Thread: LQ 3/8 line conversion (How to increase flow)

1. LQ 3/8 line conversion (How to increase flow)

OK, well I figured I have spread this concept all over many threads and should probably put something together to explain things a bit.

First off, some history. My Liquidator with it's 1/4 inch inner diameter line (ID) was not able to fill fast enough to get me much past a flow rate of "2" on the flow meter. I attributed the low fill rate with the low amount of pressure I have on the output from my filter. I have a system that flows fairly free. It sits around 8 psi most of the time.

So having a science background and realizing I was loosing some pressure on the 1/4 inch line I opted to fine out how much.

(I copied this from another one of my posts so as not to have to type it all again)

@ 1.5 GPM 1 ft of 1/4 inch line will drop around 1.27 PSI of pressure
@ 2.0 GPM 1 ft of 1/4 inch line will drop around 2.21 PSI of pressure

@ 1.5 GPM 2 ft of 1/4 inch line will drop around 2.54 PSI of pressure
@ 2.0 GPM 2 ft of 1/4 inch line will drop around 4.41 PSI of pressure

@ 1.5 GPM 3 ft of 1/4 inch line will drop around 3.81 PSI of pressure
@ 2.0 GPM 3 ft of 1/4 inch line will drop around 6.66 PSI of pressure

Do you see how it sharply jumps up.

Now lets look at some larger stuff

@ 2.0 GPM 3 ft of 1/2 inch line will drop around 0.188 PSI of pressure
@ 2.0 GPM 3 ft of 3/8 inch line will drop around 0.814 PSI of pressure

@ 1.5 GPM 10 ft of 1/4 inch line will drop around 12.71 PSI of pressure
@ 1.5 GPM 10 ft of 3/8 inch line will drop around 1.57 PSI of pressure
@ 1.5 GPM 10 ft of 1/2 inch line will drop around 0.368 PSI of pressure

So with all the numbers as evidence that I was loosing almost all of my 8 PSI of pressure through the 1/4 inch line I opted to try something simple. Bigger is better Well most of the time.

I ordered the following parts from US Plastics (Here)

62175 Male Adapter Nylon Fitting 6 \$0.66 \$3.96 <- Order 8 if you have an AG pool
64197 Female Adapter Nylon Fitting 2 \$1.10 \$2.20
22126 Buna-N-Seal/End Conn. 3/8" HB 2 Way Ball Valve, 3 1/4" x 1 3/4" 1 \$6.97 \$6.97
22231 1/4" FNPT Polypropylene Check Valve 1 \$5.87 \$5.87 <- Order two if you have an AG pool

I purchased some 3/8 inch ID Vinyl line from HD for use in this project. The black line I had lying around and I actually prefer it. I'm pretty sure it's the same Tygon line many have mentioned , only 3/8 ID instead of 1/4 inch. You may also want some small cable ties.

Here are some photos

Part # 64197 is shown here on the outlet side of the LQ

Same part # on the inlet side. Use a good amount of pipe dope or Teflon tape.

This check valve (#22231) along with two part # 62175's on the inlet side. It has way more flow then that supplied with the LQ. It can also be taken apart to clean (if needed). Order two and two extra 62175's if you have an above ground pool.

You will need a 1/4 inch NPT pipe tape to do this right. This is the suction side of the pump going to the outlet of the LQ. Yes I like to paint my PVC black. Course I could have cleaned up the pipe dope a bit better

This one is right after the filter. I get some major flow through the 3/8 ID line.

The control valve, it looks exactly like the one supplied with the LQ...only larger. Part # 22126

The original flow meter with two #62175's screwed in to it with some pipe dope.

The inlet and outlet lines. Time to repaint my pipes...they looking pretty bad.

The LQ itself. Yes I painted the bottom white. It helps keep most of the sun off the chlorine. Not that I get too much directly on it.

Last but not least I did some quick mods to the floats. By using the point of an exact o blade with the floats removed from the LQ and disassembled I carefully rounded out 4 holes total in the floats. Two on the top sides and one each on the sides. You can see all but one hole here. Be sure not to hit the tube in the center. I would highly suggest not using a drill unless it's a drill press and you watch it closely.

I am now able to smack the float ball on the top of the flow meter actually making it thunk. My flow rate would be something like an 8 - 10 if it went that high

Another nice side effect to all this larger hose and increased flow, if I should get any "White stuff" who cares. The passageways are all so much larger it would be unlikely to block them. If I did get some white stuff, I can just blast it away with one turn of the control.

2. Re: LQ 3/8 line conversion (How to increase flow)

Great job! As mentioned in another thread it will make sense to post here how you modified the float valves, with pics if poss. Perhaps you should consolidate everything into one post so we'd have one single reference post (I hope that admin can make it a "sticky") for the entire conversion procedure.
This , BTW, proves the power of this forum. We needed a critical mass of users (we have at least 24 LQ users here!) who have interacted constantly, in order for someone to finally come up with a working solutions. Kudos to everyone.

3. Re: LQ 3/8 line conversion (How to increase flow)

Thanks, I posted a pic of the modified float. I think most people can figure out what I did based on the picture. I'll be posting more once I find a better flow meter. I think something with glass might do the best, the price of them is a bit prohibitive however. Still looking.

