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?
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.
On Wed, 31 Aug 2011 12:24:35 -0500, firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
On Wed, 31 Aug 2011 10:35:12 -0500, email@example.com wrote:
I 'do' notice slight air bubbles coming out of the water going back into
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?
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
What else can it be other than a clog or a broken pipe (which I doubt 'cuz
that would be ten feet underground)?
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
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?
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).
On Wed, 31 Aug 2011 04:14:11 -0500, Caesar Romano wrote:
I already have a compressor so there is plenty of hose.
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?
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
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
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
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
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!
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.
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.
On Thu, 1 Sep 2011 23:14:59 -0700 (PDT), firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
All the pipe I can "see" is 2" white PVC painted black. Schedule 40 I think
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).
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.
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