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Thread: Sheer Descent blockage

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    Sheer Descent blockage

    I have two sheer descent waterfalls. Both operate from the same pump. There's is a T-junction that controls flow to each waterfall. One of the waterfalls is no longer spewing water. Even if I set the flow to the highest level and only to this waterfall, the water just trickles down against the wall very slightly. I don't know where to even begin troubleshooting. My local pool shop offered to dig up the pipe next to it and try to blow out any possible blockage. I've read some forum posts that this could be caused by blockage within the unit itself. I would like to avoid any extra repair costs. Replacing the unit will be complicated and will require removal of the stone coping above the waterfall. Has anyone had experience with this issue?

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    Butterfly's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    South Carolina

    Re: Sheer Descent blockage

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)

    Re: Sheer Descent blockage

    Are they Jandy valves that can be disassembled? Maybe there is some way to access the plumbing through the valve body and use a drain king inflatable bladder or even a plumber's snake to clear whatever is in the line.
    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.
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    mrcarcrazy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Odessa, TX

    Re: Sheer Descent blockage

    If it's built anything like my sheer descents I don't see how anything could block the feed line...and if it does I don't know how you could force it out (unless you force it out backwards). Shop vac to the line sounds like the best Idea I can come up with at the moment. If they share a line @ the pump, tape off the "good" waterfall, then see if you can suck air through the line with a shop vac....mine have 2" (maybe 2.5") lines feeding you know how yours are done? You don't have any puddles appearing anywhere do you? oh, does the other sheer descent shoot out further than it did when both worked?

    Is the T junction underground?

    My descents have developed small blockages in the mouth of the unit. little rocks or something. they pop out easily with a tool that came with them. you could achieve this with a small flat headed screw driver, but it seems unlikely that anything would block the entire mouth and not be obvious.

    When you set the pump to its highest level and turn on only the effected waterfall does the pump tone change?
    IG gunite/plaster pool/spa Started 1/17/14, Plastered 5/16/14
    Size: 12'-21'x39' free form, depth ranging from 4' to 7, attached 6 person spa with spillover.
    Equipment: Whisperflo 2hp pump, Pentair 30" sand filter, Pentair Mastertemp 400k BTU heater, 1hp Whisperflo for waterfalls, and a blower for spa floor

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    Re: Sheer Descent blockage

    The junction is at the equipment site. It just a regular pentair diverter valve with one pipe coming from the pump, then splits in two for each waterfall. I already disassembled the valve and made sure there is no blockage. It is probably another 30 feet to the waterfall from the equipment site.

    I also checked at the mouth using credit and there is nothing there.

    I did not notice any changes in pump tone, but if I remember correctly pressure meter at the pump did go higher. I'll need to check this again when I get a chance.

    I'm not sure what is the model of my sheer descent and I have been trying to research how they work. I would like to figure out if there anything internal to the unit that could go wrong or should I focus on plumbing. Based on some pictures I found, it appears that there is a tank that fills up with water and then water flows through the lip. The lip itself could be blocked inside the tank and not at the mouth. Maybe I should try something long that I could slide into the mouth to check for blockage.

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    Re: Sheer Descent blockage

    I should also point out that the flow at this waterfall stopped suddenly. I'm concerned that it could be caused by collapsed lip inside the unit. I will try to poke inside using long metal flat ruler today.

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    Re: Sheer Descent blockage

    I used a flat ruler today and was able to push it in 7.5 in in both waterfalls. So, it seems that lip is probably didn't collapse. Also tested pressure at the pump. Diverting water to working waterfall shows 25 PSI, to non-working shows 35 PSI.

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    Re: Sheer Descent blockage

    Problem solved!

    I noticed when I turned the pump on, the water comes out in bursts and then stops. I decided to experiment with turning pump on and off in succession. After about 5-6 times, it cleared out the clog and started to work normally. It looks like pine needles got stuck. Probably need to find a better screen for the pump basket.

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