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Thread: AAAARGGGGHHHHH Help with busted pipes!!!!

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    AAAARGGGGHHHHH Help with busted pipes!!!!

    So, I had a catastrophic burst of my pipes today. The problem started with my pump not pulling water from the pool. Having had this problem before, I started my troubleshooting: pump and motor working; impeller is in working order; nothing clogging the impeller; strainer basket in pump clear; nothing blocking/clogging the pool inlet (to the pump). This tells me the pump is sucking air. I remove the strainer cover and notice an odd back spray coming from near the impeller (as though there is a crack in the internal part of the pump housing, sort of like a cracked engine block that doesn't seep liquids out of the housing, but leaks back into the housing). Then, I notice that the screw in fitting to the pump (the outlet) is loose and slightly leaking water [attachment=2:53srhq16]outlet1.jpg[/attachment:53srhq16]. This is something I just had repaired and SHOULD have called the person who did the repair (but, I didn't--AHA, I can fix it myself--and, usually can). So, I cut the pipe, and discovered I was able to turn the fitting several turns by hand. After hand tightening the screw in fitting then wrench tightening it, I go to use a PVC coupling to repair the PVC pipe I cut, ONLY TO DISCOVER the outer diameter of the PVC pipe is slightly larger than the standard 2" couplings available in my local big box DIY store. Since I couldn't find the correct diameter pipe coupling, I bought a temporary rubber gasket-- you know, the one that says "for drain use only"-- and installed it. With my pipes repaired (temporarily), I turned my pump on. Again, pump is in working order but not drawing water from the pool. My next step was to double check to make sure there isn't an obstruction in the inlet going from the pool to the pump. Using a water bladder connected to a garden hose, I inserted the hose into the inlet and turned on the hose with the pump running. About 1 minute later, my pipes explode. I recognized a few things (duh): 1- I should've called the pool professional; 2- don't use rubber gaskets; 3- I should've called my pool professional. But, what I really need to know is, "what happened?" The pipes exploded at two different elbow, not at the rubber gasket. A few facts: this pool is at least 20 years old (I am not the original owner of the house); the filter is a sand filter; whisper flow pump, triton sand filter, and motor are all at least seven years old (the motor was replaced the first year I owned the house- about 7 years ago); there is no obstruction from the pool to the pump (using the garden hose and bladder, I pumped water from the pool to the pump); I HAVE NOT determined if there is an obstruction going into the filter, but I find that a likely explanation (after backwashing, I drained the air from the filter, but once the air was drained, no water spurted from the valve. This tells me either there was an obstruction or air was leaking into the filter). I'm considering replacing the entire system (new filter, pump, etc...). Costly, yes. But, I won't pursue this drastic measure unless I feel it is an absolute must. I can really use some help...oh, and yes, my pool professional will get a call today. But, I still need to know what I did wrong and what is the probably cause of the pump not pulling water from the pool.
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: AAAARGGGGHHHHH Help with busted pipes!!!!

    So the pipes that broke are on the discharge of the pump, between the pump and filter?

    The elbow that split open looks like dwv fitting. It shouldn't have burst but it's not as strong as schedule 40 fittings.

    The straight piece may have been compromised at some point.
    Does it freeze there in the winter?

    Do you know what your water pressure runs to your house?
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: AAAARGGGGHHHHH Help with busted pipes!!!!

    Yes, the pipes that broke are between the pump and filter. Though we do get freezing temperatures in the winter, primarily Jan/Feb, I run the pump year round, adjusting my timer to run between 2am-6 am (we are in El Paso, TX, where the winter nights in Jan/Feb can drop below freezing, but warms to 50 during the day). I do not know the water pressure to the house.

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    Re: AAAARGGGGHHHHH Help with busted pipes!!!!

    I guess I can only post three pictures. But, the elbow that burst is new and has LASCO SCH 40 PVC1 imprinted.

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    Re: AAAARGGGGHHHHH Help with busted pipes!!!!

    Now, I am curious about the PVC used. Are the PVC pipes available at my big box DIY store the same as those used by pool professionals when installing/repairing in ground pools?

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    reindeerboy's Avatar
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    Re: AAAARGGGGHHHHH Help with busted pipes!!!!

