Any good suggestions to remove plaster from return threads?

aquiapools

In The Industry
May 31, 2011
12
San Antonio, TX
After a recent replaster, I can't screw down the eyelets because of gunite overspray on the threads of the pool returns. Any ideas to get this stuff off? The returns are original to the pool, so they may be too brittle to withstand any attempts to chip it off.
 

Bama Rambler

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Jun 22, 2009
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Re: Any good suggestions to remove plaster from return threa

Welcome to TFP.

What material are the fittings made of?
What size are the fittings?
Assuming they're 1½" female you could try a pipe tap that size to clean them out.
 

aquiapools

In The Industry
May 31, 2011
12
San Antonio, TX
Re: Any good suggestions to remove plaster from return threa

The fittings are plastic and they are 1-1/2 male. The plaster is on the threads of the returncoming from the wall. I can't screw down the eyelet retaining ring.
 

yeggim

Well-known member
Jul 2, 2010
334
Philly
Re: Any good suggestions to remove plaster from return threa

Like Bama said, a properly sized tap would make quick work of it. However a tap that size can be expensive. If you can find a length of threaded pipe that matches up to your fitting it should work as well as a real tap. If the pipe coming from the wall is male, a 1 1/2" coupling will work as a die. Be gentle and go slow, reversing frequently to allow the plaster chips to dislodge from the threads.
 

Qwaxalot

In The Industry
Jun 20, 2012
439
Re: Any good suggestions to remove plaster from return threa

I would call the plaster guy and have him come and finish the job. :grrrr:
 

Bama Rambler

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Jun 22, 2009
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Re: Any good suggestions to remove plaster from return threa

Muriatic acid might work but it may also streak the wall under the fitting. Return fittings should have female threads not male threads. There are three parts to most return fittings. The retaining ring, the eyeball and the threaded or slip wall fitting that fits into the pipe. Do you have all those parts?
 

UnderWaterVanya

TFP Expert
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Jun 14, 2012
2,589
Mint Hill, NC
Re: Any good suggestions to remove plaster from return threa

Bama Rambler said:
Muriatic acid might work but it may also streak the wall under the fitting. Return fittings should have female threads not male threads. There are three parts to most return fittings. The retaining ring, the eyeball and the threaded or slip wall fitting that fits into the pipe. Do you have all those parts?
That is what I was thinking too. It sounds like the threaded inserts are in the returns and can be removed which - if true - solves the problem.

-sent with Tapatalk 2
 

aquiapools

In The Industry
May 31, 2011
12
San Antonio, TX
Re: Any good suggestions to remove plaster from return threa

These are spa jets and what is coming out of the wall has threads on the outside. The retaining ring will not screw down the threads because of the plaster on the threads. I took the retaining rings to a home improvement store and they would not screw down on an 1-1/2 PVC male adapter. The threads looked the same, but I didn't try using a galvanized nipple. I thought of that only after I left the store.
 

phonedave

Well-known member
May 30, 2012
744
Montville NJ
Re: Any good suggestions to remove plaster from return threa

it would be tedious, but what about a dental pick or probe? Just pick it out.

I would leery of trying to chase threads with a tap (or die) on PVC. It could easily turn into cutting new double threads.


-dave
 

UnderWaterVanya

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Jun 14, 2012
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Mint Hill, NC
Re: Any good suggestions to remove plaster from return threa

aquiapools said:
These are spa jets and what is coming out of the wall has threads on the outside. The retaining ring will not screw down the threads because of the plaster on the threads. I took the retaining rings to a home improvement store and they would not screw down on an 1-1/2 PVC male adapter. The threads looked the same, but I didn't try using a galvanized nipple. I thought of that only after I left the store.
Just to be clear - you are SURE that there is no internal part that can be removed that would leave you with the 1.5" MIP threads? I thought my fittings were like that until I did some reading and realized mine had inserts that could be removed. Maybe a picture?
 