4. Re: LQ 3/8 line conversion (How to increase flow)

I also did the 3/8 conversion to my LQ unit. I was only able to get a 2-2.5 at best with both check vavles in place and with the 1/4" line and fittings.

I now went to the 3/8" line and fittings and now am able to get a 5.5 as the tops out of my flowmeter reading.

I did notice the check valves listed above in rabbit's post do have ALOT less restriction as it takes very little to open them up so the flow starts to work.

Another thing about this conversion is this: With the 1/4" line and no check valve on the output ( I had to add the check valve on the output line in the above I posted because with and AG pool the check valves on both sides had to be in place or the LQ would over flow with the pump off) and with the flowmeter at a constant 3, I was able to raise my Cl level from 6.5ppm to 13ppm overnight.

Now with the conversion I bet with having the flowmeter pegged at 5, I can shock my pool over night and be able to keep it there no problem as long as I want without having to add any bleach to the pool directly. I will try this later when I have to shock the pool and post it later on this year, ( I havent had to shock yet in the 2 months it has been opened).

Note:I was just going to keep the LQ with 1/4" line and use it with the stock parts, but then figured I would try the 3/8" conversion so that I could try and shock the pool if I needed to later on with the 3/8 line being large enough, I think it may work

My LQ has only been running about 3 days now with the 3/8" conversion, but has been filled with bleach and pool water for about 1 1/2- 2 weeks now, I do have white stuff but only in the funnel on top of the water and it is very little, not even a layer yet just kind of speckles of it. I have no build up in the bottom yet at all, nothing, and nothing on the floats or float valves. I use the Tundra 6% ultra bleach from Aldi.

Thanks for the conversion idea rabbit.

Brian

5. Re: LQ 3/8 line conversion (How to increase flow)

Ok the curiosity got me, I set my LQ with the 3/8" line on full blast open and with a full 5 on the flowmeter. I left it for 2 hours like that. The FC before this was at 4.5ppm after the 2 hours being opened it went up 5ppm to 9.5 ppm.

So it looks like I will be able to shock just by opening up the LQ fully and it will get enough Cl in the pool in a short period of time and will keep it there till I want it to come down.
By the way this was done with full sun on the pool also temp utside is 80 degrees too.

Brian

6. Re: LQ 3/8 line conversion (How to increase flow)

Originally Posted by fixit5561
Ok the curiosity got me, I set my LQ with the 3/8" line on full blast open and with a full 5 on the flowmeter. I left it for 2 hours like that. The FC before this was at 4.5ppm after the 2 hours being opened it went up 5ppm to 9.5 ppm.

So it looks like I will be able to shock just by opening up the LQ fully and it will get enough Cl in the pool in a short period of time and will keep it there till I want it to come down.
By the way this was done with full sun on the pool also temp utside is 80 degrees too.

Brian
You don't shock with the LQ. It's too slow. Besides, if you keep your FC according to the CYA-FC charts, you don't need to shock. I've had my LQ running for 8 weeks and my CC has always been less than 0.5 - no shocking.

7. Re: LQ 3/8 line conversion (How to increase flow)

I bought exactly what was suggested, did the conversion, and it increased my flow from a max of 2 to being able to peg the meter even with both intakes open (which resulted in a flow of close to zero before the conversion). Thanks Rabbit!

One trick I discovered allows you to leave the connections where you drilled into your lines while installing the LQ. Just cut the clear, 1/4" tubing lines 2" from their ends at your pipes. Take the black 1/4" barb to 1/4" male adapter fittings (the ones you remove from each side of the flowmeter) and insert them into the 2" tubing ends. Use 1/4"FNPT x 3/8"Hose ID Nylon Female Adapters (Item No.: 62137) to connect the black fitting to your 3/8" hose and you are good to go. The short section of 1/4 inch hose barely restricts flow at all, certainly not enough to matter. If it clogs with white stuff you can replace it in 10 seconds with all the 1/4 inch tubing you have leftover.

This lets you do the whole conversion with no drilling at all. It took me 30 minutes start to finish and I did not even have to turn my pool pump off while doing it.

HASA should be selling these units with 3/8" lines and fittings. It makes the unit so much more versatile- able to work in any pool and capable of delivering a lot more chlorine should someone so desire (but you can still dial it down as far as you want).

8. Re: LQ 3/8 line conversion (How to increase flow)

I was ready to toss my LQ before I did all this. I was really getting frustrated with the lack of flow. My wife was starting to question my intelligence on my purchase. That's never a good thing.

I'm happy to hear others are having the same success with this conversion that I have.

One trick I discovered allows you to leave the connections where you drilled into your lines while installing the LQ. Just cut the clear, 1/4" tubing lines 2" from their ends at your pipes. Take the black 1/4" barb to 1/4" male adapter fittings (the ones you remove from each side of the flowmeter) and insert them into the 2" tubing ends. Use 1/4"FNPT x 3/8"Hose ID Nylon Female Adapters (Item No.: 62137) to connect the black fitting to your 3/8" hose and you are good to go. The short section of 1/4 inch hose barely restricts flow at all, certainly not enough to matter. If it clogs with white stuff you can replace it in 10 seconds with all the 1/4 inch tubing you have leftover.
Do you happen to have a picture of this?

