Need help - how to replace / remove eyeball jet fittings

niceguymr

Well-known member
May 28, 2010
119
My pool has some eyeball jet fittings that need to be replaced. Some have completely come off leaving behind a bare exposed wide open PVC pipe end while others have broken off in parts and partially remain attached to the pipes. The pool is about 10 years old, is in ground, and is concrete (diamond brite). I cant really tell how these fittings were originally installed but I'd like to know what exactly is involved. I'm sure that the pool was empty when they were first put in and I'm wondering if I'm going to have to lower the water below the returns to do this or if there's some 'shortcut' for doing this underwater? Also, what would be the best / recommended way to remove the old eyeball fittings if they are still partially (or even completely) in place? Perhaps if I'm going to replace a few, I might as well replace them all.
 

niceguymr

Well-known member
May 28, 2010
119
Re: Need help - how to replace eyeball jet fittings

Shameless bump for the weekday crew :oops:
 

niceguymr

Well-known member
May 28, 2010
119
Re: eyeball removal tool?

I'm bumping this thread to see if anyone has any good updates on an effective removal tool.

My pool is about 10+ years old and the eyeball fitting seems drying/cracking in small parts but not completely coming apart. As a result, the eyeball portion itself is easily removable by hand but the fitting that goes into the pipe remains good and stuck. And the fitting doesn't protrude out far enough from the wall to get any kind of grip on it to twist or turn it - it's almost flush against the wall of the pool. So I'm really kind of stuck trying to figure out how to remove these so I can replace the ones that need replacing.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
It is difficult to answer your questions without some much more specific information. Some photos would help.

There is normally a threaded fitting embedded in the plaster and then something screwed into that. If so, all you need to do is unscrew what is left of the part that used to be screwed in. If something more complex than that is going on, I can't imagine what it is without more information.
 

niceguymr

Well-known member
May 28, 2010
119
JasonLion said:
It is difficult to answer your questions without some much more specific information. Some photos would help.

There is normally a threaded fitting embedded in the plaster and then something screwed into that. If so, all you need to do is unscrew what is left of the part that used to be screwed in. If something more complex than that is going on, I can't imagine what it is without more information.
I posted about it in another topic to try and better describe it like this...

My pool is about 10+ years old and the eyeball fitting seems to be drying/cracking in small parts but not completely coming apart. As a result, only the eyeball portion itself is easily removable by hand but the actual fitting that holds the eyeball goes into the pipe remains good and stuck. And the fitting doesn't protrude out far enough from the wall to get any kind of grip on it to twist or turn it - it's almost flush against the wall of the pool. As a result, I don't have any way to get my hand around the fitting. So I'm really kind of stuck trying to figure out how to remove these so I can replace the ones that need replacing.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
There should be two groves in the threaded fitting on the inside. You should be able to find something that is the right size to engage those two groves, for example a paint stirring stick or a ruler, and use that to unscrew the remaining part. You can also buy a special tool, specifically designed to unscrew that part, but it generally isn't worth the money unless you do this every day.
 

New2Me

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 2, 2008
322
SW Indiana
Re: eyeball removal tool?

eyeball portion itself is easily removable by hand but the fitting that goes into the pipe remains good and stuck
Go to a Pool Store and ask for a return fitting. Look at how they are put together, there should be three pieces, the outer eye ball cap, the eyeball, and the inner holder. The inner holder is threaded at both ends, the eye ball end has a beveled lip/edge where the eye ball goes and the cap screws on. The other end has male pipe threads that screw into your return pipe. Now look inside of the fitting opening, there should be two grooves, each about 1/8 of an inch deep on opposite sides of the inner surface. You need to find something that will slide into the fitting and engage those grooves, allowing you to remove the fitting. I have seen a metal T wrench used, you can try a wooden paint stirrer, but if it is really stuck the wood will break. I have used a pair of needle nosed pliers before, pulling the handles apart to force the jaws out into the slots while twisting them, but you risk damaging the fitting, and rusting the pliers.
Once you get it out, make sure to use teflon tape when you put it back in/replace it, and for heavens sake, don't put it in tightly! It just holds the eyeball in, and you can leave it out if you want to reduce the pump pressure.
Good Luck, and Best Wishes!
 

carolina pool

Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2009
279
Charlotte NC
niceguy, you probably have insider fittings that slip inside the imbedded inlets. These are usually hammered into the pipe and held in place by friction. The best way to remove them is by prying them out with a flat head screwdriver slowly working around the perimeter of the fitting.
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,318
Tucson
I have a wood chisel that is just the right size to fit the grooves in my fittings. If they are really stiff I slip the chisel in and use a Cresent wrench to turn it.
 

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