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Thread: 1st time pool owner - worked fine and then a tree fell in it

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    1st time pool owner - worked fine and then a tree fell in it

    Long story short - bought house - replaced vinyl liner - new ecotech variable speed motor - older hayward pump in Central FL - my pool has one main drain and 2 jets and the skimmer

    everything worked good - i think there was some lower than average pressure but it worked fine.

    NOW tropical storm debbie dropped a large oak tree branch 2 feet thick. After chainsawing the **** out of everything for 2 days, i started to scoop up the debris and then ran my vacuum to get the rest of the leaves etc. Now pool pump won't prime. Took motor off and cleaned impeller - nothing really in it. Cleaned both baskets - nothing there. bought drain jet and blasted both lines backwards and didnt see much debris come back out and can feel the water come back out of the skimmer/main drain when i block one and feel the other. I replaced my pump basket o ring too.

    Pool pump will just not prime and build up pressure. I'm guessing i have an air leak somewhere. I'm out of options - I've looked at it for hours.
    TEST KIT: Taylor Technologies K-2006C

    POOL: 33,000 gal 20'x40' IGP, Vinyl, 1.5 HP Two Stage Pump Motor, 340 sq.ft. Jandy CL340 Cartridge Filter, Jandy Aqua Pure PLC1400 SWG, Polaris 280, AquaLink RS By Jandy Control Center with Jandy PDA Model #8265

    JACUZZI: 320 gal Caldera Spa Paradise Series Martinique with OEM Aqua Sun Zone - XL-30AE Ozonator

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: 1st time pool owner - worked fine and then a tree fell i

    Welcome to TFP!

    Life has a way of dumping a tree in your pool when things seem to be going good, doesn't it?

    How about your filter? What kind is it, and have you cleaned/backwashed it?

    How long are you giving the pump to prime?
    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: 1st time pool owner - worked fine and then a tree fell i

    yep - i had the pool running about 2 weeks maybe then crashed and burned

    its a catridge filter - its fairly new. To be honest, 1st pool - 2 months into my homeownership and my house is older - 1973 so im assuming my pool is older too. I dont have any pics right now.

    i dont even think i have a backwash option? maybe? all i have is a way to switch my pump from skimmer to main drain to both then to pump then to filter and chlorine into returns.

    and i've tried giving it up to 5 minutes to prime but im afraid it will bur pump out. when i first got pool pump running, i would fill it upwith water until it overflowed and then run it fine. now when i try to fill pump basket with hose to get it started, it never overflows, just keeps going and going.
    TEST KIT: Taylor Technologies K-2006C

    POOL: 33,000 gal 20'x40' IGP, Vinyl, 1.5 HP Two Stage Pump Motor, 340 sq.ft. Jandy CL340 Cartridge Filter, Jandy Aqua Pure PLC1400 SWG, Polaris 280, AquaLink RS By Jandy Control Center with Jandy PDA Model #8265

    JACUZZI: 320 gal Caldera Spa Paradise Series Martinique with OEM Aqua Sun Zone - XL-30AE Ozonator

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: 1st time pool owner - worked fine and then a tree fell i

    I'd check your cartridge and see if it needs cleaning. Sawdust would probably play heck with it.
    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: 1st time pool owner - worked fine and then a tree fell i

    I bet you have a clog in the suction side manifold (the pipes that connect to the pump intake). I found that a drain king inserted into the intake pipe at the pump would also lead to backflow through the skimmer, and yet I had trouble with priming. It turned out that a bunch of leaves and twigs had gotten stuck in the 90 fittings and in the Jandy 3-way valve. I ended up taking the Jandy valve apart and was able to remove most of the backup. There was not enough flow with the drain king hooked to a garden hose to dislodge this, so it had to be done manually. In some cases, this might even require you to cut the intake pipe at the manifold to correct the problem. I'm not familiar with your multispeed pump, but is it possible to start it up at a low flow? You may need to turn off the auto-priming function if it has one. Running at a low speed starting with a full strainer pot in the pump would tell you that there is a partial blockage in flow somewhere. Given that you vacuumed out a bunch of debris and this caused the priming problem, this seems the likely culprit. These blockages tend to occur at 90 angles, and esp. near 3-way valves where the debris can get hung up on the inlet flange. Cleaning the filter is a good idea, but that's on the pressure side and I wouldn't think it would lead to priming problems, just low flow to the returns and high pressure on the filter gauge.
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

