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Thread: Blocked/Plugged skimmer line

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Guelph, Ontario, Canada

    Blocked/Plugged skimmer line

    Last weekend while getting the pool ready for the season, I was adding CYA using 2 stockings hanging over the return lines.
    That night we were having guests, and I thought they looked ugly, so I threw them into the skimmer basket.

    A couple days later, I noticed air bubbles in my return line. The filter pressure guage read zero, the pump was running, and there was some water flow. I looked in the skimmer and it was full of debris from the pool, and the skimmer basket was floating, but only one stocking.

    I'm pretty sure the other stocking is in my skimmer line (I'm sure CYA would have emptied by now as did the other stocking). I ran a water hose from pump to skimmer which likely dislodged the blockage and it ran for a couple days then it plugged up again. Same condition, low water flow, zero reading on filter pressure, bubbles in return. So I repeated the garden hose and its running again normally, but I'm concerned this could occur at any time.

    There is an elbow between the pump and where the line goes into the pad and another at the bottom of my skimmer
    which prevent me from using a snake from either end. I reviewed pictures taken during the pool installation and there are no fittings, unions and T's between these elbows that I would think the stocking could 'hang up' on.

    I can only think of 3 options.
    -Let the stocking disintegrate in the chlorine and catch it in the pump cleanout basket (this is my preference, but is it likely to occur quickly?)
    -Cut the pipe and install a threaded union between the pump elbow and the pad that would allow me to use a snake.
    -seek professional help

    I appreciate any advice,
    Carl Schnurr
    Pool: 96,000 litre, vinyl liner, 1 HP pump, sand filter, Aqua-rite SWG, Hayward e.vac, installed 2005
    Spa: La-Z-Boy 'Relieve', 1300 litre, acrylic, with ozonator, installed 2017
    Test Kit: Taylor 2005C

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Houston, Texas

    Re: Blocked/Plugged skimmer line

    I would attempt to flush it out to the pump. I don't know how long you flushed the line the last two times, but I would try a nice long flush and see if you can wash it out first.

    Do you mean stocking like ladies pantyhose? If you increase your chlorine it may break down in a couple of weeks. If it was more like a sock that could take a good while to break down.
    TFP Moderator
    Helpful links: TF Test Kits,TFP Pool School, PoolMath
    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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  3. Back To Top    #3
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)

    Re: Blocked/Plugged skimmer line

    A snake should be able to get around elbows. You have them in the house plumbing. I'm hoping you have one of those small ones, like this:

    The key is patience. Keep the nose of the thing as close as you can to the pipe in question, only allow 2 or 3" at a time out of tthe housing. Then spin. Eventually, it will get around the bend, then it's fast running.
    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!

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    May 2010
    GTA Ontario

    Re: Blocked/Plugged skimmer line

    Quote Originally Posted by cschnurr
    That night we were having guests, and I thought they looked ugly, so I threw them into the skimmer basket.
    I have no advice to offer, but for a moment I was worried about your guests.
    40,000L (10,500G) 17 x 30 Pioneer "Trinity" Vinyl IG
    Hayward OmniLogic, Hayward TCELL925-CUL SWG, Hayward SP23520VSP MaxFlo Pump, Club Pro SM2506T Sand Filter, Hayward H-Series Heater, Zodiac G3 Cleaner.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Sebring, Florida

    Re: Blocked/Plugged skimmer line

    I have no advice to offer, but for a moment I was worried about your guests.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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