Help! I think I broke our pool already

D&GNewbies

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
77
Iowa
I am seriously such a dummy. I went out to check on the pump, filter, etc and to put on the skimmer sock. Well I lifted out the skimmer basket and all the water in the pump rushed into the filter. So I put the basket back in after cleaning it and putting the sock on, and the water was flowing back into the pump but looked like it was slowly filling up. I turned the lid a little bit to see if that would help, but the whole lid popped off and water was gushing and the O ring came off of the lid. I got that back in place and the lid back on tight, but a bunch of sand blew into the pool in the return jet. Now my clear sparkling water is a little cloudy. We just vacuumed yesterday and we are planning vacumming again on Saturday before we have people over.

But I am pretty sure I screwed everything up. I am so so stupid!
Any help would be appreciated on how to clear the water up. I am not sure if I screwed up the pump but it seems to be working fine. Maybe a gallon of water came out, maybe 2 but not more than that.
 

sbcpool

Well-known member
Mar 10, 2015
584
Upland, CA
Pulling the basket out of the skimmer should have zero effect on the flow of water between the pump and filter. Are you talking about the basket in the pump itself?
 

D&GNewbies

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
77
Iowa
Pulling the basket out of the skimmer should have zero effect on the flow of water between the pump and filter. Are you talking about the basket in the pump itself?
No, the skimmer basket itself. I have to reach in and the little door thing temporarily stops the water from coming into the skimmer, so the water in the pump boils up and rushes into the filter.
I just went back out and everything seems to be running normal but the water isn't as clear as it was prior to my stupidity.
 

Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
1,281
Hernando, Ms
If my water level is too low it can make my skimmer pull air when i pull it out - especially w/a sock on it.
Solution to that is turn the pump off a sec while pulling that out. The weir door will prevent crud from getting in the pool. Also never mess with the pump basket lid when it’s running 😬to clean it out or adjust lid ect. Turn off the pump/ remove skimmer basket & put plug in there to stop flow of water. I use a foam football 🤣🤣 as i don’t have a valve between the skimmer & pump. If u do just close that 👍🏻
 

D&GNewbies

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
77
Iowa
If my water level is too low it can make my skimmer pull air when i pull it out - especially w/a sock on it.
Solution to that is turn the pump off a sec while pulling that out. The weir door will prevent crud from getting in the pool. Also never mess with the pump basket lid when it’s running 😬to clean it out or adjust lid ect. Turn off the pump/ remove skimmer basket & put plug in there to stop flow of water. I use a foam football 🤣🤣 as i don’t have a valve between the skimmer & pump. If u do just close that 👍🏻
Definitely lesson learned! I freaked out though when i saw a cloud of brown powder/sand come out of the return jet. Now I have to vacuum the pool again since it's dirty!
 
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sbcpool

Well-known member
Mar 10, 2015
584
Upland, CA
It seems like it should be impossible for water to reverse flow unless the pump, filter, or plumbing are above the pool's water level. I think that's a no-no with above ground pools.

I can't figure how sand could pass through the filter to enter the pool from the return.
 

D&GNewbies

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
77
Iowa
It seems like it should be impossible for water to reverse flow unless the pump, filter, or plumbing are above the pool's water level. I think that's a no-no with above ground pools.

I can't figure how sand could pass through the filter to enter the pool from the return.
I'm wondering if the gush of water from the pump basket pushed it through? I have no idea. I called the place we got it from and he said nothing to worry about but if it were to happen again, call and they will come out and check everything for us. It's all still under warranty so that's good. Didn't see a stupidity exclusion on there, so I should be covered!
 
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Teald024

TFP Guide
You just sucked in air into the pump when you pull the basket out and block the water flow with the weir door. Not a big issue. Just turn off the pump and open the pump basket just slightly enough for the Air to come out and water to fill it. You won’t get all the air out of the pump basket. Then close the pump cover tight and turn the pump back on. You should then purge air from your sand filter if it doesn’t have an automatic bleed valve.
live and learn.

next time if you notice something bad happening, first thing to do is shut the pump off.
 
