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Thread: Clog in skimmer line?

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    Clog in skimmer line?

    Hello! First post on this forum as I've been sharking google a bit trying to figure out which place would be best to post for problems (and future discussions...)

    Anyway, I recently purchased a home with an in-ground pool. My experience with pools before owning this house is basically nothing, so I just did some common sense things showed to me by a pool tech over the span of about 10 minutes (cleaning the filter, pool priming, using the vacuum, etc). Anyway, the tech neglected to mention that I should probably use a vacuum plate for my skimmer.

    So long story short, for the past 2-3 weeks I've been vacuuming a decent amount of debris, mostly leaves but also some long and very thin sticks. Normally when I vacuum'd the pool, suction was great, priming the tube for it was easy and everything worked fine. However, when I went to go and vacuum the pool the other day (by putting my skimmer on 100%), the pump suddenly lost all pressure, as in a 0 psi reading from my filter and it seems like the water gets backwashed into the pump.

    I have tried a drain king, both ways along with shoving something into the other end to create even more pressure, with no luck. We also tried a snake (not for long as I had read that these are rather dangerous for PVC). When I put the drain king in, I can actually see water flow to/from the pump (depending on which end I put it in.) This leads me to believe it's a partial clog, but I want to be 100% sure before I try to snake it again.

    I am looking for advice on whether this is a clog or a collapsed line. If it's a collapsed line and I try to snake it obviously I am just going to cause more damage. But if it's a partial clog I wouldn't have much issue with running a proper snake down there and getting all the stuff out.

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    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Sebring, Florida

    Re: Clog in skimmer line?

    Welcome to the forum.

    The chances of it being a collapsed line are remote. The chance of it being a clog is very possible. Here's what's happening.......your pump is losing "prime".

    In other words, air is getting into the suction side of your system (that's between the skimmer and the pump) and the pump cannot pump air so that's why you see all the sloshing, etc. in the pump strainer basket.

    You need to find out where the air is getting into the system. Is your skimmer clean and intaking only water? Is the pump strainer basket lid on tight? Those are two of the most common things to check.

    Keep in mind that it would only be a clog if that clog is allowing air to get pulled into the system......if the clog is severe enough, it could be stopping the water flow to the pump and creating enough suction to let air get pulled in from the pump strainer basket lid.

    I see no issue with using a snake to see if that suction line is blocked.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Coastalish 'down easter'

    Re: Clog in skimmer line?

    Welcome to TFP!!

    While I feel Dave may well be right, I also want to mention that sometimes a congested line CAN cavitate and produce those air bubbles in the pump housing.

    If you need help figuring out where the air leak is, or if there is one, we'll be here to assist.
    Luv& Luk

    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

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Re: Clog in skimmer line?

    Thank you for the responses! Based on what you guys said I ended up hooking up the Drain King into the skimmer line and then just really going at it with the snake from the valve near the pump. After about a half an hour the drain king slowly started pushing all the gunk up from the pipes and I got it all cleared.

    Thanks again

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Clog in skimmer line?

    i have a pool problem the pool pump keeps on losing air the window of the pump. The water fills up and then the water goes out i also see the pressure drop. it starts out at 20psi and drops to about 2psi. i check the shimmer and there was a dead lizard (little one) but i don't think that would clog the pump. i also turned off the solar system and then it seamed ok but not sure if i turn the solar back on will it do that again. The pump is still under warranty and the filter was changed about a month ago. does anyone have any idea what is causing the pump to lose water like that? Thank you
    Inground pool: 9600 gallons Marcite/Gunite Pool
    Salt system Goldline T-15
    Solar heating

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