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Thread: Male & Female adapters vs Unions

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    Male & Female adapters vs Unions

    I'm making some changes to my above grade plumbing near the pump. Realizing that if I have to cut sections out too many more times, I'll be short on pipe to attach new couplings and sections to. So, I'm thinking about installing either male/female adapters or unions. This way, if I need to remove a section later, I can just screw in the replacement section without shortening my remaining pipe.

    Questions:
    1. Is this a bad idea?
    2. Which is more reliable, a pair of male/female adapters, or a union?

    Also, I've been considering using some flexible pvc hose for one section where getting an exact fit with the rigid pvc is going to be especially tricky. Any special advice for gluing it to PVC couplings?

    Thanks,
    Brian
    16k gal, IG plaster, Hayward 48sqft DE Filter, Hayward Max-Flo VS w/Pentair booster, Polaris 280 cleaner, installed 2003

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Male & Female adapters vs Unions

    Brian, no doubt experience has shown if you can install a union before/after a component, it will help you down the road if/when disassembly is required. There are also times were a male/female adapter comes-in handy, but depending on the application, subsequent removal may be difficult since one end is glued. Still, each has their place in your plumbing. Every pool is plumbed differently, so evaluating what works best for you is key. While rigid PVC is probably preferred by most, flex certainly can be used in some pool applications, but you have to be careful to ensure it is glued firmly into each joint/fitting. Clean cuts and level/supported plumbing is also key as to not push or pull on the joint where the hose enters. As far as I know standard prime/glue procedures apply to flex just as rigid. Maybe someone else will follow-up with a comment or two.
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    banditig's Avatar
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    Re: Male & Female adapters vs Unions

    I have used regular pvc primer and cement for flex spa hose with no problems. I bought schedule 80 unions, not much more expensive.
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    Re: Male & Female adapters vs Unions

    Quote Originally Posted by banditig View Post
    I have used regular pvc primer and cement for flex spa hose with no problems. I bought schedule 80 unions, not much more expensive.
    Thanks! Were you able to get that hose at your local big box, or did you have to order online?
    16k gal, IG plaster, Hayward 48sqft DE Filter, Hayward Max-Flo VS w/Pentair booster, Polaris 280 cleaner, installed 2003

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    banditig's Avatar
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    Re: Male & Female adapters vs Unions

    I bought the spa hose at lowes by the foot. ordered the unions from amazon but I think lowes or home depot have those also.
    15x54 swim & play vinyl metal wall AG
    Hayward S210T sand filter 1.5 HP Pentair Superflo vs
    Rheem raypak 130,000 BTU mv ng
    Jacuzzi 345 whirlpool bath
    TF-100 test kit, HM digital com100 Wanda the Whale

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Male & Female adapters vs Unions

    If you want the best selection of good unions such as Spear, your best and easiest bet is with a sprinkler/irrigation supply house. For me it's been hit/miss at big box stores, and they almost always have the cheaper/lower quality components like this. When it comes to unions, quality really does matter, especially when they are placed on the suction side.
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