I spent a couple of hours yesterday cleaning out the drain in my pool. It took a couple of hours because the pool is still full of water. And because once I got the cover off the drain, I discovered that the thing was pretty much brimming over with crap.
Here's what happened:
About a year and a half ago, we had the pool refinished. It needed it--sixteen years without a new coating, and the pool was leaking slowly, which isn't unusual. The previous owners of our house were meticulously careful with everything, so the truth is, the pool was in amazing shape. But after sixteen years, even under the best conditions, the pool needs to be recoated.
So we hired some guys to Diamond Brite the thing, and they did it beautifully (they also added cap tiles to the staircase, which looks awesome).
When they put that stuff on, they coat a few places (inside the drain, for example) inadvertently. And normally, it just falls off, breaks apart, and runs into the filter basket. This is all normal, on a small scale.
But a couple of large pieces got lodged in the drain, and then a bunch of crap got trapped against them, and then more crap got stuffed in there, and so on, until there was a huge, congealed pile of crap that filled the drain. And of course, the drain stopped draining. So the filter was running at half capacity, and worse, whenever I brushed the pool, the junk just got moved around, instead of getting sucked into the drain and then forced through the filter.
I swam down, used a screwdriver to loosen up the junk, pulled some of it out, swam up for a breath. And so on, again and again, until it was clear enough that I could see the chunks of Diamond Brite in there. I pulled them out, and viola! the drain started running like normal. I shoveled a bunch of the stuff that was all over the bottom of the pool through and then checked the first filter basket, and all of it was there. So everything was working like a charm.
Needless to say, fixing it was the highlight of the weekend, and I have high hopes that the pool will be crystal clear when I get home today.