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Thread: Issue blowing out skimmer line

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    Issue blowing out skimmer line

    Hi All,

    There forums are awesome, I've learned a lot. That said, I'm hoping someone might have some insight into an issue I'm currently dealing with. I'm in the process of blowing out the lines on my pool and have been able to blow out the returns in the pool, but only by blowing the shop vac into one of the jets at the side of the pool and plugging them as they blew. They all blew quickly (it's a fairly small pool) and i was able to complete that part.

    However, I have been unable to blow out the skimmer line. I've been trying to blow air down through the skimmer, but can't get any blow out at the pump. I don't have any valves that I'm aware of on the entire system (but I'm including pictures of the system below if someone can verify), so I'm not sure what the issue is. The skimmer does have two holes, but based on the other forum posts I've read it's the hole furthest from the pool edge that goes back to the pump. I think I'm getting a good seal, but just nothing coming out. I also tried to unhook the connection at the front of the pump to try and blow it out from that side, but I haven't been able to get it loose (and don't want to strip or crack anything) and there isn't any flexible piping on that side that I could move to put the vac nozzle into.

    Does anyone have any advice on what I may be doing wrong? Also, does anything need to be done to winterize the second hole in the skimmer? It seems to go down about 18-24" and then stops so I don't believe it goes to the main drain.

    Any help would be appreciated!

    P.S. I've also yet to locate the connection for the main drain. There is one piece of PVC that's sticking up in the pad with a cap on it. Could that be it?
    20160928_075504[1].jpg20160928_075510[1].jpg
    14,000 gallon
    16x25 kidney shape
    vinyl lining
    StaRite Filter

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    Catanzaro's Avatar
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    Re: Issue blowing out skimmer line

    Do you have a main drain? Your set up is where the suction side (it appears) has only one line coming in and then out of the pump, into the filter and back out.

    However, I have been unable to blow out the skimmer line. I've been trying to blow air down through the skimmer, but can't get any blow out at the pump
    A couple of things you can do with the skimmer. Try plugging the skimmer at the pump basket at the suction side with a rubber plug. Then go and suction water out of the skimmer (as much as you can). Now go back to the pump basket and you will have to adapt your larger shop vac with a reducer to a 1.5" hose and blow air from the housing back to the skimmer. Considering you will not have that much water left, the skimmer should be easy to blow out.

    Can you pleas advise me how many skimmers, main drain and return jets you have?

    I think the second hole in the skimmer is designed to bring back water to the pool is water runs too low. If your pool has some sort of drain on the bottom (but not a main drain) and this is where water is coming from, you would have to blow out the same way. Once you figure out which hole is the skimmer and it is plugged, then go back to the skimmer (the hole remaining) and push air down. If you see any bubbling in the pool, allow it to bubble for a good minute or so, then quickly plug that hole as this will create the air lock.

    I know that my skimmer has 2 holes, but they are closed off. It all depends on how the pool builder built the pool. Luckily I took a lot of pictures to refer back to later on.

    Below is some information on configurations that could possibly help you, including a Google Search:


    http://blog.poolcenter.com/article.aspx?articleid=6327

    Google

    Try going through some of the posts to determine which way your system is set up.
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
    Hayward Pro-Series 350 LB. Sand Filter Model # S270T - 2" Plumping
    Hayward CL2002 Chlorinator - Hayward Super Pump 2 HP Model # k48m2n111
    Hayward AQR9 SWG 25K Salt Cell & TF-100 Test Kit + Speed Stir
    Gulfstream HE125RA - 117K BTU Heat Pump - Date of Build is 11-2013

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    Re: Issue blowing out skimmer line

    Quote Originally Posted by Catanzaro View Post
    Do you have a main drain? Your set up is where the suction side (it appears) has only one line coming in and then out of the pump, into the filter and back out.



    A couple of things you can do with the skimmer. Try plugging the skimmer at the pump basket at the suction side with a rubber plug. Then go and suction water out of the skimmer (as much as you can). Now go back to the pump basket and you will have to adapt your larger shop vac with a reducer to a 1.5" hose and blow air from the housing back to the skimmer. Considering you will not have that much water left, the skimmer should be easy to blow out.

    Can you pleas advise me how many skimmers, main drain and return jets you have?

    I think the second hole in the skimmer is designed to bring back water to the pool is water runs too low. If your pool has some sort of drain on the bottom (but not a main drain) and this is where water is coming from, you would have to blow out the same way. Once you figure out which hole is the skimmer and it is plugged, then go back to the skimmer (the hole remaining) and push air down. If you see any bubbling in the pool, allow it to bubble for a good minute or so, then quickly plug that hole as this will create the air lock.

    I know that my skimmer has 2 holes, but they are closed off. It all depends on how the pool builder built the pool. Luckily I took a lot of pictures to refer back to later on.

    Below is some information on configurations that could possibly help you, including a Google Search:


    http://blog.poolcenter.com/article.aspx?articleid=6327

    Google

    Try going through some of the posts to determine which way your system is set up.
    Thanks for the reply, this is helpful!

