Clogged skimmer line, out of ideas.

K1ngS1ayer

Member
Mar 2, 2019
7
Texas
HI y’all! Long time lurker and have found lot of help from this forum. Been running my pool for few years now with the instructors from here and had no issues with the pool. Never have to shock the pool, just make sure chemicals are just right. Thanks in advance for the help!
Now having said that, I have few questions.

I have a in ground pool about 11000 gallons. Fairly old and in need of resurface. About a month ago, one of the skimmer lines got clogged. I have tried everything else Ihave found but no help so far. I have used the water hose connected drain king, snake and using the pump to assist. Haven’t yet used the pump to reverse the water flow. Seems a lot of work. I certainly know how to do it and have the tools but see if I can try something else first.

1. My question is, what are these two capped pipes next to the skimmer lines? I was wondering if they are for service.

2. Any other ideas for unclogging the line?

Few pics from my system.
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Last edited:

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,586
Bedford, TX
K,

I have never seen the pipes by the skimmers, so I am no help there...

Your pump has two input.. I assume your near skimmer and your far skimmer, with your main drain being controlled by something under your skimmer basket. If not, it might be that your two skimmers are connected together and your Intake valve selects either both skimmers or your main drain.

Tell us what happens when you stick the drain king in the pump and force water back toward your skimmers... with the valve shutting off one port and then the other port?

What happens when you try to run the pump on just the "blocked" skimmer?

What caused the clog? Were you vacuuming though the skimmer?

The more you tell us the more likely that someone might have an answer for your..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

K1ngS1ayer

Member
Mar 2, 2019
7
Texas
Thanks Jim,

the first input is connected to the skimmer that’s clogged. The second is for the other skimmer that has the second hole connected to the main drain. I can use the valve to verify this.
With the drain king flushing the water to the pool there’s only small amount of water seeping through. Barely noticeable. I took the valve cover off and directly flushed the near skimmer the clogged one. The other one works fine.
When I use the pump to suck through the clogged skimmer line it only seems to empty the pump basket and not move any water and the pump won’t prime.
I am not sure what caused the clog. I don’t use it to vacuum. I was away the weekend it happened and my wife was cleaning the pool but swears nothing was lodged or gone inside the skimmer. I believe her as she’s very careful with everything. When using the snake I think I get very close to the skimmer but then hit a 90 degree angle I can’t get past. The same if I try to go from the skimmer side. It stops maybe 2 feet in. Could that be a back flush valve?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,586
Bedford, TX
K,

Well, it looks like you have pretty much covered all the bases... If this were my pool, I would try the drain king again from the valve or pump end and at the same time use a large shop vac to provide suction right over the top of the suction pipe in the bottom of the skimmer.. Probably take a couple of people to hold things in place and turn the vacuum on and off...

Assuming that did not work, I would just shut off the bad skimmer and use the other one.. Most old pools only have one skimmer and they work just fine. If you just have more money that you know what to do with, you can contact a local pool repair company and see what they say.. You might get lucky and they may be able to clear the pipe, but my guess is that they will end up cutting up the deck and replacing the skimmer as part of any repair.

Let's see if we can get some of our other members to chime in with some better ideas.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,744
Northern NJ
Have a plumber who has a camera on a snake come in and take a look down the skimmer line. They can get into it from the Jandy valve or from the skimmer side.
 

cfherrman

TFP Guide
May 10, 2017
2,379
Hays, Kansas
Can the return 3 way be taken apart and the valve rotated to shut off the return towards the filter?

If so hook up a garden hose to the hose bib and turn the suction 3 way to the plugged and let 60 psi house pressure back flow it
 

K1ngS1ayer

Member
Mar 2, 2019
7
Texas
K,

Well, it looks like you have pretty much covered all the bases... If this were my pool, I would try the drain king again from the valve or pump end and at the same time use a large shop vac to provide suction right over the top of the suction pipe in the bottom of the skimmer.. Probably take a couple of people to hold things in place and turn the vacuum on and off...
Good idea, I will try this.
 

K1ngS1ayer

Member
Mar 2, 2019
7
Texas
Have a plumber who has a camera on a snake come in and take a look down the skimmer line. They can get into it from the Jandy valve or from the skimmer side.
I was thinking that. I can buy the cameras online for less than $50. I might try that before calling the guys.
 

Neto

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2019
205
Urbana, MD
How about adding some pressure to it with an air compressor? If something is stuck like a ball, the more you pull the more deeper it will go.
 

K1ngS1ayer

Member
Mar 2, 2019
7
Texas
Can the return 3 way be taken apart and the valve rotated to shut off the return towards the filter?

If so hook up a garden hose to the hose bib and turn the suction 3 way to the plugged and let 60 psi house pressure back flow it
I tried that. I opened the return valve cover and pushed the bib to the clogged one. Is that what you meant?
 

K1ngS1ayer

Member
Mar 2, 2019
7
Texas
How about adding some pressure to it with an air compressor? If something is stuck like a ball, the more you pull the more deeper it will go.
That might work. I could maybe hook up a cap with compressed air under the intake valve. May have to cut the pipe to get a good seal.
 

Neto

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2019
205
Urbana, MD
I tried that. I opened the return valve cover and pushed the bib to the clogged one. Is that what you meant?
No, what i meant was to add air pressure to that line. The way to do this is to turn off your pump (turn off breaker to be safe), close all your returns or plug them with a winterizing plug, then you set your valves as if your pump will only get water from your problematic skimmer. Then you would add like 20 psi with an air compressor through your pump drain hole with a air hose adapter.
 
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K1ngS1ayer

Member
Mar 2, 2019
7
Texas
No, what i meant was to add air pressure to that line. The way to do this is to turn off your pump (turn off breaker to be safe), close all your returns or plug them with a winterizing plug, then you set your valves as if your pump will only get water from your problematic skimmer. Then you would add like 20 psi with an air compressor through your pump drain hole with a air hose adapter.
Gotcha! This is a good idea!
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
1,352
Morris Cnty NJ
Is the plumbing all 1.5"? If so a snake is very hard to get thru. A camera is your best bet I wouldnt be surprised if the line actually failed or a joint split in the PVC from the sounds of it