Broken lateral, jets that belch air, and other miseries.


Well-known member
Mar 26, 2017
Greenville SC
So I've been in my home for a little over 3 years now and most of the pool equipment for my in ground pool was new like the liner, sand filter, and pump. Things have been smooth sailing even with me not maintaining as well as I should (it is very rare I ever use it) until about a few months ago when I started running the pump due to the rising temperatures here in SC. I had the telltale sign of lines of sand on the pool floor below each jet. I know I don't want to bother with this so I may end up calling a cut throat pool company to come fix this for me but to prevent it from happening again, what are potential causes? I'll list a few of the stupid things I've done to see if any of these were an underlying cause.

1. I never close the pool for the winter but here in SC we will maybe have 2 or 3 days a year with below freezing temperatures and any day that occurred, I ran the pump all night.
2. I have a tendency to use a lot of DE. I've also neglected to 'premix' it with water like is suggested in the past. Can too much of this cause the plastic to become brittle and for laterals to fail?
3. Possibly the stupidest thing I did was last summer. I needed more stabilizer so I went and bought 2 containers of the clorox brand. I read about avoiding backwashing after adding it then quickly forgot and ended up doing it anyway. Which of course resulted in most of it on the ground in the trench below my waste pipe. Here is the extra stupid thing I did- being cheap I tried to recollect a lot of it and put it back in socks (read about the sock method on TFT) to reuse. I imagine what I ended up doing was putting a lot of small fine rocks and sand into my water to go through my system. To my credit what I collected looked alot like stablizer. White granules about 1/4 the size of a BB. But some of it may have just been tiny pieces of quartz like sediment.

More recently, the issue has become more annoying as now my 3 pool jets constantly belch air with the pump running. They used to do this when I would first start the pump but now it is constant. I also had water flowing through my waste pipe even when on Filter but I'm pretty sure I resolved that this morning. I bought a new multivalve gasket/seal a few months back because my valve handle was getting IMPOSSIBLE to turn. Well, for the past month or so the new one has the exact same problem. The pump handle would barely move and me brute forcing it has twisted up the new gasket as well. I'm not sure if this is because I didn't properly seat the new gasket, used the wrong lubricant, or what. What side is supposed to go down anyway since you have one flat side and one ridged side?

All of this has compounded to where I dont even really think my sand filter is filtering my water well if at all anymore. Can anyone give me an idea on how much I'm looking at regionally to have a lateral/maybe entire sandpipe replaced? There is a price threshhold where I will attempt to fix this myself but since I doubt I have the patience and the fact it is going to be 95 or higher for the next month and a half, I really don't think I'm going to manage a good job. Thanks a bunch for any help.

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
It will be really tough to give you some ballpark costs. So many scam artists out there who claim to be "professional" or "expert" only to find out later they did a horrible job. You ask for something simple like change sand, next thing you know they're trying to sell you the moon. For the filter itself, if you can remove a multiport valve and remove sand inside, you are halfway there. Remove the center standpipe and laterals and inspect them. Why did something go bad and allow sand to enter the pool? Could be any number of combinations. Moving water over the winter shouldn't be an issue, but if it stopped moving during a hard freeze, it may have impacted the plastic inside or one of the connections. DE itself isn't bad, but too much and you might have gummed-up flow which may have contributed to too much pressure.

The bubbling return water is another issue - probably air in the system. You should start at the pump lid and check the O-ring to make sure it's not damaged and is lubed well. Then inspect everything else on the suction side. Take everything one step at a time so you don't get overwhelmed. In the end, if you have to call someone, do it when you know you've tried everything on your own and you have no other options. But at least you gave it a try. :)