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Thread: Leak from top of pump (discharge side). How to reseal?

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    Leak from top of pump (discharge side). How to reseal?

    Yesterday I noticed that there is a leak on the top of my pump, where (I think) the discharge tubing is. I guess that's where all my pool water was going! I unscrewed the PVC nut that holds the pipe in place, but couldn't see any reason for the leak - no cracks, everything seemingly intact. The water appears to be mostly coming from underneath the nut. There's a picture below where you can see the evidence.

    IMAG0749.jpg

    I didn't take a picture of it with the nut moved, but the tubing ends with a little bit of a lip and the nut threads onto the pump holding the pipe in place. It may be worth saying that when I lifted the nut, there was brown liquidy stuff smearing on the pipe, like something had dissolved under the nut. Old seal, perhaps?

    It seems like if I can find a way to seal the nut, everything should be okay. I just don't know what to use to seal it and if this would even be a good idea. The only other helpful posts I found here and elsewhere that related didn't seem to have a nut like mine does. Do I need a rubber gasket? Some kind of sealing gel? Total noob who inherited this pool from a previous homeowner, so anything you can offer, no matter how insignificant, could help.

    Thanks!

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Leak from top of pump (discharge side). How to reseal?

    Hi, welcome to TFP! Normally you don't see that type of fitting with a piece of ridged pipe. They probably tried to use some sort of sealant with it that failed. You will need to replace that fitting with the correct one to fix the leak. One like this should work if the pump also has threads inside. You will need to cut the pvc just above the current fitting coming out of the pump and remove the old fitting from the pump. Use pipe dope to seal the threaded end and use pvc glue to attach the slip end to the existing plumbing. You may also need a connector and some additional pipe to complete the repair.
    TFP Moderator
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Leak from top of pump (discharge side). How to reseal?

    Welcome to TFP!

    There should be an o-ring somewhere under that nut, that seals between the pipe and the pump body. O-ring damage is the most common cause of a leak in that situation. Alternatively, zea3 might be right and they used some kind of sealant instead, which will be more of a challenge to replace.

    Any guess how old the system is? An o-right should last quite a few years, but they do fail eventually.
    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

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    Re: Leak from top of pump (discharge side). How to reseal?

    Mrfunkyland - technically the nut doesn't do any sealing; it's job is to pull the PVC pipe tightly against the pump body, and the point where the PVC pipe meets the pump body is where the sealing occurs. Usually there's a rubber oring at that location and because the oring has some give, it helps the pump and the pipe seal when the nut is tightened.

    I can't see how your pump is mounted - looks kinda leafy there - but if your pump isn't sitting flat, and your PVC isn't approaching the pump at a perfect 90 degree angle, the nut tightening won't have a chance to pull the parts completely together.

    I'd suggest looking carefully with a flashlight between the pump and the PVC, determine if there's an oring there, get a fresh oring if there is supposed to be one, thoroughly clean all the surfaces with a clean rag, use some pool/plumbing lube on the oring, get the pump and PVC to be perfectly perpendicular and lined up before you tighten the nut (lift it if you have to) and then cinch it up. Hope it works.

    G
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Re: Leak from top of pump (discharge side). How to reseal?

    Thanks for the help, guys. I think I'll try the o-ring first before I start cutting PVC. The house was built in '98, but there's no record of pool maintenance so I don't know if they ever replaced that ring. I would guess not.

    Do I need to order the O-ring from a pool supplier, or will a common hardware store part work as long as it's the right size?

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    Re: Leak from top of pump (discharge side). How to reseal?

    mfl,

    Don't be too surprised if the O-ring is missing. That connection must be made carefully (it's called a half-union) and it's easy to lose the ring.

    Even if the O-ring is there, it's pretty easy to get that nut cross-threaded.

    As mentioned above, you need no further sealing other than the nut applying pressure to the O-ring........just do it carefully.
    Dave S.
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    Re: Leak from top of pump (discharge side). How to reseal?

    I was looking at this kit, but I don't know if it has the ring I need: http://www.amazon.com/Jacuzzi-Magnum...jacuzzi+o-ring

    Can anyone advise? If I have to order, I'd like to do it as soon as possible so I can get this thing fixed soon.

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    gtemkin's Avatar
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    Re: Leak from top of pump (discharge side). How to reseal?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrfunkyland View Post
    Do I need to order the O-ring from a pool supplier, or will a common hardware store part work as long as it's the right size?
    An oring purchased from a plumbing or pool supply would be fine. Orings are made to standard fractional sizes so you just need to bring the old one with you to the store to have them match it up and they're cheap. A couple of bucks would easily get you what you need.
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Re: Leak from top of pump (discharge side). How to reseal?

    Thanks, gtemkin. If I can't find the old one, I'll get a measurement and buy a butt-load of assorted rings that are a little larger and smaller.

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    gtemkin's Avatar
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    Re: Leak from top of pump (discharge side). How to reseal?

    I believe these are the union parts you have on you're PVC pipe.

    union.jpg

    You can see the black oring sitting in the groove of the piece at the right. In you're case, that would be the underside,and that's pretty difficult to see and you can see it could fall out pretty easily but do double check that there isn't one hiding up there. You'd use a paper clip to poke around and pull it out if it is still hanging around. On reassembly you would use a little oring grease with the new oring - it'll hold it in place even upside down until you tighten things up, you just want to be delicate and not bump things too much while you're working on it to keep it from dropping out.

    -G
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Re: Leak from top of pump (discharge side). How to reseal?

    Turns out you're exactly right about that part. I just got back in from a thorough investigation, and I have a slightly different perspective now. Before taking out the ring, I decided to try something. While the pump is still mostly fixed in place, I was able to pivot it a little. I screwed the nut back on and to my amazement the leak, while still present, was much smaller. I cleared away the debris to get a good look at the concrete, and while nothing's cracked under the pumps, the concrete under the filter is breaking to pieces. So now I'm starting to see that my problem may be with the slab. Great. That will be MUCH easier to fix...

    So what now? Should I go ahead and try to replace the o-ring anyway? I don't even know what my options are when it comes to the slab. In the meantime, is there any sort of rigging I should try to ensure things stay level? If I was lost before, I don't even know which way is up now.

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    Re: Leak from top of pump (discharge side). How to reseal?

    A new o-ring and a careful attempt at alignment while tightening the nut should solve the current problem. The alignment doesn't have to be perfect, and a new o-right will tolerate more misalignment than an old one will.

    Then you can think on the slab issue for the rest of the summer and leave any final decision on that till later.
    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

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    Re: Leak from top of pump (discharge side). How to reseal?

    Okay, that sounds pretty reasonable. Thanks so much, all!

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