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How To Unclog Pool Lines

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Clearing A Clogged Skimmer Suction Line

How to unclog your pool lines and pool filter.

According to Pool Plaza, cut the power to the pump, open the clogged skimmer line and close all other intakes. It is crucial that the only line open is the clogged one. Remove the pumps lid and place the hose in the port, making sure that there is a perfect seal. This way, water will not spray out from the port and will instead be forced down the line. Turn on the hose and this will create a forceful flow of water in the opposite-direction pipes normal flow.

If you are struggling to clear the clog, then you may need to create more pressure. You can do this by holding a tennis ball over the skimmer port to block the flow temporarily. As the pressure builds, remove the tennis ball to release the water, which will dislodge the clog. Repeat the process until it all flows out. If you are still unable to clear the clog, you may require a CO2 gun to finish the job however, this should only be done by a professional.

Things You Will Need

What Are The Two Pipes In The Bottom Of My Pool Skimmer

The second hole in the skimmer is connected to a pipe called an equalizer. This pipe goes down approximately two feet and through the concrete wall of the pool. It prevents the pump from taking in air if the pools water level dips below the skimmer opening.

Why is there no suction in my skimmer?

When your pool skimmer has no suction, the cause is most likely a blockage. This can put the entire filtration system of the pool into question, as there will be low water pressure.

Reasons Why Skimmer Pipes Get Blocked

Before we go on to learn about how to unclog your pool skimmer line, you should understand the potential reasons for your blockage, as knowing the cause can help you avoid such an issue again in the future.

The two most common reasons why your pool skimmer line is blocked are a cracked skimmer basket and removing the skimmer basket while your pump is running.

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Blow Out The Pressure Side:

Now that the air from the skimmer has blown through the pump, filter and heater we can now send it back to the pool through the return lines.

The return lines closest to the pump will begin to blow first. After 2-3 minutes of blowing, plug the wall return that is bubbling the most, then plug the other return lines. Make a tight, positive seal with your pool plugs, turning the wingnut until no air bubbles appear.

If you have other pressure side lines, like an automatic cleaner line or a spa return line, blow each of these out separately. If there is a spa blower on an attached spa, turn on the spa blower while you are blowing and plugging the spa jets. Blower lines often have a 2-way valve on the vertical PVC pipe. Close this valve while the blower is running, and then quickly shut off the blower.

Pool Skimmers : How To Clean And Troubleshooting Tips

How to Unclog a Pool Skimmer Line, Pool Pump Not Priming Part 7

There are two types of pool skimmers. One is the net you attach to a telescopic pole used to get leaves and debris out of your pool. The other is attached to the side of your pool and acts as the entryway to your pump and filter.

In this article, were talking about the latter. How they work, how to keep them clean and running properly, and how to troubleshoot them when things go wrong. Lets dive in!

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Pool Skimmer Not Working Well

The pool skimmers are fixed to the swimming pool with the sole aim of keeping the water clean and ensuring the safety of the users.

If the skimmer is not working properly, it could be that it has become clogged with debris, preventing it from discharging its primary job efficiently.

A very high or too low water level, less suction power, problems with weir flap, airlock, or need for backwash can be responsible for the skimmers inability to perform well.

Beware Of Chemical Cleansers

There are major benefits to using cleansers. Chemical cleaners can get the job done for you without the need to manually unclog the pool drains. However, there’s a risk to using them on the wrong material. The use of acidic cleaners can destroy your pool drains. It’s better to try to unclog them without chemical cleansers or to use one that’s more gentle than to risk damaging the pool. There are also the health risks to you from the use of harsh chemicals, and therefore, try to use other alternatives first.

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Blockage Outside Of The Pump

If you didnt find any debris in the pump basket or impeller , its time for a wider search. Its unfortunate, but debris can also build before the water even gets to your pump. Think about it: during the season, your pool water is usually exposed to the elements, and all that water is suctioned through your plumbing to the pump. It makes sense that a few leaves and twigsor a lotmight get carried along.

What To Do If Your Drain Is Clogged

POOL SKIMMERS 101: How To UNCLOG Your Pool Skimmer Line | Swim University

Before you call in the professionals, you can try a few techniques yourself, but there are a few things that you have to know so that you dont accidentally aggravate the problem. To unclog any part of your swimming pools drainage system, you will need to turn your pump off first.

To force out a blockage from the suction line, you can approach this issue from the side of your skimmer. The first step is to remove your strainer basket and clear any dirt and debris from the area. Then, you have the option of turning to handy tools such as a hydro flush or a clog buster/water bladder. You can attach these to your garden hose, as you are going to utilize the household water pressure for unclogging the blockage by inserting the water bladder into the skimmer. While this method can push out the debris that caused the blockage on the other end. If the blockage is stubborn, it can get also deeper, which means it will be even harder to get out.

