First-time Homeowner & Pool owner | A few questions + pictures of my setup

crushkittykitty

Well-known member
Mar 13, 2018
155
DesMoines / Iowa
you could try and open the main drain part way, and the skimmer all the way, that way the pump gets water then on the skimmer side take your shop vac, with the shop vac alternate blowing and sucking, you can also run your hose down the skimmer pipe with the hose on 100%, I had a plugged drain line that is how I got mine. you can also use the return lines to force water threw the skimmer line. plug one return line, run a hose from the other return line to the skimmer. the filter should be set it to recirculate that way you are getting full preasure from the pump. reg. drain snake would also work just keep in mind those pipes are old, brittle if you lived here I would scope it :) got a cool 200 ft scope. :) most plumbers could scope it then you could see what was going on. BTW the black marks ISOpropyl Alcoohol and a paper towel will take sharp off, so will hand sanitizer :)
 
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sktn77a

Gold Supporter
May 16, 2010
1,819
Chapel Hill, NC
Have you watched the water in the skimmer as someone turns off the main drain? If the line isn't blocked, the skimmer may be sucking air in with the water causing the pump to lose prime.
 

LionBiscuits

Member
Dec 21, 2019
18
Florida
Coincidentally, I just stumbled on this recent post right after I wrote:
and swiped one of it's images. Red arrow points to a cracked fitting, which, of course, happened under the concrete deck, just as I was describing...

View attachment 124451

Tread lightly...
Oh jeez... Yeah, I'll tread carefully then. I almost wonder if that problem might already exist, because I lose about 3/4 of an inch of water per day if the pump stays off.. That's an expensive problem to fix at a later date, though, unfortunately. I just recently medically retired from the Navy and they told me not to expect my final paycheck until February 1st. ?

So the Drain King arrived in the mail and I did what I could before the sun went down this evening, working from both sides of the skimmer line. I got maybe a palm-sized handful of leaves to come out, but there's definitely still a blockage somewhere.. Hopefully not a bunch of sticks that can't get around those 90 degree bends in the PVC piping. I'll continue to try again tomorrow and post an update soon!
 
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LionBiscuits

Member
Dec 21, 2019
18
Florida
Have you watched the water in the skimmer as someone turns off the main drain? If the line isn't blocked, the skimmer may be sucking air in with the water causing the pump to lose prime.
The water level stays the same, at the half-way point of the skimmer mouth opening. Thanks for the thought, though!
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,130
Central California
Oh jeez... Yeah, I'll tread carefully then. I almost wonder if that problem might already exist, because I lose about 3/4 of an inch of water per day if the pump stays off..
I lose about that to evaporation, so it's not necessarily a leak. You can do a bucket test to see if your water loss is evaporation or a leak. I can't put my finger on the instructions, but you can start here, or someone else will chime in with the link.
 
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LionBiscuits

Member
Dec 21, 2019
18
Florida
Following up... After using a Drain King on both ends of the skimmer line for roughly two hours, I still haven't been able to budge out the clog. I might get a few bits and pieces of leaves here and there, but otherwise the blockage remains intact. I even tried hooking up the Shop Vac again while running the drain king at the other end- nothing but a few leaf bits. Also tried placing a tennis ball at the other end of the line for a few seconds at a time to allow for a pressure build-up and release, no luck.

This is so frustrating..
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,130
Central California
I wasn't crazy for the snake idea, but that might be your next step. I did a quick read on that, you have to use the right size/type. This might be when I would call in a pro. Licensed, bonded and insured. Not because he'd do a better job of it, but because he'll be liable for the plumbing repair should something go wrong...
 

crushkittykitty

Well-known member
Mar 13, 2018
155
DesMoines / Iowa
Here if the pipe breaks its the homeowner/ business that pays the bill. Keep at it. I would just snake it :( drain kings work on pressurizing the line it the pipe is weak it can blow it apart. If you use a snake duck tape the end of it. I am talking a manual snake not a power snake btw. like this Flat Sewer Rod 1/2 In. X 100 Ft. - Walmart.com take your time at least your pool is not frozen :) you could try something like this Drain Auger and pull the pices of the clog back to you as long as your getting any leaves out your winning,,,, if you use the flat sewer rod that will also tell you were the clog is, I would go from the skimmer to start ,,, the leaves, twigs rats came from that side. see if the clog will even move, plunger might work as well if you can get it in the skimmer just be carefull not to use to much force and break the skimmer :) pump like 3 times then pull hard. skimmer basket was left out? I thought I read that you just bought the house, if so you could be unglogging years worth of junk, Ok im off to see if a plunger will fit in a skimmer.......
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,130
Central California
I like all of crushkittykitty's snaking advice, but I wouldn't be pushing and pulling with a plunger on a 48-year-old skimmer housing... that's an even bigger repair bill than cracking a pipe would be...
 

panic_button

Bronze Supporter
Jun 23, 2019
160
Panhandle Florida
I had a clog that I couldn't clean with a snake, 1/4"flat rod, power washer drain cleaning kit or drain king due to all the 90's. I ended up using a high pressure air from a scuba tank to clear it. I got a 1 1/2" threaded cap and screwed it into the skimmer, removed the suction side unions on the pump and slowly increased the pressure. after about 10 seconds a ton of leaves blew out.
 
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