Need some insight into PVC plumbing

TFPJules111

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 16, 2007
48
Denton, TX
Hello again.

The homeowner warranty people sent out the pool tech (Caribbean Blue Pools - Carrollton, TX) who charged me $65 to look at my broken filter and say "Yep, it's broken". I've got my fingers crossed that the warranty people will do the right thing and pop for a replacement (or at least a good portion of the $).

I'm currently using bleach, since the previous owner seemed unaware of the broken filter and "fixed" the problem by running the pump 24/7 and dumping in ridiculous amounts of stabilized tablets. My CYA level is well over 100. I'm considering installing an Autopilot SWCG once I get the filter issue taken care of, but have a question about the PVC plumbing.

I assume things would be re-plumbed by the pool tech if they replace the filter. However, if I take the $ from the warranty and DIY, it would be up to me. I've done PVC house plumbing before, so I'm comfortable cutting, using cement, etc.

In the attached pic, where the output comes from the pump, there appears to be a threaded fitting that goes into the pump & then the PVC is glued to it going into the filter. Would I just cut the PVC, then unscrew that fitting, replace with a new one and glue the new tubes to it?

The other area I'm concerned about is near the Jandy 3way valve. The elbow is glued to the valve, then a very short section of PVC before going into a ported "T" (I think they had an ionizer electrode in it a long time ago). It doesn't look like there's enough pipe to put a union on there if I cut the "T" off. Another option is to leave the T in place, and make my new filter connection to the right of the last joint, pushing the filter further to the right on the concrete pad, to leave the 12" of straight pipe necessary for the AutoPilot manifold. And I guess the last option is to also replumb the 3 way valve, energy filter, etc.

Can someone with PVC pool plumbing experience shed some light on the best way to handle this? Cheap is best, but I also like to do things right - I know, those aren't always compatible goals.
 

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JasonLion

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May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
It sounds like you are already on the right track.

Jandy valves allow one size of pipe to connect on the inside and another size of pipe to connect on the outside. The two sides of the valve I can see in your picture appear to use these two different approaches. If the third side, which I can't see in your picture, has a pipe inside it you can cut that off and add a pipe on the outside. That would solve the issue with your ported T quite neatly.

The pipe coming out of the pump can also be cut right next to the 45, after the 90. That might be easier, though clearly less elegant, than getting the screw in fitting unscrewed. The screw in fittings often come right out, but now and then they have been sealed with something that won't let go. I would cut it right next to the 45 and then see if you can unscrew it so you have a fallback plan if it won't come out. Chances are it will come out, but nice to have insurance.
 

Poolsean

TFP Expert
Apr 15, 2007
1,462
Ft Lauderdale, Florida
My 2 cents - You would be much better off getting a new filter rather than trying to fix this one. It appears to be pretty old. Besides, if there are any signs of corrosion, the salt system would accentuate the damage.

Regarding the plumbing, yes, cut the pipe and unthread the fitting going into the pump. This should be just a 2" male threaded adapter or 2" PVC Nipple.
The Jandy Valve is capable of plumbing internally or externally. Usually this is a 1.5" internal fit (1.5" PVC), or a 2" external fitting (2" Coupling, 90 ell, 45 ell, etc). You can see how both types are used in your photo. In your case it sounds like you said the 90 ell is plumbed directly onto the Jandy. If this is the case, you can use the 1.5" internal fit, then use a reducer bushing to get back to 2". Not the best hydraulically, but it's being reduced into the valve anyway so it will not hinder your flow.

Jason, you are on top of things dude. I went back to take a look at the photo again, and noticed you sent yours right before I sent mine... and very similar responses too. Great minds think alike!
8)
 

waste

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
4,160
Coastalish 'down easter'
Not to 'gainsay' the above advice (BTW - congrats on becoming a moderator Jason! and Hi Sean! :cheers: ), however using the outside/ inside option on jandy valves can make a fraction of an inch difference on the incoming pipe's entry, PVC has enough flex to accomodate it over a long enough run, but it still stresses the pipe - not having a 'dead straight' run could cause the proposed union to be a real PITA to get to seal properly. As there is a 50 - 50 chance of restricting flow anyway, I would opt for a 'pipe extender' - it's a coupling that glues into the ID of the pipe and 'bushes' up to the OD of the pipe. Had the valve been oriented so that the 90 wasn't needed, I think that using the 1.5" and bushing up would work, but the difference in the 'depth' of a 2" vs. 1.5" would strain the pipe too much -- I suppose a short run of flex pipe would alleviate this.

