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Thread: Possible clogged skimmer lines

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    Possible clogged skimmer lines

    PLEASE HELP!! When I try to vacuum my pool using a vacuum plate/hose in the skimmer, there is little to no suction. I suspect that the lines are clogged (while I was at work, my neighbor "helped" me by coming over and vacuuming without a skimmer basket in place AND vacuumed using the filter (not waste)valve setting. I'm planning on changing the filter sand. Anyone with any ideas on how to unclog an underground 1 1/2in pipe about 50 feet long with at least 2 - 90 degree bends?
    43,500 gal/Heyward 240 sand filter w/ 1hp pump/In-Ground pool/vinyl liner/Jandy SWG

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Possible clogged skimmer lines

    No point in changing the sand ... it is millions of years old and will not "wear out". If you open and find it is really clumpy, then maybe it is worth changing. Just to a good backwash and everything vacuumed in will eventually get out.

    If the suction does not increase after the backwash, You probably want to try a drain king to use water to try to push the clog back into the skimmer. You probably need to disconnect the pump to access the suction lines to use the water hose to push water back to the pool.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Possible clogged skimmer lines

    Another option if you have access to the suction line at the pump inlet -- use a shop vac to flow out the skimmer. When I close my pool for winterization each year, I blow water out of all suction lines & returns using a shop vac. Very effective. Of course, you will have to be able to 'cap off' the pipe where you insert the shop vac hose so that the air/water doesn't blow back in your face.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Possible clogged skimmer lines

    What is the pressure running at the filter?
    Have you cleaned the pump strainer basket?

    I bet a good backwash will fix your problem if you haven't already tried that.
    A lot of people vacuum by plugging the hose directly into the bottom hole of the skimmer without a basket. I don't like doing that but it won't likely hurt anything.

    Don't worry about the sand.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Possible clogged skimmer lines

    Thanks to all!! Tried the SteveK method with the Shop-Vac and and got a wad of twigs along with a clump of leaves on blow out. System work like new. Again, thanks for all the replies. Your site is fantabulous!!

    The Bigdog
    43,500 gal/Heyward 240 sand filter w/ 1hp pump/In-Ground pool/vinyl liner/Jandy SWG

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    Re: Possible clogged skimmer lines

    Well throw me down the steps and call me Shorty, now the filter doesn't filter. I adjusted the ph & TA, then shocke with 10% bleach til the pool had the dead algae 'haze.' This would not clear in spite of multiple backwashings and the pool is now green again. By the way, the back wash water has been perfectly clear with no green/haze/particulate matter whatsoever. Seems like the filter isn't 'filtering.' By the way, the same friend from above admitted that he put floc in the pool and vacuumed it on the 'filter' setting. Also, when I got to it,the valve was very hard to turn initially, but this has gradually loosened up. Sorry for the long post, but I got more problems than I can handle right now. Suggestions??? New sand? 5-port valve not working? Gremlins??? Thanks for all help.

    The Bigdog
    43,500 gal/Heyward 240 sand filter w/ 1hp pump/In-Ground pool/vinyl liner/Jandy SWG

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    Re: Possible clogged skimmer lines

    Have you gone through the full shock process as defined here?
    pool-school/shocking_your_pool

    Next, if your pressure hasn't built, there's no need to backwash. It's not going to help you clear the pool any faster. In fact, it can (although maybe not by much) slow down the clarification process.

    It can take several days to clear dead algae out of a pool, especially with a sand filter.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Possible clogged skimmer lines

    No way the pool should have turned green if you followed the shock process. You should have stayed at shock level FC until the water was clear. Review the process and start over.

    New sand will not help ... sand filters are slow at clearing the haze.

    Is the only reason you think the filter is not filtering because your water is hazy? Do you still have good flow, does the pressure in the filter seem reasonable?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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