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 [email protected]

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)

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