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Old 08/26/2019, 05:46 AM   #1
lowtek
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Leaking bulkhead

So upon my water change I gave my tank a good once over. To my horror I found one of three of my bulkheads was leaking. What started off as salt creep for a good while is now actually flowing. I dont think much as my ATO is still lasting a week. I tried tightening up the nut and it made it worse. So I removed the fitting (thank God for threaded fittings) inspected them and found absolutely nothing wrong with fitting or gasket. I did notice a little pre load in plumbing but really not much but still added more support reattached everything and still leaking. No crazy chips in glass from what I can see. No cracks either. It's the BRS sch. 80 1.5" bulkhead and the other 2 have no leaks. Actually my emergency line bulkhead nut was so loose I'm surprised that one wasnt leaking. My room is now soaked from me having to undo my fitting so I'm gonna leave it for now. Someone, anyone please help! No silicone or sealnt tips please. Thanks.

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Old 08/26/2019, 06:02 AM   #2
aaronpentz
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Ive found that if you use threaded bulkheads which are nice for disassembly actually cause problems later.

All pipe fittings are tapered in the US. And when you screw a male pvc fitting into the bulkhead it can cause the fitting to split on the nut side parallel with the water flow. All it takes is just bumping the pipe hard enough to cause it to split.

I've never had a problem with a bulkhead leaking if I use the solvent weld ones. I do however install them with the nut side in the overflow. The flange and gasket on the bottom of the tank. ( There is no requirement for the gasket to be on the wet side however the only requirement is that the gasket is on the flange side only ) This allows me to remove them if needed without replacement. As I dont solvent weld in my standpipes in anyways. Just harder to get the nut tight

I've never used silicone or the such on my bulkheads and you shouldnt ever need it if its installed correctly. Actually it can cause leaks if you tighten the bulkhead too much and squeeze out the seal because its wet and slippery from the silicone.


My guess is that it split. And when you removed the fitting the split closed. Easy test would be to screw a loose fitting into it to check for any issue you cannot see when its installed in the tank.

And I'd never trust it anymore. Replace, replace, replace

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Old 08/26/2019, 06:04 AM   #3
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Double post.


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Old 08/26/2019, 09:17 AM   #4
mcgyvr
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Where is the leak exactly? Between the flange/glass or at the threaded connections?
Did you use thread sealant?
Is it threaded on the outside (non-wet side) too? Is that where its leaking?

Without knowing specifics the answer is likely to replace the bulkhead and use proper thread sealant on any threaded connection.
Bulkheads only need hand tight then 1/4-1/2 turn.. Anything beyond that will often result in leaking and often only replacing the bulkhead is the only solution..


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Old 09/04/2019, 01:26 AM   #5
lowtek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcgyvr View Post
Where is the leak exactly? Between the flange/glass or at the threaded connections?
Did you use thread sealant?
Is it threaded on the outside (non-wet side) too? Is that where its leaking?

Without knowing specifics the answer is likely to replace the bulkhead and use proper thread sealant on any threaded connection.
Bulkheads only need hand tight then 1/4-1/2 turn.. Anything beyond that will often result in leaking and often only replacing the bulkhead is the only solution..
Sorry. It is leaking through the flange and gasket. I have the flange and gasket on wet side. The female threads on bulkhead that the rest of plumbing is connected to, is not leaking, no issues yet on that one. Thread tape was used throughout. Absolutely no leaks anywhere else.

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Old 09/04/2019, 05:11 AM   #6
lowtek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronpentz View Post
Ive found that if you use threaded bulkheads which are nice for disassembly actually cause problems later.

All pipe fittings are tapered in the US. And when you screw a male pvc fitting into the bulkhead it can cause the fitting to split on the nut side parallel with the water flow. All it takes is just bumping the pipe hard enough to cause it to split.

I've never had a problem with a bulkhead leaking if I use the solvent weld ones. I do however install them with the nut side in the overflow. The flange and gasket on the bottom of the tank. ( There is no requirement for the gasket to be on the wet side however the only requirement is that the gasket is on the flange side only ) This allows me to remove them if needed without replacement. As I dont solvent weld in my standpipes in anyways. Just harder to get the nut tight

I've never used silicone or the such on my bulkheads and you shouldnt ever need it if its installed correctly. Actually it can cause leaks if you tighten the bulkhead too much and squeeze out the seal because its wet and slippery from the silicone.


My guess is that it split. And when you removed the fitting the split closed. Easy test would be to screw a loose fitting into it to check for any issue you cannot see when its installed in the tank.

And I'd never trust it anymore. Replace, replace, replace

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Man. I looked at it pretty hard with a flashlight for a good 5 minutes. Did not see any splitting. It's a schedule 80 bulkhead so that bad boy is pretty stout. And I did only hand tighten it plus a extra 1/2 turn. Thanks for that test tip though. I will definitely take a look when I get to removing it again.

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Old 09/04/2019, 05:31 AM   #7
lowtek
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So I came up with a simple and very effective band aid. For the last few days, I've been super busy so I figured if I wrap a old T shirt around pipe that the bulkhead been leaking, it would buy some time. To let it wick down into my sump to recapture the water.

Seems to be working pretty well. Also the leak has even slowed to the point it's starting to allow salt creep.

So I dont know. Maybe that pre load on plumbing downstream was worse than what I thought and was warping the gasket. Like I said in OP I fixed that issue. Maybe that's why the leak slowed a bit.

Will take another look later in morning.

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Old 09/04/2019, 09:04 AM   #8
Vinny Kreyling
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Your statement about the leak getting worse when tightening the nut made me wonder.
Is the gasket under the nut? If so it is in the wrong position.
It should be on the inside of the tank.


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Old 09/04/2019, 06:14 PM   #9
lowtek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinny Kreyling View Post
Your statement about the leak getting worse when tightening the nut made me wonder.
Is the gasket under the nut? If so it is in the wrong position.
It should be on the inside of the tank.
No gasket is on flange/head of gasket. I'm thinking its was the preload from plumbing down stream. That gate valve had weight to it. I re supported the plumbing and it slowed down quite a bit.

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Old 09/25/2019, 01:08 AM   #10
kris4647
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Itís installed correctly, those arenít cheapo bulkheads either.

Try replacing the gasket.
Clean your OF box out, that sand can prevent a good seat for the gasket.

I mean that gasket is where your seal is located at a rudimentary level. Your problem is there.

Over tightening the nut can actually attenuate or give the gasket less surface area to seal.

Hopefully that helps I havenít posted here in forever....




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