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Thread: Leaking return line

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    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Leaking return line

    After pressure testing my lines to track down a leak, I have determined that the return line was the problem. I have dug up the line and found the problem but am a bit stumped on what would be the best way to fix the leak. The leak was caused by a cheap plastic fitting that was threaded on one end and had a barbed end that connected to the black poly pipe. This fitting was extremely brittle and seemed to have been eaten away by years of chlorinated water. This is what connected the poly line to the wall fitting in the pool. Under the pool deck I found a badly rusted elbow that is somehow connected to the wall fitting. At this point I'm wondering if I should just remove the entire wall fitting and put in a new one. I don't think I'll be able to get this rusty elbow off but I can't get anything to thread into the open end of this rusty thing either. I'm not sure if it's because of how badly it's rusted or if I may have damaged the threads when removing the plastic threads that broke off and were stuck inside.

    Here are some pictures of the ugliness that I found. If anyone has any suggestions on how they would tackle this, I'd love to hear them.

    20150809_154951.jpg

    20150809_154959.jpg

    20150809_155018.jpg

    20150809_155054.jpg

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Leaking return line

    Yikes! It must be a real pain to work in those tight quarters, but I would be inclined to remove that whole elbow if possible. All of that work, might as well shoot the moon and make it all like new. Easy for me to say though, I'm looking at it from a laptop. Good luck!
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    Re: Leaking return line

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    Yikes! It must be a real pain to work in those tight quarters, but I would be inclined to remove that whole elbow if possible. All of that work, might as well shoot the moon and make it all like new. Easy for me to say though, I'm looking at it from a laptop. Good luck!
    Yeah, it's not fun, that's why I want to make sure I do it right so that I don't have to do it again. I do have myself I nice little bunker dug out that isn't too bad to work in though .

    I would like to remove the elbow but I don't know if I'll be able to get that thing off. It seems that it was not the appropriate type of metal for this type of application and is so rusted that it is now just a blob of rust. I'm kind of afraid of torquing too hard on the thing though and damaging the fiberglass wall.

    I'm wondering if the best thing at this point is to just remove everything and put in a new wall fitting . How bad is it to put in a new one? Are they typically a standard size?

    -Aaron

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    frbruno64's Avatar
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    Re: Leaking return line

    I'm thinking that a professional plumber would be experienced in removing the rusted elbow without damaging what look to be decent threads on the wall fitting. The plumbing bill is bound to be less than replacing the entire wall fitting.

    I have successfully cut through a portion of a malleable metal elbow and then cracked it apart to reveal the good threads.
    33k, IG Pebble, 1.5hp Challenger, Pentair FNS, TF-100

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    Re: Leaking return line

    Quote Originally Posted by frbruno64 View Post
    I'm thinking that a professional plumber would be experienced in removing the rusted elbow without damaging what look to be decent threads on the wall fitting. The plumbing bill is bound to be less than replacing the entire wall fitting.

    I have successfully cut through a portion of a malleable metal elbow and then cracked it apart to reveal the good threads.
    Thanks, that's an interesting suggestion. I may check around and see if I can find anyone willing to climb under the concrete into my little dirt bunker and give it a go.

    -Aaron

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