clogged skimmer line - need ideas to clear

dickeystorm

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 7, 2010
136
Lake Jackson, TX
The leaves have overpowered my intake line. I tried using a garden hose pressure plug to clear it from both ends, no luck. I did see some water movement but the pump is not moving water, so not sure exactly where the plug is. Any thoughts on how to diagnose and clear this?

Thanks,
Bruce
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,238
Tucson, AZ
How did the leaves get past the skimmer basket?
You always want to try to work the clog back toward where the debris entered.
So you tried a drain king or equivalent, from the equipment pad?
Have you tried pushing a fish tape or something like that into the pipe from the equipment pad? Although it can be difficult to get them to turn the 90 degree corners.
 

CraigMW

LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2011
697
Orange County, CA
Our pool has a second pump used for running the rock waterfall. It has its own intake inside the pool, so I figured it might be useful for this purpose. We were getting tons of leaves in the cleaner vacuum line, and this ultimately led to some pretty nasty clogs. I couldn't get them out using a Drain King (I actually ruined two of these in the process) and needed another approach. So, I ended up running the plumbing from the waterfall pump via a couple of ball valves to the vacuum line. By doing so and turning off the vacuum line's Jandy 3-way valve, turning on the auxilliary pump would run the water in reverse through the vacuum line. My rationale was that pumps are much better at pushing water than they are at pulling it. After running this for about 5 minutes, a big ball of leaves blew out into the pool out of the vacuum line, and after this, the vacuum line worked great.

This actually turns out to be a rather useful tool since sometimes the line gets filled with air (esp. if the vacuum hose gets disconnected from the leaf basket and starts to suck air). I just run the reverse flow circuit for a couple of minutes to purge the air and the system runs great. BTW, I had a leaf basket in line with the cleaner, but it was very poorly designed and allowed leaves to pass. My large haward leaf canister does a great job now and I've not had a single clog since then.
 

dickeystorm

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 7, 2010
136
Lake Jackson, TX
CraigMW
Cool idea. I was thinking something like that but I don't have a spare pump. I'm facing a replumbing job to fix a bunch of slow leaks and I think I'm going to add a cleanout or two to the system.

Jason
The leaves got through from negligence of course :oops: by emptying the basket with the pump running. I'll have to rethink that strategy. I tried the drain king from both ends and I saw flow back into the skimmer but no leaves came out. I don't have a fish so I haven't tried that yet and there is at least three 90's before getting to the main run. I'm wondering if the pump impeller is fouled from small stuff getting by the baskets. The tree pollen is pretty fine and gets nasty thick here.
 

dmanb2b

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2009
3,734
NY
sounds to me like the pump impeller may be obstructed. if there is flow, even minimal from the skimmer to the pump, the pump should have plenty suction to clear leaves, unless something else got wedged in there, like a rubber duckie :oops:
 

dickeystorm

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 7, 2010
136
Lake Jackson, TX
Problem solved! I put the drain king in the pump side and still got no flow from the skimmer. I then put the drain king in the waste outlet and cycled the multi valve with the pump basket open. I now
thanks for the responses