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How To Clean Clogged Pool Pipes

Generally, when pipes in a pool are clogged, the issue is the main drain of the pool. Frequently, you will be able to resolve this problem on your own without calling in a swimming pool technician. If this is the problem you can take care of it yourself with special attachment for your garden hose.

If the problem is other smaller pipes in the system, you may have to bring in a professional.

What Are Pool Skimmers

Pool skimmers are like little buckets built into the side of the pool. They hold skimmer baskets, which perform a similar function to the handheld leaf skimmer, keeping leaves and debris from entering your pump and filter.

These are usually rectangular-shaped and are placed around the pool, toward the tops of the walls. The water level usually covers about the bottom half of the skimmers.

Theyre most often made of white plastic, and some have a door called a weir over the front that opens and closes according to the water level and movement.

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Re: Problems With Vacuum

Postby Guest»Sun 27 Jul, 2008 17:38

eet wrote:the pump runs fine and its sucking water becuse i can see it splashing in the pump. but when i change the two valves leading into the pump it stays at the same amount of water comming in. but nothing is happening to the skimmer…it doesnt pull anything in. what could be wrong? thanks for the help

Posts: 1
Joined: Tue 17 Mar, 2009 11:36
My Pool: it’s about a 12,000 gallon oval-shaped pool, max depth 5 feet. Plus a spa/hot tub that waterfalls into the pool. I have a 1/2 HP pump and a Hayward Navigator pool vacuum connected to the sweeper line.
Location: Woodland Hills, CA

A Place For Adding Chlorine Tablets

Clog drain head, just used to unclog pool skimmer line

You could spend a little money and buy a floating chlorine dispenser. Or you could just add a few chlorine tablets directly to your skimmer basket.

The advantage here is that because water is pulled through the skimmer, it will run over the tablets, dissolving them more quickly than if they were just floating around the pool. This means a higher concentration of chlorine in your water, which translates to cleaner, more sanitary water.

NOTE: Just make sure you remove the partially dissolved tablets from the pool skimmer when your pump isnt running to keep the highly chlorinated water from sitting in one place, possibly damaging equipment.

Better yet, invest in an automatic chlorinator. A chlorinator is the most efficient and safest way to add chlorine to your pool.

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Use Your Hands Or A Screwdriver

Sometimes the blockage may be at the very start of the pipe in the skimmer. This is usually easy to fix.

Start by turning off your pool pump then remove the skimmer basket. Now poke your fingers into the holes at the bottom of your skimmer. Pull out any debris.

You can also use a long screwdriver or a wire coat hanger to try and dislodge debris.

Blow Out The Suction Side

This is all of your incoming lines. You most likely have one or two skimmers and a main drain line on the suction side of the pump. These pipes join together coming into the pump.

Got a second skimmer? Blow air from one skimmer to the pump and back to the other skimmer. Dont forget to close the valve off at the pump. Or, you can pull off the pump lid and plug the port coming into the pump. This sends air through the other skimmer line.

If you dont want to reach into the skimmer and plug it while its spraying water, you can use another hose to connect to the other skimmer. Blow air through the skimmer lines. Do this for about two-three minutes or until only a mist is blowing out.

When it comes to the main drain, re-position your valves to blow air back through the main drain.

Youll see a very large plume of air rise up. When you do, allow 20 more seconds and then close off a positively sealing valve on the main drain line to hold the water back with a column of air.

If you have other suction lines , turn the valves again to send the air from the skimmer to each of these lines separately.

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How Do I Unclog A Clogged Swimming Pool Vacuum

I have a swimming pool which I was vacuuming the other day. Unfortunately, I accidentally vacuumed some larger items which caused the whole mechanism to clog, i.e., I can no longer vacuum.

What is the proper way to solve this problem?

We have checked the filters, and theyre clean. We suppose that somethings actually stuck in the pipes.

Youll need an auger to clear the clog in the pipes:

Loosen the clamp at the metal end and begin inserting the snake into the pipe until you hit the blockage .

Tighten the clamp and turn the plastic handle to spin the snake. That will help penetrate the blockage .

Extract the snake, clean the end off removing the gunk it collects, and repeat until you stop getting more gunk and the water flows through the pipes again.

Pressure Or Snake Should Remove Skimmer Clog

How to Unclog a Pool Skimmer Line, Pool Pump Not Priming Part 7

Q: I have a big problem with my swimming pool. I came home from work and noticed that lots of leaves and debris were floating on it. I lifted off the top of the skimmer and noticed that the water was not moving and there was no suction. I have tested the pool equipment and it seems to be working fine. If I move the suction valve to the drain, the pressure is good. However if I move it to skimmer the pressure drops and the motor makes a loud noise. What can I do?

