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Thread: CLogged Skimmer Line? ... continued

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    ship of fools's Avatar
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    CLogged Skimmer Line? ... continued

    I am 99 percent sure i have clogged skimmer line.

    I get no suction when vacuuming ..... i believe this goes back to my first year in this house when i didn't know better and vacuumed up a ton of leaves.

    I have tried the drain king from the pump side and get a small amount of water flowing up into the skimmer... when i first turned it on i thought i was on to something as i had a bunch of bubbles and one big huge bubble but then it went back to not much flow. After an hour i had a continuous stream of tiny bubbles. I then reconnected the pump and tried to suck the stuff back through but now it is back to almost no flow. When i hooked the drain king back up i was back to square 1.

    I think all of the 90's are in my shed where the plumbing all connects ..... should i start cutting and see if the clog is there??

    On a bright note as i was using the drain king i did see a small leak so i know where my small suction side leak is located.

    I have read about a CO2 gun to force more pressure through ..... if i am going to spend a bunch of money to hire someone am i just as well off cutting near the 90's and replacing??
    21,000 gallon inground
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    Re: CLogged Skimmer Line? ... continued

    If you are comfortable working with PVC and need to fix the air leak anyway, that might find the clog assuming it is not actually underground.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
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    Re: CLogged Skimmer Line? ... continued

    Slow down on blasting it out. A few months back someone hired a company to do that and ended up with a broken pipe beneath the slab...

    If you're cutting into the pipe, run an old fashioned plumbers snake through while it's open. Sometimes you just need some mechanical action on things.
    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: CLogged Skimmer Line? ... continued

    Quick update ...... it is looking like an ID10T error ....

    I cut the piping below the valve for the skimmer line and the remaining piece of PVC with both valves swung freely.

    Last year i had a leak and did some pvc repairs .... between the valve for the main drain and the pump it looks like i forgot to use ANY primer or cement on one of the joints.

    So when i was shutting off that valve i assume that would allow me to suck in so much air that i would lose prime completely??

    I ran the hose and drain king into the skimmer line and there is water coming out .... i may have had water flow all along and was just expecting more.

    Before i put it all back together (with cement this time ) i just wanted to see if you guys think that could have been my issue.
    21,000 gallon inground
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    Re: CLogged Skimmer Line? ... continued

    Yes.
    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: CLogged Skimmer Line? ... continued

    Check for water flow through the skimmer line using the drain king while the plumbing is open.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
    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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    ship of fools's Avatar
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    Re: CLogged Skimmer Line? ... continued

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    Check for water flow through the skimmer line using the drain king while the plumbing is open.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short

    not only was your response short but your smart phone must have cut out part of my update

    "I ran the hose and drain king into the skimmer line and there is water coming out .... i may have had water flow all along and was just expecting more"

    i just put it all back together and will fire it up after my 330 baseball game and report back

    thanks for the quick replies .... i am getting to the point i think i understand this stuff it is nice to hear from the people who truly do understand it

    and jblizzle i hope you know i was busting chops and not being a jerk
    21,000 gallon inground
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    Re: CLogged Skimmer Line? ... continued

    OK

    I put everything back together and fired it up and it appears my suction side leak is gone (maybe) as there are no bubbles whatsoever in my strainer basket and there is definitely a fairly strong flow from the skimmer line.

    BUT ..... if i go to shut the main drain down i can't run the pump on just the skimmer .... it loses prime right away.

    Any ideas??
    21,000 gallon inground
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    Re: CLogged Skimmer Line? ... continued

    Is the water level in the pool high enough so you don't suck air from the skimmer? What happens if you shut down the main drain VERY slowly?
    Dave S.
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    Re: CLogged Skimmer Line? ... continued

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Is the water level in the pool high enough so you don't suck air from the skimmer? What happens if you shut down the main drain VERY slowly?

    Water level is a little too high if anything ...... as i shut it down slowly i lose prime.

    I had some flow through the skimmer but it seems to be gone entirely now ..... but there are no bubbles in the strainer basket.

    Am i back to dealing with a clogged skimmer line??
    21,000 gallon inground
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    Re: CLogged Skimmer Line? ... continued

    Quote Originally Posted by ship of fools
    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Is the water level in the pool high enough so you don't suck air from the skimmer? What happens if you shut down the main drain VERY slowly?

    Water level is a little too high if anything ...... as i shut it down slowly i lose prime.

    I had some flow through the skimmer but it seems to be gone entirely now ..... but there are no bubbles in the strainer basket.

