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Thread: Can't get return plugs out!! Any hints?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Prescott, Wisconsin
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    Can't get return plugs out!! Any hints?

    I usually open the pool but let "the professionals" close it ... and although we've never had a problem unscrewing the plugs on the returns before, the "pros" seem to have applied extreme torque last year and we can't even budge them this year. No call back from them yet ... so I'm turning to the real pros, TFP.

    Any ideas for getting them unscrewed without destroying the threads? I don't mind destroying the plugs themselves. Is there a special tool they used to close the plugs, that we could buy to open them? I'm betting the tool would cost less than a visit.

    GRRR ...
    -----------------------------------
    26000 gal, in-ground, vinyl pool
    Hayward S200 sand filter, 1 skimmer, 2 returns
    BBB since the first month! :-)

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Denton, TX
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    Re: Can't get return plugs out!! Any hints?

    What do your plugs look like?

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Re: Can't get return plugs out!! Any hints?

    I can't find a picture, so I'll try to describe. They are plastic, with two recessed half-moons in the top. Very inexpensive looking.
    -----------------------------------
    26000 gal, in-ground, vinyl pool
    Hayward S200 sand filter, 1 skimmer, 2 returns
    BBB since the first month! :-)

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Jun 2008
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    Re: Can't get return plugs out!! Any hints?

    Not sure if this will work, but here's a link to a picture:

    http://lghttp.18355.nexcesscdn.net/808F ... p1022b.jpg
    -----------------------------------
    26000 gal, in-ground, vinyl pool
    Hayward S200 sand filter, 1 skimmer, 2 returns
    BBB since the first month! :-)

  5. Back To Top    #5
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
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    37,879

    Re: Can't get return plugs out!! Any hints?

    What have you already tried to turn them with? They are designed to be turned by hand, but you can grab the central ridge with channel lock pliers at an angle and that will give you quite a bit of leverage. If that doesn't work, they are pretty stuck and may need to be broken apart to get out.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Prescott, Wisconsin
    Posts
    230

    Re: Can't get return plugs out!! Any hints?

    We have tried channel lock pliers, but they aren't budging. I did find a tool called a Multi-Purpose Wrench by Hayward (I think), but it will take days to get here. Hoping that PB will come by and open it, since they're the ones that torqued it down too tight. I wonder whether drilling into it would relieve the water pressure behind it and make it easier to move? Grasping at straws, really, since I have no idea! If yes, I'm thinking I'd have to drain the pool considerably or ruin a cordless drill attempting to drill underwater ...

    http://www.toolsforpools.com/catalog_20 ... epress.pdf
    -----------------------------------
    26000 gal, in-ground, vinyl pool
    Hayward S200 sand filter, 1 skimmer, 2 returns
    BBB since the first month! :-)

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
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    18,768

    Re: Can't get return plugs out!! Any hints?

    Try something like this. You can use anything that fits - it doesn';t have to be two crescent wrenches.
    [attachment=0:za0tlbqh]wrenching.gif[/attachment:za0tlbqh]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    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!

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Prescott, Wisconsin
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    Re: Can't get return plugs out!! Any hints?

    I got them out! Used a roofing crowbar that had a flat end (which fit into the plug slot). The other end of the crowbar had a nailpulling hook that I could use for a grip. Voila!
    -----------------------------------
    26000 gal, in-ground, vinyl pool
    Hayward S200 sand filter, 1 skimmer, 2 returns
    BBB since the first month! :-)

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
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    Location
    Denton, TX
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    Re: Can't get return plugs out!! Any hints?

    Good. Glad you got them out.

    Richard320...you get a C for your artwork because you didn't color it with Crayons.

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
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    Eastern Ohio
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    Re: Can't get return plugs out!! Any hints?

    He's just jealous of your skills......

    A non-hater B+ from me.

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