Broken pipe? Filter full of sand!

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ppritchard
Pool Enthusiast
Pool Enthusiast
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu 02 May, 2013 13:26
My Pool: 1.5hp pump
Hayward 1200 filter
Location: Longwood FL

Broken pipe? Filter full of sand!

Postby ppritchard » Thu 02 May, 2013 13:32

Our pool stopped priming -- did all the normal things with O rings etc.
Opened the filter (haywood paper 1200) and it was "packed" with sand. So much so that I had to wrestle the filter out of the mire.

So, I'm guessing that I have a broken pipe and the pump has pulled the sand in along with the water until it clogged up the filter and probably some of the lines.

I have a main drain, the skimmer line and a spa drain. Since I was monkeying with all of them trying to get the prime, the break could be in any one of them.

What do I do? I've just washed the sand out of the filter, drained it. Likely, I will cut open the piping from the pump to the filter to see if it is full of sand, guessing it will be.

Any ideas on what to do next??


CGPoolman
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Posts: 168
Joined: Sat 28 Apr, 2012 17:52
Location: Orlando FL

Broken pipe? Filter full of sand!

Postby CGPoolman » Mon 06 May, 2013 12:35

Are you losing any water out of the pool? If you aren't, you may not have a broken pipe. I would think if a pipe was broken (especially the bottom drain line) you would be losing a noticeable amount of water from the pool.

Before you cut into any plumbing, I would try to isolate the source of the sand. You have 3 suction lines - I would close off 2 and let the pool run off one line at a time to see if you can figure out where the sand is coming from.

For example - close off the spa suction and pool skimmer, and let the system run for 5-10 minutes. Check the filter and see if it is drawing in sand. Do the same for the other 2 suction lines.

-CG
ppritchard
Pool Enthusiast
Pool Enthusiast
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu 02 May, 2013 13:26
My Pool: 1.5hp pump
Hayward 1200 filter
Location: Longwood FL

Broken pipe? Filter full of sand!

Postby ppritchard » Tue 07 May, 2013 07:05

Thanks.
Pool is Not losing any noticeable amount of water.
I believe the sand came through the skimmer line.
I have only the main drain on now and there doesn't seem to be any sand coming from there.
Not sure why I'm not losing any water from the skimmer if it does have a break, unless it is clogged?

It has taken several days to get all of the sand out of the pool, just now looking near normal.
Really don't want to lose the skimmer, but I'm afraid to turn it back on and have the problem again.

this is a link to a picture of the sand clog in the filter originally.

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff18 ... d28911.jpg
CGPoolman
Swimming Pool Pro
Swimming Pool Pro
Posts: 168
Joined: Sat 28 Apr, 2012 17:52
Location: Orlando FL

Broken pipe? Filter full of sand!

Postby CGPoolman » Tue 07 May, 2013 14:11

WOW!! I've seen a lot of filter clogs, but never saw one like that!

You've confirmed that you aren't losing any water from the pool, so I feel safe to say you don't have a broken pipe. If the skimmer line were cracked/broken, the water level in the pool would have dropped to the bottom of the skimmer by now.

Next thing I would do - Right now you are only pulling suction from the pool drain? I would open the skimmer valve about 1/3 of the way and let it run for a while. If you don't notice any sand, open it a little more. If you still aren't pulling any more sand you can assume the drain and skimmer lines are clear and move on to check the spa suction.

Is your pool screened in? The only thing I can think of off the top of my head is someway somehow a large amount of sand got dumped into your pool, or directly into the skimmer.

-CG
ppritchard
Pool Enthusiast
Pool Enthusiast
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu 02 May, 2013 13:26
My Pool: 1.5hp pump
Hayward 1200 filter
Location: Longwood FL

Broken pipe? Filter full of sand!

Postby ppritchard » Tue 07 May, 2013 14:41

Thanks again.
Pool is screened, no bodies of sand anywhere nearby. You can tell from the picture that this is consistent sand similar to what might have been used to fill the area around the inground pool construction (20 years ago).

Probably right to move slowly to the other drain lines. I might try the spa first though, since it is a shorter run and IF it is the culprit, likely less damage to occur than with the much longer skimmer line.