I don't want to disagree with two people whom I respect, but I think that they may have overlooked the '90 highth difference' and don't want you to end up ~3/8" out of level. :) As you know from your home plumbing experience, PVC is fairly easy to work with -if you need any more help with this project, just ask and someone will help you! Good luck!!
 

TFPJules111

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 16, 2007
48
Denton, TX
Thank you all for the prompt help. This forum is awesome! In a week, I've learned more about pools than I ever thought I'd know (or have to).

@waste: If I read your advice correctly, you suggest leaving the 90 on the valve, and instead making my cut where it's marked in the photo, then using the "pipe extender" for 2" pvc to bring it back up to the correct OD?

While the pump & filter plumbing is all 2", the inputs & outputs to the pool are all 1.5".

BTW, I'm trying to learn the correct terms for this stuff: what do you call the line that goes into the jandy energy filter then into the quick connect for the polaris? Am I correct that the other line is called the "return" and goes to the 3 jets in the pool wall?
 

Poolsean

TFP Expert
Apr 15, 2007
1,462
Ft Lauderdale, Florida
With Pipe Extenders, make sure you dry fit the coupling to it first, as they can sometimes be a loose fit.

The line for the Jandy cleaner is called your Pressure Cleaner line. Nothing fancy. The lines to the pool walls are wall returns.

It's fine that your lines to and from the pool are 1.5" as there are multiple lines to and from. From the pump to the filter and finally back to your returns, the 2" line provides better hydraulics than if they were 1.5" also.

One more suggestion, older systems often have glue joints that can easily come apart with just forcefully twisting the joints apart. With Waste suggestion of cutting where your circle is (between the 90 and tee), see if you can twist the 90 fitting off the Jandy valve by hand. If it's going to come off, it will do so within the first few attempts.

Good Luck, and thanks for considering AutoPilot.
 

waste

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
4,160
Coastalish 'down easter'
TFPJules111 said:
Thank you all for the prompt help. This forum is awesome! In a week, I've learned more about pools than I ever thought I'd know (or have to).

@waste: If I read your advice correctly, you suggest leaving the 90 on the valve, and instead making my cut where it's marked in the photo, then using the "pipe extender" for 2" pvc to bring it back up to the correct OD?

While the pump & filter plumbing is all 2", the inputs & outputs to the pool are all 1.5".

BTW, I'm trying to learn the correct terms for this stuff: what do you call the line that goes into the jandy energy filter then into the quick connect for the polaris? Am I correct that the other line is called the "return" and goes to the 3 jets in the pool wall?
Yes, and do try Sean's advice for not needing the pipe extender. :) I just want you to have the easiest way to 're-do' this! If the 90 will come off, use lots of primer and LOTS of glue when replumbing it!!! Should you need more help, you know where to turn :wink:
 

TFPJules111

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 16, 2007
48
Denton, TX
Thanks for the suggestions everyone. All very useful info.

What's the conventional wisdom on plumbing top-mounted valves?

Seems like I'd want unions near the connections in order to remove the valve to add sand or service the filter.
 

Matt 633

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 27, 2007
40
Western East Texas
Yes, unions are a really good idea. The threaded ones give you more flexiblity but are more expensive. If you have a small leak they would be easy to tighten and/or disasemble. If you were to put one close to the pump as well as the filter, it would make any future servicing easier.

Take a few moments and visualize how you will lay it out. Keep in mind how it will be taken apart. You will thank yourself in the future if you need to service the equipment.

PVC cleaner, primer, and medium strength glue. The small bottles will do and you will have some left over. I don't know the shelf life of these though.

Let us know how it went.
 

TFPJules111

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 16, 2007
48
Denton, TX
I'm sipping that margarita!

The new filter is installed!

I had two small leaks on first startup, both at the 1 1/2 male threaded pvc into the filter valve. I wiped off the pipe dope I'd used and put about 5 turns of teflon thread tape on instead and they went away - VERY glad I used unions!

The filter sits at a steady 20psi with the pressure cleaner line shut off. The pool's cleared dramatically in the 2 days it's been running.

Total cost was about $270 for the filter+shipping, $90 sand & about $50 pvc & glue.

Thanks for the help, everyone! And feel free to tell me what I did wrong...

Julian
 

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duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
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Sebring, Florida
And feel free to tell me what I did wrong...
Jules, I'm really dissatisfied with that long visible drip of primer on the pipe!! :lol: :lol: :lol: Seriously, that's nice, neat work.
 

Matt 633

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 27, 2007
40
Western East Texas
Congratulations. I think that I would have added another union coming out of the pump. You can always add that when the time comes to service the pump. :wink: It will be a good idea to put a seal kit on your wish list. Perhaps you can find one that is marked down now that Labor Day has come and gone. Good to have on hand just in case. :wink:

Again, good job.