Pump Ran Dry - PVC Pipe Collapsed

geobrickJune 19, 2010

When disconnecting the Pool Cleaner (Pool Shark) from the pool, the valve was accidently moved to the wrong position. This opened the pool cleaner line to 100% open and closed off the main drain/skimmer line to 100% off. This effectively starved the pump of water for a full 10 hour cycle before I discovered it this morning.

Besides the obvious damage likely done to the pump, an IntelliPro 4X160, there was some damage done to the PVC inlet pipe. The pump is functioning but I'm sure its lifespan will be reduced. The pipe however needs to be repaired soon.

The suction (and maybe some overheating?) from starving the pump of water caused the inlet pipe to collapse.

Based on the photos below, how can I repair the inlet pipe? Is there a way to separate the collapsed pipe from the valve body where it's cemented without having to replace the valve? Any tips are appreciated.

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just-a-pb

You can cut the pipe flush with the valve, and use a 2.5" coupling over the valve. Then you can reduce it to 2" to the motor. You will probably need a new union nut to the motor. You may be able to get it out. Cut the pipe off, then on inside cut the inside of the pipe in two or three spots, then use a screwdriver and hammer to pop them out.
You will want to have a backup plan for the nut if that doesnt work.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 3:59PM
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geobrick

Thanks. Great idea! I didn't consider that the outside of the valve was a standard size. When I first discovered the problem and turned off the pump, I was able to move the union nut so I think it will come off.

Thanks for the instant reply and solution.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 4:10PM
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poolguynj

I've never seen that happen there. Damn, that must have had very heated steam escaping and the water lost when the pump shut off created a vacuum.

Check the impeller, seals, and volute also. I am sure the heated steam didn't do you any favors there either.

Scott

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 10:58PM
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geobrick

I caught the problem in the morning after it was on for about 2 hours. It was probably running for about 10 hours the day before and maybe 3 or so hours the day before that.

When I went out to look at it, the pump was running. It was trying to suck water in but couldn't because the valves were closed off. The motor seemed very hot so I assumed the heat plus the suction caused the partial collapse.

I can take the pump apart and check the items you listed but it seems to be functioning now (with the valves now set properly). Should I just let it run and wait for a future problem or is it better to check them now.

I just got the PVC parts in the mail to fix the pipe as recommended by "just-a-pb". I had to order the PVC parts on the web because it seems a 2.5" coupler is too hard to find (I actually bought a 2.5" to 2" reducing coupler).

I'll probably get to it this weekend so let me know if you think it's really necessary to check the pump parts you mentioned.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 11:38PM
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poolguynj

I would check the parts in the wet end. That was a lot of heat. Heat and moving parts don't like each other.

Scott

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 12:41AM
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just-a-pb

One more thing, you may have to replace the orings in the jandy valve, it probably sucked the center one right out.
Once primed it may suck air from here.

I have seen similar things happen with no damage to pump.
You will know pretty quick once you get it put back together if it primes, and sounds right.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 10:42AM
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mas985

You shouldn't need to reduce to 2" fittings and/or pipe. You should be able to use two 2.5" couplers with a 2.5" pipe. Both the valve and the pump fitting should be able to take 2.5" pipe couplers.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 11:12AM
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racket

The pump fitting is 2" socket, it won' take 2.5" pipe.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 11:45AM
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mas985

As with valves, most pump fittings are 2" inside and 2.5" outside and looks to be the same outer dim as the valve in the picture.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 2:09PM
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racket

Those same unions used on the sta-rite filters, and heaters for years, they are only 2" socket.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 1:36AM
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mas985

True but the union in the picture does not look to be the one that normally comes with the Intellipro. It is smooth on the outside and looks to be the same size as the outer dimension of the valve on the opposite side. It is worth checking to see if a 2.5" coupler will fit over it before discarding it.

Also, I would suggest that the OP use a heat gun on the small section of pipe to see if it will come back to shape. Just make sure the pipe is empty of water first.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 11:46AM
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jparkfire

There are a couple of neat tools that you can use to ream out the old pipes and replace with new ones. I like this one in the link

It's probably more than you want to spend but if I were a maintanance guy I would have it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Golden Shreader

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 8:39AM
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geobrick

To Just-a-PB:
"...you may have to replace the orings in the jandy valve, it probably sucked the center one right out.
Once primed it may suck air from here....You will know pretty quick once you get it put back together if it primes, and sounds right."

The system has actually been working well since I put the valve in the proper position. There's been no sound of air being sucked in by the valve. I still haven't fixed the pipe. I plan to do that later today. I'll also look at the internal pump parts IAW poolguynj's suggestion.

To MAS895:
I see what you mean about the outside diameter of the union but it's a 2.5" coupler is a little larger. Even if a 2.5" coupler fit on the outside diameter of the union, it wouldn't work because I wouldn't be able to slide the union nut back over the 2.5" coupler. just-a-pb's suggestion is a simple and elegant fix (especially when I use a 2.5" to 2" reduction coupler at the jandy valve).

I considered reforming the pipe but I think it's been weaken and replacement is probably better. I wonder if I should use schedule 80 for the pipe. It's supposed to be stronger. I'll post a photo of the fix when I'm done.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 2:12PM
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geobrick

I bought the wrong pump union parts for the pump connection. Apparently they aren't universal.

Any advice on where I can get a U11-196P one locally in Ventura County, California. If not, how about a recommended place I can also order online that ships quickly. I've found several places online but I'm not sure which place people here like.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 8:59PM
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geobrick

While I wait for the pentair pump union parts, I'll post some pictures of the inside of the pump. As far as I can tell, everything looks fine but maybe I needed to take the impeller off too.

Since I didn't by the right pump union parts, I put it all back together temporarily. I already cut the collapsed pipe off the jandy valve so I put the old pipe and pump union on the jandy valve with the 2.5x2 reducing coupler without using any pvc cement. When I get the right pump union I'll cement everything. I was able to "fix" the collapsed section of pipe by heating it on the bun rack of a barbeque. Somewhere between 250 and 300 degrees the pipe reshaped itself. It seems to be working ok without the PVC cement because it's a tight fit and it's under suction not pressure.

I'm still waiting on any recommendations on where I can get a U11-196P (Pentair Sta-Rite Adapter Union 2in Slip) locally in Ventura County, CA or a great place on the web for these types of plumbing fittings.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 12:46AM
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geobrick

Thanks to all who contributed to this repair. It's now fixed. I ordered the Pentair Union connection from A1 Pool parts in Santa Ana, CA and they arrived quickly.

Heres some pictures of the repaired pipe.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 5:58PM
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