What about some shop vac type of action on the skimmer drain? I don't have the normal pool vacuum lines since I've always had a Polaris.
CGPoolman
Swimming Pool Pro
Swimming Pool Pro
Posts: 168
Joined: Sat 28 Apr, 2012 17:52
Location: Orlando FL

Broken pipe? Filter full of sand!

Postby CGPoolman » Wed 08 May, 2013 09:47

I wouldn't bother with the shop vac, unless you can see a clog in the skimmer when you take the basket out. Best thing you can do is let the pool system run and let the sand work its way out of the system. How is the filter looking? I would imagine you might still be getting small amounts of sand until it flushes out of the pipes. As long as you can draw water from all of your suction lines you'll be OK. :thumbup:

-CG
ppritchard
Pool Enthusiast
Pool Enthusiast
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu 02 May, 2013 13:26
My Pool: 1.5hp pump
Hayward 1200 filter
Location: Longwood FL

Broken pipe? Filter full of sand!

Postby ppritchard » Sat 11 May, 2013 14:40

Yes, there was sand throughout the pool so it has slowly worked it's way out. Cleaning the filter frequently helped. Now, just some small sand spots and the polaris should be able to either stir them up for the drain or suck them up. I've added a nylon stocking to the polaris to help grab the finer sand grains.

Tried the spa drain by itself, it worked fine and no sand into the filter so that means it was definitely the Skimmer that delivered the sand. I haven't tried the Skimmer yet since I've been trying to get the existing sand out of the pool. Miss the skimming action though for floating stuff.

Filter looks ok, but pressure is only 5-6 when it's always been 8-10 -- I think the heavy sand may have broken some paper lines and is allowing the flow to keep the pressure low. Plan on getting a new filter this coming week.

Since I've had things apart, now I'm getting mutiple leaks -- one at the water "outlet" pipe on top of the pump and then the polaris booster pump is now leaking at the same water outlet top pipe as well as the shaft. I have a repair kit somewhere for the shaft leak, just need to find it.

Also, when I did the spa "only" test, there were no bubbles in the pump strainer but when I do the drain, it has a fair amount of air at the top of the strainer basket lid. I suppose that points to a leak somewhere along the suction pipe to the main drain?

What about trying to flush, with a water hose the skimmer line back to the pump strainer, I could take the lid off so it would not go on into the pump (if sand gets pushed out)?

again, thanks for any insights
ppritchard
Pool Enthusiast
Pool Enthusiast
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu 02 May, 2013 13:26
My Pool: 1.5hp pump
Hayward 1200 filter
Location: Longwood FL

Broken pipe? Filter full of sand!

Postby ppritchard » Sat 18 May, 2013 13:13

If I use one of the bladder type water hose connections and put it into the skimmer drain, what would be the best way to protect the pump from any sand?

I was thinking about removing the Jandy valve cover thinking that the water etc. would go out the opening rather than into the pump. Or taking the pump strainer lid off and let the water flow out there. Thoughts?
ppritchard
Pool Enthusiast
Pool Enthusiast
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu 02 May, 2013 13:26
My Pool: 1.5hp pump
Hayward 1200 filter
Location: Longwood FL

Broken pipe? Filter full of sand!

Postby ppritchard » Mon 20 May, 2013 08:03

Did the hose into the skimmer deal, water ran clear out of pump end.

Tried the skimmer drain with the pump and almost immediately you could see sand coming into the pump basket. So the break/leak is definitely in the skimmer piping.

What is the best way to repair this when it runs under concrete?
CGPoolman
Swimming Pool Pro
Swimming Pool Pro
Posts: 168
Joined: Sat 28 Apr, 2012 17:52
Location: Orlando FL

Broken pipe? Filter full of sand!

Postby CGPoolman » Mon 20 May, 2013 08:46

There's a company called American Leak Detection that serves the Orlando area, that might be your best bet. If there's a break or leak under the concrete, or under the ground for that matter - they can find and fix it. They have some pretty high-tech stuff that can pinpoint a leak underground. Their services aren't cheap, but I like that option better than trying to tunnel under the pool trying to find the leak yourself.

My opinion - if the pool level isn't dropping I wouldn't think you have a break in the plumbing. It is possible you pushed sand towards the pump with the hose, then pulled it the rest of the way when the pump turned on. Have you left the skimmer running to see if the sand stopped coming through?

-CG

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