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Thread: Help plz. Pump/Filter may be clogged

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    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Fort Walton Beach / Florida
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    Help plz. Pump/Filter may be clogged

    I'm totally new to pools. I bought a house with a pool full of vegetable soup.
    I used a little sump pump and garden hose to drain the pool.
    At one point I tried to turn on the big Pool Pump...Water shot out the return holes in the side of the pool, but algae might have gotten sucked down into the main drain.
    I then shoveled out the solid algae, cleaned the pool, and resurfaced it.
    Now it's full of fairly clean water, but the pump only does certain things.

    The options on the dial are: Filter, Rinse, Recirculate, Backwash, Waste, Closed

    I'm uploading a picture of it with labels.

    When I just turn it on to the various settings nothing seems to happen.

    If I turn on Recirculate or Filter and then pour 10 gallons into the "G" filter right next to the pump, that water gets shot out of the Return holes in the pool. So the outgoing pipes must be clear.

    I poured water into "G" with everything off and now the presumably "incoming" pipes "D" and "E" are full because no more water will go in (overflowing).

    The water in the skimmer stays full regardless of the setting.

    If I turn on Backwash and then pour water into "G" nothing seems to happen.

    If I turn on Waste and then pour water into "G" then that water comes out of a drain pipe in my lawn.

    So I'm guessing either or both of "D" and "E" are clogged. Both pipes have a shutoff valve though it doesn't seem to do anything to turn them open or closed. Nor can I tell which goes to the skimmer and which to the main drain because they are buried under concrete...

    The only other opening I have found is a 1.5" pipe sticking vertically out of the ground with a cap on it. I poured water into it...about 10 gallons and it went somewhere, but no idea where.

    Help please.



    Uploaded with ImageShack.us
    In-Ground 15,000 gallon pool
    Sand Filter
    Dead / Humming Pump (Capacitor Rated 161-193 and test revealed 164 ...so on the low side, Contacts all cleaned, still not working)

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Help plz. Pump/Filter may be clogged

    It sounds like the suction lines are clogged. You can try something like a drainking and push water back from the pad toward the pool.

    Backwash and waste should both work if you have water in the pump basket (g).

    Sent via Tapatalk...
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: Help plz. Pump/Filter may be clogged

    Thanks you. I don't see any "ports" on the incoming (suction) pipes "D" and "E" where I could insert a drain king. Or is the port that 1.5" vertical tube near the edge of the pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by UnderWaterVanya
    It sounds like the suction lines are clogged. You can try something like a drainking and push water back from the pad toward the pool.

    Backwash and waste should both work if you have water in the pump basket (g).

    Sent via Tapatalk...
    In-Ground 15,000 gallon pool
    Sand Filter
    Dead / Humming Pump (Capacitor Rated 161-193 and test revealed 164 ...so on the low side, Contacts all cleaned, still not working)

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    Re: Help plz. Pump/Filter may be clogged

    I turned off the valve of "D" inlet/suction pipe. Then I poured 10 gallons into "G" and the water in the skimmer overflowed so now I know which pipe is to the skimmer and which goes to the main drain.
    I double checked by turning on Waste and sure enough the water in the skimmer drained out. Slowly...about 2 gallons per ten seconds it seemed.

    I did the same thing with the "E" inlet/suction pipe to the main drain, but no water came into "G" so that is clogged.
    In-Ground 15,000 gallon pool
    Sand Filter
    Dead / Humming Pump (Capacitor Rated 161-193 and test revealed 164 ...so on the low side, Contacts all cleaned, still not working)

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Help plz. Pump/Filter may be clogged

    What type of pool is it?
    Is the equipment above the waterline?

    D & E are suctions and it seems like you've figured out that "E" is the skimmer and "D" is the main drain.

    I can't tell for sure whether the main drain is clogged until I know the location of the equipment in relation to the waterline.

    Now let's work on the terminology a little.
    A = Return Line.
    B = Waste Line.
    C = Pump Discharge Line to Filter.
    D = Main Drain Suction Line.
    E = Skimmer Suction Line.
    F = Pump Suction.
    G = Pump Strainer Basket Housing.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Help plz. Pump/Filter may be clogged

    It's in-ground. Size...about 20k.

    The pvc pipes are higher up than the waterline because the pool is only half full. But the main drain is at the bottom of the pool so I figured the pump would be able to suction water up to the filter just fine...

    The pvc pipes run underground about 1 foot deep.

    I have not opened up the big black filter.

    Thanks
    In-Ground 15,000 gallon pool
    Sand Filter
    Dead / Humming Pump (Capacitor Rated 161-193 and test revealed 164 ...so on the low side, Contacts all cleaned, still not working)

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Help plz. Pump/Filter may be clogged

    Is the water clear enough to see the main drain?

    If it is, then close the skimmer suction (E) and open the main drain suction (D) and pour some pool antifreeze or food coloring tinted water into the pump strainer (G) and see if it comes out the main drain.

    If the pool is only half full then the pump likely doesn't have enough suction lift to prime the pump from the main drain.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Qwaxalot's Avatar
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    Re: Help plz. Pump/Filter may be clogged

    Turn off the skimmer line valve (E) and the main drain line (D), and fill the pump basket (G) with water. Put the pump lid back on quickly, and turn on the pump with just the main drain line (D) open. You may have to repeat several times to get the pump to run; and, as has been said, some pools won't prime from the main drain with low water.
    Also insure that the o-ring under the pump lid (G) is clean, free from defects and properly lubricated.
    In the industry, CSP (Certified Service Professional) by the NSPI and it's successor the APSP. My company services over 600 pools every year. I think the practices regularly espoused on this forum (especially the BBB method) are outstanding; however my comments will be often oriented towards the goal of getting it done, and getting it done right now!

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    Re: Help plz. Pump/Filter may be clogged

    Utilizing the principles of Bama Rambler and Qwaxalot, I closed off the Skimmer Suction Line, inserted a Drain King via the "G" Pump Strainer Housing and turned on the hose. I could see debris moving by the main drain at the bottom of the pool.
    So then I filled up "G" with water until it started draining back out slowly, closed the lid and turned on Filter mode. About 10 gallons.
    At first the Return holes in the side of the pool drizzled out water slowly making me think it was just the water I had poured in, but I was patient and after about a minute there was spurting and then water starting coming very fast.

    So it seems the main drain was not clogged. Instead the main suction line needed to be "primed" or full of water.

    Thanks all!
    In-Ground 15,000 gallon pool
    Sand Filter
    Dead / Humming Pump (Capacitor Rated 161-193 and test revealed 164 ...so on the low side, Contacts all cleaned, still not working)

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Help plz. Pump/Filter may be clogged

    Glad you got it figured out, and it wasn't plugged.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Help plz. Pump/Filter may be clogged

    We need a McDonald's type icon to put in that shows how many threads have resulted in satisfied educated pool owners!

    Come to think of however... "Over 40,000 Serviced" sounds like a brothel slogan...
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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