So for a while now my brother and I have theorized a way to fix broken returns without having to dig up concrete. We tried it and it worked (for now) Here is how we did it.
[it's actually kinda similar to how you would replace a swimming pool light]
- Take some nylon string and some paper towels and make a plug out of the towel and tie the string to it.
Get access to the return line near the pump and put the plug of towel into the line followed by many feet of the coiled string.
using the winterizing blowers blow the plug of towel to the pool out the return
now that you have the string run through the line, I then the end of the string near the pump to 2" backwash hose.
pull on the string and draw the backwash hose through the line.
when you finally have the backwash hose sticking out of the return line in the pool you now have to figure how to plumb it.
In this case the return was from an aquagenie so we clamped a 1" 1/2 x 1/4" pvc pipe to the end of the backwash hose and then pulled it back through so it was snug
then near the pump we put 2 slits on the backwash hose and flapped it over the existing pipe and clamped it
How long this will last? Who knows I'll keep an eye on the water level.
Having an aqua genie made the process easier since I didn't have to figure out how to attach the backwash to the standard return line.
If the backwash hose fails I will attempt to use a more rugged 2" discharge hose to resist tears
If attempting this repair yourself you may run into complications if multiple returns share the same line; it may not work at all or you may have to sacrifice one line for another depending on if you can fish the line through.
Let me know what you guys think!