Pipe Fittings

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by azkyle, Sep 1, 2006.

  1. azkyle

    azkyle New Member

    Messages:
    9
    I am hooking up pool equipment and am not sure what to use. What i have now would require me to cut the pipe everytime i want to remove the fitting. IE, if want to change the sand in the filter, i would have to cut the piping. Do they make fittings that would allow me to just screw off the end without having to cut the pipes? Thanks in advance, I just have no idea what I would buy, what you call it or where i would get it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2009
  2. scatkins

    scatkins New Member

    Messages:
    18
    In general you need a Union to make any pipe fitting (PVC, metal etc) removable without a cut.

    But, why do you need to remove the fitting to change the sand? THere are no access panels on the filter? I've always used DE filters on Pools, but I don't believe you change the sand on a sand filter anyway (?), only backflush.

    But in any case if this is a once every 5 year thing, then make the cut when you first do it. Then put in a union at that time.
  3. prashster

    prashster New Member

    Messages:
    941
    There are "rubber, banded couplings". You screw the bands tight with a screwdriver. You might see them referred to as "Fernco fittings" which one co that makes them. Some applications require that the rubber coupling be enshrouded in a full, metal sleeve.

    The other option is a "pvc union". This is a short coupling between two opposing pipe ends. Threaded rings on each side of the coupler compress rubber gaskets, making a water-tight connection.
  4. Lancaster

    Lancaster New Member

    Messages:
    164
    I advise against using Ferncos in a pressure application.They should only be used for drainage.
  5. I agree with Lancaster. Fernco's and no-hub couplings are for non-pressurized drainage lines only. Use PVC unions.
    Good luck!
    Mike
  6. pinerider

    pinerider New Member

    Messages:
    7
    But... on the other hand, I've had a Fernco coupling on my pool pump connection for 12 years, no problems.
  7. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Electrical

    You should pay particular attention to electrical requirements of Section 680 of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Before you pour any concrete, see especially 680.26(C) which involves putting wires in concrete to form a grounded grid around the pool. (My references are from the 2005 NEC, and I think this is a new section. Check the library. I think there may be a Read Only version available on line but I don't recall the link.)

    The electrical issues are related to related to avoiding electrical tingling and worse around the pool. Even if you don't have to pass an inspection, you should pay attention to the electrical issues, especially GFI protection and grounding.
  8. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    PVC unions are great

    I use a bunch of them in my water treatment system so I can remove any individual component. Never had any problems with them, and you don't need a pair of 24" pipe wrenches to put them together or take them apart.
  9. I get calls to work on these pool systems all the time but I don't trust the customer to not fire the system up before the glue cures. I know (from what I've heard) that these systems usually don't generate more than 30 pounds of pressure.

    Still though, anyone knows that once a solvent weld connection is contaminated with water that it can and will destroy the joint, eventually.

    I did replace 2" valves recently on one system that the customers were leaving to go on vacation so I knew that no chance of water going through it would be possible. Here's a couple pictures.....hell let me know if I did anything wrong....not my forte dealing with swammin puols.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  10. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Nice valve job. The owner must have bought a "contractor pack" of 90s, and was determined to use every one of them. (Why use a single 45 when 4 90s will do, after all?) Only question is -- what's the big puddle of water doing in the "after" picture?
  11. The water was from releasing the pressure from that lid that you can see into to remove dirt/debri. If I would of waited 3 more minutes after taking that picture, a huge storm came in and made everything soaking wet.

    I need to photoshop my pictures better to hide the water spilled around what I work on/finish. I can't stay long enough to allow the water to dry and then take a picture.

    Those 2" ball valves were $38 a piece.:eek:
  12. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Where you put the new and too expensive valves... isn't that the suction side of the pump?

    If so, what is the line before the union feeding, and how? Or am I wrong and the pump is being fed pressurized water? And why is the new valve fully open when the original wasn't, you change the flow rate? What was the reason for replacing what look like good valves? Assuming they were bad for some reason, I would have proposed and used PVC ball valves because of what pool chemicals do to brass and SS valves.

    Also, there is cement made for wet application on PVC, IIRC it is blue and I've only used it once or twice many years ago on an artesian well but... regardless of the manufacturers CTA label stuff, there is no reason to not pressurize PVC/CPVC plumbing in 15-20 minutes of installation as long as the water pressure is not over 60-70 psi. Millions of people have done it on well and irrigation systems without problems since PVC hit the market decades ago. Did you pressurize and test for leaks and pump/filter operation before leaving?
  13. Where you put the new and too expensive valves... isn't that the suction side of the pump?

    The customer had that entire system reworked 2 years prior and she had 2 - 2" gate valves that worked for 30 plus years since they are turned on and off weekly/monthly. Like I said....don't know enough about swimming pools to know their operation. The installer insisted that he use those PVC ball valves because they are cheaper. Within those 2 years those ball valves hardened up and broke the left side valve.......the reason why the tab is slightly turned. I couldn't even turn the right one. I couldn't readily find 2" gate valves like they had (which was really unusual) and told them that the ball valves will give a better reliability than plastic. If you look at the pictures.......you'll see that supposedly the "pro" used DWV fittings instead of pressure fittings and had those two pipes stressed coming out of the ground. When I reworked the system I used all pressure PVC fittings, nothing was pulled/stretched into position and I installed that union so I can somehow divert some of the vibration coming off of the pump.

