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

Page 2 of 3  
On Wed, 31 Aug 2011 11:52:49 -0700 (PDT), Evan wrote:

Wow. Twenty thousand gallons an hour! 300 gallons a minute. 5 gallons a second. That's fast!

If I have to, I will drain the pool. But, I was hoping to try to figure out what the problem is BEFORE draining it.
In fact, if it's drained, then I can't even run the pump anymore. So, how does one TEST a pool drain which is now empty?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yeah, apparently you have never seen the man-portable gasoline powered pumps that are used to drain out basements after a serious flood...
If you really wanted to go thermonuclear on it, a fire pump (like the ones in a fire truck) can provide 500 to 750 gallons per minute quite easily...
So, let's review what you have revealed so far --
-- You hired a company to clean out 1" of dirt and mud from the bottom of the pool...
-- You then filled the pool with water which took you somewhere on the order of ~100 days according to various replies you have made thus far...
-- You never had the pool inspected by a proper pool company BEFORE you filled it...
-- You have no idea whether or not the drain was functioning properly BEFORE you filled the pool with water...
-- You are unemployed yet you got a house for nearly nothing, and yet the maintenance of said home and its amenities costing any sort of money to deal with is not optimal ?
Wow...
There are so many issues there I will just leave them to you to deal with...
~~ Evan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Especially from Evan, who has proven to be a bit of a village idiot in the past. The questions SF is asking seem reasonable to me. Also, I've seen plenty of "expert" pool companies screw things up royally too.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 31 Aug 2011 14:55:07 -0700, Oren wrote:

How did you know!
BTW, I 'was' employed when I got the house (at a very good price). But I was laid off a few months after that.
I'm living off my savings at the moment. Over 55 and over the hill.
It's not easy starting over (I was at the same company for decades).
Anyway, I thought the whole purpose of alt.home.repair is to ask advice and I'm very glad you guys are volunteering the time to provide that advice.
My nntp news provider limits the number of messages a day so this is coming a day after I posted it. Sorry about that.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 04 Sep 2011 12:55:00 -0700, Oren wrote:

Oh, yeah. I forget how unforgetful the Internet is! :)
That oak is drying nicely now ... but man oh man ... anyone who splits these things by hand deserves my respect!

I'll try these nntp settings and see how that works out (thanks!).
Server name: news.eternal-september.org Port : 119 (NNTP) Port : 563 (encrypted connection NNTPS)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
SF Man wrote:

I have a 3" 8HP pump that is rated at 385GPM, yes that's fast, and yes you have to have a place you can discharge all that water that can handle the flow rate.

I have no idea what a tanker of pool water costs, but renting some dive gear - tank, reg, mask and weight belt - is probably cheaper and more fun. No need for wetsuit, BC, snorkel or dive computer in a 9' pool. You want to be over weighted anyway so you can work without moving yourself around.

You would leave a foot or two of water in the pool.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 31 Aug 2011 17:08:46 -0500, Pete C. wrote:

Renting makes sense but I like to own my (used) equipment. The advantage of owning the equipment is that, over time, you end up finding other uses for the stuff that you never imagined. At least that's what happens to me! :)

I agree. The pool is warm (82 to 85 degrees F). And only 9 feet deep. I do need weight though. But that's no big deal.
When I was less fat, a few decades ago, I was 12% body fat (weighted under water in the chair) and, interestingly, in my entire scuba class at college, not one other person had ZERO lead weight in the pool. Everyone else (women and men included), needed a few pounds, fully laden with scuba gear, to be neutral. BTW, this was in the days of the horse collar so we didn't use BCs.
Even in the ocean, I only used 4 pounds of lead, which was way less than anyone else. Now, I float like an iceberg! So, the one thing I 'do' need is the lead weight! :)

Interesting. I wonder what happens to the sidewall safety drain. I guess you have to plug it becuase it's only about 3 feet below the surface.
BTW, I said the drain cover is 18 inches but that's too wide. It's about a foot (or so) in diameter.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 31 Aug 2011 04:53:27 -0700 (PDT), jamesgangnc wrote:

I agree. But ... it's tedious and, since I don't know what I'm looking for per se, it's time consuming. I would rather just stay on the bottom for a while (plus, it would be fun to get back into scuba gear since I haven't dived in over 30 years after being an advanced PADI open water diver as a college student).

