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

Page 3 of 3  
On Wed, 31 Aug 2011 12:24:35 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

Well, two things aren't working (that I know of).
1. The suction from the pool drain (as opposed to the spa drain) is meager.
2. The two squirt pipes surrounding the pool drain are not operating (one bubbles air and a teeny tiny bit of water; the other is no operating).
From my understanding of how the pool works, these two squirters are tied to the filtration system (as opposed to the other dozen squirters which are tied to the cleaning system).
I 'think' it's a clog because the pool was filled with an inch of mud when I bought the place. I think the guys who cleaned it didn't open up the drains to look what was inside.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 31 Aug 2011 10:35:12 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

I 'do' notice slight air bubbles coming out of the water going back into the pool.
What does a pool drain actually 'look' like (cut away view)?
What does it do? I 'thought' it was just a pipe ... with a 18-inch cover?
Is it more than that?

SWMBO ?

Yes. It has a cover. And a filter basket on the pool deck. But what else could make a pool pump not suck water when I move the valve to POOL ONLY versus SPA ONLY?
That is, the water flows perfectly when I'm in spa only mode (it empties the spa if I'd let it); but the water flows badly when I'm in pool only mode?
What else can it be other than a clog or a broken pipe (which I doubt 'cuz that would be ten feet underground)?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 31 Aug 2011 13:04:29 -0700, Bob F wrote:

The snake idea is interesting. I have a 100' long snake that just might work. Thanks for that idea. I never tried it with PVC pipe ... so I would need to be gentle as the thing runs off 120 volt power with a big rotating drum.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
SF Man wrote:

Get a weight belt and hold your breath. You should be able to spend a minute at a time under there right now, and given a little practice, maybe a minute and a half or longer.
Jon
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 31 Aug 2011 09:10:46 -0700, Jon Danniken wrote:

Since I have sleep apnea, I can actually hold my breath a very long time, maybe two minutes or longer on the first dive.
But, this is going to take scores of dives.
So, by the thirtieth dive, I don't know if I can hold my breath for longer than a half minute or so.
Scuba seems the way to go. I've since found out that you don't need a card to rent tanks for a few weeks. They can look up your dive card status.
So, I'm going to go with scuba (renting or buying since this will take weeks of elapsed time since I don't know what I'm doing).
Now the problem is to ask people for advice if they've ever opened a drain. I know you can suck your bowels down there if you're not careful.
Any advice on to the best way to approach opening a drain?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 8/31/2011 12:00 PM, SF Man wrote:

you can probably rent a snuba machine, and you don't need certification.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 8/30/2011 9:24 PM, SF Man wrote:

drain jet
http://www.poolplaza.com/pool-school/pool_pump_trouble_clogged_intake.shtml
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 31 Aug 2011 10:15:51 -0700, chaniarts wrote:

Interesting. That web page gave us NEW IDEAS!
Since the skimmers are not part of the filtration system, I can't use the first half of that web page's advice ... but ... the next part makes sense:
"The easiest way to remove a clog is to use a drain jet to force water against the clog to remove it. The direction of the flow of water should be opposite to the normal flow."
Basically, they put a garden hose drain jet inside the pump basket! I would never have thought about going from the pump basket! I was going to go from the drain on the bottom of the pool!
The drain basket, while being about 90 feet away from the pool drain, is at least very accessible!
I might even be able to try this method on the pool deck, right above the drain (but in air!) where the debris cannister and mesh bag sit!
This is a GREAT idea as I can access the lines from topside!
Worst case, the co2 gun they speak of (150 psi) might work also (I'll start looking to see where I can rent a c02 gun. I have a co2 tank for making soda so I have half the equipment already).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 31 Aug 2011 04:14:11 -0500, Caesar Romano wrote:

Are you suggesting sending compressed air through the drain?
I could (with scuba) get down there and stay there.
What pressure do you use and what fittings to get into a 18-inch wide drain opening from under water?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 31 Aug 2011 10:21:37 -0700, SMS wrote:

