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

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

Postby Josh » Tue 17 May, 2011 19:32

Hello everyone. I am a first time pool owner. I have a gunite pool with a built in spa. Recently, I had the rotary valve and pool return valve both "go bad" within a couple of days of each other. The rotary valve would not flow into the filter, and was blowing through the backwash pipe. When I tried to shut the water valves off from the pool, I noticed that the spa valve would not close. I am 100% sure it closed the day before. I had my "pool guy" come out right away and he told me that all my valves and rotary valve had to be replaced - fair enough.

After he left, I noticed that there was a pool thermometer and two of those kids diving torpedos on the side of the house with the broken stuff he left. The plastic thermometer was cut in half. He did not leave the "broken" valves. When I slid the thermometer into the pipe he left, the cut grooves were identical - meaning that the reason the valve was broken was because of the thermometer.

There is no way that these items could have gotten through the bottom return in the spa, meaning someone would have had to lift it out and drop them through the return pipes. Has anyone ever heard of a pool person doing something like this? It all seems overly coincidental.

Id really appreciate it if anyone could give me their thoughts or experience on this.


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

Postby feelingstupid » Sat 28 May, 2011 06:34

Help...When I installed freeze plugs at end of season, I must have used one that was too small, as it went down into line under concrete deck. I then installed a correct one and decided I'd worry about it come summer. Well, summer is here and I'm screwed, as there is no pressure/water coming out of jets on that side of the pool. My only thought is a plumber's snake? Will that work?

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

Postby babs » Sat 18 Jun, 2011 12:34

My pool chemical supplier gave me Chlor-Sta to try to get my pool to hold chlorine. Its now June 15th and I've been battleing with it since April. I poured it slowly down the skimmer as suggested, but it still blocked up my skimmer pipes. How do I get this mess out? HELP, please. We want to have a 4th of July party by the pool before my son goes off to Afganistan.
Thanks :crazy:

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

Postby taverasyg » Sun 03 Jul, 2011 08:03

Pool suction grows very weak after a couple of minutes and it won't suction when vaccuum is attached, I put my fingers in the skimmer and the suction does not hurt me at all I think there maybe a clog somewhere but don't know how to clear it. Help thanks

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

Postby Marcus » Wed 13 Jul, 2011 13:33

Hi there,
I think when he refers to blow-out bag, he means the plumbers test plug. I believe there are 2 kinds of test plugs: one that connects to a garden hose and just inflates and blocks the pipe, and one that inflates to block the pipe while spraying a blast of water into the pipe on the other side of the plug. Hopefully you have the second type. It may have a steel ring on a lanyard... if so, connect twine or fishing line. Something strong but not large diameter. This will help you pull the thing out with something stronger than your hose.

Follow the pipe from your skimmer to the pump. You may have a valve in front of the pump. If not, you'll have to insert the hose into the pipe via the pump basket cover. Either way, unscrew the big plastic cover on the pump or remove the 6 or so screws from the valve cover. Stick in the plumber test plug/blow-out bag (attached to the garden hose) as far as it will go. Turn on the hose valve and try to blow the blockage back out the skimmer.

If nothing happens, turn off the hose valve, and jam the hose in a bit further. Repeat turning on the hose valve to try to blow out the blockage. Hopefully your pool contractor used 2 inch pipe instead of 1.5 inch and 45 degree fittings instead of 90 degree elbows. This makes servicing easier and you can really get the hose in there deep. Even so, there will be a limit to how far you can go.
Good luck.

By the way, this process should work to unblock pool jets that don't have as much flow as they used to, although you might not get the test plug in very far because of threads or the fittings.

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

Postby HanDman » Mon 17 Oct, 2011 14:35

Try a Clog Buster-plumbing supply store for about $10.00-got rid of a serious acorn/leaf clog on my system-hooks up to garden hose and backflushes the lines.

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

Postby Guest » Thu 22 Mar, 2012 08:58

maybe try a tennis ball, i'm having same problem

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

Postby joeycary » Wed 02 May, 2012 10:29

I Have read this entire thread and having the same problem with my skimmer line, I try every day to blow it back out both directions with still no luck I have used all the devices that have been mentioned here and still nothing. I friend of mine had a similar problem with a septic line and tried everything and finally he tried what I am going to do next-- that is I bought, that just arrived today a "TSI Tire Service Tools CH-5 Cheetah Bead Seater" to adapt to blow the clog hopefully out the way it came, hopefully it wont blow the pipes apart. I will have to make it fit securely in order for it to work, keep fingers X. I will let you all know :?: :?: :roll: :roll: :wtf: :wtf: Only good thing I see about this is that I am not alone with this problem glad you are all here as support

