Waterfall pump not waterfalling

duxthaman

Active member
Jul 28, 2016
26
Dallas, TX
#1
Hi-

I have a secondary pump for a waterfall feature in my pool. Following a deep freeze this winter (in Dallas) the feature hasn't been working correctly. I've primed it and when I turn it on a little bit of water will start to flow down the rocks, and then it stops. Everything else in the pool is working fine.

Just wondering if this is some sort of blockage in the line? American Home Shield won't cover secondary pumps, so before I call a pool person I wanted to see what kind of troubleshooting advice I could get?

Thanks
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,680
Tucson, AZ
#2
Can you access the discharge side of the pump easily such that you could put a Drain King into the line running to the water feature? You could then use a garden hose + the drain king to see if you can force water out of the feature. It also might possibly unclogged the line.

Do you see any wet spots where the line runs underground? Could a pipe have burst and the water is going elsewhere? A picture of the water feature and the pump/plumbing supplying it would help.
 

gwegan

TFP Expert
Apr 19, 2013
2,769
Sacramento, CA
#3
When you say it stops, do you mean the pump stops or the water flow stops. Can you post a picture of your equipment pad showing your pumps? Have you checked all the valves to make sure they are in the correct position?
 

The dog

Well-known member
Apr 17, 2017
147
sacramento CA
#4
Like they said. Pics please. It sounds to me like you have a broken pipe on the return side. I had a sprinkler pipe that did something similar. The sprinkler at the end of the run would go on for a bit then stop. Then I saw the leak coming up through the dirt. When I dug up the pipe it was split down the side. Parallel with the pipe. So I guess what happens is it works for a bit. Then builds some pressure. And the pressure opens the split pipe and allows more water to come out. Then your sprinkler stops.

Hopefully it's in the dirt and you don't have to saw cut the deck to get to it. Sorry to hear. Good luck.


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duxthaman

Active member
Jul 28, 2016
26
Dallas, TX
#5
Sorry, I've been out of pocket. I'll take some picture this evening and then upload.

The pump continues to run. There's just a trickle of water that comes out of the feature (about the amount I primed it with) and then it stops. I've tried dumping water into the reservoir as it runs and it sucks the water down, but it won't continue to flow. Not sure if the water that's supplying the feature is blocked...

Pictures will explain, but my equipment runs underneath a concrete slab patio which is connected to the pool area. Not much "non-concrete" anywhere between the pool and the waterfall feature.

Thanks
 
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duxthaman

Active member
Jul 28, 2016
26
Dallas, TX
#6
IMG_1878.jpg IMG_1880.jpg IMG_1882.jpg

So the pump pump towards the top of the first photo is the waterfall pump. The waterfall is at the top of the photo (backside of the pool). As you can see, the pipes probably run under the patio and the pool. Nowhere to tell if the ground is wet I guess? The last time photo is the backside of the waterfall. There is no pvc pipe on the exterior of the stone so it's somewhere inside of there. The ground has not been noticeable wet, and I haven't seen puddles anywhere.
 

The dog

Well-known member
Apr 17, 2017
147
sacramento CA
#7
I'd do what the first guy said. See if you can shoot some water through the feature with a hose. Maybe check the gasket on the pump and lube it up.



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Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
20,330
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
#8
Have you tried the Drain King yet? What you're describing sounds more like a suction side air leak or a blocked intake and not so much a break on the return side. Open the pump strainer and remove the basket and stuff the drain king into the pipe coming in the front. For that matter, a wadded-up rag you hold in there and a second person to turn the water on would probably do for the test. If water flows, you can have the helper find out where it's coming out. If you have to fight to hold the hose in place, the suction line is blocked somehow. Then a drain king is called for.

If you have water available and the pump wont prime, look for air leaks. Could be as simple as the pump strainer basket lid gasket has some cracks, or one of the pump drain plugs came loose. Here in SoCal we don't winterize, so we never touch 'em, but there will be one somewhere.