This is not a normal pool. It's a self-cleaning pool (no vacuum).
So, the skimmers are unfiltered (except for baskets). The water for the skimmers starts at the skimmers, goes through a basket, then goes to the 2.2 horsepower cleaner pump basket, and then back to the pool via a dozen squirters built into the bottom of the pool. There is a set of automatic 'water valves' which rotate the squirters so that, over an 8 hour period, every inch of the pool is sprayed by the skimmer water.
But, the skimmers have nothing to do with the filtration system.
The filtration system starts at the bottom of the pool (and spa) and then goes to the 2.2 horsepower pump and then to the filter and then back to the pool.
THAT system is the one which has low water volume from the deep-end drain but good volume from the spa drain. So, I suspect a problem in the deep-end drain.
As a slight complication, there are two squirters dedicated to the deep end drain (to channel the final bit of debris directly to the deep end drain) which are also not working.
So, three things are bad: 1. The deep end drain seems about half of what it should be (compared to the spa drain) 2. The two deep-end squirters which are tied to the filtration system are not working.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
SF Man wrote the following:

Can you rig up a backwash to the drain, either by water or air? Perhaps rerouting water from the pool pump or hooking up a shop vac and blowing air into the drain pipe?
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 01 Sep 2011 10:55:40 -0400, willshak wrote:

I started doing this when I removed the pump motor (to get the two bearings replaced, and the buna seal and the o-ring.
Then, I belatedly realized, the pump equipment is five feet (or so) BELOW the pool!
So, there is NO WAY I'll be able to push water back against that force from the pool pump equipment!

I bought, for $25 from a local pool supply store, a white canvas 'bag' that goes over the pool hose that expands and squirts water into a 2-inch pipe.
That tool can't be placed at the pool pump (see why above); but it can be used (I think) at the drain itself at the bottom of the pool, or, better yet, at the debris cannister topside on the pool deck, above the drain.
So that's what I'm going to try first!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I took a look at my pool and I dont think it would take more than an hour to reconfigure my plumbing to backwash the drain. That said I find it possible bit not likely you have a drain that clogged, more likely the valve used to switch from spa to pool.
Jimmie
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Somewhere along the way he mentioned that he doesn't understand how a pipe could be collapsed. One key issue is what pipe was used. Around here, NJ, they usually use flex PVC because it's easier to work with. Problem with that is that it can collapse if not backfilled carefully or subjected to too much vacuum. Also, it's often not possible to tell what they used. Pool here uses flex PVC underground but transitions to regular PVC prior to exiting the ground.
Not saying that's his problem, just one more thing to consider. I'd proceed by rigging up something to put either water or air down the suspect pipe, keeping the pressure below 15 or 20PSI or so. I've rigged up fittings from my air compressor to pool lines. If he can't get access to do that with what's there, cutting the PVC line at an appropriate spot is no big deal. Also, they have what are called "snap tees". Hard to describe, but google is your friend. Basicly it's a T that is made to snap onto an existing pipe. You use regular PVC cement, snap it on, then use a drill to make a hole in the existing pipe. Could use that to get his access point, connect water or air, close whatever valve he has and then test.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 1 Sep 2011 23:14:59 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

All the pipe I can "see" is 2" white PVC painted black. Schedule 40 I think it's called.
I had to replace an elbow and that's what I used and it seemed to be the same stuff (once I painted it black).
Nothing was flexible. It's all hard-plumbed pipe.

This is the best idea, I think.
There is no way it's going to work if I start at the pool equipment (which is about 5 feet or so BELOW the level of the pool) but I probably can rig something at the debris cannister at the top deck of the pool and/or at the actual drain itself in the bottom of the pool.
NOTE: You will see this, unfortunately, in a day, because the news server I'm using limits messages, apparently, to 10 a day (and just responding to you guys belatedly exceeded that so this is bouncing when I send it).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Not that it really matters, because a leak is a leak, but on the pool here no flexible PVC was visible either. It was used only underground and transitioned to regular PVC before coming out of the ground. The only difference with flex PVC you need to be aware of is that it doesn't tolerate very much suction pressure without collapsing. So be careful with your test technique unless you know for sure you don't have it.

Applying pressure at the pool pad, either water or air is just as effective as applying it at the pool end. You'd need a couple more PSI to handle the 5 ft rise, but that's it.
Don;t know the exact layout you have to work with there. But my first thought would be to apply air at the pool pad and see where bubbles come out. If you have lots of air coming out the bottom drain and no brown water, I'd say it's unlikely a clog you're dealing with.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 4 Sep 2011 07:07:05 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

That's a great diagnostic technique ...
I will see what I can rig to go from the air nozzle to the 2 inch opening at the bottom of the debris cannister first.
A diagram of the layout, roughly, is in this web page: http://www.starbacks.ca/Eureka/1034/paramountpcc2000.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

T4-
A snap tee's is a great idea in this situation.
I use them all the time to add sprinklers to existing lines or to "tap off" existing lines.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdxrychcx1Q

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.