I hope not. The pool had an inch thick of mud in it when I bought the house (forclosure) so it easily 'could' be clogged.

It's a looooong story. The short story is my skimmers don't work the way most people's skimmers do. 1. I have a filtration system that has a single 18" suction port at the deepest end of the pool (8 or 9 feet) (plus a safety port on the side wall). That filtration system has nothing to do with the skimmers.
2. Then, there is a built-in vacuum-less cleaning system, which takes water from the two skimmers and simply squirts it back into the pool, unfiltered (other than baskets at the skimmers and pump) in order to push debris to the deep end of the pool (which has a cliff-like dropoff in order to trap the debris on the bottom of the pool).
So, the skimmers have nothing to do with the filtering, unfortunately.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
SMS wrote:

Assuming the pool pipes are something like 2", bringing down a garden hose with one of the basic jet nozzles on the end should allow you to flush the mud out of the pipe as you push the hose further into the drain. You will of course have zero visibility in short order, so first hook a small guide rope from a drain screw up to the pool exit to make exit and re-entry easier.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 31 Aug 2011 17:12:06 -0500, Pete C. wrote:

This is a good warning!
Many a time I've done something, only to rue the lack of forethought when something like a dust cloud occurs.

I'm not sure what this means. Even if the pool turned black, I, personally, would be safe as I'd just float upward.
So the guide rope must be for the hose?
Note: Sorry this is a day late. My nntp news provider limits posts to something like 25 per day only and I've been answering everyone here (as a courtesy and to respond and to appreciate their advice).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
SF Man wrote:

No floating. When you are diving to do work like this you dive over weighted / without a BC so that you can push and pull on things without moving yourself around.

No, for you. So you can just stand up with a hand on the guide rope and follow it walking towards the shallow end until you surface.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 04 Sep 2011 03:36:05 -0500, Pete C. wrote:

Interesting.
I understand adding additional safety measures, and, I agree, a guide rope is pretty trivial to hook up (so why not), but, still, I can't fathom an 'emergency' in a pool that has such a small deep end (the deep end is ONLY there for the self-cleaning system to work).
By the way, if you haven't seen this type of pool, you'd have no idea how STEEP the slope is at the deep end. It's nothing like a 'regular' pool.
It's about as steep as a steep ski slope. The whole point, apparently, is to push debris toward the deep end where it can't get out.
I'd say it looks almost like, oh, about 30 degrees. Before I realized the entire pool is designed around the cleaning system, I wondered who on earth would make the 8 or 9 foot deep end so short (it's only about 4 feet wide on the bottom of the deep end) and then have a slippery sloap that was almost 45 degrees up to the shallow end.
It was too short for diving (you'd dive right past it) and the shallow slope would kill anyone who tried as they'd it it head on, literally.
The whole pool made no sense (to me) until I talked to the company (Lifetime Pools) that built it and to the company that designed the cleaning system (http://www.paramountpoolproducts.com/products/pcc /).
Here they tout the pool is built to clean itself! http://www.paramountpoolproducts.com/products/aapdf/PCC2000Flyer.pdf
In that two-page PDF, you can see that two jets are dedicated to the filter system to push debris directly to the drain. It's 'that' part of the system that I'm trying to debug.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Are you saying that safety port is connected to the suction line along with the bottom drain? That would be the way I would think it should be because you don't want a single suction point to prevent someone from getting sucked onto the single suction point and drowning.
So, if that's the case, why would the pump run dry because of the bottom drain being clogged? It would have to be a clog affecting both the bottom drain AND the side suction point, no?
As for proceeding, it sounds a lot easier to me to do a test with water flowing from the pool pad via a garden hose attachement or similar than it is to dive for the bottom drain. You could also use compressed air as long as you make sure you keep the pressure low, eg 15psi or so.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

he could get a plumber to run a camera down the line to see exactly whats wrong. depending on what the line is made of it might be possible to snake it.
some problems can be endlessely discussed where it takes less time to just go exploring......
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 1 Sep 2011 22:57:10 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I think that's the way it's built.

