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Thread: Repairing thin wall poly butaline pipe underground

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    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Atlanta Ga
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    Repairing thin wall poly butaline pipe underground

    I finally found the air leak in my skimmer line that I asked about last month. I got the local leak detector experts to come out with their fancy equipment. The leak is in an underground pipe made of thin wall polybuteline. They said that these are trickier to fix than PVC. He said the glue often doesn't work well, and it might be best to cut out the leaking part, use clamps and connect the two ends with PVC. Does this sound correct to you, or is there something else I should know?
    36 x 18 oval pool, inground, plaster pool.
    27000 gallons
    1 hp pump. Sand filter
    Pool built in 1971.

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    Re: Repairing thin wall poly butaline pipe underground

    Hello I have a pool close in age but vinyl walls. It had the black poly pipe you describe. It was replaced in 1990 with HDPE pipe which from a repair standpoint has similar challenges - standard PVC glues do not stick. Where they did connect this pipe to PVC they used clamps and what looked like silicone. Anyways everyone of these joints was a source of a air leak in my suction line so personally (although I am still new to pool ownership) would not advise this solution.

    I wound up ripping out most of my poly pipe and replacing with PVC but where I did have to join PVC i used marine epoxy to connect the PVC adapter. This stuck to the poly pipe and PVC and has been holding now for one chicago winter and one full season of use. The product I used was loctite marine epoxy from home depot.

    Still best solution is to replace all that old pipe, but if you are like my situation that was not an option since much was under concrete.

    Do a search for "blue flexible pipe" for my post and pictures of the repair.
    16 X 32 wooden frame with aluminum braces in ground pool. 3.6ft shallow end, 8.5ft deep end. 22,000 gallons. Pool constructed in 1976 in Chicago area. Mechanics: 1HP hayward super pump, Jaccuzi sand filter, Hayward SWG, and Raypak 2100 heater. No main drain (capped years ago) 3 jets, 1 skimmer. Liner replaced May 2013.

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    Sep 2011
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    Atlanta Ga
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    Re: Repairing thin wall poly butaline pipe underground

    Thanks, I found your post. This seems like a lot more trouble than PVC. I paid some professional leak detector guys to find the leak. I am thinking about paying a pool company to fix the pipe, because I want it done right. The only problem is finding a pool company I can trust.
    36 x 18 oval pool, inground, plaster pool.
    27000 gallons
    1 hp pump. Sand filter
    Pool built in 1971.

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    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Atlanta Ga
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    309

    Re: Repairing thin wall poly butaline pipe underground

    I had a pool company fix the leak in my thin wall poly butaline pipe. I told them what I had read here, but the guy insisted that PVC pipe and glue would work. That was 4 months ago. I now have an air leak again. I guess I'll call the guy and see if he stands by his work. I'll still have to spend $200 to get the leak detector guys to prove the leak is where he was supposed to have fixed it.

    It was hard to find someone to fix the leak. The first two places I called did not return my call. I guess digging a hole to fix a pipe underground is not much fun, or very profitable.
    36 x 18 oval pool, inground, plaster pool.
    27000 gallons
    1 hp pump. Sand filter
    Pool built in 1971.

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Repairing thin wall poly butaline pipe underground

    Quote Originally Posted by TomAtlanta View Post
    I finally found the air leak in my skimmer line that I asked about last month. I got the local leak detector experts to come out with their fancy equipment. The leak is in an underground pipe made of thin wall polybuteline. They said that these are trickier to fix than PVC. He said the glue often doesn't work well, and it might be best to cut out the leaking part, use clamps and connect the two ends with PVC. Does this sound correct to you, or is there something else I should know?
    Good deal! For anyone's future reference:

    If you are talking about the Grey thin walled stuff like you see in Mobile homes you might be able to find some fittings, maybe even a piece to patch it with. You'll have to go to a mobile home parts place as box stores and even good hardware stores don't normally carry this stuff. It is getting harder to find parts for, but these same places usually have fittings that you can patch/mate this junk to Pex tubing.
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