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Thread: PVC Puzzle - advice requested

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    PVC Puzzle - advice requested

    I've got a slow leak on the suction side of my pump. I'm pretty sure a cracked union nut has something to do with it. There's some flex stress on the plastic due to settling. I'm not sure I'd have enough room to make a repair with a similar union. See the photo.

    I'd appreciate any advice. Does anyone see a good repair strategy? Where do I cut and what parts do I buy? PVC.jpg

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    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: PVC Puzzle - advice requested

    Right next to the union there appears to be a threaded coupling. If you unscrew the union from the threaded side of the coupling and can find a union of the same size as that one you should be able to build a replacement section without any space problems.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Houston, Texas

    Re: PVC Puzzle - advice requested

    Hopefully Jason is correct, but if that is not a threaded coupling then if the union nut is on the pump side of the union I would unscrew it and remove that half from the pump. Replace that half with the same type of union, and save the other half in case you need it in the future. If it is on the other side you have a bit of re-plumbing in your future. You would need to cut the 4 way off, but that doesn't leave much room to work on that center valve. Hopefully those pipes are screwed into the valves and not glued in.
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    In the Industry

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    PA. USA

    Re: PVC Puzzle - advice requested

    Looks like their is maybe 1/2 inch from the 4 way to the next fitting, I would cut there and start over.

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    Re: PVC Puzzle - advice requested

    The valves are 2" pipe size on the outside. If you cut the 1.5" pipes off flush with the valves, you can replumb everything the same way using 2" into the pump. You would need (2) 2" 90s, (1) 2" cross, (1) 2" threaded union to go into the pump, and some 2" pvc pipe.

    Note that that would be a difficult thing to do if you aren't really good at working with pvc. The easiest thing would be if the union unscrews from the female threaded adaptor.

    Another option would be to cut the female threaded adaptor in half and peel it off the pipe. Check YouTube for a video how-to.

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    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Re: PVC Puzzle - advice requested

    If all else fails get a fitting extender. Will glue over the + and then you can add all new pipe straight to the pump or out union in middle.
    Didn't know these existed till glued something wrong and was in a similar pickle

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    Re: PVC Puzzle - advice requested

    Thanks everyone!

    JasonLion, you're giving me hope that's a threaded coupling. I hadn't noticed that. The left side looks glued so maybe it's only threaded on the right. Not sure why they would have done that, but if it comes apart, that sure makes things easier. I'll have to try that while also having a plan "B" in case it doesn't come apart. I'm afraid of something breaking when I open the union, or not being able to reassemble it (1980's era pipes).

    zea3, the union nut opens to the left (away from pump). Would've been nice the other way. The connections from the 4-way to the valves are glued.

    jodeci77 there's just under half an inch of pipe there. I'd be concerned that's not enough for a reliable cemented connection to new parts.

    JamesW and Iciee, you've both offered a good plan "B." I had to Google "PVC fitting extended" but I see how that works here.

    So I'll tackle this when I have a whole weekend just in case something goes wrong, and I'll report back. I'm hoping next weekend will be OK.

    Thanks again to all of you for good advice and keen observations!
    25,000 Gallon 20x40 in-ground vinyl lined pool circa 1980.

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    Re: PVC Puzzle - advice requested

    Quick update -- I opened the union but was not able to get that thing that looks like a threaded coupling to budge. I used a large pipe wrench and what I think was quite a lot of torque. I was a little afraid of breaking something so I gave up and reassembled. The air bubbles have stopped, so I'm deferring a full/proper repair until after swim season.
    25,000 Gallon 20x40 in-ground vinyl lined pool circa 1980.

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