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Thread: Return fitting issue when closing

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Question Return fitting issue when closing

    I closed my pool Saturday and had problems with one return fitting sealing.

    I've had problems with this one before, and replaced a cracked faceplate this year hoping it would clear up the problems.

    I had bubbles coming from behind the faceplate with the winterizing plug tight. I removed the faceplate to inspect the fitting itself, and all was normal. I installed the winterizing plug on the return without the faceplate, and I was easily able to seal it, but I was afraid to leave it like that since the liner wasn't being retained without the faceplate in place.

    Looking closely I see that the O-ring on the plug seals against the plate when it is there, and against the return fitting itself when the plate is removed. Makes me think there is a problem with the seal between the fitting, the liner and the plate, but there isn't much I can do about that that I can see with the liner in place.

    The last few years I've been able to seal this return with teflon tape on the threads of the plug, but it didn't seem to want to seal this year. I was concerned about damaging the fitting with too much tape or torquing it too hard. I ended up taking the O-ring off of a spare plug, and putting it the plug with the faceplate sandwiched between the two O-rings. I installed the plug, which sealed easily using the extra O-ring behind the plate, and then put the screws in the plate and all seems well. I ended up with an O-ring sealing against the return fitting and my faceplate in place to hold the liner during the winter.

    Anybody seen anything like this or have a better solution?
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Return fitting issue when closing

    Sounds like the face plate needed a little extra force to get it to seal to the liner and the extra o-ring did the trick. You may need a new seal behind the face plate.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Return fitting issue when closing

    I have had a similar issue this year closing our pool. When blowing out the return lines and capping the pool side return inlets, I noticed that a small amount of air bubbled out from behind the inlet face plates in a couple of locations while the returns remained under positive air pressure. In fact, some of these face plates seem distorted and/or cracked.

    How easy is it to replace these face plates and the gaskets behind them? Looks like they could be Hayward SPX1408 inlets. We have a vinyl pool.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Return fitting issue when closing

    Quote Originally Posted by GMS1 View Post
    I have had a similar issue this year closing our pool. When blowing out the return lines and capping the pool side return inlets, I noticed that a small amount of air bubbled out from behind the inlet face plates in a couple of locations while the returns remained under positive air pressure. In fact, some of these face plates seem distorted and/or cracked.

    How easy is it to replace these face plates and the gaskets behind them? Looks like they could be Hayward SPX1408 inlets. We have a vinyl pool.
    Faceplates are easy to replace. Apparently the gaskets on mine are behind the liner, making replacement tough.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Return fitting issue when closing

    I never get a good airtight seal using my threaded plugs. I always see tiny air bubbles while the mighty mac is on. Even after replacing the o-ring and/or using teflon. I wonder if I am having the same problem as you.

    I was thinking of trying the rubber expansion plugs next year.
    TF-100 Test kit, 24,000 gal. free form Vinyl. mybluepool AC-600 SWG, STA-RITE S7MD60 DE filter, 3/4 HP STA-RITE MPRA6D pump, Polaris 280 w/booster, Raypack Propane heater, Looplock mesh cover; All located in New England.

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    Re: Return fitting issue when closing

    I've heard comments that the Hayward face plates are particularly prone to cracking, especially if extra gaskets are used on top of the liner as well in order to beef up the seal.

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    Ukie's Avatar
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    Re: Return fitting issue when closing

    Have the same issue. One return bleeds air behind the faceplate. I'm using threaded PVC plugs. I'll give a try to a rubber plug to see if it helps.
    Lagoon shape, 23,600 Gal, steel walls by International Swimming Pools, "ultra-seam" liner by Latham, Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo 3HP Variable Speed Pump, PentAir CCP420 filter, Heat Siphon Z575HP, PentAir IC40 SWG, 2 LED Lights (Pentair Intellibrite 5G, 110V). 4 x 1.5’’return lines, 2 x 2’’skimmer lines, 1.5’’ waterfall line. All plumbing is "TigerFlex" pipe, all lines plumbed individually. Deck: travertine glued over concrete.

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