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Thread: Need help unplugging suction line near skimmer

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    "Lamorinda" California
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    Need help unplugging suction line near skimmer

    Have 23inHg suction on my 1.5" line.

    It seems like I've tried everything (ha ha), but have failed so far.
    Have 1.5" PVC adapted up to 2" at pump inlet.

    First, on pump inlet side I've tried:

    Water hose with two sizes of "Drain Kings" run at least 20 minutes.
    Water hose wrapped in towel run at least 20 minutes.
    1/4" & 3/16" snakes - but couldn't get past bends to main line.
    Never saw anything come out.

    At skimmer side I then tried:
    1/4 & 3/16 snake - but couldn't get to main line either because of bends or blockage.
    3/16" got the furthest. Once, previously, like 2 feet in. Today only maybe a foot.
    I'm pretty convinced the blockage is next to the skimmer as today's snaking has made the blockage significantly worse! Vacuum gage at pump now at 25inHG from 23 before today's snaking.
    This was to be my final attempt at this, so of course, today's attempt is the first time it did anything and it made it worse!
    So now I'm pretty screwed.

    I'm aware there is "art" to driving a snake, but am apparently, artless.
    Any suggestions on how I proceed?
    Thanks much.
    ~29K gal, 20'x36' rectangular, outdoor IG plaster, built in '74. Intelliflo VF; Sta-rite system 3 w/300sq ft. Liquidator 8Gal-3/8ug; Polaris 380 sweep & PB4 booster. Equip. is in shed on ground level pad.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Need help unplugging suction line near skimmer

    Here's what I would try next. Take a wet/dry vac and hook it to the skimmer outlet. Then take the water hose wraped in a rag and pressurize the line from the other end. That may be just enough force to move it. If that doesn't work the first time swap ends. You may have to do it several times.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: Need help unplugging suction line near skimmer

    Another idea is to put an expandable rubber plug in the skimmer and blast water from the pad. When the rubber plug pops, the surge of water might dislodge the obstruction.
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Need help unplugging suction line near skimmer

    That's a good one Ted.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    "Lamorinda" California
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    Re: Need help unplugging suction line near skimmer

    Well I give up.
    I can't seem to get enough differential pressure to dislodge whatever is there and my snaking around seems to have just made it worse.

    I suspect something is really wrong in there as I don't see much reference to needing to snake a suction line so there must be something "illegal" in there like a root or a skimmer part etc.

    Anyone ever get any kind of camera in there?

    Looks like I need the skimmer replaced.

    Thanks for the suggestions.
    ~29K gal, 20'x36' rectangular, outdoor IG plaster, built in '74. Intelliflo VF; Sta-rite system 3 w/300sq ft. Liquidator 8Gal-3/8ug; Polaris 380 sweep & PB4 booster. Equip. is in shed on ground level pad.

  6. Back To Top    #6
    mcoonan's Avatar
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    Re: Need help unplugging suction line near skimmer

    Check your local rental center, they may have a "plumbing camera" . Also a powered snake may work for you, ask the rental folks.
    Intex Ultra 18' x 52" AG 6,981 Gal.
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