Pool Plumbing Repair Question

I had a piece of 1" PVC piping come off the outlet end of my pool the other day-- “outlet” meaning one of the points in the wall of the pool where water is circulated back into the pool. It’s about 5" long, and it broke off with a rather jagged edge. Is this something I can repair myself? I was thinking maybe some sort of glue and just stick it back on. It’s actually in the spa part of my pool, so it’s very easy for me to lower the water level down below this point in the wall.

Any advice from savvy pool owners would be appreciated.

Did the pipe break in the middle or at a connecting fitting. At a connecting fitting it can be more complicated. If it is a broken pipe you need to fix going from the same outside diameter is easy. You’d need a coupling(maybe 2) some pvc cement and a hack saw.

The problem is that the break point is inside the pool wall (gunnite), which is formed around the pipe, so I don’t have access to anything behind the break point.

You can probably fix it yourself, but it’s not going to be easy. You’ll need to dig down on the outside of the pool to that level, cut off the supply pipe and couple a new one back in. No rocket surgery here, just common sense and grunt labor plus a little PVC glue and a few fittings.

If I’m reading right, the PVC is in direct contact with the gunite, and broke off more or less flush with that surface.

You will need to chip away the gunite at least an inch deep around the pipe to have space to get a fitting onto the pipe. Here’s where it gets messy - you need an inch of solid, cleanly-cut pipe, so if the pipe broke off really ragged, you may need to chisel out two or more inches of concrete, while being careful not to damage the pipe any worse than it it to be able to trim the end off. Pray that the pipe did not split.

Or, as Rhubarb suggests, can you dig on the backside of the pool wall to access the pipe? If so, your life may be a bit easier and involve somewhat less chiseling and chipping. Either way, you need a good clean and solid inch of pipe with a smooth cut end.

The hardest part is going to be accessing the pipe so you can cut off/clean up the end and splice on new pipe. From there, it’s kinda like tinkertoys to cobble up bits of pipe and fittings to make it all go back together again. Dry-fit things before committing to glue, be sure the parts are clean and dry, and use purple primer before the cement. (Just so you know - the primer and cement are kinda stinky stuff, and neither will come out of any fabric it gets spilled on. True to its name, purple primer will stain your skin purple for two days.) Assuming you didn’t break off any exotic pool parts like jets or nozzles, you’re probably looking at $20-30 worth of parts and PVC cement. And a lot of labor.

Ah yes. And the way it’s set up, this isn’t going be that hard at all. Good idea-- I hadn’t thought about coming in from the rear!! :wink:

I’ve done plenty of PVC plumbing, so I know how to couple two pieces together.

Hmmm… maybe not quite so easy: After I pull out the old pipe (assuming it won’t be too hard to dislodge it from the gunnite it’s embedded in), how do I make sure the new pipe creates a seal with the gunnite “tunnel” so that water doesn’t leak out? The water level is typically about a foot above where the pipe enters the inside of the pool. Perhaps some kind of caulking, coated on the inside of the gunnite “tunnel”…?

I’d think you would use a non-shrink grout.

OK. I think I’ll head over to OSH and see if someone can recommend something good.

Thanks for your help, all. I think I’ll tackle this one myself and see how it goes.

Rather than something cementitious, I’d go with a silicone sealant rated for fresh water immersion.

You might also want to figure out why it broke in the first place. If it’s a fairly new pool/spa, I’d be concerned about settlement issues. Inspect the pool wall and deck around the area for cracks. If that looks ok, maybe it was a problem with the backfilling over the pipe itself.