How to remove pool drain cover 9 feet under water to check for a clogged pipe?

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My pool drain is 9 feet underwater - and - I think it's clogged because the pump runs dry every time I switch from both the spa & pool or just the spa, to the pool only.
The drain cover has screws on top - but - it's 9 feet under (due to the nature of the self-cleaning pool).
I long lost (20 years ago) my PADI scuba diving certification card (I wonder if we can get a new one sent?) and I don't have tanks (although I could buy them on Craigslist) and a regulator ...
So, I wonder, sans scuba equipment, how do you guy normally service your deep drains to see what's clogging them up?
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SF Man-
http://tinyurl.com/3rtnumd or free dive repeatedly or drain the pool or sell the place and move to the city
btw....in nearly 35 years, never experienced a block main drain in any pools I was responsible for. They're pretty hard to block permanently with the types of debris typically seen in a pool.
Can you run water from the garden hose from the filter area by plumbing the hose into the system?
cheers Bob
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On Tue, 30 Aug 2011 22:38:01 -0700 (PDT), DD_BobK wrote:

This type of filter isn't designed to be backwashed (it's a cartridge filter) but it does have a drain valve.
I will try to shove a hose into the drain valve (about 1.5 inch diameter pipe abover the filter pump) and see if that works - but - it's a good 90 feet away from the pool main drain ... so ... I'm not sure how that would work.
But, it's a good idea to try!
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Read carefully.......
consider a temporary (& reversible) re-plumbing effort to ALLOW you to PRESSURIZE the pipe TO the main drain line. I'm not suggesting shoving the hose down the pipe, let the pressurized water do the work. DO NOT USE COMPRESSED AIR UNLESS YOU HAVE COPPER PIPING.
Think outside the box (but not on the far side of the moon).
Start looking for a realtor.
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Which costs less ?
Obtaining a scuba tank so you can work underwater ?
- or -
Draining the pool so you can work on it sans-scuba gear and refilling it ?
D'uh...
~~ Evan
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On Tue, 30 Aug 2011 23:03:00 -0700 (PDT), Evan wrote:

Hi Evan,
Thanks for the advice. It's my fault for not mentioning that draining the pool isn't feasible.
If you look at some of my other threads, the well only pumps about 400 gallons of water a day. The pool is 38K gallons. That would take almost 100 days to fill the pool again - and that's assuming no other water goes anywhere but to the pool. Can't be done.
The only way to refill a drained pool out here is to truck the water in.
So, a used set of scuba tanks costs far far far less than refilling the pool would.
It's my fault for not mentioning that draining the pool doesn't appear to be an option (unless I can rent 38K gallon storage tanks for a few weeks).
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you empty it, you run a real distinct risk of floating the liner with all sorts of nasty side effects.
--
People thought cybersex was a safe alternative,
until patients started presenting with sexually
  Click to see the full signature.
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Or, even worse, a shrunken liner.
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On Wed, 31 Aug 2011 08:51:42 -0400, Kurt Ullman wrote:

It's a gunnite in-ground built-in pool.
I don't think it has a liner, per se.
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So would RENTING a set so you wouldn't have them cluttering up your garage.
So would HIRING someone with the proper equipment to dive on the drain.
So would HIRING a proper pool maintenance/repair firm to diagnose and fix the problem without ever getting wet, instead of turning this relatively simple job into the frickin' Poseidon Adventure...
Evan for President
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Dude...
You sound like a noob... You often have to purchase water to fill a pool at a premium rate and have it trucked in via a tanker truck...
Maybe you should try to hold your breath while you check the pool drain... ~~ Evan
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On Wed, 31 Aug 2011 11:45:07 -0700 (PDT), Evan wrote:

I did that already. Many times.
I go down and can hold my breath for a couple of minutes (I have sleep apnea so it's rather easy to hold my breath).
The problem is that it takes dozens of dives to remove the cover and inspect things.
I was looking for a simpler way.
One poster suggested using a garden hose on the filtration pump basket inlet (shoving water backward through the 90 feet of pipe to the other end of the pool). That might work.
Another idea is to shove that garden-hose drain thing into the topside debris cannister on the pool deck, just above the main drain. That may work also to blow the clog backward (I'd likely remove the drain cover for that to let the clog come out).
A third option is to buy or rent tanks for a few weeks and just go down, with weights, and spend the twenty or thirty minutes down there to figure out what is going on.
But, going down a dozen to three dozen times holding my breath seems like the hardest thing of all ... doesn't it?
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On Wed, 31 Aug 2011 12:18:30 -0700, SF Man wrote:

Make yourself a dry-dock using marine ply and the biggest pump you can find? At the very least, it'll make for a good darwin award story if it all goes wrong :-)
cheers
Jules
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SF Man wrote:

Take a largish bucket and cut a window in it. Bolt (and seal) a flexible plexiglass pane to the window. Install an air nozzle to the top. Add sufficient weights and connect your new diving bell to an air compressor.
When I was a lad, we did this to scrub the pool's wall at the Boy's Club. There was no shortage of volunteers to take a turn with a stiff brush, very few of which drowned.
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SF Man wrote:

Yes.
Just rent gear from a dive shop after you get your replacement c card.

Drain the pool, or get your SCUBA gear on.
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On Wed, 31 Aug 2011 06:23:23 -0500, Pete C. wrote:

Draining will take 100 days to fill from the hose (and that's w/o any water used in the house otherwise) so it's not an option.

That is a great idea. I called the local dive shop who said if I show them ID, they will look up my PADI status online ... and I don't even 'need' the card!
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Wow...
Clearly you don't know enough about pools or water to really be maintaining one on your own without proper supervision...
Hire a company to take care of it for you...
If the drain line in the bottom of the pool has become compromised and you really really need for it to be fixed because of some sort of psychological defect being in play here, then the pool will have to be drained for that to happen... They aren't going to tunnel in from a shaft dug next to the pool to do repairs...
You are thinking on consumer grade time tables... A gasoline operated pump would have that 38,000 gallon pool empty in a little more than an hour or two...
With a 50,000 gallon tanker truck full of water, the pool will be filled as fast as the pump in the tank truck can pump the water out of the hose, not 100 days...
~~ Evan
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On Wed, 31 Aug 2011 11:52:49 -0700 (PDT), Evan wrote:

Hi Evan,
I'm sorry again for not being clear. I never said I knew anything about pools. I never owned a pool before. In fact, I never even wanted a pool. I simply bought a house at forclosure that had a pool filled with mud (and fish).
For about $400, a team cleaned it out and left. Then I filled it and now the drain isn't working right.
Of course I can hire someone to fix it but I don't have a job and the money is tight (big mortgage and huuuuuge taxes). The house was practically free but the maintenance is what is difficult.
So, the only way I can keep the house is to do all my own maintenance (I've already learned how to do roofing tiles, how to cut down large oak trees, how to clean the three heater blowers, how to plug the solar heater, etc.).
I thought that's what this newsgroup is all about.
Sorry for misleading you. I repeat, I don't know anything about pools. But, I can learn just as I learned how to fix my car which has never been to a mechanic and which is now 15 years old.
It just takes time (which is the one thing I have plenty of).
Thanks for understanding and helping out.
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On 8/31/2011 2:24 PM, SF Man wrote:

<heh> That would have been helpful info in the OP. Yeah you might have a clogged drain. :-)
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If you go in the water to work on the drain while the pump is running, use extreme CAUTION.
You can become trapped by the suction, people have been killed this way....
Have buddy there to look out for you and shut down the pump if you get stuck...
Mark
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