    If so, what is the line before the union feeding, and how? I don't know the answer to that one.

    Or am I wrong and the pump is being fed pressurized water? Don't know
    And why is the new valve fully open when the original wasn't, you change the flow rate? Plastic ball valve is broken

    What was the reason for replacing what look like good valves? Broken and slowly got hard to turn. They are aware of the possibility of the new ball valves doing the same but will surpass two years I'm sure.


    Assuming they were bad for some reason, I would have proposed and used PVC ball valves because of what pool chemicals do to brass and SS valves. They requested gate valves since 30 year reliability over a brief 2 years was enough reason to switch.

    Also, there is cement made for wet application on PVC, IIRC it is blue and I've only used it once or twice many years ago on an artesian well but... regardless of the manufacturers CTA label stuff, there is no reason to not pressurize PVC/CPVC plumbing in 15-20 minutes of installation as long as the water pressure is not over 60-70 psi. Millions of people have done it on well and irrigation systems without problems since PVC hit the market decades ago. Did you pressurize and test for leaks and pump/filter operation before leaving? No. the system sat for 3 days and I promise without a doubt that they would of called me if there was any problems.

    I can't take a chance of pressurizing any system that indirectly can cause damage beyond my control just because I want to test boundaries of what millions have done. Years ago I solvent welded a 2" trap under a sink and it took 2 years to finally break down and fall apart. Reason? I rushed the install and water contaminated the solvent weld joint. It held then.......but it eventually broke that glue down slowly and thank goodness no damage occurred.

    So now when I do reworks with drain lines or under sink piping installations involving solvent weld connections......I either switch to another area of work at the home or go and pick up tools, clean up the work area and go write the bill before I run water through any recent connection. And that is just DWV systems. I didn't mention PVC/CPVC water lines because I never touch them.....and won't in my area. Just think of the income I provide to my competition. It's all theirs.


    95% of the time I turn away any work that deals with pool systems. I think people assume that since it is plastic piping that it is a plumber's job. Not really and I know that some people will flip the switch in those systems as soon as I leave the driveway. I stop that chance from ever happening (callbacks) by saying no.

    This was for some old people (late 70's) and they were tired of consistently having to crank those large gate valves down.......they liked the short turn of the PVC ball valves. They just didn't last.

    These people also dispatching my name to lots of people they know. Can't complain


    Last but not least..........I insisted that they paint that plastic piping that I just installed along with the other piping that is exposed to UV rays. That one fitting in front of those valves showed signs of cracking......job security for me in the near future. I told them to use a paint that had no petroleum base to affect the piping.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2006
  14. shacko

    shacko Master Plumber-Gas Fitter

    Messages:
    561
    Location:
    Rosedale, Md
    Fernco couplings

    I snoke around gas cans and never had one blow up, the point is its not a good idea.
  15. shacko

    shacko Master Plumber-Gas Fitter

    Messages:
    561
    Location:
    Rosedale, Md
    unions

    To: azkyle, go with the unions.
  16. George R

    George R New Member

    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Central Illinois
    To azkyle: Can you see that big black valve in RUGGED's photos. There is a position on that valve that says backwash, you position the valve there and turn on the pump. The sand is backwashed out of the filter and comes out that vertical pipe (that you can barely see) on the backside of that valve. People generally hook a flexible hose to it and just just let it flow somewhere in the yard.

    You add sand to the pool skimmer box (with the pump running and that black valve in the filter position) to replenish the sand in the filter. You can add a union if you like, but it's completely unnecessary. I can't see the filter connections in your photos but there are probably unions there to remove the filter for winter storage. I can see the unions in RUGGEDS photos right next to the filter. Your filter is probably similar. The pump can stay outside, as long as all the water is removed.

    To Gary: That looks like a pretty standard pool installation. Yes, the two valves are on the suction side. One line probably comes from the skimmer box and one line from the bottom drain. If you vacuum the pool with the vac hose hooked into the skimmer box, you shut off the bottom drain to get max suction thru the vac. If you're sweeping the pool toward the bottom drain, you shut off the skimmer box. Most of the time they just stay fully open.

    The other line going into the ground (the one with no valve) is the return of the filtered water to the pool and probably splits into 2 lines that dump water into the pool (one at each end) at the wall.

    To RUGGED: HA if you ever decide to do any pool work again:D you might check out The Jandy valves like this

    http://www.poolplaza.com/P-JDY-56-4052.html

    They are made for the harsh chemical environment of pool water. I owned a home with a pool that had these valves and they worked very smoothly for ten years and were still there when I sold the home . They are available in any good pool supply store. As you can see, they ain't cheap either.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2006
  17. azkyle

    azkyle New Member

    Messages:
    9
    wow, thanks for all the replies. I had it hooked up and then had some leaks from not tightening it enough. So I installed some of the unions and it works great. Appreciate all of the replies.
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