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Thread: Clogged Main Drain? and no Main drain only option

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    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Clogged Main Drain? and no Main drain only option

    First, let me say I love this forum as it has gotten my pool sparkling clean using the BBB method. Well that was until I started experiencing problems with my hayward de 4820 filter and a possibly clogged main drain. My setup includes a caretaker 99 system, skimmer, and two main drains, and the de filter. The plumbing includes a jandy valve that either runs the caretaker system or returns water to the pool through the bubble eyes. I do not have a main drain only option, when I try to plug the skimmer to pull the water through the main drain the pump just runs dry which is why I think I have a clogged main drain but do not know if this would work or not.

    I have noticed that I have DE in the pool and that it seems that everything (small leaves, leftover broke down solar cover pieces) is being pushed back into the pool, the filter screen on top of the caretaker constantly gets clogged (like every 10 minutes)

    I recently backwashed and disassembled and cleaned the de filter. I did notice that one of the filter elements had a hole in the bottom where it plugs into the manifold. I have read on this forum that could be part of the failure mechanism. I know I need to replace the filter element. I have recently replaced the o-ring on the tube that the cartridge assembly plugs into. Is there anything else I should look for while I have it torn apart? Additionally, I did just dump in the DE through the skimmer this last time instead of diluting like I have done in the past and have read on here that might be a problem.

    So now to the main drain. I have a clog buster and have tried every combination of skimmer holes (2) and inlet to unclog. I have not dove down to remove the drain cover to try and push it back towards the pump. I have tried plugging the air return/over flow hole in the skimmer and using the clog buster in the other skimmer hole with both the pump cover on and off. And tried plugging the main skimmer line and using the clog buster in the air/return/overflow hole with both the pump cover on and off. I have run out of combinations without diving into the pool and trying to remove the cover. Any other suggestions?

    As always, thanks for the help
    ~25000 gallon free-form in-ground plaster pool located in Tucson in full sun
    TFT-100 Test Kit
    Hayward DE4820 filter
    Caretaker system
    Hayward 1 1/2 HP Super Pump

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Clogged Main Drain? and no Main drain only option

    If you two open holes in your skimmer, the drain water is pulled in through the skimmer, so plugging the skimmer will starve the pump. You can try holding the weir up a little in the skimmer or make a "U" out of PVC to bridge the two holes to see if your drain is open.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: Clogged Main Drain? and no Main drain only option

    so one little follow up, when I try to plug the skimmer hole that feeds the pump and use the clog buster at the pump going back to the pool, the clog buster just shoots back out like there is too much pressure
    ~25000 gallon free-form in-ground plaster pool located in Tucson in full sun
    TFT-100 Test Kit
    Hayward DE4820 filter
    Caretaker system
    Hayward 1 1/2 HP Super Pump

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    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Tucson
    Posts
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    Re: Clogged Main Drain? and no Main drain only option

    are there two lines that run to the two holes in the skimmer? or is it the same line a just joined somewhere? I am a little confused in how what you are suggesting would tell me if the drain was plugged.
    ~25000 gallon free-form in-ground plaster pool located in Tucson in full sun
    TFT-100 Test Kit
    Hayward DE4820 filter
    Caretaker system
    Hayward 1 1/2 HP Super Pump

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Clogged Main Drain? and no Main drain only option

    Quote Originally Posted by bhodge
    are there two lines that run to the two holes in the skimmer? or is it the same line a just joined somewhere? I am a little confused in how what you are suggesting would tell me if the drain was plugged.
    There is a line running from the drain that is attached to the hole closer to the pool. Then the other hole has a pipe connected to it that runs to the pump. That is assuming your pool is plumbed that way.

    When you try pushing water into the main drain line, the weight of the water in the pool is pushing back, so you will have some pressure. You could swim down near the drain with the pump running (have somebody watch you in case the drain isn't safety compliant) and squirt some food coloring near the drain to see if it is drawn in.

    You could also rig a pipe with a connection to hook a compressor set for about 30psi to the drain openingin the skimmer and see if you can blow bubbles in the drain. That's how you blow water out of the drain line for winterizing.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Seattle/WA
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    Re: Clogged Main Drain? and no Main drain only option

    what is a clog buster? Can't find anything on the online pool stores with that name. thanks
    BBB, Old 30,000 IG Plaster, Pentair Clean and Clear, bleeping SVRS Pentair Intelliflo, 1.5 inch plumbing, H2otsun Solar 15' above pump with SWIM PC. Been upgrading as budget allows. Issues: underslab suction side leak, missing odd size skimmer lid, painted surface failing, non functional light, clogged main drain, missing main drain cover, winter loop loc style cover duct tape included, questionable fence surrounding yard. Happy new pool owner

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Clogged Main Drain? and no Main drain only option

    Quote Originally Posted by bskaggs
    what is a clog buster? Can't find anything on the online pool stores with that name. thanks
    Try Drain King. Look at a hardware store. It is a general plumbing tool, not a pool tool.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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