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D&GNewbies

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
77
Iowa
You just sucked in air into the pump when you pull the basket out and block the water flow with the weir door. Not a big issue. Just turn off the pump and open the pump basket just slightly enough for the Air to come out and water to fill it. You won’t get all the air out of the pump basket. Then close the pump cover tight and turn the pump back on. You should then purge air from your sand filter if it doesn’t have an automatic bleed valve.
live and learn.

next time if you notice something bad happening, first thing to do is shut the pump off.
Definitely will make sure the pump is off. Thank you so much!!
 
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Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
1,281
Hernando, Ms
Me & my sister n law did this very same thing years ago with her 1st above ground pool. We looked like Lucy & Ethel out there trying to get that pump lid back on 🤣🤣 Gushing water makes u panic lol. Then it dawned on us to unplug the pump & block the skimmer. I had an intex sand filter at the time but it didn’t have a pump basket so I had no clue that was about to happen.
 
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cj133

Well-known member
May 6, 2018
311
NJ
You can certainly make water flow backwards the filter, that's how backwashing works.

However, I don't see why anything you did would cause sand to come out of the return. That should still be blocked by the laterals at the bottom of the filter.
As long as the pump had some water in it the seals are lubricated and it should be fine. But the sand coming out of the return concerns me............I don't see how that's possible.

During the goings on, is there any chance you flipped the handle from Filter to recirculate?
 

D&GNewbies

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
77
Iowa
You can certainly make water flow backwards the filter, that's how backwashing works.

However, I don't see why anything you did would cause sand to come out of the return. That should still be blocked by the laterals at the bottom of the filter.
As long as the pump had some water in it the seals are lubricated and it should be fine. But the sand coming out of the return concerns me............I don't see how that's possible.

During the goings on, is there any chance you flipped the handle from Filter to recirculate?
I didn't flip anything on the filter, so it shouldn't have done anything.
 

cj133

Well-known member
May 6, 2018
311
NJ
I didn't flip anything on the filter, so it shouldn't have done anything.
I would just let it run and see how it goes.
Maybe the valve on top of the filter isn't near as tight as I think it is internally. Give the pool a vacuuming in a few days and see how things do.

By the way, this is exactly how I clean my pump basket. I shut the skimmer off and turn the filter to closed. I then remove the lid from the pump and push down on the filter valve to cause water to rush into the pump, backwards. During that I grab the basket and push it up and down in the water. The water flowing backwards out of the pump washes stuff out really good. I've been doing that for a very very long time. I guess..........going on 30+ years?
 

D&GNewbies

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
77
Iowa
I would just let it run and see how it goes.
Maybe the valve on top of the filter isn't near as tight as I think it is internally. Give the pool a vacuuming in a few days and see how things do.

By the way, this is exactly how I clean my pump basket. I shut the skimmer off and turn the filter to closed. I then remove the lid from the pump and push down on the filter valve to cause water to rush into the pump, backwards. During that I grab the basket and push it up and down in the water. The water flowing backwards out of the pump washes stuff out really good. I've been doing that for a very very long time. I guess..........going on 30+ years?
Thank you so much! We will definitely try that!
 

cj133

Well-known member
May 6, 2018
311
NJ
Thank you so much! We will definitely try that!
Make sure you turn the pump off first before moving any valves.
Any time you remove that cover or turn the valve on top of the filter the pump must be off.

You can pull the basket out of the skimmer with it running but you have to be very fast both removing, and putting back in. At least on my Hayward skimmer I need to tilt the basket out from under the door without pulling the door up too much. If you're uncomfortable with it, just turn the pump off while you do it.
A little air for a short time won't bother the pump but if it loses it's prime it will burn up eventually. It needs water to lubricate and cool the seals.