Clog, suspect main drain

Pauly B

Apr 25, 2019
Hello all. Came home to find pump running dry and no circulation. Lots of pin oak leaves falling into pool this time of year. Skimmer basket was full and lack of flow shut down the float valve.

I have one skimmer with 2 holes At the bottom. Shouldn’t the main drain have kept water flowing through the skimmer below the float valve?

With the skimmer basket out and pump running there seemed to be plenty of suction going to the pump.

Do I have a clog in the main drain? I keep finding myself brushing leaves away from the two drains. If so what’s the best way to clear it? Will I need a professional?




Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
Bedford, TX

If this is a relatively new pool, the main drain should be plumbed to the equipment pad... What valves do you have in front of the pump?

If your main drain is plumbed into the bottom of the skimmer, then in theory, the floating diverter valve should have been sucked down and turned on the main drain.. My personal experience is that this works fine in theory, but not so fine in actual practice.. The diverter valve needs to make a perfect seal with the bottom of the skimmer, if it does not there is not enough suction to make the main drain work. At best, I was able to only make it work intermittently.

I suspect your main drain is just fine.. But, if this were my pool, I would use a drain king and stick it into the main drain pipe in the bottom of the skimmer so that it pushed water backward out of the main drain.. This should tell you if the drain is clogged or not.. If you do have a bunch of leaves in the drain, you will have to take the main drain covers off to clean it out... Way too cold for me to do that this time of year.

I suggest that during this time of year, you install a homemade "filter" to prevent most of the tree droppings from getting into your skimmer.

Here are a couple of links that I stole from Texas Splash..


Jim R.
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