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Thread: Center drain clogged?

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    Center drain clogged?

    Hi there!

    I'm completely new to the arena of pool ownership - we bought a house last fall with a 27' above ground pool. We have a cartridge filter. Unfortunately, when we got the cover off of the pool, we dumped in what I thought was a small amount of pine needles and sludge, but turned out to be a HUGE amount. I've vacuumed some out, but now there is a nice black clump right in the middle of the pool that I can't reach with the vacuum. I also don't feel like I'm getting good suction on the vacuum through the skimmer as I once was.

    Is there any way to do this other than to get in the freezing (we're in upstate NY) pool and actually vacuum it out? And, why does the suction, well, suck? Do I need to clean out the whole filter?

    And one last newbie question - the filter basket (the first line of defense in the filter) - is there any reasonable way to clean that out without spraying water all over yourself and the lawn? I've tried shutting the valve to the center drain so that less water is coming in, but it still sprays all over. Any other ideas?

    Thanks for any help you can offer!!

    Kelly
    Kelly - Rochester, NY

    ~17,500 gallons, Cartridge, Above Ground pool :)

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Center drain clogged?

    Welcome to TFP!

    I'd say it is time to clean the cartridge. Maybe buy a spare and swap so you can take your time cleaning the other.
    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: Center drain clogged?

    Everything I've read says that you only have to clean the cartridge when the PSI rises . . . mine is steadily at 12. But I'm seriously getting NO suction, as in, there is a ton of **** in the bottom of my pool, and nothing coming through to either filter basket (skimmer or filter). I just went out and used our pole skimmer with a net to get a bunch of crud out of the center (leaves, etc.). Still no suction. ARGH this is harder than I thought it would be!
    Kelly - Rochester, NY

    ~17,500 gallons, Cartridge, Above Ground pool :)

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Center drain clogged?

    Probably have a jam in the hose somewhere. Try blasting backwards with a garden hose.
    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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    Re: Center drain clogged?

    oooh good idea. I'll try that tomorrow (it's getting dark now!). Do you have any experience with a center drain? It's sucking all the leaves down to the bottom and I'm assuming that's why I'm not getting any suction there. Does that sound right?

    Thanks so much for your help, this is a great forum!!
    Kelly - Rochester, NY

    ~17,500 gallons, Cartridge, Above Ground pool :)

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Center drain clogged?

    Quote Originally Posted by rochachakelly
    oooh good idea. I'll try that tomorrow (it's getting dark now!). Do you have any experience with a center drain? It's sucking all the leaves down to the bottom and I'm assuming that's why I'm not getting any suction there. Does that sound right?

    Thanks so much for your help, this is a great forum!!
    Yes and yes.
    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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    Re: Center drain clogged?

    ok, I cleaned the filter out for about 30 minutes, really sprayed it - and it worked great! Tons of suction, vacuum worked . . . for about 15 minutes. Now it's back to barely any suction. I don't feel like I'm ever going to get these leaves and pine needles out!

    Does this mean I need a new filter? My filter looked pretty gray when I took it out (even after spraying it) . . . I got all of the needles and dirt out, but the white parts still looked pretty gray. Does this mean the cartridge is too old? Is that why I'm getting no suction again?

    AND . . . is there any better way for me to get all of this **** out of the pool?? Up until today, my pool had this great whirlpool effect and was bringing everything to the center, now it's not even doing that. I'm feeling like I've broken this thing.
    Kelly - Rochester, NY

    ~17,500 gallons, Cartridge, Above Ground pool :)

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