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Thread: Sucked up a metal house key with Vacuum

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    Sucked up a metal house key with Vacuum

    Don't ask me how, but yesterday a metal house key got sucked up by my Hayward Navigator. Obviously, as soon as I realized this, I shut off the pump and checked the pump basket. No key found. I don't think there's any way the key could've fit past my pump basket and gotten into the DE Filter, so I assume it's trapped in the plumbing between the pump and the vacuum inlet. So, since I know the key is stil in the system somewhere, rusting in my salt water pool, any ideas what to try in order to find it? Advice much appreciated. Thanks!

    FYI - My vacuum has its own port and valve, separate from the skimmer.
    17K Plaster Kidney (17' x 37') w/ Spa
    Jandy DE filter, Jandy JHP 2.0 pump, Polaris 280 cleaner, Got rid of Hayward CL220...now daily LQ additions (soon to be Liquidator)
    Jandy LJ Heater and Aqualink RS controls

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Sucked up a metal house key with Vacuum

    I assume you checked inside the unit and all the hose sections? If not, I'd start there.

    If it is past that and in the underground plumbing somewhere. You can try taking the lid off the pump basket and sticking a water hose in the suction port inside the basket using a rag to seal it off and try to force it back out using water flow from the hose. If that doesn't work you might try taking a shop vac and sealing the hose to the fitting in the pool and try sucking it out that way. If you have a leaf blower you can try using it in the pump basket and try to blow it out with air pressure.
    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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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Sucked up a metal house key with Vacuum

    The key's probably made out of brass or stainless steel. So a huge cloud of rust is unlikely. But fishing with a magnet is also out. I'd check the hose real carefully. If the valve can be disassembled, open it up.

    And then treat it like the nickel the kid swallowed and wait for it to pass through. The pump strainer will catch it if works its way through.
    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: Sucked up a metal house key with Vacuum

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    You can try taking the lid off the pump basket and sticking a water hose in the suction port inside the basket using a rag to seal it off and try to force it back out using water flow from the hose. If that doesn't work you might try taking a shop vac and sealing the hose to the fitting in the pool and try sucking it out that way. If you have a leaf blower you can try using it in the pump basket and try to blow it out with air pressure.
    If you try this and have isolation valves on your suction plumbing, isolate all of the suction lines other than the one that applies to your vacuum (skimmer or cleaner port). If it's a cleaner port with a spring loaded cover, you will need to prop it open or keep a section of hose attached.

    As others said, it probably won't do any harm and will likely pass eventually to the pump basket.
    Jason Szumlanski
    Vice President
    Fafco Solar

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    Re: Sucked up a metal house key with Vacuum

    I ended up getting the key to spit back out by using one of the suggestions and blowing a leaf blower back through the pump basket. Thanks!
    17K Plaster Kidney (17' x 37') w/ Spa
    Jandy DE filter, Jandy JHP 2.0 pump, Polaris 280 cleaner, Got rid of Hayward CL220...now daily LQ additions (soon to be Liquidator)
    Jandy LJ Heater and Aqualink RS controls

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    Re: Sucked up a metal house key with Vacuum

    Quote Originally Posted by TheEngineer
    I ended up getting the key to spit back out by using one of the suggestions and blowing a leaf blower back through the pump basket. Thanks!
    That is great! Did you close off all of the suction lines except the one in question, or were you able to blow it out as it was?
    Jason Szumlanski
    Vice President
    Fafco Solar

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Sucked up a metal house key with Vacuum

    Glad that was easy!
    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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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Sucked up a metal house key with Vacuum

    Okay, now the question is: how did a single key end up on the bottom of the pool in the first place?
    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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