GAS Pool Heater (Comfort Zone) || 1HP Jandy || 1.5HP Sta-rite Dura Glas pump || Maryland || TF100 Testkit

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    Re: Skimmer - No Suction - Need to add DE - Alternatives? Quest at a Halt?

    What are the symptoms that make you think your line is clogged/pinched What is your psi?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Skimmer - No Suction - Need to add DE - Alternatives? Quest at a Halt?

    Thanks for replying!
    • There is no suction at the skimmer no matter the settings of the valves.
    • The PSI drops to zero if I turn the valve to the skimmer on position.
    • There is no water loss.
    • No debris when using a plunger.
    • Main drain work.
    • Spa drain work.
    • All returns work.
    • Pump runs at 10PSI from the main drain and drop to zero when turned to the skimmer drain.
    35x18 21,300 Gallon Pool with 8 752 Gallon Overflow Spa || IG || Plaster || DE Filter (American Products) 48 SQ FT || American Model 72 Separation Tank) || GAS Pool Heater (Comfort Zone) || 1HP Jandy || 1.5HP Sta-rite Dura Glas pump || Maryland || TF100 Testkit

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    Re: Skimmer - No Suction - Need to add DE - Alternatives? Quest at a Halt?

    I have an idea that I'm going to try. One of the spa drains go to my primary pump. I'm going to stop water from entering the spa, drain it, and introduce the DE to the filter that way. As for the skimmer not working. If I can't find time within the next week or two I may have to may someone to dig.
    35x18 21,300 Gallon Pool with 8 752 Gallon Overflow Spa || IG || Plaster || DE Filter (American Products) 48 SQ FT || American Model 72 Separation Tank) || GAS Pool Heater (Comfort Zone) || 1HP Jandy || 1.5HP Sta-rite Dura Glas pump || Maryland || TF100 Testkit

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    Re: Skimmer - No Suction - Need to add DE - Alternatives? Quest at a Halt?

    Try a plumbers friend or "snake" to see if you can unclog the skimmer line from the skimmer to the pump. If that fails, you might try a Drain King (google it).

    I agree those symptoms sound like it is a clog in the skimmer to pump line.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Skimmer - No Suction - Need to add DE - Alternatives? Quest at a Halt?

    Making it work. This is my temporary set up (is that even a saying around here?) until I get a chance to dig and repair the skimmer line. Don't laugh at my tape it's holding up since Sunday. I also have a glove under that tape and this other plastic connector piece that came with the hose.

    I also used this set up to vacuum the bottom of my pool. I can finally see the bottom of the pool and the DE that's sitting there. I'm going to try to pick up new grids tomorrow. the old ones are shot! If you're having issues clearing your pool make sure you check your grids and filtering system.



    35x18 21,300 Gallon Pool with 8 752 Gallon Overflow Spa || IG || Plaster || DE Filter (American Products) 48 SQ FT || American Model 72 Separation Tank) || GAS Pool Heater (Comfort Zone) || 1HP Jandy || 1.5HP Sta-rite Dura Glas pump || Maryland || TF100 Testkit

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    Re: Skimmer - No Suction - Need to add DE - Alternatives? Quest at a Halt?

    OK, I am going off the subject a little bit but you have added DE into a murky pool that you are trying to SLAM, is that right?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Skimmer - No Suction - Need to add DE - Alternatives? Quest at a Halt?

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    OK, I am going off the subject a little bit but you have added DE into a murky pool that you are trying to SLAM, is that right?
    I was in the middle of the SLAM process and did some reading on how the DE filter assist in filtering algae. Since the skimmer wasn't working I partially emptied the SPA and introduced the DE through the SPA drains. At the time I didn't see any DE coming out of the pool returns because at the time I couldn't see that far below the surface of the water. Once the water started to clear and my readings were getting better I started to see the DE when I brushed the bottom of the pool. I did more reading and learned about the grids and their function. I inspected the grids and they are shot. Time and money on chemicals wasted, well sort of, and a lesson learned. I'm going to change the O-Rings while I'm at it and do more reading.
    35x18 21,300 Gallon Pool with 8 752 Gallon Overflow Spa || IG || Plaster || DE Filter (American Products) 48 SQ FT || American Model 72 Separation Tank) || GAS Pool Heater (Comfort Zone) || 1HP Jandy || 1.5HP Sta-rite Dura Glas pump || Maryland || TF100 Testkit

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    Re: Skimmer - No Suction - Need to add DE - Alternatives? Quest at a Halt?

