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Thread: Main drain stopped

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    purple_duckk's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
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    Main drain stopped

    I have everything running and I see a little air in the top of my pump basket so I shut off the skimmers to first test if it was coming through the skimmer lines or the main line. Water flow stops completely. I had fine water flow when I started everything a few days ago. I actually primed it with just the main line to start off with and slowly opened the skimmers up. So I have a couple of questions:

    First, how hard it is to royally screw up and plug a main drain? As far as I know there weren't any rocks in the pool, but there was a lot more leaves in the bottom than I was expecting after taking off the top. The cover popped up after I closed it and it looks like a bunch blew in.

    Second, if I hooked a small air compressor with a plug into the main line on the pump end do you think that would cause any problems with the plumbing? This is an old pool and at least coming out of the ground and going to the pump are metal lines. I'm not sure about what is actually in the ground under the pool though.

    Third, if the air compressor doesn't work what about a pipe auger? If all of these are bad ideas I welcome any suggestions. Thanks!
    24,000 gallon concrete pool, super old 250# StaRite sand filter and a 1hp Centurian pump. Polaris robot with booster in possesion, but not hooked up yet.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Main drain stopped

    Water pressure is better than air pressure. Try a garden hose with a drain king or similar fitting that seals to the pipe and force water backwards through the pipe and see if that flushes the debris back into the pool.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Main drain stopped

    Yeah, try to backflush it with a garden hose. Compressed air might put to much of sudden shock on things, and the last place you want a leaking pipe is under your pool.
    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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    purple_duckk's Avatar
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    Re: Main drain stopped

    Ok, I have a little more info. I used the drain king as suggested for about 2 hours then ran the pump. This time after the initial rush of water I was getting some water flow. Not enough to fill the basket but about the amount of a garden hose and it was steady. Went back to the drain king for a while and dove down to the bottom and felt the cold water coming from the main drain. Went back up and ran the pump but it was the same trickle and when I dove down the suction wasn't very strong.

    Any suggestions what my next step should be?
    24,000 gallon concrete pool, super old 250# StaRite sand filter and a 1hp Centurian pump. Polaris robot with booster in possesion, but not hooked up yet.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Main drain stopped

    A plumbers snake would be my next move. There's a wad of something in there, you're pushing it around but not breaking it up.
    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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