Clogged pipe?

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Clogged pipe?

Postby bluebutterfly » Fri 30 May, 2014 11:21

Hi all,
Here's my problem: For the first time, I decided to clean my pool cartridges myself this season, because it costs $50 for the pool guy to do it, so I decided to do it myself and save a few bucks. It's a standard Hayward filter, with four cartridges. I took the bracket off, took the filters out, cleaned them, put them back in, put the bracket back on, and tightened the big bracket up good and snug. When I went to turn the pool pump on, I got no to minimal suction. Naturally, I thought I'd done something wrong, so took the filter lid off again, put it back on, etc. No change. Still no suction to clean the pool at the skimmer. Called the pool guy. Told him this story. He said he thought there was a clog somewhere. He used his c02 to blow it out at the fintermediate filter leaf catcher. Nothing. Then used his co2 to blow it out at the skimmer. Still nothing. I kept asking him why this has happened simply because I cleaned the cartridges. He didn't know, he kept saying somehow or other, something must have been washed into a pipe or gotten clogged. He never took the filter lid off to check the filters or check to make sure there wasn't anything wrong inside the canister, because he said in his opinion, it wasn't a filter problem, it was a clog problem. He gave up. He didn't charge me anything. All he could do was give me the name of a contractor who could come out and maybe unclog it with his equipment and if not, might have to dig up the concrete pad or go underneath the soil to hunt for this clog or whatever. This he told me would or could be very expensive. All of this happened because I cleaned my own filter cartridges? Sheesh. Prior to cleaning, the pool was running fine, I had a bit of diminished suction at the skimmer for vacuuming, but that was to be expected because the filters were super clogged. I have a huge pine tree over my pool that dumps a mega ton of debris into it, and thus the filters are always badly clogged. They hadn't been cleaned since he did it last year. My whole goal in doing it myself was to be able to do it more often, keep things running a bit more smoothly, and save myself money in cartridge cleaning. And now this. Any suggestions? He said the only other thing I could do to test the system was remove the filters, put the lid on, and see if I still had the same problem as a test theory to see if the filter cartridges themselves were bad, but he said he seriously didn't think it had anything to do with the filter at all......even though that's the only thing about this scenario that is different, that this year I did the filters myself. And now a big clog? He said it could be a rock or could be anything in the line, but he didn't know how or why whatever I did could have created the clog. Before calling the contractor who charges $75 just to come out and look, any suggestions? Thanks!

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Clogged pipe?

Postby Denniswiseman » Sat 31 May, 2014 10:49

Try your pump
Take the lid off the pump basket and take out the basket and feel into the pump impeller side
A lot of people have had pine needles collect in there pump causing loss of suction and the fact that they are in the filter proves they are getting through

If this fails have you tried it on recirculate or to waste to prove its not a filter problem

Clogged pipe?

Postby bluebutterfly » Sat 31 May, 2014 14:00

thanks for your response. This morning i luckily unclogged whatever the blockage was, however, I'm not sure how I did it. But I'll relate to you what I did. The impeller had already been checked, both by me and the pool guy (we felt around with our fingers and felt nothing). He had suggested running the pump without the cartridge filters, so this morning I took out the cartridges and turned on the pump. Still no suction, still cavitation at the pump, etc. So, I basically played around with the two valves on the equipment, one that goes to the spa and one that switches to the pool, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. With spa valve, I turned that one up to a maximum jet, so that it spurted water about 8 feet in the air, and it was at that point, whatever was clogging the system, unclogged and water began running thru the pump normally, full suction, everything perfect. I still have no idea what I did that actually worked, just glad that it did work. His co2 blow out did not clear the line - at least not the line he could get at. By my actions, enough strong flow of water must have gone throughout the system to blow the debris or air pocket or whatever it was, fully out, and now all is well. I just wish I knew what I did or how my cleaning of the filters created the problem in the first place. Obviously, debris got into a line somewhere, possiblly sucked in during my cleaning or possibly I inadvertently moved a valve and something got sucked somewhere. It could even have been in the impeller, but he never took anything apart to check the impeller, just stuck his finger in. I'm wondering if the clog was right there and it was never really located until enough water rushed thru there and unclogged it. So, that's my story, I don't know if it can help anyone else to try my trick of taking filters out, running the system, and playing around with valves until enough water is flowing thru. I'm just glad it's back to normal!
TSH Tech

Clogged pipe?

Postby TSH Tech » Sun 01 Jun, 2014 02:30

Every pump/filter scenario will have it's own unique quirk. Some pools are a nightmare to prime and there's usually something in need of repair that causes the problem.

Regarding the impeller, checking by finger is useless. I'm telling you with years of experience, the finger check is absolutely worthless. The pump needs to be taken apart and each impeller blade checked, because impeller clogs occur right in the middle of the impeller blades. Using a bent 10 gauge copper wire and needle nose pliers, rocks, pine needles, wrappers, or conditioner can be cleared fairly easy. However, before I go breaking apart a pump, I take the pot basket out, I use a high pressure hose attachment in the pump pot, the water jet pointed inside the impeller with the pump running dry, to see if I can flush the jam out first. If the flush doesn't clear the jam, then the pump must be broken down and impeller cleared.

bluebutterfly wrote: So, that's my story, I don't know if it can help anyone else to try my trick of taking filters out, running the system, and playing around with valves until enough water is flowing thru. I'm just glad it's back to normal!

I have come across this before with cartridge filters. Taking the filters out to get the prime going points to the problem. The filters. Sometimes, the cartridge filters become so loaded up with suntan oils or tree sap, the pump can't get a prime. Or, the filters are aged and the filter media swollen combined with suntan oils and tree sap, that the filters are the blockage. Therefore, the pump doesn't prime.

If the filters were in good condition, I carried two spray bottles of filter cleaner on my service truck. One was Filter Blaster, and the other was Awesome Orange spray cleaner. 99% of the filter cleanings, I used Awesome Orange. If my inspection found mineral deposits, usually from pools with well water as their fill source, then Filter Blaster was used. I'd spray it on, let them soak for a while while I cleaned out the filter tank and air bleed screen, come back and hose off the filters. That cured the prime problem. If the filters were old and the home owner was hesitant on buying new ones, then I jammed a garden hose in the skimmer pipe leading to the pump and primed it that way.

Glad you have your pool sorted out.

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