Drained in ground spa to troubleshoot dismal suction. Please help.

Scrumhalf01

Active member
Apr 24, 2020
35
San Antonio
So as title says I drained my 5kish gallon spa because my system was running at 0 psi. Pump would start strong when I turn it on and run around 15 psi and within 5 seconds drop to 0 psi. I don’t think it was sucking in air....when I opened the pump lid it had a strong suction sound and feeling (100% assumption btw). I fee there is a clog in my suction line. I drained the pool so I could close off the main drains and it turns out they were 100% clogged from the previous owner. The main drains feed into the skimmer which I also learned.

Now that it’s empty I’m trying to blow air and suck air through both ends with a shop vac. Weird thing is I can blow air from my skimmer line and suck air from the pump but not vice versa. In my professional opinion (sarcasm) I’m thinking there is a clog that’s moving around and blocking the path which coincides with the pump working strong for a few moments then sucking at sucking. Or....is it just a bad pump which needs replacing? Already opened the pump and checked impeller etc. thanks!!!!!
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
18,773
Bedford, TX
01,

Show us some pics of your equipment pad...

I suggest you use a Drain King and force water back and forth between your pump and spa..

Normally, Spa drains do not feed into the skimmer.. :scratch:

If you have a skimmer, then I suspect your "Spa" is plumbed more like a "Pool" and not like a normal Spa..

Show us a pic of what is under your skimmer basket..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Scrumhalf01

Active member
Apr 24, 2020
35
San Antonio
Yeah it’s plumbed like a pool. I didn’t think about a one way check valve....I’ve used the drain kings previously and was able to get water coming out of the pump when placed in skimmer line but when placed in the pump I wasn’t able to get water to come out of the skimmer. Essentially the drain king would pop out or water would flow out. I tried two different sizes and couldn’t get a seal. The skimmer has a single bottom port which flows to pump and a port in the back which is sealed and a port in the front which connects to bottom drain.
 

Scrumhalf01

Active member
Apr 24, 2020
35
San Antonio
Just researched on a check valve and I don’t have anything like that above ground. Would doubt it would be plumbed under. So when I bought the house the pool was basically a swamp. The main drains were 100% clogged which I found out today. This leads me to believe there is a clog of sorts in the suction line. The pump may also need to be replaced as it’s been run while not having water flowing through it for who knows how long. Thoughts?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
18,773
Bedford, TX
the skimmer has a single bottom port which flows to pump and a port in the back which is sealed and a port in the front which connects to bottom drain.
I am sure it is just me, but that does not make sense????

Since your pump only has one input pipe, how is it possible to select between skimmer and the main drain??

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Scrumhalf01

Active member
Apr 24, 2020
35
San Antonio

Video of my pump. When I first turn it on after filling it up with water to prime it (there’s a small leak with the heater because of rusted connection on heater...may replace or just remove) it runs well for 5-1 seconds then psi drops to 0 and it looks like the video.
 

Scrumhalf01

Active member
Apr 24, 2020
35
San Antonio
I am sure it is just me, but that does not make sense????

Since your pump only has one input pipe, how is it possible to select between skimmer and the main drain??

Thanks,

Jim R.
I can’t select between main drain or skimmer. The main drain has suction via the front port in the skimmer basket. Lemme see if I can post the skimmer I have or a pic.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
23,921
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Okay, more thinking on the keyboard. I looked at that inlet pipe to see if it maybe looked like flex PVC, because in years past there has been a few cases of a collapsed pipe. Use the search box and see for yourself. But it would somewhat fit the symptoms.

Call a plumber to run a camera down the line.
 

Scrumhalf01

Active member
Apr 24, 2020
35
San Antonio
Okay, more thinking on the keyboard. I looked at that inlet pipe to see if it maybe looked like flex PVC, because in years past there has been a few cases of a collapsed pipe. Use the search box and see for yourself. But it would somewhat fit the symptoms.

Call a plumber to run a camera down the line.
Pretty sure it’s not flex pvc. My fear is a collapsed pipe...my water level doesn’t seem to drop though. Been trying to avoid having someone come out because I’m cheap and stubborn lol. I tried to find a picture of the skimmer I have but can’t find one. Seems I have an awkward skimmer to boot. Let me go grab a pic.