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Thread: dropped pvc pipe into skimmer

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    dropped pvc pipe into skimmer

    A 14 inch piece of pvc pipe was inadvertently sucked down one of the skimmer tubes (there are 2 skimmers in the pool). The dropped pvc pipe was only slightly less in diameter than the skimmer tube itself. The skimmer tube goes down about 6 or 7 feet, and then there is an elbow. I imagine that is where the dropped pvc pipe is, nesting inside the skimmer tube, on pipe inside another, however I cannot see it. The suction doesn't seem to be affected, at least not yet. I guess that is because the dropped object is a pipe so the water just flows through it. I have now turned the pump off. I worry that it will somehow block the pipe running into the skimmer tube horizontally at the elbow. How can I get this dropped piece of PVC pipe out? the edges of the dropped pipe are probably almost flush with the skimmer tube.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: dropped pvc pipe into skimmer

    Welcome to TFP!

    How about a fishing hook and line?
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    Re: dropped pvc pipe into skimmer

    Rubber stopper screwed to the end of a broomstick?

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    Re: dropped pvc pipe into skimmer

    These are some good ideas, I was thinking of something like pooldv mentioned. Maybe very stiff wire, this way I could angle it a bit more. Duck hunter jon, do you mean that I could get a rubber stopper that was equal in diameter to the dropped pipe and press it down, and then lift it? that might be an idea. I did try the back end of an extension pipe that had a handle on it. I dropped the extension as far down as I could, and Tried to angle the extension hard against one side of the pipe with as much force as I could and slowly lifted, but with no results. Since I cannot see where the pipe actually is, it is hard to know if I am pressing against the skimmer tube or the dropped PV pipe. I am afraid of doing more harm. The suction doesn't seem affected. since the dropped object is a pipe, water flows through it. I am just worried that it will block the opening of the pipe joining it horizontally at the elbow. I wonder if I should just leave it, maybe trying to get it out might put it in position to block the horizontal pipe. I just don't know. I am out of the U.S., and good pool guys are in short supply here.

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    Re: dropped pvc pipe into skimmer

    I would try a long metal wire first with a hook, should pool right up.

    Home depot or lowes, buy yourself a solid piece of eletrical copper wiring.


    Or use your broom brush handle. ,you could wrap duct tape around it and get a snug fit, then pull it out.
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    MARCO...polo's Avatar
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    Re: dropped pvc pipe into skimmer

    How's about a rubber plumbing bladder? The ones used to clear a clogged line? Just thinking out loud.
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: dropped pvc pipe into skimmer

    Yep, coat hanger with hook bent on end.
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    Re: dropped pvc pipe into skimmer

    My first thought was the same as Marco...polo's get an inflatable drain clearing bladder, connect it to a garden hose and place it down the skimmer turn on the water to inflate the bladder and fish it out.

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    Re: dropped pvc pipe into skimmer

    Thanks for these great ideas. I thought coat hanger too, but the skimmer tube goes straight down about 6 or 7 feet. I really can't see where the dropped pvc pipe is, but it is likely that deep. The hanger is would be too short. Stiff wire or the bladder might do the trick. I am in a place where very little is available, no loewe's or Homed Depot, but I will see what I can get. I imagine the plumbers bladder would deflate as soon as I turned off the hose, is that correct? I am very worried about making things worse, I don't want to get something else stuck down there. At least now the suction still works, though I turned off the pump. IT is early morning, but I will go out soon and deal with this. ANy other suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.

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    Re: dropped pvc pipe into skimmer

    Electrical snake would work. The copper wire hook may open up to easy if the pipe is slightly snug. Good luck
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    Re: dropped pvc pipe into skimmer

    X3 on the bladder. Just don't turn it off until you have your hand on the pipe.
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    Re: dropped pvc pipe into skimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler View Post
    X3 on the bladder. Just don't turn it off until you have your hand on the pipe.
    Early morning, found 2 slim metal poles, on has a 45 degree ridge sticking out on the bottom. I am going to duct tape them together and try to fish the thing out. Wish I could see it, I am working blind. If that doesn't work, I will try bladder or snake. About the bladder, would the pressure that shoots out the bottom do any damage to my pool line or pump? Thanks for all the help.
    One other thing, if all fails, do you think I should just leave it. It is a pipe, and if it isn't blocking anything, water just runs through it. The pool suction was fine after the incident, though I have now turned the pump off.

