Drain Plug Leak

Yorker

Silver Supporter
Apr 22, 2017
408
Cathedral City, CA
Move from HERE.

Six months ago when I last cleaned it I had a heck of a time getting the plug to stop a slow leaking drip. I did not want to tighten it any more because my wrench was having a hard time grabbing. I ordered a new one and just waited to make the change when I next cleaned the filters because it was such a small drip, which was today.

I had little trouble removing the old drain plug, and it seemed to be in good condition, the O ring was not damaged at all, and the threads appeared fine as well. Still I thought it best to use the new plug (which included a black O ring) and save the old plug.

I took a paper towel and rubbed around the inner female threads incase there might be something lodged in there, but it “seemed" clean. I was very careful to align the new plug before tightening. It went in and was very easy to hand tighten. I used an adjustable wrench this time (I had been using pipe wrench pliers before). I tightened until it was firm, but did not over tighten. Turned the pump on and there is still a leak, but more so than before. I tightened more but was only able to give it a slight twist, any more I thought may damage something.

I took it apart again to try some Teflon tape and discovered some grit? tightly embedded in the new male threads. I picked them out with a needle and went out to see what I could see with the FM threads. My finger felt some stuff. I though it was old Teflon tape that the builder might have used two years ago, but from past experience there was too little and it was more like threads of a fiberglass (in texture). I got a photo of the inside (not easy to do). There is "stuff" in those threads, a toothbrush is not successful with getting anything dislodged.

Thoughts?
 

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Rocket J Squirrel

Silver Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jun 7, 2018
840
Alamo, CA
There is "stuff" in those threads, a toothbrush is not successful with getting anything dislodged.
I have the CCP520, same filter as yours only taller.

I will pass along to you what an old wise man (OK, a pool guy from when I still used them) once advised me: never remove the drain plug from a CCP. It will be difficult to get back in without a leak. It's too easy to damage the threads or even warp the shell just enough. In my own wisdom, I decided to suck out the dirty water at the bottom of the filter with a shop vac. And that's what I've been doing for years.

I know that doesn't address your immediate problem, but file it away for the future.

Now, if a toothbrush is failing, try a metal bristle brush, but be gentle. You'll want all the threads to be as clean as possible. It sounds like you know what you are doing and you'll get there eventually. You may indeed need teflon tape on the threads and do put some silicone lube on the o-ring.
 

Yorker

Silver Supporter
Apr 22, 2017
408
Cathedral City, CA
Thanks Rocket J! I think the same "wise old guy" told me the same thing when I first started this a few years ago. Unfortunately - I forgot. I remember telling the PB's pool guy that I was going to use a shop vac when I took over managing the pool - he just chuckled.

Hopefully I can get this resolved without needing a new shell. A shop vac will now be apart of the filter cleaning. Thanks for that reminder.

I just posted a new photo that shows the original plug had a thicker yellow o-ring, I think I will swap that out on the new plug.

I have the CCP520, same filter as yours only taller.

I will pass along to you what an old wise man (OK, a pool guy from when I still used them) once advised me: never remove the drain plug from a CCP. It will be difficult to get back in without a leak. It's too easy to damage the threads or even warp the shell just enough. In my own wisdom, I decided to suck out the dirty water at the bottom of the filter with a shop vac. And that's what I've been doing for years.
 

Yorker

Silver Supporter
Apr 22, 2017
408
Cathedral City, CA
Update: I opened the tank (again) took the filters out to get access to the drain threads from the inside. I used some warm water, dish soap and a firmer tooth brush. I'm blind so not sure if it did much good. Put the thicker o-ring on the new plug (with the unstripped nut), three layers of Teflon tape. Put the sucker back together ... again. No leaks!

As God as my witness - I'll never touch that thing again! :)
 
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brew4eagle

Member
Jun 2, 2016
20
Stafford, VA
Update: I opened the tank (again) took the filters out to get access to the drain threads from the inside. I used some warm water, dish soap and a firmer tooth brush. I'm blind so not sure if it did much good. Put the thicker o-ring on the new plug (with the unstripped nut), three layers of Teflon tape. Put the sucker back together ... again. No leaks!

