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Leaking Return Fittings – A Common Problem

Any one who has built or serviced pools for any length of time knows that pools can move in relation to the surrounding soil.  Since the underground plumbing is held in place by the soil this movement frequently causes leaks at or near return fittings where the plumbing is integrated with the pool structures.  A simple pressure test and/or dye test can often confirm where the problem is, but the solution to the fix is  far from simple.

Common Leaks in Return Fittings
Common Leaks in Return Fittings

Historically there have been two methods of repair.

  • The first and most effective method is to replace the broken fitting or pipe.  This method can be quite extensive due to digging through the concrete deck. Whether it is the high cost or an interest in preserving the aesthetics of a decorative deck, customers often are looking for an alternative solution.
  • Patching the crack in the fitting, has historically been the alternative to the extensive replacement option.  This far less expensive solution would consist of patching the leak from the inside of the fitting or pipe with an epoxy or glue. H20 Glue,  and Quickset Putty would be common products used due to their adhesive nature and ability to be applied underwater.  Applying patch material comes with its own set of challenges and has varied results, but can still be an effective solution, especially with improved quality of patch products now available.

There is now another option to this problem and after its first year on the market the Fitting Saver has been very well received.  The Fitting Saver provides a long term solution that installs in minutes.  The Fitting Saver slides into a broken fitting and creates a seal in both the 1 ½” threads of the fitting and the 1 ½” pipe beyond the break.  A ¾” open pipe extends through the seals enabling water to pass through the repaired fitting when the pool is put back into service.  The repair can be completed in minutes and provides a semi-permanent solution that eliminates the need for immediate fitting replacement.

Fitting Saver Seals

In many areas of the country with expansive soils or ground freezing winters the forces that caused a crack in the first place don’t go away.  The tension that caused the crack in the first place will often cause a patch to come loose or even a replacement fitting to crack again.  The unique design of the fitting saver handles this challenge since the rubber seals provide some flexibility and will maintain a seal even with some movement.

The Fitting Saver comes in a Short (4″) version and an Extended (14″) version.  It also comes with a decorative cover for a finishing look.  This new innovative product is a slick solution to the common problem of a leaking return fitting. Click Here for product video.

Return fittings are, and will continue to be, a source for leaks and an opportunity to service your customer.  Finding the right solution for your customer depends on several variables only you can determine. Now you have another option.

How many broken fittings do you come across each year?  Which solution do you tend to recommend?

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