    It's our first year owning this house with the pool, so I don't have a ton of information on the pool builder and what they did when building it to get an understanding of the second hole in the skimmer. I had seen these diagrams, but thanks for including them! I did try to blow into that second hole (not the suction side) and just got sprayed in the face . Anyway, as I mentioned I did stick a broom handle down there to see and it seemed to only go down 18-24", but what had me confused on the diagram is the "L" when that line leads to a main drain. I thought there was a chance I was just hitting the "L" in the PVC rather than the end of the line.

    I do have a main drain at the bottom of the pool, I'm just trying to figure out where it's connected to since I've never used it and there is another pipe sticking out of the pad that has a cap on it.

    I only have one skimmer and 4 return jets. Once these torrential rains stop for a bit I'll see if I can suck out some water from that line and then try blowing again.
    14,000 gallon
    16x25 kidney shape
    vinyl lining
    StaRite Filter

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    Re: Issue blowing out skimmer line

    Please keep us posted!
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
    Hayward Pro-Series 350 LB. Sand Filter Model # S270T - 2" Plumping
    Hayward CL2002 Chlorinator - Hayward Super Pump 2 HP Model # k48m2n111
    Hayward AQR9 SWG 25K Salt Cell & TF-100 Test Kit + Speed Stir
    Gulfstream HE125RA - 117K BTU Heat Pump - Date of Build is 11-2013

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    Re: Issue blowing out skimmer line

    I can't tell from the picture whether your equipment pad is in an enclosure. Since you're in PA, you'll definitely want to disconnect that pump and bring it into garage over the winter.
    28,000 gallons, 18x36, vinyl liner
    Hayward C4030 Cartridge Filter, Hayward TriStar VS 900 Pump, Raypak 400 BTU gas heater,
    Stenner 45mhp10 Peristaltic Pump (for bleach injection)
    2 skimmers, 2 returns, main drain, Lamotte ColorQ and TF-100 test kits

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    Re: Issue blowing out skimmer line

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomolena View Post
    I can't tell from the picture whether your equipment pad is in an enclosure. Since you're in PA, you'll definitely want to disconnect that pump and bring it into garage over the winter.
    Thanks for the thought. It is in a little pump house so it's protected from the weather, but not heated. I imagine it will be OK in there for the winter?
    14,000 gallon
    16x25 kidney shape
    vinyl lining
    StaRite Filter

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    Re: Issue blowing out skimmer line

    I leave my pump outside. Even though unions are designed properly, there is always that chance of having a leak after installation. I would rather only disconnect the unions only when replacing the pump. I have seen pumps last anywhere from 5-20 years. It is hit or miss. Do not believe the weather has anything to do with how long the pump will last, but more of water chemistry and a little bit of luck.
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
    Hayward Pro-Series 350 LB. Sand Filter Model # S270T - 2" Plumping
    Hayward CL2002 Chlorinator - Hayward Super Pump 2 HP Model # k48m2n111
    Hayward AQR9 SWG 25K Salt Cell & TF-100 Test Kit + Speed Stir
    Gulfstream HE125RA - 117K BTU Heat Pump - Date of Build is 11-2013

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    Re: Issue blowing out skimmer line

    Quote Originally Posted by Catanzaro View Post
    I leave my pump outside. Even though unions are designed properly, there is always that chance of having a leak after installation. I would rather only disconnect the unions only when replacing the pump. I have seen pumps last anywhere from 5-20 years. It is hit or miss. Do not believe the weather has anything to do with how long the pump will last, but more of water chemistry and a little bit of luck.
    UPDATE: Alright, so I was able to finally blow out the skimmer line to the pump. Not sure what the issue was, but when I tried blowing from the pump rather than the skimmer it blew fairly quickly. Thanks again for the insight!

    I did do some more researching and I'm almost certain that the front hole in the skimmer goes to the main drain rather than just an equalizer. That said, I haven't been able to really blow out the main drain and there is still about 3-4 inches of water in the bottom of the skimmer. I have tried to suck that water out, but it just fills up to the same level (also what's leading me to believe it's a main drain that's connected to it). I've read on some posts that you can put backer rod (aka foam rope) down into that line and then plug it, but was wondering if anyone can verify the effectiveness of that?
    14,000 gallon
    16x25 kidney shape
    vinyl lining
    StaRite Filter

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    Re: Issue blowing out skimmer line

    If you have a main drain, then that is probability what you are dealing with. You will have to blow the line to the main drain at the skimmer. Once it bubbles for 45 seconds to a minute, then quickly plug the skimmer with a black rubber plug. I would rather you create an "air lock" and not insert foam rope. Do not insert and blow air as it may get stuck down there. Thanks!
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
    Hayward Pro-Series 350 LB. Sand Filter Model # S270T - 2" Plumping
    Hayward CL2002 Chlorinator - Hayward Super Pump 2 HP Model # k48m2n111
    Hayward AQR9 SWG 25K Salt Cell & TF-100 Test Kit + Speed Stir
    Gulfstream HE125RA - 117K BTU Heat Pump - Date of Build is 11-2013

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