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Thread: Leak in return jet inlet fitting

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Austin, Texas
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    Leak in return jet inlet fitting

    I guess that's what you'd call the part. It looks pretty much like this picture:



    It's been a slow drip since last fall (but only when the pump runs), and now there's a rust stain on the outside wall below it (a vertical path down the wall). So I decided to try to fix this slow drip. At first I wasn't sure what to do to go about it, and the guy who sold me the pool suggested I replace the part. So I did, and when I took apart the old one, I saw that both the inside and outside gasket were extremely deteriorated, so maybe that was the problem. (Maybe the pool installer didn't tighten it enough, causing water to invade the gasket area? Just guessing.)

    Well I still have a leak with the new one, but I don't think it's leaking through the gaskets. I have rigid PVC that I installed myself with lots of unions. Basically it goes skimmer -> ball valve (idea I got from this site, which I find nifty) -> pump -> sand filter -> salt generator -> return jet. All pipes are rigid PVC (as opposed to the flimsier stuff the pool came with.)

    Well, the outside of the jet inlet fitting is female threaded (I think it's a 1.5 " diameter). So what I have is a nonthreaded-to-male-threaded PVC adapter I bought last year from home depot (and installed right after I bought it.) (The nonthreaded part was so I could glue to the rest of my pipes.) I think the slow drip is between those male and female threads.

    Things I tried: I put teflon tape in there. That stopped the dripping, but only when the pump is off. It still drips with the pump is on.

    Then I tried applying rectorseal (a type of pipe sealant) to the threads. I made the mistake when I turned on the pump to test it, that I left in the pipe plug on the return jet that I had put there to allow me to work on the inlet. Just 3-5 seconds later I switched off the pump and removed the plug, but suddenly the the dripping was a bit worse. (I don't know if the high water pressure did something.) I tried again, and now it was leaking from the gaskets. I think when I reinserted the male adapter, I may have inadvertantly twisted the jet inlet fitting, loosening it. So I tightened it again using some channel lock pliers. It looks to me that the gaskets are water tight again - no leak. But the leak through the threads remains, albeit less of one. Maybe one drip every 10 seconds, give or take several seconds. (the period between drips varies from a few seconds to 20 seconds.)

    So all in all, not a big problem, but I'd like to figure out how to totally make this thing watertight. Do you think I'll need to replace the PVC adapter that screws into it? I'd think the brand new jet inlet fitting would be okay, but maybe I need a better way to connect a pipe into it.

    I dislike the idea of replacing the adapter because the adapter is very close to a PVC elbow joint, and that joint is very close to a union. I think I'd have to replace all three parts and glue the new ones together again. Though if I have to do it, I think I'd relocate the (new) union a bit farther down the pipe it's on, so that if I ever have to replace the elbow joint in the future, the union could be saved by adding a PVC coupler. As it sits, I don't think the current one can be saved if I wind up replacing the PVC adapter.

    Anyway, does anybody have opinions on the best way to connect a PVC pipe to this inlet jet fitting in a way such that no drips of water can leak through the threads?
    18 foot diameter, 52" tall above ground Cornelius pool, with vinyl liner, and resin wall caps.
    Roughly 7600 gallons
    Blue Wave "Sandman" Sand filter/pump, model NE6150. Pump is 1 HP
    Intex SWG, model # 54601E

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Re: Leak in return jet inlet fitting

    The leaking got worse, and now it's about 4 drips a second.

    Since I was running out of ideas, I decided to test the theory that the PVC threaded adapter is somehow faulty, so today I bought a new one. Since my union, elbow joint, and threaded adapter all so close together, with no space to insert a coupler, I bought all three parts today, plus some PVC cement. (I already have regular piping on hand to connect them.) Altogether, about $15 including tax, so soon I'll be installing them and crossing my fingers that the leak is fixed. I don't see an easy way to locate the elbow joint farther than coupler distance from the adapter, but I can certainly locate the union a bit farther from the elbow joint, so that if I ever have to repeat this exercise, I'll be able to save the union.
    18 foot diameter, 52" tall above ground Cornelius pool, with vinyl liner, and resin wall caps.
    Roughly 7600 gallons
    Blue Wave "Sandman" Sand filter/pump, model NE6150. Pump is 1 HP
    Intex SWG, model # 54601E

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Leak in return jet inlet fitting

    Wow, that's a long explanation. Ok, threaded fitted leaking, while under pressure. Leak continues after replacing both male and female fittings. Are those threads NPT or straight thread? (and why are you messing around with threaded fittings, anyhow?)

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Austin, Texas
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    Leak in return jet inlet fitting

    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle2k View Post
    Wow, that's a long explanation. Ok, threaded fitted leaking, while under pressure. Leak continues after replacing both male and female fittings. Are those threads NPT or straight thread? (and why are you messing around with threaded fittings, anyhow?)
    I'm afraid I don't know what NPT vs straight threads mean, but the reason I'm dealing with threaded is because the jet inlet fitting is threaded. But you bring up something I hadn't considered: do they make a non threaded jet inlet fitting for my pool that I could glue my PVC to? That could solve my problem.

    Edit: I bought the male PVC adapter at home depot, and it has this description, if it helps: "1-1/2 in. PVC Sch. 40 MPT x S Male Adapter"

    It's smooth on one end, threaded on the other, so the smooth end is where I glue my other PVC pipes to.
    18 foot diameter, 52" tall above ground Cornelius pool, with vinyl liner, and resin wall caps.
    Roughly 7600 gallons
    Blue Wave "Sandman" Sand filter/pump, model NE6150. Pump is 1 HP
    Intex SWG, model # 54601E

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    206

    Re: Leak in return jet inlet fitting

    Well I'd love it if I could find an unthreaded jet inlet fitting, but my search for it has failed, so I guess I'll keep seeing if I can find a way to make these threads watertight.
    18 foot diameter, 52" tall above ground Cornelius pool, with vinyl liner, and resin wall caps.
    Roughly 7600 gallons
    Blue Wave "Sandman" Sand filter/pump, model NE6150. Pump is 1 HP
    Intex SWG, model # 54601E

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    206

    Re: Leak in return jet inlet fitting

    Well, since I couldn't find an unthreaded inlet fitting, I went ahead with my earlier plan, and I replace the threaded PVC adapter with a new one, and screwed it into my new threaded jet inlet fitting. (And I described above, I had to replace an elbow joint and a union, because there were all closer together than coupler distance, but at least this time I relocated the union a bit farther down the pipe, so if I ever have to cut the pipe again, the union can be saved.)

    The great news is that my initial tests shows no leak at all. My pump is running now, so I'll keep checking it to see if any leaks develop. I think either the old PVC adapter was faulty (but my new is the exact same model), so the other difference is that this time I used a bit more Teflon tape than I did before.

    So I finally get to start opening my pool. First to get rid of the algae via a SLAM. (For now, I just put in some acid to get the PH in balance first before I start a SLAM.
    18 foot diameter, 52" tall above ground Cornelius pool, with vinyl liner, and resin wall caps.
    Roughly 7600 gallons
    Blue Wave "Sandman" Sand filter/pump, model NE6150. Pump is 1 HP
    Intex SWG, model # 54601E

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