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Thread: Tire pressure valve stems in my PVC pool lines

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    Tire pressure valve stems in my PVC pool lines

    I've been doing a lot of work replacing the deck around my pool this summer, and I finished everything except for a bench-like area right next to my pool shed. Essentially all the equipment is inside the pool shed and the plumbing in/out of the shed goes out of one of the sides, under the bench, and down into the ground. So when I took apart the bench outside and looked inside to see what the pipes did once they left the shed. I was surprised by 1 thing, and confused by another. I'll upload a picture when I get home of what I am talking about. What confused me was there were a bunch of styrofoam peanuts lining the ground around the pipes, some of which had spilled into the pool shed. I wasn't sure why these were here, unless it's supposed to help keep in the heat to prevent the pipes from freezing in the winter or keep the water warm if I'm heating it? Any idea why these would be here?

    The other thing that surprised me, In the 2 lines coming in from the pool (one drain, one skimmer), and the return to the pool, the pvc had tire stem valves attached. So I'm thinking these are some sort of pressure relief system to prevent pipes from bursting in the winter, but it seemed very odd. The return pipe valve was clearly leaking, so I tightened it and it turned from a steady stream to a slow drip. One incoming line seemed fine, and the last actually had the cap on it, which when I started to remove, I immediately heard air hissing and the pump inside the shed started to whir because air was getting in the lines. I assume the valve stems are bad so it was 'open' and the pressure was pulling air in from the valve.

    So I was wondering if anyone knows why the previous owners/pool builders would have put these valves in place and if they're normal. Again, I'll post a picture of the valves when I get home from work.
    33,000 gallon gunite pool and Spa (in ground), SWG
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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Tire pressure valve stems in my PVC pool lines

    I wonder if someone in the past didn't have those installed to do a pressure test in your pipes perhaps? To hook-up air and blow pressure back either to test the lines for leaks or perhaps to have a way of dislodging something if it ever got plugged? Curious to hear what others have seen.
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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Tire pressure valve stems in my PVC pool lines

    First I ever heard of that!
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    ship of fools's Avatar
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    Re: Tire pressure valve stems in my PVC pool lines

    I am thinking the peanuts might be there to help if the ground heaves due to frost.
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    Re: Tire pressure valve stems in my PVC pool lines

    They are probably there to blow water out of the lines to prevent pipes from freezing

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Tire pressure valve stems in my PVC pool lines

    My bet on the peanuts is that they came as packing in some equipment and since the ditch was open and the person that unpacked it knew they were about to be closed they just poured them into the hole and they got covered up.

    As for the Schrader valves, they were most likely for pressure testing the lines during and after construction.
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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Tire pressure valve stems in my PVC pool lines

    Quote Originally Posted by sloop View Post
    They are probably there to blow water out of the lines to prevent pipes from freezing
    generally for winterizing you need a higher volume of air than you an probably move through a schrader valve.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Tire pressure valve stems in my PVC pool lines

    Attachment 37218
    So here's the lines coming in, you can see the 2 valves on the right, one of which has a cap on and taking it off lets air into the lines.
    Attachment 37219
    This is closer up on the return line that leaks.


    I was thinking today that it my have been put it to blow the lines because the original owner did a lot of other really dumb DIY jobs around the house. So if it was for that, or if it was for a pressure test, or whatever, the fact that they're there, it's causing problems/leaks. Any thoughts on a safe way to either take them out/replace them/seal them permanently so they can't leak? I could cut the PVC and rerun the lines where they are, but I'd prefer not to since they're on 90 degree angles that would be hard to replace properly without moving other lines around.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    generally for winterizing you need a higher volume of air than you an probably move through a schrader valve.
    I'm glad you put a name to the valve, because now I can google search for that and PVC...and all I'm getting are how to make potato guns/spud cannons. So I'm guessing that's not why they put it in these pipes. I'll keep looking.
    33,000 gallon gunite pool and Spa (in ground), SWG
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    Jandy Lite2 Natural Gas Pool and Spa Heater

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Tire pressure valve stems in my PVC pool lines

    They're just screwed in, so you can unscrew them and screw a pipe plug into the pipe and that'll seal them off permanently.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Tire pressure valve stems in my PVC pool lines

    They're probably 1/4" pipe threads. 1/4" pipe thread plugs should work. I would think pressure testing or blowing the lines for winter. Even low volume can blow out lines enough in most cases.

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    n240sxguy's Avatar
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    Re: Tire pressure valve stems in my PVC pool lines

    I'd say that goes perfectly in the dumb DIY category. I would also guess they were to blow the lines out, though not very effectively. Still silly that someone drilled and tapped a regular fitting instead of installing them correctly. A couple 1/4" plugs and some pipe dope and you should be good to go. Be careful not to over tighten the plugs or you could crack the fittings.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    bobodaclown's Avatar
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    Re: Tire pressure valve stems in my PVC pool lines

    The schader valve can be replaced, it's threaded into the fitting. You can get a kit at an auto parts store.

    Rubber patch and a hose clamp would work in a pinch.
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    Re: Tire pressure valve stems in my PVC pool lines

    Quote Originally Posted by bobodaclown View Post
    The schader valve can be replaced, it's threaded into the fitting. You can get a kit at an auto parts store.

    Rubber patch and a hose clamp would work in a pinch.
    Replacing the valve cores would probably be the easiest/safest thing to do.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Re: Tire pressure valve stems in my PVC pool lines

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW View Post
    They're probably 1/4" pipe threads. 1/4" pipe thread plugs should work. I would think pressure testing or blowing the lines for winter. Even low volume can blow out lines enough in most cases.
    I got the 1/4" pipe thread plugs and they screwed right in with some teflon tape on them. sealed it perfectly and stopped the leak. Thanks for the help with this.
    33,000 gallon gunite pool and Spa (in ground), SWG
    Sta-Rite System 3 Modular Media Filter (300 Sq. Foot cartridge filter)
    Jandy Lite2 Natural Gas Pool and Spa Heater

    Maryland, USA

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    n240sxguy's Avatar
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    Re: Tire pressure valve stems in my PVC pool lines

    Keep the valve stems in case you want to make a potato cannon.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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