View Full Version : Outdoor spa question - need advice with PVC
01-07-2006, 01:53 PM
Hello, I'm new here and have a plumbing question. On my outdoor spa, there are two lines that run into the pump. They are about 2 1/2 inch lines. While tightening the collar from one of the lines that attach to the pump, the collar split and I lost all the water in the tub.
Here's the problem.
In normal situations, I could just cut the PVC back and use a coupler, etc. The problem is, there is no room to work since the pipe goes through plywood and into the tub and I have no extra PVC to cut to attach a collar to. My question is, can I use a flexible type of coupling? I have seen them in the hardward store, black rubber coupling with a metal clamp on each end. I am wondering whether this would work with the max temp being 104 degrees and also the pressure. The line is actually the input line so it probably won't have high pressure on it now that I think of it. Any advice is appreciated. I have attached links to the pictures to give you a visual of what I am dealing with.
01-07-2006, 03:09 PM
Sorry, no advice on your plumbing. But we have had spas since 1992, and got a new Coleman in 2004. This last October, 2005, we had an Eco-Spa salt generation unit installed which is made by Balboa. You can do a web search for info on this. It uses a couple of cups full of ordinary solar salt in your newly changed spa water to extract the chlorine from the salt to disinfect your spa water and recycyles it. You do not need to add any bromine or chlorine to your water to keep it chrystal clear with no irritants on your skin. Only check it to balance PH. Works beautifully! We have never had the water look, smell or feel better! Costs about $1000 or less installed; less if you can cut the lines and intall it yourself. Will pay for itself with savings on chemicals. Try it; you'll like it!
By the way, have you tried gluing the coupler with PVC cement?
01-07-2006, 07:48 PM
What have you cut with the hacksaw?
If the 45 degree elbow is still intact, then you could probably put the rubber coupling on the elbow that has the little flange. Then you might be able to clamp onto the part that we don't see; possibly with some kind of adapter to replace the threaded part.
01-07-2006, 10:17 PM
I think the Fernco coupling is a bad idea.They are by definition only for drainage.
Spas and hot tubs use some unique fittings.But I dont see why you couldnt cut back that 45 and glue a PVC union onto it.That assumes you can find one in that size.
Maybe you could remove the existing "45 with union" using a socket saver tool,but you are still going have to get a replacement from the spa dealer,because they are not available at the plumbing supply house.
If you going to try glueing a new one on use PVC cleaner b4 you glue and let it dry 24 hrs. B4 testing, maybe longer if the air temps are below 50F. The colder the air temps the longer it takes for the solvent to find it's way out of the PVC.
For a DIY'er you may have an impossible situation. The piece that is broken is half of a union. First you will have to find another union with exactly that size nut, which could also be an impossibility since yours is also a 45 degree elbow so it is likely to be proprietary to your spa, and also only available from the manufacturer. Then, since in addition to everything else, it is a street elbow, you need a special drill bit that will remove the stub of pipe after it is cut off flush with the tee, (it is not a coupling with a small pipe into the side of it).Once everthing is available and the old piece removed the repair is simple. A Fernco, or any other clamp type of fitting, will not seal to the threaded portion that is on the pump.
01-12-2006, 03:06 PM
Thanks for the replies. I ordered the new part from the manufacturer but here's my next question. From where I cut the old PVC pipe off, there is still about 1/2 inch of the old pipe inside the coupling. How do I get this out without cutting anymore of the coupling back? HJ, thanks for your input. Is the best way to get one of those bits or could I use a utility knife since to cut it out since it is only about 1/2 inch in?
01-12-2006, 04:20 PM
I'm not a pro, but I've read here that there are drills that are designed to cut out a stub of pvc. There may be other choices, but I don't think you will get a clean enough joint to make it leak free by trying to cut it out with a utility knife. One of the pros may have some other ideas. With pvc cement, it really is more like welding...the cement actually melts the top layer, and bonds the pieces together.
01-12-2006, 07:17 PM
ok, I'll get the drill bit. Thanks
Place a hose clamp around the outside of the fitting. Heat a screwdriver tip and melt a groove through the side of the remaining piece of pipe. Just melt down to, or close to, the inside of the fitting. You will probably have to reheat the screwdriver tip several times. Then take a sharp screwdriver and tap it between the pipe and the fitting at the point of your groove. It will start to separate, and then, by using a pair of screwdrivers you can work your way around the perimeter to remove it. If some "shards" stay in the fitting you can peel them out with one of the screwdrivers and the hammer.
If you are going to drill out route, look for a Ram Bit.
01-13-2006, 05:23 PM
Ok guys, the job is done! I searched and searched for a ram bit but there weren't any at any of the supply places within 50 miles! Here's what I did:
I used the grinding bit from a Dremel tool and ground away the piece very slowly and carefully. I was able to get the replacement part from the manufacturer. I glued it in using the purple solvent to prep it and then the blue PVC glue to finalize it. I only had about 1/2" to go inside the coupling but it has held and the tub is running right now with no leaks (yet!)
Am I gonna be ok with only 1/2" in the coupling? Any preventive measures I should take for this job to make its connection more solid?
Thank you to everyone who replied. This really wasn't that hard of a job once I figured out how to tackle it.