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Thread: clogged return line

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    clogged return line

    I have a pool & spa. The return line for the spa is clogged and I am not sure how to clear it.

    I have a valve to switch the drain from the spa or the pool. That works fine.

    I have a valve to switch the return to the pool or spa. If I set it to the pool, no problem. If I set it to the spa, the pressure immediately builds and it will blow the top off the filter if I don't immediately turn off the pump and release the pressure.

    I have taken off the valve cover and snaked the line for about 15-20 feet. At that point it feels like I can't feed the snake around a corner rather than feeling a clog.

    How should I attack a clog like this? What could the clog even be, seeing as how it is downstream from the filter?

    Thanks


    15,000 gallons
    DE filter
    IG/plaster
    2HP
    1996
    20k gal. 30' X 52" AG
    l-22" ECO-KLEER sand filter 1.5 H.P. Waterway pump and motor (Family Leisure) Hornet Robotic Cleaner. New pool owner

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    South Central NJ
    Posts
    3,192

    Re: clogged return line

    It is pretty rare that a return line clogs. The only way I can see it is if there was something pinching it shut like tree roots or clogged jets in the spa.

    You won't snake the line any farther.

    How old is the pool?

    Gunite?

    Are you losing water?

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: clogged return line

    The pool was built in 1996, so 16 years. It's gunite.

    If I put a hose on the jets the water comes out the other jets, so the clog appears to be higher up in the main line coming to the spa.

    We are not noticeably losing water, but I wouldn't expect too much leakage from that line even if it was open if the valve away from it and to the pool.

    There are bananas, ginger and a kentia palm potentially near the line (I am not sure exactly where the line goes, but I assume it is a relatively straight shot to the spa) and a macadamia nut tree a little further away. It's possible it could be a root. I was trying to avoid thinking about that. That would really suck.

    The pump housing cracked and the thing was hobbling along for a couple of months on jb weld during the winter before I replace it properly. In that time the pump wasn't run enough (and was off for a week at a time several times) and the pool went south on me. I'm hoping that something to do with that (algae and lots of back-flushing with a limping pump?) caused the clog and that it can be cleared.
    20k gal. 30' X 52" AG
    l-22" ECO-KLEER sand filter 1.5 H.P. Waterway pump and motor (Family Leisure) Hornet Robotic Cleaner. New pool owner

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    South Central NJ
    Posts
    3,192

    Re: clogged return line

    Is the clog in a separate pool return line that goes to the spa or is all return water sent to all the jets in the spa?

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: clogged return line

    The spa return is a separate line from the pool return.

    There is a valve with a good size access cover just after the DE filter to switch the return between the pool and the spa.
    20k gal. 30' X 52" AG
    l-22" ECO-KLEER sand filter 1.5 H.P. Waterway pump and motor (Family Leisure) Hornet Robotic Cleaner. New pool owner

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: clogged return line

    Long story short one of my problems is the same as yours here, I have a return line with a handle/lever for allowing the water to return to the pool (left), the spa (right), or half and half (up/middle).

    Strange thing is both had clogs (before today), the only difference is the psi was at 30 when I had the return line going to the pool (left), and nearly 40 psi when it was going to the spa (right). (It was rougly 35 when I had it going half and half).

    I had no choice and went with the return line going to the pool (the lower 30psi). Even at 30 psi I had barely enough suction to vacuum the pool manually. Today (1 week after I decided to learn to fix my pool) I went outside and found that it fixed itself! Psi is down to 20 for the return line going to the pool, and I found dirt/****/chunks of stuff spread all over the bottom of my pool.

    I also noticed a jet working in the pool that I never noticed before today, it was returning so much water I could see the water being pushing in that direction. So now I am 100% positive I had a partial clog in the pool return line.


    Two Questions:
    1 - For prmiller, the OP, what ever happened to your pool? Is it fixed? How did you fix it? etc.

    2 - For anyone, What should I do about my return line to the spa?
    I'm thinking of doing the same thing I did for the pool, which is to return the water to the spa, let the pressure rise to 40psi, and give it some time to fix itself... my only concern is how will a constantly high psi affect my pool/equipment?
    After Reading around here I can try a snake but I have never used one before.

    Thanks
    I just recently discovered the forum here at troublefreepool! Thank You!

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