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Thread: Spa Plumbing Leaks

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    Spa Plumbing Leaks

    I recently obtained a "free" 12 year old hot tub from my in-laws. I had to replace the skimmer, because they damaged it during the move. I assumed all the plumbing was good because they used it prior to pulling it out but I was wrong. After replacing the skimmer and running temporary power to it, I filled it up with water. Thats when I notice about 5 or 6 leaks in the plumbing fittings. One of which is on the skimmer (that I just replaced for $150) suction side. The remainder of the leaks are at the jet lines. It is leaking at the skimmer inlet which leaves me no way to cut it out and repair. Everything is flex except for the fittings. Is there any type of cement/apoxy that you can apply to stop the leaks? I have already dumped about $350 on this "free" hot tub and I dont want to buy another skimmer and I dont want to re-plumb the entire thing. Should I just count my losses and move on? I will also need to build a frame and box it in and buy a new cover which will be another big expense.

    MP
    20,000 gal. Vinyl
    1.5 hp pump 300 lb. sand filter.

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Spa Plumbing Leaks

    You can use a two part epoxy (think magic putty) to fix some of those leaks, namely the skimmer since it won't be under pressure, but it won't hold forever. You'll get two years out of it if you're lucky. If you want to post some pictures of the leaks I/we would be happy to help you try to find some other solutions that would be more permanent.

    Building the frame and buying a cover are going to be big expenses. Among the cover, frame, and plumbing problems I would be ok with one, maybe one and half, but all three at once, and major plumbing problems at that, would make me consider finding another tub.

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    Re: Spa Plumbing Leaks

    Thanks.
    I will try to post some pics this weekend.
    20,000 gal. Vinyl
    1.5 hp pump 300 lb. sand filter.

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    Re: Spa Plumbing Leaks

    Here are a few pics. I stated before that the leak on the skimmer was the inlet. I was wrong, it is the out line. Repairing the leak at the skimmer is my main concern. The others I can cut out and replace the fittings.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    20,000 gal. Vinyl
    1.5 hp pump 300 lb. sand filter.

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    Re: Spa Plumbing Leaks

    Sorry that the 'free tub' isn't as free as you thought it would be

    I'm with Tim on the 2 part epoxy putty! One other thing you could try first or in conjunction with that is smear some 'wet - dry' pvc glue on the areas, the stuff we use is blue and sets in 10 min - leave the pump off during the cure time. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't - if it doesn't, use the putty to 'band- aid' it (the glue is a band- aid too) If you can get a couple years with the quick fixes, it's money well spent and gives you time to budget for a permanent repair 8)

    Hope it works out well for you. If you need some tips on applying the glue or putty, just ask
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Spa Plumbing Leaks

    Yeah, that first one is on the bottom of the filter. Before you go hacking at the plumbing down there, be sure that there is no water getting out of your filter lid. If there's water all around the lid, either from the lid o-ring or the air bleed, it will leak down the housing, onto that fitting, and look like a plumbing leak.

    Are the jets leaking at plumbing connections or where they meet the tub?

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Spa Plumbing Leaks

    And another thing...

    I'm starting to side more on keeping it. The good thing about this tub is the plumbing isn't encased in foam. If it came down to it, you could pull out all the plumbing and redo it without having to pressure wash a bunch of foam off. As long as the shell is not damaged anywhere, let's fix this thing the right way. Even if you've got leaks at fittings, you can get some PVC parts that will solve the problem without much hassle. The biggest thing is accessibility, and you've got it.

    Tim

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    Re: Spa Plumbing Leaks

    The jet line leaks are at the fittings. I agree that is easily repairable. The main thing is the leak at the skimmer fitting. I will check again, but I am pretty sure it is at the fitting pictured.

    Thanks Everyone,
    MP
    20,000 gal. Vinyl
    1.5 hp pump 300 lb. sand filter.

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Spa Plumbing Leaks

    If it is between the 45 and the filter housing, you'll have to invest in a drill bit called a socket saver:

    http://www.toolsdirect.com/index.cfm...LAID=143452591

    It's a cool tool to have handy and works really well the first dozen or so times it's used. Just cut the pipe flush with the filter housing and drill the remaining pipe out of the socket. You can do the same to the 45 and just reconnect, but I'd suggest a new 45 plus a coupling to make up for the lost pipe length.

    If it's the o-rings, their generic Aladdin numbers are O-30 for the small one and O-330 for the large.

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    Re: Spa Plumbing Leaks

    I don't have a problem that would require such a tool but I have been wondering how to handle this situation. Thanks for the useful tip.

    My company manufactures tools for doing this kind of job on large metal pipe fittings.
    11000 Gals, Intelliflo, Sta-Rite Cartridge, Polaris 360

    Pool I built in my old house: my-new-pool-build-t4534.html

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    Re: Spa Plumbing Leaks

    Tim, that's a cool tool! If I understand it's function correctly, it will drill out the pipe and leave the fitting ready to accept a new piece of pipe? I've always just use 'pipe extenders' (they are like a coupling, but the one side fits into the ID of the pipe, it gets glued' and the other side is the OD of whichever size pipe). I assume that the slip connection is left in shape to accept a new pipe? Do you have to go a little 'heavy' with the glue?
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Spa Plumbing Leaks

    Yeah, that's right. I use 'glue over' fittings from time to time, but they don't fit over some things (valves, etc.). Never used the inner diameter fittings, but same principle.

    It works well, although you often have to do a bit of sanding or scraping to get one or two stragglers out. It also makes a helluva mess (think PVC confetti), so I normally pack a shop vac on jobs where I'll be using it. I've never had one of these "reclaimed" fittings leak, which I can't say for the glue overs.

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    Re: Spa Plumbing Leaks

    Thanks Tim. I will give that tool a try. Is there a special PVC glue that I should use for the Flex PVC piping or just the normal PVC primer and glue?

    MP
    20,000 gal. Vinyl
    1.5 hp pump 300 lb. sand filter.

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    Re: Spa Plumbing Leaks

    Quote Originally Posted by cateng
    Thanks Tim. I will give that tool a try. Is there a special PVC glue that I should use for the Flex PVC piping or just the normal PVC primer and glue?

    MP
    Normal sch 40 glue will do. I usually go with the sch 40/80 stuff and have a personal thing against blue glue, but I haven't run across anything that has been ineffective on flex pipe.

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