Hmmm... that's a good point (which I had not thought of).
All I 'actually' know is that when I turn the compool electrical valve from Spa or from Spa/Pool to just Pool, the pump loses its water in the pump basket. It's sucking more air than water.
I 'thought' that meant the drain is clogged (especially since the two squirters opposite it are not working).
But, maybe that just means there is a leak in the line?
Yikes. How would one find an air leak in when it's all buried underground (mostly)?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I found mine by plugging all of the pool outlets on the line in question except for one. I closed off the valve at the pool pad on that line. On the remaining pool side outlet, I screwed in a 2" threaded PVC adaptor that transitioned to an air chuck which I then connected to my air compressor.
I suspected a leak and was actually going to see if it would hold pressure. But as I tried to pressurize it, while I was still trying to stop air leaking around the PVC adaptor, I heard air and water boiling out of the ground back near the pool pad.
If you do that, don't go over about 15 or 20psi. I'd also do it right after the pump has been running for a while. I think that way there is probably going to be more water around the leak area, so more water to spot boiling out of the ground.
I also see you mentioned sand destroying the impeller. Where is that coming from? Does a lot blow into the pool from the environment? If not, another sign of a leaking pipe is sand, small pebbles, getting sucked in. On mine, two main symptoms of the suction side leak were:
A - Those pebbles and sand showing up in the strainer basket
B- Some constant air bubbles in the strainer
C - A brown cloud that went by some number of seconds after the pump started each time. I actually used that to determine the approximate location of the suspected leak before finding it with air. I shut the pump off, then put some blue food coloring in one of the skimmers. I turned the pump on and timed how long it took for the blue to show up at the pump strainer. I then timed how long it takes for the brown cloud to show up, giving an idea of where the leak is relative to the total length of pipe.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 4 Sep 2011 06:55:38 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I'll try that as I'm 'sure' there are leaks (I put in 500 gallons every few days ... and my well output is only about 400 gallons in a 24-hour day).

When I bought the forclosure, I was told they emptied the pool, but, rainwater filled it (that's a LOT of rain!) and then the vector control guys threw mosquitoe fish into it to keep the mosquitoes down.
It was greenish brown when I got it, and the water level was about a foot below the deck. The fish were happily swimming about, eating the algae. The bottom had mud on it everywhere, which we had cleaned up by a work crew.
Normally, no sand spills into the pool (it gets wind borne debris, but, not much).

Interesting. I 'do' see tiny pebbles in the filter basket and wondered how they got there ...

That I never see.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It's probably not clogged but broken. You're likely sucking air.
When I had a pool, I did patches without any tanks. The only issue was buoyancy. At the deep end, I had SWMBO hold me down with the sweep. Trusting, huh. ;-) ...though something clogging the bottom drain is *very* unlikely. It has a cover, no?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Aug 31, 11:35am, " snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz"

Often when the bottom drain is clogged it's a collapsed pipe. Most people learn to live without.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 31 Aug 2011 09:32:40 -0700 (PDT), jamesgangnc wrote:

Wow. I have no idea how a pipe would collapse. They're all UNDER the pool. But if it is, I agree, I'd live without.
Belatedly, I realized I can limp along with the inlet to the filtration pump set at half way between spa only and pool only ... so that there is half suction in both.
But it's sub optimal.
I'm heading to the dive shop to see if I can rent some tanks for a few weeks 'till I figure this out.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.