As God as my witness - I'll never touch that thing again! :)
Thank you for this post! I'm dealing with the exact same problem. Tried taking off the plug and cleaning the plug threads really well and adding new teflon tape and lubed the o ring, didn't help. Ordered a new o ring, but haven't received it yet, and now expect to receive a thinner one (have the yellow one like yours on it now and it seems ok).

So, do you think it was just the grit in the female threads? Hoping I don't need a new plug. Been buying a lot of parts. I know it's not expensive, but $5 here, $20 there has been adding up since just opening last week. Also don't want to wait for another part.
 

brew4eagle

Member
Jun 2, 2016
20
Stafford, VA
Related questioned- I've removed my grids plenty of times to clean them, but have always done this after a backwash. Right now I have a fresh load of DE on the grids. Is there a way to remove the grids and preserve as much of the DE as possible?
 

Yorker

Silver Supporter
Apr 22, 2017
408
Cathedral City, CA
Hi Brew4Eagle,

I don't think my toothbrush, warm water & soap did much, it's hard to tell and the toothbrush did not have anything in the bristles that I could see, and the drain is in such a visually challenging position from either looking up or down. I think my problem was that I had not used Teflon tape (and was not told by the PB ... yes, I should have know better and not listen to them :). I also did not lube the o-ring the previous times.

I don't recall, but I don't think I tried the thinner o-ring with Teflon tape, probably would have been a better way to properly identify the issue.

If your thicker yellow o-ring is still pliable and not cracked or scored, I'd use that. What is the condition on the male threads? Next time you take the plug out try and take some closeup photos that you can enlarge to inspect the threads.

Is it leaking much? Have you tried an extra round or two of tape?




So, do you think it was just the grit in the female threads?
 

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Yorker

Silver Supporter
Apr 22, 2017
408
Cathedral City, CA
Since I have no idea what "Grids" are ... I assume we have different types of filters. Mine uses cartridges and I don't/can't backwash mine. Now I want to search Grids and see what it is that I don't know :)

Related questioned- I've removed my grids plenty of times to clean them, but have always done this after a backwash. Right now I have a fresh load of DE on the grids. Is there a way to remove the grids and preserve as much of the DE as possible?
 

brew4eagle

Member
Jun 2, 2016
20
Stafford, VA
Hi Brew4Eagle,

I don't think my toothbrush, warm water & soap did much, it's hard to tell and the toothbrush did not have anything in the bristles that I could see, and the drain is in such a visually challenging position from either looking up or down. I think my problem was that I had not used Teflon tape (and was not told by the PB ... yes, I should have know better and not listen to them :). I also did not lube the o-ring the previous times.

I don't recall, but I don't think I tried the thinner o-ring with Teflon tape, probably would have been a better way to properly identify the issue.

If your thicker yellow o-ring is still pliable and not cracked or scored, I'd use that. What is the condition on the male threads? Next time you take the plug out try and take some closeup photos that you can enlarge to inspect the threads.

Is it leaking much? Have you tried an extra round or two of tape?
The Male threads looked ok, and I cleaned all the old teflon tape/crud out of them. Wrapped with 2-3 wraps of teflon (clockwise!) and lubed the o ring. It's not a terrible leak, but drips every 5 seconds or so. Definitely want to fix. Guess I'll try the new o ring when it arrives. If that doesn't work I'll order a new plug and go from there.
 

G Quincy

New member
Apr 26, 2020
1
DFW
Brew4eagle,
I had the same leak issue. I just got a new Waterway DE filter with a multi-valve kit, a 1.65 VS pump and I installed it a few weeks ago and it ran great. The pool was green when the equipment was installed and after a couple of days it cleared up, therefore I did a back wash, and opened the drain plug.... Afterwards I had the leak issue at the drain plug. I tried the cleaning and taping it after the brush and soapy water and it still leaked.

To resolve my leak issue I did the following after removing the filters:
1. repeat the cleaning steps on the plug (soapy water and wire brush),
2. re-tape the threads,
3. lube the O-ring and installed the plug and let it sit over night with no water in the filter
4. afterwards ran for 24 hours bypassing the DE filter via the "RECIRC." setting on the Multivalve port (no water in the filter during this time)
5. Next day changed the valve setting to the "FILTER" setting so the water would fill up the DE filter without the filters in the DE filer.

The plug held for the rest of the the day. The following day I put the filters back in the DE filter unit and it has held with no leaks (4 days so far).
 
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