A: You can either run your motor on drain suction or risk burning out the motor at least until you locate and remove the blockage in the skimmer line.

Its uncommon that you encounter an obstruction like the one you described. My guess is that you may have neglected the pool and are just now noticing the problem.

There are safeguards against such a blockage, namely the basket strainer in the skimmer. It may be that your basket has lost the weight that holds it down into the well. Without the weight, the basket floats and debris will bypass the basket right into the pipe.

As the suction from the pump pulls water through the basket, debris floating on top gets pulled into the basket. If debris gets past the skimmer basket, it will then go to the motor basket. If its too small for that, it gets caught in the filter media.

Incidentally, your motor makes a loud noise because it is straining to move water through the blockage .

So how do you clear the line?

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Swimming Pool Malfunctions Dont Always Require An Expensive Service Call Here Are Some Pool Repairs You Can Safely Tackle Yourself

It was the summer of the staycation. In May 2020, for in-ground and above ground pools spiked as families realized they werent going anywhere for the summer and sought to make the most of their backyards. Across the U.S., pool manufacturers and vendors reported record sales and exhausted inventories of residential swimming pools.

Jon Foshee, president of Concord Pools & Spas, a Latham Pool dealer, expects further growth with consumers moving out of big cities to more suburban areas. They have land and room for a pool in their yard, so demand is going to continue to rise, he says.

Among all those new pools and a whole lot of older ones, maintenance issues are bound to happen. And while some pool break-downs and malfunctions require professional intervention, you can save a bundle by doing some repairs yourself.

Heres a look at some common swimming pool problems with DIY solutions. Note that were limiting this discussion to leaks, tears and clogs, rather than mechanical issues or chemical imbalances that affect water quality.

On This Page

For tears to covers made of canvas, mesh or textured vinyl, try a self-adhesive patch made specifically for pool covers.

For INTEX brand or similar inflatable pools, INTEX Wet Set repair patch, despite its name, has to be used on dry vinyl. That means youll need to drain your pool to repair a patch below the waterline.

Why Circulation Matters

They say that in a crisis we learn what really matters in life. Your pool pump is essential. Dont let frustration lead you to contribute yours to the city dumpunless you actually need a new pump, in which case you should one hundred percent get a variable-speed unit.

Your pump is the absolute hub of your pools cleaning system. Its what circulates your pool water to filter out dirty particles and distribute cleaning chemicals. No circulation, no cleaningand nobody wants to swim in a cesspool of algae and worse. Pathogenic bacteria, anyone? Yeah, didnt think so.

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Use The Diverter Valve

If your skimmer line has been blocked by common debris like rocks and leaves, you may be able to unblock it using your diverter valve. This will save you from spending money on other tools.

To do this, move your diverter valve back and forth, as that will allow water to alternatively flow from your main drains and skimmer lines to the pump. Each time you move the valve to your skimmer lines, wait a few seconds before moving it back to the main drains.

After doing this a few times, you might be able to dislodge or remove whatever air pocket/debris that might be in your skimmer line into your skimmer basket.

Again, remember to always have at least one line of water flowing into your pump at all times.

Try The Following Steps If Your Swimming Pool Drain Is Clogged

Clogged Pool Cleaner Line
  • Start by carefully loosening any debris that could be close to the strainer basket.
  • If you believe that the clog could be close to the strainer basket, gently clean the nearby section of drain using a hand held drum auger.
  • A 25 foot handheld drum auger can be purchased for around $30.
  • Important: swimming pool drains are often built with short radius elbows that are normally found in cold water supply lines. These tight elbows can easily get clogged by any debris that flows past a dislodged strainer basket, and can also increase the risk that a drain cleaner gets stuck in the line.
  • If you feel any drain cleaner meet resistance as it encounters a short radius elbow or transition in a pool drain, you should avoid forcing it through to minimize the chance of it getting stuck.
  • To use the handheld auger:
  • Read and follow the auger safety instructions, then put on work gloves and eye protection.
  • Turn off the pool pump circuit breaker whenever attempting to clean the drain.
  • Remove the strainer basket and feed in the auger by locking the cable, turning the drum in a clockwise direction, and then unlocking and feeding the cable.
  • After you have inserted the drum auger as far as you can without meeting resistance from an elbow or transition, pull out the auger cable as you feed it back into the drum. It may take several attempts to loosen any blockage.
  • Next, try using household water pressure to push out the debris if the pool drain is still clogged.
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