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

Postby joeycary » Fri 04 May, 2012 09:24

IT WORKED!!!!!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:
I took the air compressor and adapted the PVC pipe so it screwed into the skimmer line going with the flow (I tried the reverse flow but would have had to cut the pvc pipe to fit it into that direction) The first time I didn't have a tight fit and created a small tital wave in the skimmer itself when it pulled away. I then screwwd in the threaded end into a PVC pipe that I held and jammed it into the hole and held it and the small tank and turned the air to on 100psi and opened the skimmer line by the pump and 1 short blast of air was all it took to blow a big bunch of old leaves out in the direction of the flow. Thinking outside the box can work sometimes.If anyone needs more info please contact me and I will give more details since I am not a plumber I may not be explaining things too well. thanks for being there everyone!!!joeycary@embarqmail.com

return jets.. (low pressure) and 1 skimmer box.. stands stil

Postby sickofmypool » Mon 21 May, 2012 08:16

Hey all... It seems that my problem is similiar, only i am going on just about 3 seasons, with this nonsense. I am ready to sell my house..lol..jking..
Here goes... I hired a pool guy, and he convinced me to replace my very old fiberglass (year round) filter, and i still believe nothing was wrong with it to this day!!!!...i went to that powder filter, (forgot the name of it d something???) low and behold, my skimmers weren't sucking down and my return jets were very low ( old filter: you could stand with your back at a return jet, and feel the pulsating on your back, like a hot tub) so, i hated the new filter, with the chemicals, blowing in my face.. Backwash, and waste.. 3 times etc.. So i convinced him to give me a sand filter... Before going back to the sand filter, he convinced me the pump was old, and needed to be replace.... So i bought a new pump.... Still the same problem.!!!!we put a new "sand" filter, and that was last year.. Problem solved? Nope.... It ran great last year, but only because, i had a nozzle that went on my garden hose, (bought on tv) that had all different flows.. Ex: spray, full, and more i pulled the skimmer boxes out and held this nozzle over the hole into the pipes underground..for a few minutes... Maybe not strong enough, but it helped one side (closest to the filter) but the other skimmer box was dead ) so, i partially turned that skimmer box halfway off. (the one furthest from the pump/ filter) , and the return jets were better , but not like with the old filter from 1975.... So this is now my 3rd year, just opened up the pool, and the pool guy says, its old, (foxx pool) and everything needs to be replaced hahahah.. Bad economy eh?........he said its like an old car.... Lol...lmao... (mind you... I am a single mom) and he thinks he can sell me a bridge too...
So, i have a power washer and a snake, but someone told me i will break the pipe for sure underneath .. With a snake? Help ..please.. I want to have a divorce party. :lol: :lol: ..lol..jking...(really : a family reunion) ;o)

Skimmer blocked

Postby Antonio » Sat 02 Jun, 2012 08:44

marie wrote: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.

How old is the sand in your filter, verify an see if has hardened....

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

Postby ChristineIam » Sat 07 Jul, 2012 11:17

I know this is old :) I hope spent your summer swimming and not digging! :D
Did you solve the problem, find out was clogging it, were you able to unclog with compressor? :?:
david .nevera

blockage @handle

Postby david .nevera » Thu 16 Aug, 2012 11:54

i have an obstruction @pump where handle for skim and main drain are when i turn off main drain i hear it tumbling @ the handle how can i fix .please help,
thank you

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

Postby manofmanyhats » Tue 04 Sep, 2012 22:55

Not sure if anyone will ever read this far but I had a clogged cleaner line and didn't wish to go to home depot to get a drain king or whatever so this was my approach. I folded a paper towel up so that it was still long but the width was now only and inch or so. I wrapped this paper towel around my garden hose about 5 inches from the end and then duct taped it to the hose making a little bulbous end which looks a lot like what those drain king things look like. It was tapered a bit and now thicker than the pipe so I stuck in and it created a great seal. Holding it in place with a little force I had the wife turn the hose on and after a few seconds...whoosh...the pressure built up and blew the obstructions out of the line.

Hope this can save someone some gas and money like it did me.

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

Postby Ronster » Sat 15 Sep, 2012 09:45

I might have bad news for you. My pool skimmer stopped working and all attempts to clear it failed (snakes, hose plug, etc.) The pool folks came out with an underwater camera and went into the skimmer. Sylvan Pools used flexible PVC for the first 5-6 feet! It collapsed after 30 years of chlorine degradation. I now need to break up concrete to replace it.

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