9. Re: LQ 3/8 line conversion (How to increase flow)

Originally Posted by Rabbit
Do you happen to have a picture of this?
No. I didn't have the part handy, so I ended up using a brass female/female connected to another brass male/3/8" barb. Not ideal, but what I had at hand. It's effectively the same as what I'd posted.

I've been running it for a while now, and it's fantastic. I don't need to run my pump nearly as long in order to keep the chlorine where I want it. The LQ has turned out to be the best thing I've ever purchased for my pool. So amazingly easy. I only need to touch a chlorine bottle once a week.

10. Re: LQ 3/8 line conversion (How to increase flow)

Hi Rabbit,

I am getting ready to do this mod and I have a couple of questions. Figured I would reply here instead of starting a new thread in case anyone else had the same questions.

I am wondering why the check valve is 1/4" if the tubing is being changed to 3/8"? Also, what is the purpose of putting the holes in the floats?

Thanks a bunch!

11. Re: LQ 3/8 line conversion (How to increase flow)

Originally Posted by heatmisr
Hi Rabbit,

I am getting ready to do this mod and I have a couple of questions. Figured I would reply here instead of starting a new thread in case anyone else had the same questions.

I am wondering why the check valve is 1/4" if the tubing is being changed to 3/8"? Also, what is the purpose of putting the holes in the floats?

Thanks a bunch!
1/4" NPT is what you want for 3/8 ID line. It's much larger then 1/4". It's very confusing I know.

12. Re: LQ 3/8 line conversion (How to increase flow)

Ok, thanks for the info. I don't know anything about plumbing, so I am just trying to learn as much as I can. I'm sure I'll understand it better once I get the parts.

13. Re: LQ 3/8 line conversion (How to increase flow)

Originally Posted by heatmisr
Ok, thanks for the info. I don't know anything about plumbing, so I am just trying to learn as much as I can. I'm sure I'll understand it better once I get the parts.
I'm no expert in the subject either, I almost ordered the wrong parts when I was first preparing the project. The whole 1/4 inch thing is very confusing. I can say however that the parts list I gave works. I think a few others can confirm this.

14. Re: LQ 3/8 line conversion (How to increase flow)

I have the LQ on order, and just placed my order for the 3/8" conversion, thanks!

15. Re: LQ 3/8 line conversion (How to increase flow)

Would it be overkill to use PVC to plumb the LQ instead of flextube?

16. Re: LQ 3/8 line conversion (How to increase flow)

Originally Posted by Big Thunder
Would it be overkill to use PVC to plumb the LQ instead of flextube?
I would have to say Yes. Personally I think it would make things a bit hard to maintain. The 3/8" line gives more flow then I would suspect anyone would need short of a very large pool, in which case they would probably not be using a Liquidator.

Just my opinion of course.

17. Re: LQ 3/8 line conversion (How to increase flow)

Thanks for the info I'm sure this will help a ton. I just wish I would have seen it last year.
I'm wondering what's the reason for the holes in the float valve? Do the valves restrict flow as well?

18. Re: LQ 3/8 line conversion (How to increase flow)

Originally Posted by 98xc600
Thanks for the info I'm sure this will help a ton. I just wish I would have seen it last year.
I'm wondering what's the reason for the holes in the float valve? Do the valves restrict flow as well?
The extra holes just allow a little bit more flow, completely optional.

19. Re: LQ 3/8 line conversion (How to increase flow)

This is somewhat redundant, but thanks for the info and parts list regarding the tubing size increase. As of this date, US Plastics still has all the same part numbers and everything was in stock when I ordered. The increase was just what I needed. I can now max out the flow meter whereas the original tubing maxed out at only 3 and didn't keep up with chlorine demand. The only other tool I needed to get was a 1/4" NPT tap to thread the holes in my PVC filter piping to accept the barb fittings. Thanks again!

20. Re: LQ 3/8 line conversion (Types of tubing)

what is the better tubing to use for the 3/8" upgrade? Nylon or polypropylene? This description was given on US Plastics:
Nylon has good resistance to organic solvents, oils and gasoline. Good strength at high temperatures. Cold and hot-water applications. Longtime weathering resistance. Good impact resistance, both single and repeated. Not recommended for use with ammonium, boric acid, calcium, sulfuric acid, or hydrochloric acid. F.D.A. listed. Also N.S.F. listed. Polypropylene has good chemical resistance. Withstands continuous temperatures up to 215°F. Opaque. Unaffected by most weak acids and alkalies. Below 175°F it has good resistance to organic solvents. Do not use with oxidants or strong acids or in continuous sunlight.

Apart from chemical resistance, the poly seems quite rigid and the nylon seems very flexible (easier to work with)

What caught my eye was the reference to boric acid (which my pool has) and sulfuric acid. I recall that in some thread a low mixture of acid was recommended to clean out tubing at end of each season if White Stuff builds up

Hence , is poly a better choice? (I realize of course the very diluted acid solutions we use)

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