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Thread: lite 2 stripped hole for drain plug

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    botanica37's Avatar
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    lite 2 stripped hole for drain plug

    One of the holes is completely stripped - I have no idea why or how that happened. What are my options for repair, would helicoil work? Or just trying to re-thread the hole and get a bigger drain plug? I looked at the diagram and it looks like this is part of the heat exchange so replacing it will be $$ option...

    Thank you!
    free form 40k gal, IG, plaster, Triton II 100C sand filter, Lite 2 heater
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    Caretaker in-floor cleaning system

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: lite 2 stripped hole for drain plug

    More info, please.

    What material is stripped? Is there plenty of material left should you decide to enlarge and re-tap? Is it a pipe end, where perhaps a rubber cap and hose clamp could be installed?

    I've used helicoils and time-serts at work, and they never work as well as they should. The drill will walk, or it may not go in perfectly straight. Even with a good hole and loctite on the insert, many times it unscrews the next time the thing gets removed. The other big problem is that threaded inserts are steel. Plain steel in pool water means rust, electrolysis, and general trouble.

    How 'bout a picture?
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
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    botanica37's Avatar
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    Re: lite 2 stripped hole for drain plug

    here is a picture, not sure of the quality. The corresponding part on the diagram is drain plug.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    free form 40k gal, IG, plaster, Triton II 100C sand filter, Lite 2 heater
    1 1/2 HP Pentair Ultra Flow High Performance pump
    Caretaker in-floor cleaning system

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: lite 2 stripped hole for drain plug

    From the rust, I'd say it had a steel plug in it in the past.

    I'd really examine things close and see if the stripped off threads came from the heater, the plug, or both. Why? Because if the majority of the threads are left in the heater, I'd be able to chase them with the right sized tap. Then I'd hunt for a plastic or brass drain plug - something soft - coat the threads with teflon paste and screw it in. Then keep fingers crossed and turn things on to leak check it.

    If the threads are torn out of the heater, which is more likely as copper and brass are both softer than steel, there's nothing to lose by going up a size. If you destroy it in the process, it's no loss, because it's useless right now anyway. Ask around, you probably know some handy man who has a set of pipe taps. A reamer or the right size drill might be harder to find.

    If you're competant with wrenches, but don't feel like trying the drill and tap, dismantle the thing and take the stripped part to a few auto parts stores that have a machine shop. They're usually pretty good at fixing stripped threads. Someone would probably take on the challenge.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: lite 2 stripped hole for drain plug

    Great answering, Richard!

    Botanica, Richard is giving you some GREAT info, please follow it
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

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    Re: lite 2 stripped hole for drain plug

    The header is cast. I don't think re-tapping will work. The header and gasket will likely need replacing.

    FYI, When winterizing these heaters, put the plugs back in after blowing out the water.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
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    Re: lite 2 stripped hole for drain plug

    I have seen this happen many times. I typically do one of 2 things to try to remedy it.

    1. Lowes typically sells 1/4" npt pipe taps. Try re-tapping the hole with this one first. You may have to put the plug in further, or get a 1/4" nipple thread it into the header then get a 1/4" cap ( or plug in coupling). ]
    put
    2. Drill and retap the the header to 3/8" npt and put a 3/8" plug in it.

    Scott, another trick is to put some pool lube in the hole to keep it from corroding.
    20X40 30,000 gallon gunite pool

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    Re: lite 2 stripped hole for drain plug

    The exact same thing happened to me last week. I have the same heater.

    See my post.

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...ed-t30369.html

    I had the gas company that installed the heater come over to look at it. They were able to retap it so a new drain plug could be installed. This worked like a charm. Started the pool up and no leaks where drain plug hole was repaired. The repairman said if it couldn't be retapped, the manifold in the heater would have had to be replaced (part cost around $220 in Canada).

    At the end of the day, it cost me $99 for a service call to get the repair done. If you are handy, I'm it can be done without calling someone.

    Good Luck!

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    botanica37's Avatar
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    Re: lite 2 stripped hole for drain plug

    I managed to get the bolt in for now, but I will follow up Richards advice to go up a size as soon as I can locate the right tool. I did leave the holes open during the winter, and there was a little bit of rust...but I have no idea how did the threads stripped completely, especially since I am opening and closing the pool. One would think that somehow the heater should have been built better?

    darrenw: I did look at your post and wondered what are the odds since I have the tools to deal with a broken bolt it figures that my issue will require tools I don't have yet, our HD didn't have pipe taps.
    free form 40k gal, IG, plaster, Triton II 100C sand filter, Lite 2 heater
    1 1/2 HP Pentair Ultra Flow High Performance pump
    Caretaker in-floor cleaning system

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    Re: lite 2 stripped hole for drain plug

    Good Day All-

    I trust you are well.

    I have this same issue, do not have the tools for retapping, think I could just JB Weld the screw in there and it would hold? Figure I can use the ones on the other side to drain in the fall.

    Best regards, Tony

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    Re: lite 2 stripped hole for drain plug

    I don't think that would hold very well. Maybe for a short time. Best to tapp it the right way.
    Paul
    http://www.gastekservices.com A word of caution: When working with gas and electrical you might want to consider a licensed contractor. Consider the value of your life and others around you. If you would like to provide a review of the help I provided, please use the following link to leave a review. gastek - Google Search,

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    Re: lite 2 stripped hole for drain plug

    Quote Originally Posted by ps0303 View Post
    I don't think that would hold very well. Maybe for a short time. Best to tapp it the right way.
    Thanks Paul, I think this is a correct approach.

    I am guessing that since my 1/2 in hole is pretty shot. I should order a 3/4 npt tap and plug to go up to the next size and try that? Does that sound about right?

    Best regards, Tony

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    Re: lite 2 stripped hole for drain plug

    Yep sounds like a plan.
    Paul
    http://www.gastekservices.com A word of caution: When working with gas and electrical you might want to consider a licensed contractor. Consider the value of your life and others around you. If you would like to provide a review of the help I provided, please use the following link to leave a review. gastek - Google Search,

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