holes in main drain clogged

Machelle

Well-known member
Feb 22, 2012
54
0
50
alabama
#1
I have recently started the BBB method about a month or so ago. Had a swamp. Now I have a sparkling beautiful pool thanks to everyone on here. :whoot: My problem is I have some trash, leaves, etc. clogging up my main drain. Turned it off, sent my nephew down to see what he could do. Hurt his ears. So Saturday, I sent my 19 year old daughter down. She has helped with this in the past. She also could not stay down very long because it hurt her ears. She couldnt pick anything out, so I sent her down with a butter knife to poke through. She said she only could get some of it. But after she did that, I am having lots of trouble with air being pulled in when I turned the main drain back on. So not only do I still have trash clogged up in the holes, I think she may have lodged something in the pipe. (not her fault, I sent her down there). But, does anybody have any suggestions on how to unclog the main drain? And I should add, diving to the bottom also hurts my ears. I will be willing to suffer it if I can figure out something that will work. Please help!! :(
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,446
0
SW Indiana
#2
Don't get close to it while the pump is on to avoid any kind of entrapment.

Dive down a few times and your ears should adjust better to the pressure.

Turn the valve on to whatever amount of flow through the drain you can get without the pump losing prime and use your brush to try to free it up from above.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
May 19, 2010
41,193
4
Tucson, AZ
#3
Seems unlikely that you could push something through the drain holes that would clog the pipe. You do not need to be pulling water from the bottom drain for circulation ... many pools do not even have them. Just keep brushing away or try vacuuming the junk out.
 

Richard320

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Jan 6, 2010
20,322
1
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
#4
Try blowing the stuff out backwards using a drain king. If you have the setup where the main drain goes up the skimmer, it ought to be easy. If not, then isolate the main drain with the valves, pull the pump strainer basket, and try feeding the drain king through the pump inlet.
 

Machelle

Well-known member
Feb 22, 2012
54
0
50
alabama
#5
jblizzle said:
Seems unlikely that you could push something through the drain holes that would clog the pipe. You do not need to be pulling water from the bottom drain for circulation ... many pools do not even have them. Just keep brushing away or try vacuuming the junk out.
I always thought I should run both main drain and skimmer for the best circulation. I have brushed a lot of it away, but theres some that's just stuck. Do I really not need to pull from the main drain for just normal filtering?
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,446
0
SW Indiana
#6
Machelle said:
I always thought I should run both main drain and skimmer for the best circulation. I have brushed a lot of it away, but theres some that's just stuck. Do I really not need to pull from the main drain for just normal filtering?
It's not mandatory, but it is helpful to circulate water and it can save your pump if a storm were to blow leaves or a plastic bag in the pool that blocks the skimmer.
 

Machelle

Well-known member
Feb 22, 2012
54
0
50
alabama
#7
JohnT said:
Don't get close to it while the pump is on to avoid any kind of entrapment.

Dive down a few times and your ears should adjust better to the pressure.

Turn the valve on to whatever amount of flow through the drain you can get without the pump losing prime and use your brush to try to free it up from above.
I have turned it off and brushed and brushed and brushed. But I will try the dive technique you suggested to see if I can adjust my ears.
 

Machelle

Well-known member
Feb 22, 2012
54
0
50
alabama
#8
Richard320 said:
Try blowing the stuff out backwards using a drain king. If you have the setup where the main drain goes up the skimmer, it ought to be easy. If not, then isolate the main drain with the valves, pull the pump strainer basket, and try feeding the drain king through the pump inlet.
Can you give me a little more detailed information please? I don't understand how this works. :wave:
 

bobby1017

LifeTime Supporter
Feb 2, 2011
665
0
54
Petaluma, Ca
#9
Machelle said:
And I should add, diving to the bottom also hurts my ears.:(
You need to plug your nose and try to blow out through it when your at the bottom, better on the way down, this will equalize the pressure. You dont have to do much and you'll feel them "pop".
 

Richard320

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Jan 6, 2010
20,322
1
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
#10
Machelle said:
Richard320 said:
Try blowing the stuff out backwards using a drain king. If you have the setup where the main drain goes up the skimmer, it ought to be easy. If not, then isolate the main drain with the valves, pull the pump strainer basket, and try feeding the drain king through the pump inlet.
Can you give me a little more detailed information please? I don't understand how this works. :wave:
It hooks to a garden hose. When you turn on the water, it inflates and locks itself in the pipe. And then it builds pressure and blows whatever obstruction is in the pipe out.

Any hardware store with a plumbing section will have them.
 

Machelle

Well-known member
Feb 22, 2012
54
0
50
alabama
#11
Tried the drain king. not enough pressure i guess. Could see water moving around, but nothing came out. Is it possible to remove the drain cover, clean it, then replace it? I do not want to damage my liner.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
May 19, 2010
41,193
4
Tucson, AZ
#12
Most drain covers (I do not know about liners though) are just screwed into a housing. I would think the housing hold the liner and the cover would be removable. Of course you have to be able to get down there and stay there while unscrewing ... if you have a dumbell or something like that to hold on to while on the bottom it helps to keep you there.
 

Machelle

Well-known member
Feb 22, 2012
54
0
50
alabama
#13
I am still having problems with air in my line. It is really bad when I have the main drain on. The air is only coming out of the shallow end return line. Everything seems to be working fine except for the air in the line. There are bubbles in my pump basket. A lot of them, but pressure seems good. I seriously cannot afford to have someone come out and check my lines. Struggling to just pay for upkeep. Does anyone have any suggestions?
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Jun 23, 2009
22,789
3
105
SouthWest Alabama
#14
Try running water over the pump basket and plumbing while the pump is running and see if the bubbles get less or go away. If they do you've narrowed your leak down to that point. Post back what you find and we'll help more.
 

Machelle

Well-known member
Feb 22, 2012
54
0
50
alabama
#16
Tried the water test. When I ran water over the pump basket, the air got a little worse?? It pretty much stayed the same when I ran it over the plumbing. And the air is still only coming from the shallow return. Its all really confusing to me. HELP
 

vegaspool

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 10, 2012
24
0
#17
Have you tried removing the pump basket lid, cleaning all surfaces including the face that it mates to on the pump and lubing the gasket with pool lube?
I had an air leak that I finally found on the suction side connection between the pump and PVC. Cleaning and a quick lube fixed it for me.
 

Machelle

Well-known member
Feb 22, 2012
54
0
50
alabama
#18
vegaspool said:
Have you tried removing the pump basket lid, cleaning all surfaces including the face that it mates to on the pump and lubing the gasket with pool lube?
I had an air leak that I finally found on the suction side connection between the pump and PVC. Cleaning and a quick lube fixed it for me.
I have not tried that. What should I clean it with? And are you talking about the lubing the gasket on the pump basket lid?
 

vegaspool

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 10, 2012
24
0
#19
Machelle said:
vegaspool said:
Have you tried removing the pump basket lid, cleaning all surfaces including the face that it mates to on the pump and lubing the gasket with pool lube?
I had an air leak that I finally found on the suction side connection between the pump and PVC. Cleaning and a quick lube fixed it for me.
I have not tried that. What should I clean it with? And are you talking about the lubing the gasket on the pump basket lid?


Clean the lid and contact surface with hot soapy water then lube the gasket with a product such as POOL LUBE
Yes the pump basket lid gasket......... its the easiest to start with, then the gasket for the in flow to the pump.