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Thread: Vacuumed up mega-amount of worms to start season - oops!!

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    Vacuumed up mega-amount of worms to start season - oops!!

    Hi all, I may have really goofed this time. I have a 22,500 gal pool and I'm using a Haywood 200 sand filter with a Haywood 1 1/2 HP pump. I had a zillion earthworms on the pool bottom when I opened, so I wanted to vacuum them up the best way I could. I decided to remove the "catch" basket from the pump and set the valve to waste so the worms would be vacuumed up and right out the discharge instead of being sent to the filter. Great concept, or so I thought. When I was done, I noticed that I had lost all kinds of pressure, from about 18 PSI to about 6. The discharge water did not have any worms where it came out on to the lawn. I have three lines coming into the pump, one from each skimmer and the bottom drain. The lines are clear of worm blockage. I fear I have a big humongeous clump of worms somewhere in the pump or filter or valve. The pump seems to be running okay, but I'm thinking that removing the basket from the pump while vacuuming was my big mistake. I have everything back in place now, but I'm running very low pressure. Does anyone have a good idea about where I should look and what I should do next to get my pressure up? Thanks to all in advance of your response.
    24 ft AG pool, Hayward DE filter, 1 hp pump
    Would insurance pay for a new pool if that big tree fell in it?

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    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Central Texas
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    326
    The pump impeller is probably clogged up with worms and worm parts. The passages inside of it are pretty tiny, especially right where the water enters the pump.

    If your pump detaches from the housing easily, you can usually pull most of the clog out through the water intake at the center of the impeller housing with tweezers. I've removed leaves from mine with this method before when my pump strainer basket failed.

    Just be certain that you turn off the pump AT THE BREAKER before you take things apart. You don't want the timer to switch it on while you have your fingers inside...
    26,000 Gallon Gunnite IGP
    2 HP Challenger High Head Pump
    60sf Nautilus DE filter
    Polaris 280

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    midtngal's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
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    Nashville, TN
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    cozmo50 (your last name wouldn't be Kramer would it??? j/k!), I find that I have to check my impeller about every 2 weeks due to pine needles. I agree with harry, that's probably your issue here. It's very easy to do. Not sure what your pump looks like, but I found out the hard way that they only thing that needs to be unscrewed is the metal ring holding the 2 parts together. Once you take this off, you will be able to see if there are worms there. I have been taking a hose set on "jet" and spraying it clean (will someone chime in if I shouldn't be doing this???) along with pulling out as many as I can by hand. Once I've done that and put it back together it runs like a champ!
    10,700 gal IG vinyl
    Pentair Triton II TR50 sand filter
    Pentair Booster Pump
    Letro Platinum pressure side cleaner
    Emerson 1HP pump
    Bioguard Mineral Springs SWG
    2 skimmers

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    Thanks... I think I have the type of pump that can be disassembled although I've never done that before. I'll give this a try and post my results. Thanks. (And my last name isn't Kramer... lol.. I've had that moniker long before Seinfeld ever moved into the apartment across the hall)
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    24 ft AG pool, Hayward DE filter, 1 hp pump
    Would insurance pay for a new pool if that big tree fell in it?

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    DLO's Avatar
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    May 2008
    Location
    Sioux City, IA
    Posts
    47
    I did the same thing...OOPS! I was running 20psi and dropped to 10 or 11psi. I took the impeller out and cleaned the clogs. After getting everything back togather and switching the pump back on, my filter pressure remains at 10psi. I checked the skimmer and main drain lines as well as multi valve for obstructions. They were all clear. Any ideas as to what else could be causing my pressure loss?
    "Beer is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy." -B. Franklin

    In-ground, vinyl lined, 20'x40', 3-10' deep, solar heater, sand filter, 3/4hp pump, Dolphin Pro, Cover Star Auto Cover.

    A proud BBB convert.

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    Eureka!!! Your solution was indeed a clog in the impeller area. It was a surprisingly small amount of debris considering the large amount of gook that I vacuumed up. It took only minutes to disassemble and clean it out using needlenose pliers. Reassembly was just as easy. I'm pumping at normal PSI and life is good. Thanks to HarryH3for the initial response and the safety tip and to midtngal for the quick tip on disassembly. This is a great website for folks like me who try the kind of stuff Cozmo Kramer would try. I'm very thankful for all of the quality help I've received since joining this forum. Best Regards, Coz.
    24 ft AG pool, Hayward DE filter, 1 hp pump
    Would insurance pay for a new pool if that big tree fell in it?

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    midtngal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    478
    Yeah, cozmo50!!! (nice avatar BTW!!) I've said in the past that pools are like computers...hate 'em when they don't work right, love 'em when they do!! All is right with the world when they do!
    10,700 gal IG vinyl
    Pentair Triton II TR50 sand filter
    Pentair Booster Pump
    Letro Platinum pressure side cleaner
    Emerson 1HP pump
    Bioguard Mineral Springs SWG
    2 skimmers

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    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    326
    Glad to hear it was an easy fix! It doesn't take much debris to really mess up the water flow in an impeller system. I've taken mine apart before to find only a single oak leaf stuck in one of the vanes.

    Many years ago I was boating with a friend that had a 454-powered jet boat which used an impeller to provide propulsion. He got a little too close to shore and sucked some junk up into the intake on the bottom of the boat. Afterwards the boat would barely move, even at full throttle. We had to put it back on the trailer and remove the impeller cover. We found a single rock, perhaps 3/4's of an inch in diameter, stuck in one of the vanes. That's all it took to reduce water flow to nearly nothing. Our pumps seem to operate on the same principle.

    Have a great time swimming and thinking about the money that you saved by fixing it yourself! 8)
    Attached Images Attached Images
    26,000 Gallon Gunnite IGP
    2 HP Challenger High Head Pump
    60sf Nautilus DE filter
    Polaris 280

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