Sand in the return line of the pool skimmer causing low pressure

Poolipop

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 18, 2014
33
Fayetteville, NC
Hello,

I have what I believe is sand in the return line of the pool skimmer.

I have 2 inlets to the pump (skimmer and drain). Everytime I shut off the drain inlet, there is not enough flow from the skimmer to keep the pump pressurized with water. Although, if I shut off the skimmer inlet, there is enough pressure to keep the water flowing.

When I clean the pool, I turn the sand filter to waste and clean the sand and other things from the pool, but after this event, there is always less flow from the skimmer, since that is where my manual vacuum is hooked up through.

How do i clean the sand out from the skimmer return pipe?

Is there something I can stick in-between the skimmer inlet and my vacuum line (Like a filter or bag) to keep debris and sand from entering the return line to the pump?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
11,480
Bedford, TX
P,

Seems to me it would take a massive amount of "sand" to plug up the skimmer line. But since you use this same port to vacuum the pool, I can see how it might have something larger stuck in there.

The first thing I would do is try a "drain king". They sell them at Home Depot or Lowes. The look like this..... http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=20714516&KPID=15684543&cid=CAPLA:G:Shopping_-_Catch_All_-_DT&pla=pla_15684543&k_clickid=a7ae5ec6-c1ec-43fb-aa51-23c008e43201

I would put it into the pump end first forcing water back toward the skimmer. With the vacuum hose removed of course. Then try from the skimmer to the pump with the pump lid removed.

As I typed this, I had a thought.. When you are having this problem, I "assume" that you do not have the vacuum hose attached. Is this correct?

I have a robot myself and highly recommend them.

Thanks for posting,

Jim R.
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
31,537
Sebring, Florida
I am not sure you have sand. sand would flow into the pump and then get caught in the filter. Why do you think it's sand?

Have you tried flushing the suction line by sticking a water hose into the suctioon line at the pump lid?
 

Poolipop

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 18, 2014
33
Fayetteville, NC
I actually have tried the drain king last year, but the skimmer line always seems to easily get stopped up. It is a frustraing experience to try and clean your pool only to have a loss of pressure 5 minutes after you being sucking up the algae and sand. I spent over an hour trying to get the line clear last year and while it worked, it quickly was clogged again.
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
31,537
Sebring, Florida
Well, enough debris can certainly plug any line but that would be a LOT of debris.....something is not normal.

Perhaps a better explanation of what leads to this suction line clogging up may give someone a clue as to the problem.
 

Chemnut

In The Industry
Apr 5, 2017
231
Maine
Has anything been sucked past the skimmer basket? It's possible something is lodged in a 90 degree corner. Have you tried a shop vac to blow skimmer from pump connection? If there is truly something lodged in there, you will see only a trickle from the skimmer. Maybe borrow a cyclone blower designed for closing pools it moves a larger volume of air.
 

Poolipop

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 18, 2014
33
Fayetteville, NC
Alright, I bought this from Harbor Freight for $8
http://www.harborfreight.com/medium-drain-cleaning-bladder-99942.html

A bunch of debris that I vacuumed up came out and unclogged the pipe for now. For future use, I will be using the following things to help me.

And I am buying this for inline with my manual vacuum https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000EW6EGI/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

And buying these socks for fine debris https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01GIOJNFO/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A1Y1UD1H7QRJHZ
 

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