    Am i back to dealing with a clogged skimmer line??
    Could be. What about the valve? No chance anything is loose or misaligned in it?
    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: CLogged Skimmer Line? ... continued

    as i shut it down slowly i lose prime.
    by air reentering the pump basket, right?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: CLogged Skimmer Line? ... continued

    I tried the shaving cream trick and have shaving cream on every joint that is accessible but none makes it into the strainer.

    When i close the main drain it basically stops sucking any water at all ...... so the entire pump basket is air.

    I don't think anything is loose or misaligned.... and it was covered in shaving cream also.
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    Re: CLogged Skimmer Line? ... continued

    Yeah, you haven't found your suction leak yet. The air has to be coming in between the skimmer and the pump. If that line is clogged almost completely, it may cause the suction leak because it can't pull any water.

    can you get a plumbing snake down the skimmer line?
    Dave S.
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    Re: CLogged Skimmer Line? ... continued

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Yeah, you haven't found your suction leak yet. The air has to be coming in between the skimmer and the pump. If that line is clogged almost completely, it may cause the suction leak because it can't pull any water.

    can you get a plumbing snake down the skimmer line?
    i don't know but i will soon find out .... in researching the subject it seems like i should snake from the pump side?

    it seems like it must be clogged because i had some suction then lost it .... as if all my efforts with the drain king loosened things up enough to allow some flow and then after running the pump for a bit the stuff was all sucked back into the mess that is clogging it and stopping the flow

    but what do i know.... i forgot to cement a joint so it may be something dumb... i'll forge ahead
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    Re: CLogged Skimmer Line? ... continued

    I'll bet you find a pine cone or some bit of a toy in there. Maybe a rock. Something that sticks in an elbow and it moves back and forth during your machinations.
    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: CLogged Skimmer Line? ... continued

    Well here is my update.

    I bought a 25' snake, cut the pipe and after a little learning curve made the first 90 and was off to the races .... until i got 24 feet out and ran into a clog (or an obstruction at least).

    So i went back and bought a 50' snake .... which was 3/8 of an inch versus 1/4 which made the first 90 interesting but i got it through and ran it in to the clog ... broke through that and on to another for about five feet. At that point i couldn't get any further but definitely felt 4 or 5 feet of length that i was fighting some type of obstruction.

    Also a quick note - i was going from the pump towards the skimmer - i had no choice as i couldn't make the first bend from the skimmer with the smaller snake.

    At that point i did the drain king in both directions and had a decent flow ... so i just glued it back together.

    Right now i can run the pump with both valves open and have no sign of a suction leak and a flow from the skimmer. I can shut the main drain almost all the way before i lose prime. If i close the main drain very slowly i can get it so the drain is probably 90 percent closed and have no air bubbles. If i close it the rest of the way i lose prime.

    As i said the "clogged section" was four or five feet. I know when i first got the pool i didn't know any better and vacuumed up a whole pile of leaves and i believe they partially clogged things at the time. I also mixed my stabilizer in water and poured it down the skimmer the first two years on the advice of the pool store (i didn't know any better!!).

    At the same time i have read that the flex pipe sometimes has issues as it ages.

    I am running it now with the main drain closed as far as i can without any air bubbles in the pump basket hoping to break anything there loose now that i have some water going through.


    Any thoughts??
    21,000 gallon inground
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    Re: CLogged Skimmer Line? ... continued

    Sounds like you got at least 90% of it.

    It's not that uncommon for a strong pump to suck air (usually through the O-ring) when you choke down the supply like you have.

    I would keep doing what you're doing. If the clog is partially still remaining and organic, elevating your NORMAL chlorine levels to about double for a week or so may help oxidize some of it and let the rest break loose. It's a bit of a long shot but it is pretty cheap and painless to do.
    Dave S.
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    ship of fools's Avatar
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    Re: CLogged Skimmer Line? ... continued

    Well ....... i am back to where i started

    No flow through the skimmer at all ..... i tried the vacuum and it worked a little bit for a few minutes and then i lost all suction.

    I need to get a snake in from the skimmer side i guess .... i went as far as i could from the pump side and just couldn't go any further ... i don't know if it was a turn or the clog.

    Or i have read and the pool guy doing my neighbor's new sand filter mentioned sometimes the pipes will fail over time and get sucked in to the point that no water flows.

    I am thinking my first plan should be to try and fish it ... if i can't maybe have a plumber or pool guy with more experience try??

    Are the water rams worth trying?

    An air compressor and blow out the line?

    I assume if i just can't get it open i need to get out the shovel and start digging??
    21,000 gallon inground
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