Pool problem

My wife and i moved inyo a house near Aurignac in June. Vendor said that skimmer was not working but filter was and sure enough pump was on and water was circulating. Not knowing anything about pools i thought that it was just a matter of getting the skimmer sorted. Didn’t look at pool for about 5 weeks but now i think that there is more than just the skimmer faulty.
Previous owner had the valves set at bali open, bonde fond half open, skimmer closed, pump on manual. I changed the pump to auto with no problems when it started the next day. Problem came when i switched the pump off and opened the skimmer valve. Switched pump on and sure enough no movement in skimmers. Put valves back to what they were and switched pump on. Now there were lots of bubles coming out of the three ejectors at the end of the pool and when pump stopped a lot of dirt in the pool. Didn’t look at the pool for a couple of days then noticed that water level had fallen. Switched pump off and left it for another couple of days with no change in water level. Switched pump on and now there is no circulation. Tried a numer of things but still no circulation. System is about 15 years old. Any ideasas to the problem?

Without any pictures it’s difficult, but I’d guess you have a broken pipe somewhere between the skimmer and pump (air getting into the low pressure side, water loss, dirt)

Thanks Mark. Those were my thoughts but as water was not passing through the skimmer but throught the balai then i think that the break is in the balai pipe and that the skimmer has its own problems. I suppose this means digging everything up to find the faults and, if need be replacing most of the system. Does anyone know of a company that would do this or do i just get my shovel out and do a bit of hard labour. It would keep me occupied during the winter months.

I’d imagine the problems are linked, the “balai” and skimmer are both the low pressure side. No idea what type of pool you have, but it might be worth getting something like this to poke around inside the pipes before you dig it up


Balai and skimmers are vacuum side. Buy a pool bung or screw cap for cents and block the balai first, and then a skimmer and see if air is still being drawn in or dirty water, could easily be a fractured pipe but bungs are always useful.

Hi John, thanks for the advice. The skimmer has never worked and appears to be blocked and when i have only the balai valve open, the pump runs but does not suck in any water or blow anything out. If i block the balai, fill it with water by filling the filter chamber before the pump then switch the pump on, the pump sucks the pressure increases and bubbles come out of ejectors but this only happens for about 15 seconds then the pressure falls away and the bubbles stop. I’ll certainly buy one of the camera devices that Mark suggested as i will probably need it for the general drainage system of the place.

Hi Derek,
Sorry I didn’t read your post clearly on my phone.
What happens if you put the garden hose down into your skimmer with the pump pre filter lid off, any water making it down there? If one of the pipes was broken you would surely be loosing some water each day and your not.
The most common problem is the rubber O ring on the lid of the pump pre filter ageing and cracking splitting and generally not forming an air tight seal so you pull in air instaed of water. what is the condition of this O ring? A generous amount of thick silicon grease can aid the seal even if temporary to prove a point.

Try those things and please report back, photos, as mentioned do help.