How to Reverse the Water Flow in a Swimming Pool Skimmer

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Note that if your pump is not listed as self-priming, you may need to manually reprime the pump after resolving the clog. You should remove the debris that makes up the clog with your hands or a standard mesh skimmer once the clog is free, to prevent the debris from reentering the system.

Pools require pumps to keep water fresh and free of debris.

Pool pumps keep water in a pool moving and free of debris. In addition, some pumps may provide heated water or double as a chlorine delivery system. The skimmer portion of the pump allows debris such as leaves and dirt to be collected into a filter. This serves to remove debris from the water and also to prevent debris from damaging the pump itself. Over time, clogs can develop causing a decrease in water flow or malfunction of the pump. Reversing the water flow is one way to remove these clogs.

Step 1

Locate the water flow switch on the pump connected to the skimmer. Some models have a switch that allows the flow to be reversed automatically. If there is no switch, proceed to step 2 to manually reverse the flow.

Step 2

Turn off the pump. Open the skimmer line by opening the flow valve connected to the skimmer line valve. Close the valves on the other lines. Some pumps may come with clamps or covers to block off flow to individual lines as well.

Step 3

Take off the pump lid. Be aware that there may be pressure built up inside the pump so water may shoot out rapidly at first. If the pump is equipped with a pressure release valve, open it before removing the lid to decrease pressure.

Step 4

Take the drain jet and put it inside the open pool pump. You may need to move the drain jet line or disconnect it from the input on the pool itself to position it inside the pump.

Step 5

Turn on the pump and allow the water to flow in reverse through the skimmer line. If the water is going through other jets or lines, check to make sure all other valves and lines are closed. You may need to hold the jet drain in place inside the pump as water pressure may dislodge it.

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Maxwell Payne

Maxwell Payne has been a freelance writer since 2007. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. He holds a Bachelor of Science in integrated science, business and technology.