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Thread: Pipes Clogged

  1. #1

    Pipes Clogged

    I believe the pipe between my skimmer and the pump is clogged. I had my pool repair guy out yesterday and he tried everything to dislodge it but couldn't. He tested the pump and the power supply to it but they were fine. Water will flow into the pump but very little. He suggested I try filling the pipe with Muriatic Acid which I have done but it is not working. It has been sitting in the pipe since last night but the level of acid has only dropped a small amount indicating that it is just sitting at the debris that is clogging the pipe. Should I continue to wait for the acid to break down the debris or do you have any ideas?
    thanks
    22000 gallon, vinyl, 1.5HP Century Centurion Pump
    Hayward Sand Filter (no.20 silica sand)
    PoolVac Plus Automatic Cleaner

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Central New York
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    Re: Pipes Clogged

    Water will flow into the pump but very little.

    Was it clear... or... muddy?

    I know what the repair guy was trying to do, but I don't thing that would have been my first action. I would have tried a snake first beening gentle but firm in poking it down the pipe. Atleast get an idea about where the blockage is. I would have snaked for a long time before trying the acid.

    But since the pipe is full of Muriatic Acid now, I would wait for acouple of days to see what happens. I wouldn't try snaking the line with the Muriatic Acid in for awhile. If you are going to snake out the line, remember safety first. That stuff is not nice.

    You might have a dead something in the line, so it will take the Muriatic Acid awhile it take care of it. If you do start snaking the line, try and judge about where the blockage is and try and knock it out the shortest distance.

    Not sure what else to tell you or what equiptment you have to pump the line out. If you can hook the old pump back up and try and get some of the acid out before you work on it. Maybe calling in Roto-Rooter might help. Compressed air might work; going from the pump end of the line towards the the skimmer. Trouble is, the repair man tried and if he was a good pool repairman, I think you really have something stuck in the pipe that's not going to be easy to take care of.

    Just watch out for the Muriatic Acid and your eyes.
    Hotrod30

    20 X 40 foot vinyl Borates and Salt Pool
    Rolachem Chlorine Feeder
    Hayward 27 inch sand filter with 80 lbs of pea gravel
    Jacuzzi Splash Pak SP55 DE filter in parallel
    Pentair VF3050 pump

  3. #3
    Senior Member mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Pipes Clogged

    Have you tried a Drain King? Available at most hardware stores, connects to a hose and you can put it in the pipe via the pump basket and flush backwards. You shouldn't have to worry about the acid either since it will enter the pool via the skimmer.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study
    18'x36' 20k gallon plaster/gunite pool, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge Filter, 450 sq-ft EPDM Solar Panel, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater, ThePoolCleaner, DIY Acid Dosing

  4. #4
    Senior Member In the Industry

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    Re: Pipes Clogged

    I have encountered some tough clogs and the only thing that got a few of them out was cutting the skimmer line and putting a 1.5 in cone on it with a female adapter. I then took a well powered 1.5 in sump pump and ran a vac hose from pump in pool to skimmer line, shooting water from pump side of line out of skimmer. I did this over night and when I came back a very large rock was sitting in the skimmer.

    Just to be sure a clog is your problem I would do a quick practical test of your pump by threading that 1.5 cone into the front of your pump and running a vac hose from their to pool. If you get full flow then you can be sure the line is clogged or crushed.

    The drain king is also called a master blaster at some stores. It looks like a heavy duty black rubber balloon and they seem to work well. I dont usually have much luck with air.

    Hope this helps
    Matthew
    Involved in the pool and spa industry
    Pittsburgh, PA

  5. #5

    Re: Pipes Clogged

    I watched him try to get it out. He used the drain king, compressed air, etc without success. I just talked to him and he told me to keep the acid in there until he comes by tomorrow afternoon and he's going to try it again.

