How to Unclog Swimming Pool Pipes

Being a pool owner is one of the coolest things, but it also comes with a lot of responsibilities. A clogged pipe can be one of the most painful things for a pool owner as it takes some effort to even figure out which pipe has been clogged.

Once you have diagnosed which pipe has been clogged, you need to go about clearing it up; then ensuring you do not recreate the conditions that led to the clog in the first place.

The following are the steps you can take to unclog your swimming pool pipes:

how to unclog swimming pool pipes

Plumbing Snakes

Often, people will suggest that you use a plumbing snake to clean out a clogged pipe. A plumbing snake should be able to go up the pipe and dislodge whatever impurities that may be blocking the pipes.

However, there are two main problems with this method. The first is that if it is not a fresh plumbing snake, it means that it may have been in a host of other places that you do not even think of, let alone introduce those environments into your pool water.

Secondly, poop pipes are typically laid out in L-shapes or right angles, which makes it difficult for a plumbing snake to navigate the corners. However, if it is not too serious a clog, a (new) plumbing snake should do just fine.

Jet Hose

One of the more effective methods to clean out clogged pipes is a bladder-type hose jet. As the name suggests, this hose is strong enough to clean the whole system out.

Any regular hose will probably be good enough for small clogs, typically located near the pumps. However, if the pipe has more obstructions, you need a hose with strong water pressure so that it goes all the way and cleans all the impurities out.

Different Types of Clogs and How to Treat Them

There are two main types of pipe clogging that you may have to deal with in a swimming pool—skimmer-side blockage or the main drain line. The following are ways that you clear out these blockages using a bladder-type jet hose:

Skimmer-Side Blockage

For a skimmer-side blockage, you will first need to turn off the pump so it does not get in the way of your cleaning. Next, check if your skimmer box has any impurities and clean it out.

It is important to isolate which pipe you think is clogged and begin with treating that first. This means you need to shut off all the other valves while you are using the hose.

Allow the hose to run for a couple of minutes and keep an eye on your skimmer box to see if any waste or impurities are emerging to the top. Keep cleaning it out.

At the point when the skimmer box is clean, there is when you know your clog has cleared out and you can turn off the water.

Then you can open all the other valves and run the water again to see if everything is working fine.

Main Drain Line Blockage

If you are dealing with a main drain line blockage, the process is not too different from cleaning out a skimmer-side blockage. Start by turning off the pump and remove it from the power source so you can prevent any possible electrical accident.

Next, remove the cover of the main drain. Once you have managed to open the cover (you may have to jump into the water a few times to achieve this) go to the pump and insert the hose as far as it can go into the intake pipe.

As mentioned before, turn off all the other valves so only the main drain line is being cleaned out.

The clogged waste will begin to blow back into the pool. Once you see that the water is running clean (which will be a few minutes after you have been running the valve), you can then cover the main drain cover again and scoop out the impurities out of the pool.

You can also use a pool vacuum.

Ensure all the waste has been removed so that it does not get pulled back into the drain and cause it to get blocked again.

Final Thoughts

If neither of these methods works, then it is possible that whatever is clogging the pipes has dried and solidified, making it impossible for the water to dislodge it. You will probably need to use air pressure to remove the clog.

However, this is not the easiest task to undertake by yourself and you may likely require professional support. If you attempt to do this by yourself and it does not work out, then you may have to shell out way more money to fix the damages.

So, cut your losses and enlist the help of professionals if you think it is beyond you.

michael keenan author

Author - Michael Keenan

I'm Michael Keenan the owner and creator of the Outdoor Care Guide. I'm a trained horticulturist with over 30 years experience in pool care, plant care and landscape care! Seemed like a good idea to share - I think I can make your life easier and save you some time and money!