underground pool-skimmer pipe is blocked-how to unblock it?

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Skimmer blocked

Postby Leilani75 » Sat 12 May, 2007 21:31

Well I actually did go to the plumbers store, I bought the plumbers test plug. I did what everyone has told me to do. I am getting a lot of little stuff, like bugs and small leaves, ect. coming up the skimmer pipe- So that tells me there must be something pretty big blocking it from going past. Which is really bad, because I don't want to spend the money to have someone take 5 minutes and unclog it for $300..
When I turn the pump on, I stick my hand down, and it could almost suck my hand down, so it seems to be sucking great. But when I turn ONLY the skimmer on, the water in the pump starts to lower, and starts to make breathing sounds. I stick my hand down, and it still could suck my hand down it, but for some reason, I guess that's not enough..

I am going to keep trying, because I just don't want to be paying a pool person...
Again, if ANYONE knows how I can get this unclogged, i am begging, PLEASE HELP :?

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Skimmer blocked

Postby studio43 » Sun 13 May, 2007 08:03

See if you can determine the two points where the clog is occuring.
Skimmer to the pump for instance. Are you able to diconnect the pump line where it goes intothe ground? If so can you use a garden hose to push water in the reverse direction. If so make sure it is flowing clear. Once done hook everthing back up. Pool level needs to be high enough to feed the skimmer without it running dry. With the pump off open the strainer basket lid and fill with water using the garden hose. If you have a return line valve make sure it open and the filter valve is set to FILTER.
As your filling the strainer basket get it high enough so it is overflowing. Quickly put the lid back on and turn the pump on. The water level may drop in the strainer basket. If you have a clear lid you should be able to see water coming in from the skimmer suction line. If everything else is working it should begin to pump stronger and stronger

Similar problem - here's what I'm going to try

Postby DanO » Fri 18 May, 2007 20:15

I have similar problem. My pool creature (Hayward PoolVac) has managed to suck up some debris and it seems to have mostly clogged my vacuum line somewhere underground. This is virtually identical to Lei's original problem, but in my case the skimmer suction line is OK.

On another site it was suggested that I get a Drain King unclogging device, which attaches to a garden hose. I have a 3-way Jandy valve that distributes the pool pump's suction between my vacuum line and skimmer line, so I'm going to take the top of that valve off, and then try to cram the Drain King down inside the vacuum line. Then turn on the hose and see if anything gets dislodged and shot back into the pool. I hope...

I'll let you know if I have any luck. I suspect this Drain King device might be what others have recommended that you try, Lei. If it doesn't work for me, I'll have to hire a professional to deal with it. The Drain King cost me a whopping $15, by the way. Found it at Ace Hardware.

Skimmer blocked

Postby Leilani75 » Sat 19 May, 2007 16:18

Please do let me know, if it works!!

nothing has worked so far, for me
I might just let it stay clogged, it is bound to wash thru somehow (i hope) overtime. The only thing is vacuuming, it will clog worse....
It is not messing my pump up, so for now until I figure it out, it stays....

God luck-hope you find something that will work!!

This is what you need

Postby dannyv562 » Tue 22 May, 2007 11:52

go down to the hardware store or home supply store
works great. we have used it for year to unclogg our drains.
work of your standard garden hose.

Skimmer blocked

Postby cfc » Tue 22 May, 2007 20:34

I have one of my winter plug's stuck in one of my return's, we tried to get it out and pushed it in more, will that cause problem's, and how do i get it out. Thank You.
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Postby tpfeifer » Thu 24 May, 2007 07:24

I've got the same problem as DanO. I was thinking of using my pressure washer to unclog the Main Drain. I'm going to check the hardware store tonight for a rubber stopper, drill a hole through it the size of the nozzle on the washer and then blasting the water down the drain. Any thoughts on this?

Would it be better to dive down into the deep end and shoot the water through the main drain, or would that pottentially make things wors

Followup to clogged vacuum line

Postby DanO » Sat 26 May, 2007 13:23

Just a quick followup to my clogged vacuum-line problem.

Since my main drain line was not clogged (just the pool-vac line), I switched the jandy valve fully to the main drain line, so the vacuum line was totally shut off. I noticed, even after thoroughly backflushing my sand filter, that the pressure seemed a few pounds low (read at the gauge on the top of the filter). Since I had replaced the pump impeller a year ago, I suspected there was something going on in there that wasn't good, so I took apart the pump and had a look. It turns out there were a number of palm seeds (small, hard, 1/4"-diameter spherical seeds) jammed in the impeller vanes. I cleaned out everything that I could, and then used a small thin screwdriver to remove all of the seeds. After putting everything back together, I gained back the 2-3 pounds of pressure that was missing.

Then I removed the pool creature's hose from the pool, propped open the vacuum line outlet cover (in the pool), and switched the jandy valve to 100% vacuum (main drain line completely shut off, in other words). Turned the pump back on, and still not much suction, but I heard a big "gurgle" in one of the pipes that I didn't expect.

After shutting off the pump, I started the process of using the Drain King. I first took all the screws out of the top of the jandy valve and removed it (to expose the vacuum line's pipe). I immediately noticed a small strand of fan-palm tree debris hanging out, and on further inspection with a flashlight, I could see a large snarled mess of this palm-tree stuff stuck at a 90-degree bend in the vacuum line pipe (right before it went into the ground). I have a claw-type "grabber" device that is used for picking small parts (screws, etc.) out of tiny crevices. It's about 30" long, so I used it to grab hold of the big snarled clog that was at the 90-degree bend in the vacuum line. I managed, after several tries, to get a good hold on it, and extracted the whole thing. Put the jandy valve back together, et voila, LOTS of vacuum suction! Problem solved.

So I never even got the opportunity to try the Drain King. I suspect it would have worked, however, because the clog was jammed up at a 90-degree bend in the pipe, and I would have used the Drain King to push the clog _backwards_ through the line and back into the pool.

Whew, I hope this long diatribe is comprehensible. Let me know if you have any questions or need further clarification.
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Skimmer blocked

Postby marie » Mon 11 Jun, 2007 13:01

Hi DanO,
Can you go by steps. Did you open your sand filter to do this? After vacuuming this weekend and getting alot of grunt out I truned filter back to filter and noticed my pressure valve reading stayed at 0 psi no movement at all. My return line is not giving good pressure and my skimmer basked area has no pressure at all.
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Skimmer blocked

Postby DanO » Tue 12 Jun, 2007 00:05


No, I did not have to open my sand filter at all.

If you backflush thoroughly, do you then get some pressure at your filter?

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