    On a side note, I asked him about controlling the algae that is starting to develop because the lack of circulating water. We had a discussion about granulated shock vs bleach and he said that I should not use the chlorine bleach that I have learned to use from this forum because it will ruin the vinyl liner. I have had great success with this forum's BBB method but I am concerned about the liner b/c I got a hole in it this year for the first time. Is he correct in that the bleach will ruin the liner especially considering that my CYA level is around 100 and I have to put in a lot of bleach?
    22000 gallon, vinyl, 1.5HP Century Centurion Pump
    Hayward Sand Filter (no.20 silica sand)
    PoolVac Plus Automatic Cleaner

  6. #6
    Senior Member launboy's Avatar
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    Re: Pipes Clogged

    I don't think bleach will ruin a liner any more then granulated shock will. It doesn't matter what you use to shock the pool, you are still adding chlorine whether it be by liquid or something else. As long as you mix it in when you add it, you should be fine.

    HTH,
    Adam
    18' x 42" Intex Easyset Pool, with 16' x 52" deep end in the middle. Approx. 5500 Gal.
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1 HP, 100# Jacuzzi Brand Sand Filter(Piped underground so it looks nice) 8)
    3 - 2' x 20' Solar Pool Heater Panels(roof mounted)
    Goin' on 9 summers...NOBODY thought it would last this long.
    Buried Portable Spa sharing pumps and water with pool (Almost complete project)

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Re: Pipes Clogged

    GREAT answer Adam!!

    cmcnitt - don't worry about the bleach! As Adam said, it's the concentration of the chlorine (whatever it's source - liquid/ powder) that may harm the liner - if you have a sump pump or something to provide circulation while adding it, all should be fine

    Do you know of anything that might have entered the line? (vacuuming up rocks without the skimmer basket in place could be 1 or was the skimmer basket out for a few days, possibly allowing an animal to fall in the pool and get into the line?) I think your pool guy was a little quick to pour the acid into the line, but I wasn't out there so don't know if he had a valid reason for suspecting that the acid would do the job I think Hotrod gave some VERY good advice on this!

    We'll stick with you through this and hope for a quick and easy fix!
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  8. #8

    Re: Pipes Clogged

    Just an update, repair guy came out again today and was unable to dislodge the obstruction. The acid sat in the pipe for over 2 days. He told me to call Roto-Rooter or local plumper to see if they could snake the lines given that there are 90 degree angles. He also was concerned that the pipe had collapsed in on itself which would cost hundreds to fix.

    Now the good news. I called a local plumber and he recommended I try the Drain King again but let it run for at least 30-60 minutes and use the hose from the front of the house because the pressure would be higher than the hose in the backyard.
    I put the drain king in on the pump side and let it run for 1 hour. I did not see anything significant on the skimmer side but when I turned the pump back on all the debris came out and the pump is flowing great. It appears that a small stick around 1-2 inches long might have gotten stuck and backed everything up.

    Now I know this is not the right section of the forum for this but I thought I would try to save a second post. After adding the acid and because the water sat still for 5 days, here are my water test results:

    FC=16
    CC=.5
    pH=6.8 (normally 7.2 but the muriatic acid lowered it)
    Alk=40 (normally 70)
    CH=90
    CYA=100

    water is cloudy and algea was starting to grow until I shocked it yesterday. Not sure in what order I should go to fix this mess? I'll be happy to repost these results in the correct section if you want me to.
    Thanks!!
    22000 gallon, vinyl, 1.5HP Century Centurion Pump
    Hayward Sand Filter (no.20 silica sand)
    PoolVac Plus Automatic Cleaner

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Dec 2007
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    Central New York
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    Re: Pipes Clogged

    Good news.
    Hotrod30

    20 X 40 foot vinyl Borates and Salt Pool
    Rolachem Chlorine Feeder
    Hayward 27 inch sand filter with 80 lbs of pea gravel
    Jacuzzi Splash Pak SP55 DE filter in parallel
    Pentair VF3050 pump

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