    First post on this forum - quickly scrolling through and this is the first thread I've read ... In any case, I agree the skimmer line is clogged (although it may be sucking air at the skimmer and you don't even realize it - low water level or skimmer flap may be stuck)... the way we unclog lines is with an external pool pump - 100% success. If you don't have an external pump sitting around, then you can try other methods mentioned. Before I rigged an external pool pump for this purpose, I used to use a bladder connected to a water hose and in some cases a wet/dry shop vac. I would put the bladder at the pump side and the shop vac at the skimmer. Or you can put the bladder on the pump side and rigged a pvc pipe with a ball valve and threaded fitting at the skimmer side... basically starting with a closed ball valve (increasing the pressure in the line) then quickly opening the ball valve to create a blast.

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    Re: Skimmer - No Suction - Need to add DE - Alternatives? Quest at a Halt?

    Quote Originally Posted by VikingPoolMan View Post
    First post on this forum - quickly scrolling through and this is the first thread I've read ... In any case, I agree the skimmer line is clogged (although it may be sucking air at the skimmer and you don't even realize it - low water level or skimmer flap may be stuck)... the way we unclog lines is with an external pool pump - 100% success. If you don't have an external pump sitting around, then you can try other methods mentioned. Before I rigged an external pool pump for this purpose, I used to use a bladder connected to a water hose and in some cases a wet/dry shop vac. I would put the bladder at the pump side and the shop vac at the skimmer. Or you can put the bladder on the pump side and rigged a pvc pipe with a ball valve and threaded fitting at the skimmer side... basically starting with a closed ball valve (increasing the pressure in the line) then quickly opening the ball valve to create a blast.
    Welcome to the forum VikingPoolMan. So many knowledgeable people here. It's a great forum. I tried all of the above. Drain King from Skimmer and pump side. Wet Vac, Plumbers Snake... No luck so as a temporary fix I cut the line and hooked the hose and positioned it in the skimmer to pull the water and any dead algae down. BUT that too was sort of a waste cause I need to address the filter first. I've been here for two years but I'm still a noob because I didn't do anything last year. I'm learning. Read first, read again, measure, measure again, and then act after you read and measure again.
    35x18 21,300 Gallon Pool with 8 752 Gallon Overflow Spa || IG || Plaster || DE Filter (American Products) 48 SQ FT || American Model 72 Separation Tank) || GAS Pool Heater (Comfort Zone) || 1HP Jandy || 1.5HP Sta-rite Dura Glas pump || Maryland || TF100 Testkit

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    Re: Skimmer - No Suction - Need to add DE - Alternatives? Quest at a Halt?

    Quote Originally Posted by KDFraz View Post
    Welcome to the forum VikingPoolMan. So many knowledgeable people here. It's a great forum. I tried all of the above. Drain King from Skimmer and pump side. Wet Vac, Plumbers Snake... No luck so as a temporary fix I cut the line and hooked the hose and positioned it in the skimmer to pull the water and any dead algae down. BUT that too was sort of a waste cause I need to address the filter first. I've been here for two years but I'm still a noob because I didn't do anything last year. I'm learning. Read first, read again, measure, measure again, and then act after you read and measure again.

    Thanks for the welcome... I agree, it looks like a great forum. When I first started in the pool business, I used many of the things mentioned here to clear clogged skimmer lines (some times it worked, sometimes it didn't work). These days, I just use a 1+Hp external pool pump that I rigged for blowing out lines - 100% success with it for years now! If interested, I'll post pictures. Of course, this may not be practical in your situation (unless you have an extra pool pump laying around). In your case, it would probably be cheaper to just get a pool guy over to your place to blast out the lines with a pump (to give you an idea of $, I charge $85 to blast out lines)... I'm sure there are pool companies in your area that can do it. Good luck.

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