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

Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:13 pm

I just found out my skimmer intake pipe is somehow blocked. It won't vacuum or skim much of anything. Had to turn the skimmer off to run pool threw the main drain..Does anyone know how to UN block it without having to hire someone to do it?
Thanks for your help!
 
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Francoflier
Posts: 4604
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Re: underground pool-skimmer pipe is blocked-how to unblock it?

Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:24 pm

For blockages in long drain hoses on a boat, I have had success with a long electrical wire puller / 'fish tape', provided the blockage is not too hard and there are not too many tight bends in the piping...

Image

Not sure if it would work in this case, but might be worth a try, especially if you can just rent/borrow one instead of buying it.

BTW, did you join A.net to get underground swimming pool maintenance advice? :scratchchin:
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trpmb6
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Re: underground pool-skimmer pipe is blocked-how to unblock it?

Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:49 pm

Have you ever winterized your pool before? (Probably not based on the timing of this post) The process is similar.

The process would be similar to winterizing, except you'd only have to do the dedicated line that goes to your skimmer. My pool pump has a threaded drain on the side of it that you can screw an air hose adapter/coupler (call it what you want) to blow the lines out. You would close your main return line, the floor (main) drain and your second skimmer, leaving only the clogged skimmer open. Connect an air compressor to the pump and start to increase pressure gradually. PVC is pretty forgiving, but for this, I wouldn't exceed 30 to 40 psi. If you can't unclog it with 30 to 40psi, It's probably your mistresses' bathing suit and you'll just have to call a plumber with rotor-rooter snake to get it out. (You can get smaller hand held rotor rooters at your hardware store that are about 25 feet long or so by the way for relatively cheap if you want to try this route instead of trying to pressurize the line) 25 feet long should be more than enough if you try from both sides of the skimmer. If you don't have an air compressor, I'd go this route first, now that I think about it.
 
sccutler
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Re: underground pool-skimmer pipe is blocked-how to unblock it?

Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:05 pm

When I had exactly this problem, I had good success using one of the expanding bladder attachments to a garden hose.

https://www.amazon.com/Cleaning-Bladder ... 1424&psc=1

I was able to do it from the pump, placing the clearing device in through the pump bowl (if I am recalling correctly).

Sold the house with the pool five years ago - don't miss pool ownership much. It cost me as much as owning my airplane - no joke.

Best of luck!
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
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trpmb6
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Re: underground pool-skimmer pipe is blocked-how to unblock it?

Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:21 pm

sccutler wrote:
When I had exactly this problem, I had good success using one of the expanding bladder attachments to a garden hose.

https://www.amazon.com/Cleaning-Bladder ... 1424&psc=1

I was able to do it from the pump, placing the clearing device in through the pump bowl (if I am recalling correctly).


I've used that before as well on a drain that ran under my house that was clogged full of sediment after my water heater tank gave out. Worked like a charm as well. Wife gave me some weird looks when I brought a garden hose into the house though. :rotfl:

Sold the house with the pool five years ago - don't miss pool ownership much. It cost me as much as owning my airplane - no joke.

Best of luck!


Really? My pool costs me next to nothing to operate. The electricity is so low due to using a variable speed pump that I've programmed and I only buy two bags of a salt a year and two 1lb bags of shock (1 when I open, 1 when I winterize). I think I spent less on my pool last year than what a gym membership typically costs for one month. It probably helps that it's salt water (wife is allergic to chlorine) and I have a safety cover on it that protects it from UV so the chlorine that the salt chlorinator produces doesn't break down as fast.

Or are you referring to just the total cost of installing the pool? In which case you betcha haha.
 
sccutler
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Re: underground pool-skimmer pipe is blocked-how to unblock it?

Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:35 pm

trpmb6 wrote:
I've used that before as well on a drain that ran under my house that was clogged full of sediment after my water heater tank gave out. Worked like a charm as well. Wife gave me some weird looks when I brought a garden hose into the house though. :rotfl:


She was all better when it was fixed, I'll venture!

me wrote:
Sold the house with the pool five years ago - don't miss pool ownership much. It cost me as much as owning my airplane - no joke.

Best of luck!


Really? My pool costs me next to nothing to operate. The electricity is so low due to using a variable speed pump that I've programmed and I only buy two bags of a salt a year and two 1lb bags of shock (1 when I open, 1 when I winterize). I think I spent less on my pool last year than what a gym membership typically costs for one month. It probably helps that it's salt water (wife is allergic to chlorine) and I have a safety cover on it that protects it from UV so the chlorine that the salt chlorinator produces doesn't break down as fast.

Or are you referring to just the total cost of installing the pool? In which case you betcha haha.


Well...

1. Pool under pecan trees - bad, bad idea (all that tannin);
2. Pool built in 1992 - it was not costly for the first ten years or so, then started easing up in expense as it got older;
3. Salt water - yeah, had I kept it, I might well have changed over; old traditional chlorinated pool just not easy to maintain balance, especially in the Texas summer;
4. It was due for a complete refurb - likely more expensive than the original build - and everything was wearing out.

It all added up.

We sold the house and (of course) the house was scraped right away because, as we all know, no one can tolerate living in a mere 4,000 square feet; it was replaced with a 7500 sqft monster, and the pool was eliminated, as well. I'm in a smaller house, with no yard and a pool that the HOA maintains. Much happier. Except I miss the house.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
jetwet1
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Re: underground pool-skimmer pipe is blocked-how to unblock it?

Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:06 pm

I went through this last year, I'm sorry, it's a pain in the you know what.

As to the comments above, if you decide to try the bladder, drain the pool below the level that the skimmer will fill, get as much water out of the line before trying to use the bladder, the weight of the water in the line will cause the bladder to blow before forcing out the blockage.

Snaking could work, depending on the type of blockage.....

Anyways, after fighting with the blockage for a couple of weeks I ended up digging to below the skimmer housing (that sucked) , cutting the line, then using a bladder to force the blockage out, then put a join in and refilled the pool.

It sucks, but that is the way I ended up having to fix it.
 
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cjg225
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Re: underground pool-skimmer pipe is blocked-how to unblock it?

Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:49 am

How did you dig below the level of the skimmer? Do you not have a concrete deck around your pool?
Restoring Penn State's transportation heritage...
 
Airstud
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Re: underground pool-skimmer pipe is blocked-how to unblock it?

Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:14 am

sccutler wrote:
expanding bladder


Gross.
Pancakes are delicious.
 
sccutler
Posts: 5775
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 12:16 pm

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

Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:22 pm

Airstud wrote:
sccutler wrote:
expanding bladder


Gross.


Yeah.

The tool looks vaguely obscene, doesn't it?
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
jetwet1
Posts: 2693
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 4:42 am

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

Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:57 pm

cjg225 wrote:
How did you dig below the level of the skimmer? Do you not have a concrete deck around your pool?


Dug down next to it, then cut under it once I was a couple of feet below the bottom of it, as I said above, it sucks, but it ended up being the only way I could get the line cleared.

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