I have a very complicated plumbing setup; I don't fully understand where all the connections come from and go to. I have had three pool guys come out to fix other stuff and the consensus was "**** if I know...give me $600 to run and air compressor through all the lines and map them"
I was getting decent suction through the skimmer basket and spa drains but zero suction from the main drain. So I got a Baker Hydro Control Plate http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1260 ... xMPTOYx026
and started playing with that in the skimmer. It worked, briefly. I swam down to the main drain and felt great suction. Then the next time I turned the pump on, it wouldn't prime. Now when I run at max RPM, I get about 1/4 of the intake pipe filled (used to fill the whole basket). I can only build 4 psi across the filter (used to run 24 psi at this RPM). I have flow but not enough to vacuum with a hose. If I reduce RPM to 1500 (where I used to set my filtering speed) it starves the pump of water and turns off.
The house/pool was a foreclosure swamp with 3' of rotting leaves in the bottom. Who knows what got sucked into the plumbing. I did find a screw that I lost and a BB in the pump basket. Now the water runs clear. So there is some flow getting through but not nearly as much as there used to be. I think the blockage is near the pump since when I divert suction to the spa drains, there is no change in the pressure or flowrate.
Other evidence - backwashing or draining to waste causes the same low-flow condition, so I don't think the problem is on the return side.
I need this problem fixed in the next 3 days - I'm going on vacation for 9 days and need to set the pump to run while I'm gone.
Time to call a pool guy, or try to fix this myself? I know there are drain snakes and the Drain King. I have two 90-degree bends above ground and god knows what buried.