Just-a-PB

In The Industry
Mar 24, 2011
406
Scottsdale, AZ
Re: Any good suggestions to remove plaster from return threa

Remove the eyeballs, and use a threaded section of 1 1/2" schedule 80 pipe to clear threads. Just ease in, and ease out and it will clean them right up.
 

UnderWaterVanya

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Jun 14, 2012
2,589
Mint Hill, NC
Re: Any good suggestions to remove plaster from return threa

Just-a-PB said:
Remove the eyeballs, and use a threaded section of 1 1/2" schedule 80 pipe to clear threads. Just ease in, and ease out and it will clean them right up.
The only threads showing are external like the ones the retaining collar for an eyeball fitting would screw onto.


- Sent using Tapatalk
 

aquiapools

In The Industry
May 31, 2011
12
San Antonio, TX
Re: Any good suggestions to remove plaster from return threa

UnderWaterVanya said:
aquiapools said:
These are spa jets and what is coming out of the wall has threads on the outside. The retaining ring will not screw down the threads because of the plaster on the threads. I took the retaining rings to a home improvement store and they would not screw down on an 1-1/2 PVC male adapter. The threads looked the same, but I didn't try using a galvanized nipple. I thought of that only after I left the store.
Just to be clear - you are SURE that there is no internal part that can be removed that would leave you with the 1.5" MIP threads? I thought my fittings were like that until I did some reading and realized mine had inserts that could be removed. Maybe a picture?
I will shoot a picture tomorrow when I am at the pool.
 

Melt In The Sun

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 29, 2009
3,899
Tucson, AZ
Re: Any good suggestions to remove plaster from return threa

I've used a dremel with a tiny grinding tip to clean plaster out of my in-floor cleaner heads...not sure if the pool is drained in your case or if the you could get the tool at the right angle.
 

UnderWaterVanya

TFP Expert
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Jun 14, 2012
2,589
Mint Hill, NC
Re: Any good suggestions to remove plaster from return threa

aquiapools said:
UnderWaterVanya said:
aquiapools said:
These are spa jets and what is coming out of the wall has threads on the outside. The retaining ring will not screw down the threads because of the plaster on the threads. I took the retaining rings to a home improvement store and they would not screw down on an 1-1/2 PVC male adapter. The threads looked the same, but I didn't try using a galvanized nipple. I thought of that only after I left the store.
Just to be clear - you are SURE that there is no internal part that can be removed that would leave you with the 1.5" MIP threads? I thought my fittings were like that until I did some reading and realized mine had inserts that could be removed. Maybe a picture?
I will shoot a picture tomorrow when I am at the pool.
Sounds like a plan!


- Sent using Tapatalk
 

Bama Rambler

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Jun 22, 2009
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SouthWest Alabama
Re: Any good suggestions to remove plaster from return threa

Looks like they left the eyeball fitting in the return and plastered around it. Either that or that's a male pipe adapter. Either way it should be female.
 

UnderWaterVanya

TFP Expert
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Jun 14, 2012
2,589
Mint Hill, NC
Re: Any good suggestions to remove plaster from return threa

aquiapools said:
Here is a picture of one of the returns.
Looking inside that return - is there a slot notched in it? The Hayward one's have a notch cut into them that allows you to insert a plastic card and use it as a wrench to remove the insert. The point Bama is making is that this part you see sticking out is very likely just screwed into the r"eal" return plumbing and this part can and should come out which will allow you to throw it away and get a new one. If you reach into the return with a dental probe or if you could get into the pool and look carefully up in the hole with some light you probably would see a small lip all the way around about 2 inches inside the hole where the insert ends and the actual return pipe is larger than this insert.

Take a look at this image - I won't post it inline here - but this will help you visualize it:
http://www.poolpartsonline.com/popup.as ... ze%3dlarge

Notice the item on the far left? It is what we think the part sticking out of your wall is.