Work Like A Pro! Specialty Pool Fittings And When To Use Them For Repairs.
Knowing the right tool for the job is half the battle. And when it comes to pool and spa plumbing, knowing the right fitting for the job can be the difference between a professional job and a glue-covered mess.
There is a whole list of fittings that you should add to your pool service truck ASAP. You can be ready for any situation the next pool pad throws at you. Check out these key fittings you need to add to your pool pro tool kit.
HOW TO PLUMB A POOL PUMP, A BETTER WAY
First, let’s get one thing out of the way. You need to start plumbing pumps and filters with union connections. Hopefully you already do! There’s very little reason not to and it will save you miles of headaches in the future.
Do you really want to cut PVC and patch it every time you need to service a pump? With the union connection you can quickly disconnect equipment for service, replacement, winterization and more.
The next question is – what is the best union for a pool pump? A pump is a dual piece of equipment: it is part of the plumbing but it’s also motorized. That makes it special, because of one big reason. A motor produces heat!
Normally this is no problem. But if there is a malfunction or the pump runs dry, it can overheat and cause warping. With a regular fitting or union the threads can be permanently damaged.
This is where our friend the High Temp Union comes in.
A High Temp Union is made of the same durable material as a pump body. It will be resistant to warping from overheating.
This can save you so much trouble in the future.
High Temp Unions from CMP are certified by NSF and include a self-sealing o-ring.
These unions are loved by experienced pool service professionals.
If you are not using them you need to add to your kit ASAP.
HOW TO SAVE A POOL VALVE DURING POOL REPAIRS
Have you been there? You are working on a pool pad repair, replacing plumbing when you realize you are going to have to cut out a valve. Now you’ve got to replace one more piece of equipment and waste a functioning valve.
But wait, you can save that valve! One method is to get a screwdriver and hack away at the old glued-in pipe. But who has time for that? This is a job for Pipe Extender.
A CMP Pipe Extender fits inside and adds back plumbing that was lost. To save a valve, use a hacksaw to cut away the old pipe as close to the edge of the valve as possible. Insert the Pipe Extender inside the pipe remaining in the valve, and then plumb the rest of the way as usual. Easy!
This is also a great option if you have to cut away pipe from expensive pool equipment. One word of caution: by fitting inside the pipe, the Pipe Extender does slightly restrict flow at the connection. If that’s an issue, you can try making a slip connection on the outside of the valve.
Slip Connection vs Socket Connection: A slip connection puts the fitting OVER the connection. So the fitting is larger than the connection. A socket connection fits INSIDE the connection, so the fitting is smaller than the connection. When you see a fitting listed with two measurements, like 2.5in/ 2in, the larger size is the slip connection and the smaller is the socket connection.
TIPS FOR A PERFECT INSTALLATION
– For threaded PVC fittings, use silicone sealant over the threads, and wrap the threads with Teflon tape in a clockwise direction. Tighten by hand, and then give one extra turn with large pliers.
– If there are molded-in part numbers or markings on a glue joining fitting, sand them off before making a connection to prevent leaks.
– When adding or replacing a 90 or 45 fitting, dry-fit first with your pipe before gluing to get the angle and direction correct. Don’t glue first and have to cut it out when you make a mistake! (We’ve all been there)
– Work clean! A messy job with glue everywhere doesn’t fill a homeowner with confidence. You want to leave every job looking like a pro! Don’t forget to clean up the pool area too. And, don’t leave PVC scraps and shavings all over the pad. It should look better when you leave than when you started.
– Use PVC primer. Clean the area, apply primer, wait about 30 seconds and then add your glue. This extra prep step will make a stronger, longer-lasting connection.
– Plan ahead—don’t touch that hacksaw yet! Once you’ve reviewed the problem, get a piece of paper and quickly sketch out the repair, noting the pipe required and any special fittings. Be prepared before you even start.
– Do we even need to say it? Measure twice, cut once!
HOW TO PATCH PIPE AT A FITTING WITHOUT LOSING FLOW
Sometimes you have to use an inside fitting like a Pipe Extender or an Inside Coupler to make a connection. These work just fine but they do reduce flow. An Inside Coupler is a great option if you need to make a patch and have very little room left to work.
But what if you need to make a repair at a fitting after removing a section of pipe? You can make a pipe repair with zero loss of flow! Use a CMP Fitting Extender for this job. The Fitting Extender fits OVER the existing fitting. The opposite side matches the pipe size. This toolbox essential extends the fitting, and you can make a regular connection from that point.
For example: let’s say you are using 2in pipe and need to make a repair at an elbow. You would cut the old pipe right at the fitting. Add a Fitting Extender that will fit over the end of the existing elbow. The other side of the fitting will now match 2in pipe and is ready for your next connection with no loss of flow.
REPAIRING A LEAK AT A FITTING
It happens to all of us—whatever the cause, we visit the pool to find a wet spot around and under a fitting connection. Now we’ve got a patch job ahead of us. Remove the old fitting, put in a new one, glue it all up . . . it’s going to take some time.
But time is money, and there is a faster way to make a repair that will also look more professional! This is a perfect job for a CMP Clip-on Pipe Seal.
The Clip-on Pipe Seal “snaps” onto the existing pipe and slides up against an existing fitting. By gluing this fitting in place, it stops the leak at the joint, actually strengthens the joint, and leaves a nice clean repair.
🥳 Congratulations: you just turned 15-30 minutes worth of repair work into a 5-minute repair job. Your customers will be amazed, you will be less sweaty and the plumbing will still look great!
Experience can teach a professional how to plumb and repair pools in the best way possible. Nothing can replace experience, but the right tools can take every job to the next level.
Now is the perfect time to pick up a set of professional tools and fittings. Add them to your truck and tool kit so you will be prepared for whatever comes up next!
Choose the right pool fittings for your project. CMP has a complete offering of pool pro-level plumbing fittings to make your choices simple.
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