    Yes. Most pool professionals just go down to the local stores to pick up the Sch. 40 pipe. I do all my own plumbing and found out that some of our LOCAL plumbers do not properly prep the pipes with cleaner, primer, and then use the glue with a 1/4 inch turn after you connect them. So screw those guys. Unless its under the ground by the main drain, which I would call my local pool dudes at that point, I feel that I can do a better job then they can.

    I grew up on a dairy farm so I had to learn how to soder copper pipe, plumbing, and minor electrical on the fly. Those skills now have REALLY paid off. On the farm, the local plumber for 50 years taught me how to do all this stuff. They also DONT MAKE GUYS LIKE THE GOOD OL BOYS of plumbing anymore either. Sure glad that I had those life experiences as a young man as now it is all paying off in a Large way.

    Over time, the pipes do degrade and will need to be replaced, but really, they should last for 50 years unless the manufacturer really sucks. Lately, things are not made like they used too. All things are easily replaced now days and that is the mentality of this nation rather than to "DO IT FRICKIN RIGHT THE FIRST TIME". Sorry about the rant.

    Many factors can play a roll in what happened. I had this happen as well. Learn from it, so it does not happen again. You too will only get better with practice and patience. Pressure should not cause this kind of break as that is what the Sch. 40 is for. I also noticed couple unions on the pipes to and then going from the pump; I added that to mine as well. Smart because that way you can always remove the pump at any time for service or whatever.

    Also, if it gets below freezing or close to it; be sure the pump is running as running water will not freeze unless you are really cold like we get here in ND.

    Fix it, reprime the pump to be sure of no leaks, then use sand or pea gravel around the pipes and then bury with dirt and you should be good. If you cannot prime, then there is a leak on the suction side of the pump somewhere. I am by no means a professional, but thought I would give you some of my own knowledge and experiences.

    Good luck.
    Chad R.

    POOL SIZE: 16 x 32' Vinyl lined pool. 22,000 gallons. 8' deep. 2009 Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump. Hayward S310S 30" 500 lb Sand filter. 1 skimmer and 2 returns. Solar Blanket.

    Pics of my pool: http://s307.photobucket.com/albums/nn312/reindeerboy/

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    asxetos's Avatar
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    Re: AAAARGGGGHHHHH Help with busted pipes!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by reindeerboy

    ... so I had to learn how to solder copper pipe, plumbing, and minor electrical on the fly. Those skills now have REALLY paid off.
    These things ought to be taught in schools. And I'm not joking either.
    Don´t be fooled by the sheep on my bike, I swim with fish in my sound equipped pool.

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    asxetos's Avatar
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    Re: AAAARGGGGHHHHH Help with busted pipes!!!!

    For the OP question, with that part broken off actually it is easier to troubleshoot the system.

    Connect some length of flexible pipe to the pump's output and run the pump checking for suction side air leaks along the way.
    Don´t be fooled by the sheep on my bike, I swim with fish in my sound equipped pool.

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    reindeerboy's Avatar
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    Re: AAAARGGGGHHHHH Help with busted pipes!!!!

    How did you end up?
    Chad R.

    POOL SIZE: 16 x 32' Vinyl lined pool. 22,000 gallons. 8' deep. 2009 Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump. Hayward S310S 30" 500 lb Sand filter. 1 skimmer and 2 returns. Solar Blanket.

    Pics of my pool: http://s307.photobucket.com/albums/nn312/reindeerboy/

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    Re: AAAARGGGGHHHHH Help with busted pipes!!!!

    I think there is a blockage in the filter or valve. I suspected the threads on top of the pump (going to the filter) were stripped because the screw in fitting popped out. I replaced the pump but it happened again. But, I've had enough with this filter and had been contemplating a new DE filter, which gets installed Tuesday. When I have the filter removed, I will check to make sure the inlets returning water to the pool arent clogged.

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    reindeerboy's Avatar
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    Re: AAAARGGGGHHHHH Help with busted pipes!!!!

    Update with a new pic when done. Curious as to how it turned out. Good Luck!
    Chad R.

    POOL SIZE: 16 x 32' Vinyl lined pool. 22,000 gallons. 8' deep. 2009 Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump. Hayward S310S 30" 500 lb Sand filter. 1 skimmer and 2 returns. Solar Blanket.

    Pics of my pool: http://s307.photobucket.com/albums/nn312/reindeerboy/

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