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Thread: Object stuck in skimmer

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    Object stuck in skimmer

    I have an object stuck between the skimmer and the pump. I am almost certain it is an old skimmer plug that lost it's outer rubber ring seal and got sucked down the skimmer line one day. When trying to flush the skimmer line both ways, it will sometimes open for a few minutes while vacuuming only to get stopped up again. My guess is it is either moving and or turning at some point to create the clog. I have read similar posts that this could be fixed by roto-rooter. That seems a bit harsh. I would like to fix it with a DIY way, but I am not sure the best way to go about it. If not, do pool services have a way to fix this?

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Object stuck in skimmer

    Welcome to TFP.

    How exactly have you tried to flush it out?
    A drain king is a good way to try if that's not how you've tried it. Pressure will do more good than suction in that case.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Object stuck in skimmer

    Welcome to TFP!

    Sometimes you can run water backwards through the pipe and it will flush out fairly easily, it doesn't always work, but is worth a try. A garden hose and either a wound up rag or something like a Drain King can be used to seal the garden hose to the inlet pipe inside the pump skimmer basket to run water backwards.

    Other times a standard plumbing snake can do the job starting from the skimmer end.
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    Re: Object stuck in skimmer

    A potential here exists for a collapsed line. I would expect the o-ring from a threaded plug to make to the skimmer basket.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
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    Re: Object stuck in skimmer

    Welcome to TFP!!

    Sorry this happened

    I would try high pressure backwards through the line to remove it. A plumber's snake or similar would help getting it back to where you can see it (after you can see it, it's just the PITA to grip and remove it )

    I'm assuming that this is a rubber plug.

    Best of luck with this, if you need more help - just give a yell
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    Re: Object stuck in skimmer

    I would start with a drain king, and a few putting a few small pieces of a grout sponge to help push whatever is in there out.
    20X40 30,000 gallon gunite pool

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Object stuck in skimmer

    I feel your pain.

    I found an inflatable plug stored in my booster pump skimmer, so I pulled it out. Some time later, it rolled into a drain nearby. This drain goes to a pipe that also drains the patio. My attempts to fish it out only got it down into the pipe. I ended up going to the curb and shoving a hose up to push it back where I could see it again. Then I went too far and had to go the other way..... There wasn't room enough to grab it with tongs and get both out. Ultimately, I trapped it with a pair of long screwdrivers then impaled it a few times with a third until I got the right angle to lift it out. Only took about 3 hours of foul language and sweat. I was almost ready to call a rooter service and let them chop the thing into bits with their auger.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
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    Re: Object stuck in skimmer

    ....and if all else fails, you can gently try high pressure co2 in the line via a drain king type adapter. Worked on my clog.
    IG 24k plaster with overflow spa. Goldline PS-8 SWG. Tristar 0.75 HP filter pump, Polaris 280, large cartridge filter, 400k BTU NG Max-E-Therm HD, SR Smith Turbo Twister, Life Saver pool fence, ORP managed.

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    Re: Object stuck in skimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by learthur
    ....and if all else fails, you can gently try high pressure co2 in the line via a drain king type adapter. Worked on my clog.
    I like that: gentle high pressure
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    Re: Object stuck in skimmer

    Thank you all for your help! I think I will start with drain king or plumbers snake and work my way from there. If that doesn't work, then the high pressure co2 might be the next option. If it gets to that point, how much pressure can these lines take?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Object stuck in skimmer

    Everything should be just fine to around 40 to 50 psi. The design pressure is 100 psi, but I would not count on that at all. In normal use the plumbing rarely gets anything more than 10 or 15 psi, a bit more if you have a large pump or an in-floor cleaner. So going up to 40 psi can occasionally turn up things that were already broken but hadn't caused a problem yet.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Object stuck in skimmer

    I have a similar problem. I believe a pool thermometer is stuck in my skimmer line some 15 - 20 feet past the skimmer, probably in an elbow. There is some water flow, but it is greatly restricted. I have tried snaking with a sewer rod from the skimmer end with no luck. I have tried back pressure with a garden hose sealed by a water soaked towel with no luck. The idea of using some sponge pieces in the line to create better back pressure has not been tried. Unless I cut the line at the pump (difficult situation) to get a straight line to snake from the pump end, snaking is not possible. The blockage is probably about 20 - 25 feet from the pump. The pool is inground L-shaped 42K gallons with short radius corners. Tried floating fishing line with small piece of cloth from the skimmer to the pump with plans to fish a heaver (130 #) line back to the skimmer. Then was going to tie small block of hard wood to end of heavy line and drag the block back through the skimmer line from the pump to the skimmer. Unfortunately fishing line with small piece of cloth as a "sail" didn't get past obstruction and only stacked up in skimmer line. Going to have to take more drastic measures. Any thoughts appreciated.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Object stuck in skimmer

    If you can blow all the water out you can blow the fishing line through there with air. Or you can suck it through with a shop vac. Leave the end loose don't tie anything to it. Then get some heavier line or electrical pulling tape and fish it through there. Tie something on it leaving enough line on both ends to stick out of the pipe. all the way through. That way you can pull it back if it gets stuck.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Object stuck in skimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    If you can blow all the water out you can blow the fishing line through there with air. Or you can suck it through with a shop vac. Leave the end loose don't tie anything to it. Then get some heavier line or electrical pulling tape and fish it through there. Tie something on it leaving enough line on both ends to stick out of the pipe. all the way through. That way you can pull it back if it gets stuck.
    Great idea!

    When I was fighting my blockage, the hardest part was figuring out how to get something through initially. If I could have done that, I had the rest all figured out.

    Tie off to a heavier twine, then up to some 1/4 or 3/8 rope. Twisted rope. Then untwist a turn and tie in small pieces of rags and pull it through like cleaning a gun barrel.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Object stuck in skimmer

    Thanks for the advice guys. Will see if I can pump water out of line and get fishing line through using shop vac. First will try to back flush with Drain King. Will let you know how things go. It's an adventure in pool ownership for sure.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Object stuck in skimmer

    Any news? Or is it jackhammer time?
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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