Friday, August 19, 2011

Swimming Pool Fittings (part 3)

 For crying out loud.  In my continuing battle against stupid 2 inch fittings for a solar pool heater, I've had some successes and some failures.  Mostly failures.  As I described previously, these things have to be fitted together with flexible hose so they can move a little and to allow them to be taken apart for servicing the roof.  However, nobody wants to sell the connectors needed to hook a pressurized 2 inch pipe to a 2.375 hose.  I finally got in a set of barb fittings that turned out to be too small, so I ordered another set that were the right size for the hose, but a little loose on the pipe.

The white one is a 2" x 2" barb fitting.  It is the same size as 2" pipe, so you use a coupler, but the barb is too small.  The other one is a 2.5" x 2.5" barb fitting and will fit around the 2" pipe with 1/10" of free play.  Turns out that this tiny bit of play is enough to cause it to fail if you're not totally careful about gluing it in place, but the barb is the right size.  Since this setup will operate unattended for days at a time pumping hundreds of gallons of water around, I'd like to feel a little better about it.  So, I tried the fitting below that is called a "pipe extender".

It is designed to fit INSIDE a 2" pipe and stick out so you can attach something to it.  The fitting was designed for situations where you just don't have enough room or a pipe is broken off in concrete or some other bulkhead.  It's basically a repair fitting.  I sawed off some of the end of it and, if you push the uncut tube into a pipe a ways, leaving a separation, you have a nice place to put a hose clamp.  I can't post a picture of this right now, it's installed on the roof and I didn't take my camera up there.  However, I used up all my fittings and stuff experimenting so I'll have to get more and I'll get some pictures of the combination then.

Interesting items for the do-it-yourselfer:  All of the fittings above are hard to find.  The various chain hardware stores don't carry them, and I couldn't find them at plumbing supply houses either.  The plumbing supply houses didn't even have a clue what I was talking about.  They were in one supplier's catalog, but they cost twice what I paid and I'd have to wait a couple of weeks to get them. Even Grainger, the huge wholesaler didn't have them in their catalogs.  When you start adding fittings to PVC pipe, you have to cut something off; that shortens the pipe and gives you less room to work.  Then you add stuff that lengthens the pipe and you run out of space the other way.  Be darn sure to look at it closely and do the very best you can to figure out what is needed before you order stuff.  Else, you'll be stringing the job out over weeks like I am. But, on the bright side, the "pipe extender" fitting above can be a life saver because it fits INSIDE the two inch pipe and doesn't take a lot of room; it also can be partly inserted to make up for being a little short on something else.  There's also something called an "inside coupler", this fitting connects two pipes by going INSIDE them.  Saves space and allows the reuse of a fitting that you had to cut off.  Nice little fittings to keep around; I'm going to order a few of them just for repair purposes and keep them on hand.

More later on this little plumbing drama (after the next set of parts comes in the mail)...

1 comment:

  1. This is cool and very nice informative issues pool fittings. Thanks for taking the time to discuss that.
    I'll try to consider it for my future references, thanks for this great article.