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    Re: 1st time pool owner - worked fine and then a tree fell i

    Hmm okay. That's what I'm thinking. It still must be clogged. I did pressure wash my catridge with low pressure. I took apart the jandy? Valve that controls skimmer md. And saw a stick float by from skimmer side to md but I couldn't grab it.

    Im pretty sure its really blocked at this point. I didn't have any air leakage besides maybe a minor.one before. Maybe ill try to snake itAny other options?
    TEST KIT: Taylor Technologies K-2006C

    POOL: 33,000 gal 20'x40' IGP, Vinyl, 1.5 HP Two Stage Pump Motor, 340 sq.ft. Jandy CL340 Cartridge Filter, Jandy Aqua Pure PLC1400 SWG, Polaris 280, AquaLink RS By Jandy Control Center with Jandy PDA Model #8265

    JACUZZI: 320 gal Caldera Spa Paradise Series Martinique with OEM Aqua Sun Zone - XL-30AE Ozonator

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: 1st time pool owner - worked fine and then a tree fell i

    The drain king is your best bet. The rubber fitting will expand and seal the pipe and the water pressure will blow out the clog into the pool. It may take a couple of attempts to get everything out.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: 1st time pool owner - worked fine and then a tree fell i

    Okay - I bought one - well the ace hardware version but i think its the same effect.. I'll just keep doing it. I'm supposed to do it from pump side back to skimmer right? I've read some people use ice to use as somewhat of a cannonball to nudge whatever is screwed up. Worse comes to worse it will melt.

    What about the main drain just shoot it that way too?
    TEST KIT: Taylor Technologies K-2006C

    POOL: 33,000 gal 20'x40' IGP, Vinyl, 1.5 HP Two Stage Pump Motor, 340 sq.ft. Jandy CL340 Cartridge Filter, Jandy Aqua Pure PLC1400 SWG, Polaris 280, AquaLink RS By Jandy Control Center with Jandy PDA Model #8265

    JACUZZI: 320 gal Caldera Spa Paradise Series Martinique with OEM Aqua Sun Zone - XL-30AE Ozonator

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    Re: 1st time pool owner - worked fine and then a tree fell i

    Try the Drain King (from pump side; make sure it is completely stuffed into the pipe or it may burst) with as much water pressure you can acheive. You may need to do this for a while to try to loosen up the clog. If this doesn't work, you can try the snake approach, perhaps first in the skimmer pipe to see if the clog might be on that end. It's a little strange that both the drain and the skimmer are clogged, though possible if lots of junk got into the water. I'd try getting the skimmer to flow first. You can take the Jandy valve apart and then run the snake down either side port to try to dislodge the clog(s) that way. Again, sometimes it requires some pipe cutting to fix this sort of clog. If you feel comfortable that you can do this, I'd start at the vacuum manifold side. If not, it's time to call a pro.

    BTW, what is the configuration of the suction side plumbing? Typically, you might have a skimmer vs. drain 3-way valve that goes directly to the filter pump intake. A pool-spa combo might have and additional 3-way valve in front of the pump that controls suction from the pool (skimmer/drain) vs. the spa drain.

    Small sticks going into the vacuum are problematic and likely the cause of the clog. You might want to find a leaf canister to place in front of your vacuuming line when you manually vacuum your pool to prevent future clogs (though this obviously sounds like a rare event).
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

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