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Thread: Return fitting stuck in wall

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Manalapan, NJ

    Return fitting stuck in wall

    I have one pool return that I cannot remove the eyeball seat. The outer ring and eyeball come out no problem, but the threaded pipe that connects into the wall which holds the eyeball will not move. I tried the plastic removal tool but the plastic part that fits into the notches simply deformed under the torque I applied to it.

    So I have two questions.

    1) Does anybody know of a way to get this thing out? I see there is a heavy duty removal tool made of metal, but it's a bit expensive.

    2) Is it even necessary to remove the fitting? The only reason I want it out is so that I can install one of those threaded plugs when I winterize. If I leave the fitting in, I could use a rubber expansion plug right in the fitting, but is that water tight? I feel like water could still sneak in between the male threads of the fitting and the female threads in the wall. The water level will be above the return all winter.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    27,0000 gallon In-Ground Plaster Kidney Shaped Pool - Approximately 30 years old
    Hayward Superpump
    Hayward Pro-Grid DE4820 Filter
    TF-100 Test Kit

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Re: Return fitting stuck in wall

    You just need to find a flat piece of metal that fits into the notches. There should be something around the house or hardware store that will fit exactly.

    Just be careful not to over torque the fitting and damage the female threaded fitting.

  3. Back To Top    #3
    MarkTX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Cypress, TX

    Re: Return fitting stuck in wall

    When this happened to me, I used a big kitchen spoon. The width of the spoon reduces as you get nearer to the front end, so it should always fit.
    Oh yeah, torque the back end of the spoon, not the handle.
    30,000 gal free-form IG w/ spa, PebbleSheen Blue Surf, Pentair cartridge filter, Pentair 3 HP Intelliflo, extra pump that is way over-sized for weeping moss rocks, Dolphin Oasis Z5, municipal water, all built Jan-Feb 2016. TF-100, SpeedStir, Liquidator 3/8", borates. My build thread

  4. Back To Top    #4
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    In the Industry

    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    tucson, arizona

    Re: Return fitting stuck in wall

  5. Back To Top    #5

    In the Industry

    Join Date
    Jul 2015

    Re: Return fitting stuck in wall

    Take a hacksaw blade and carefully cut into the remaining fitting in four places, 12,3,6,9, o'clock position, trying to be careful not to cut into the threaded female adapter that it threads onto, but just far enough to where you weaken the fitting enough right before it makes contact with it (some slight penetration through the fitting may occur as long as you don't get carried away with sawing through the fitting it threads into under it) then when you think you have cut through enough in those four places, get a screw driver and hammer, and tap the fitting inside and away from the female adapter, collapsing it, we used to remove sections of pvc pipe glued into fittings this way to reuse existing valves, or avoid digging to expose pipe, it works just as well on threaded fitting like yours, if not better because its threaded, and most likely will be very brittle, and easy to collapse when hit due to the 30 year age you mentioned.

    Look at how one of the fittings you have removed already compares to the one that is stuck, and notice how it might look with cuts placed in it to gauge your depth when making the 4 cuts, some little pieces may break off as you go just keep chipping at it carefully or make some of the cuts deeper to further weaken it.

    I have seen these fittings end up being glued in intentionally, or accidentally, or they were tightened in over glue that ran inside the pipe on the threads when brand new, then were forced in over dried glue on the threads etc.

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