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    Re: dropped pvc pipe into skimmer

    Update--couldn't fish it out with the pole. I went down a good 7 feet. .At that point, the skimmer pipe joins with another pipe and bends about 135 degrees(The pool is set on a patio over a steep slope, and I can walk below it and see how the skimmer pipe runs) . I don't think the non flexible pipe I dropped could have negotiated the bend and kept on going, and I could feel my pole hitting a rim down there, which is likely the dropped pipe stuck in the bend. If it is the dropped pipe, it is at an angle, and my the metal pole would not bend to reach the bottom edge of the stuck pipe, and I couldn't bring it up.
    The good part is that since the dropped pipe is just slightly less in diameter than the actual skimmer pipe, suction is still good on that skimmer (I have 2). I have restarted the pump and it is running okay. Do you think I should just leave well enough alone, and live with it. It doesn't seem to have affected the suction or the running of the pump. Thanks

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    Re: dropped pvc pipe into skimmer

    How long is the run back to the pump - can you fish something in from the pump end to push it out (something like a drain snake)?

    Any chance you could reverse the hoses/flow? No idea if this would work or not to push it out.


    There has to be a way.
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    Re: dropped pvc pipe into skimmer

    You could try running the hose from the pump strainer pot towards the skimmer and see if you can flush it out that way.

    My other thought is to get a sturdy tape measure and attach a hook to the bottom of it, then try to feed it down into the pipe and get the hook under the bottom edge to fish it out. If you can't get a hook under there, then I would get a small 1" diameter dowel or pipe and firmly attach it to the tape measure, then I would cover the dowel/pipe with water proof double stick tape, maybe something like carpet tape, feed it down the hole and try to get it to stick to the pipe so you can fish it out.

    One more possibility, if there is a shut off valve before the pump but after the point where the pipe is suspected of resting, you can try closing the valve and seeing if running water down the skimmer forces the pipe up. I don't have much hope for this method. I think your best shot is to get something that will stick to the pipe so you can fish it out.
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    Re: dropped pvc pipe into skimmer

    whatever you do (if it were me) I would be pulling it up or pushing with water with a drain king from the pump inlet.

    I would NOT recommend any action that would push it further down.
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    Re: dropped pvc pipe into skimmer

    I went on the slope under the house and down to the room where the pump is. THe pump is a good 20 feet below and another 30 feet south of the skimmer basket, and I would say the bend in the pipe where I think the dropped pipe is stuck is a good 50 feet from the pump and through a number of bends. I don't think backflushing from the pump would help. I think it is too far, and since the dropped object is a pipe, there would be very little water resistance. It would seem that the water would just flow through it. IT seems that hooking it would be best, as Zea 3 suggested, but I worry that I might get the dowel or hook stuck in there, or lose them and cause more problems. The drain king was mentioned. I am unfamiliar with this, but I watched a youtube video. It seems that it jets water out under pressure. Would that be okay in the pipe. that might work.

    The plumber's snake seems the most feasible. I haven't used one--Once in, would it be able to grab the rim of the dropped pipe so I could pull it up? That is, of course, what I was trying to do with the gizmo I made. I am very leery of doing anything that would make the situation worse, and I am on a small island now and not sure what is available here.
    Right now the suction seems normal, so I guess the water is just coursing through the dropped pipe. If the dropped pipe is indeed lodged in the bend where I think it is, it is probably well stuck and unlikely to be able to move further through the bend.
    I have to give this a good thinking before I proceed. As I wrote, the pump is back on, the suction seems normal, and I don't think that the dropped pipe will be able to move further down due to the bend in the main skimmer pipe where I believe the dropped pipe is lodged. Since suction is good, I am tempted to leave well enough alone rather than inadvertently cause more problems. Am I being foolish?
    This is a great site, I really appreciate all the comments, and am considering them seriously. I really thought I was going to be able to pull the pipe out with the gizmo that I rigged up, but no go. I am not at all well versed in pools, and this has been a great help. I welcome any further comments/suggestions.

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    Re: dropped pvc pipe into skimmer

    Just don't leave us hanging. keep those updates coming as you try the suggestions
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    Re: dropped pvc pipe into skimmer

    GOT IT!
    Kiss4afrog, I would definitely not keep you hanging.
    I called a local handyman. He came over and said," I can do this, let me see what you have around." He got a long piece of pvc, the same diameter as the one that dropped in. He took a piece of wood from a broken oar, whittled one side down and left the other thick. Then he screwed it into the long PVC, skinny side down, and worked it into the skimmer hole. The thin edge of the shaved oar went right into the dropped pvc, but in a few inches the thicker, unwhittled portion jammed in, and he was able to lift the dropped PVC right up. As you can imagine, I was elated.
    In my experience, guys from the rural 3rd world who grew up without fancy tools really know how to improvise with what is at hand. I have seen it many times, and I saw it again today.
    I thank everyone who contributed here, you really helped me look at the problem in different ways and offered solutions that probably would have worked as well.

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    Re: dropped pvc pipe into skimmer

    Glad to hear you got it out. I've been watching the thread since you started it.
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