It all started when I hooked up our automatic pool cleaner. It moves around on the pool bottom vacuuming with the suction of the pump that circulates the water.
All you do, is insert the end of the hose through that skimmer opening and into the pipe inside.
There is a rubber plug on the end of the hose to hold it snugly in place. That's it, there on the right in the photo below, on the end of that white plastic regulator.
Anyway, after a few minutes I noticed the cleaner had stopped moving. After checking a few things, I discovered the rubber plug had come off the white plastic piece and had gotten drawn into the pipe.
I was able to get it out with pliers, but then I did a dumb thing...I put it back together and stuck in the pipe again.
Well guess what happened. It got sucked into the pipe again! Even further down.
Lonnie hurried to shut off the pump, but this time I could not get it out with pliers...in fact, it kept going further in.
The worry was that it would get sucked through the pipe and get stuck at the elbow and block or restrict the water circulation. The pipe runs underground, so it would all have to be dug up to find the blockage. $$$
For the next half hour we kept taking turns laying on our stomachs with our arms in the opening...trying every tool we had, and any hook shaped items. The stupid plug just kept going farther in!
Finally, of all things, we were able to hook into the rubber with an aluminum fishing stringer. The chain broke trying to pull it out but we were able to grab onto it with pliers...and out it came!
Whew! What a relief.
We have a new plug ordered...with a bigger lip on it.