Leaking Bulkheads

Charley75

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So I just got my tank set up yesterday..... and had a very slow leak on my return line....seemed to be at the connection to the bulkhead....the fitting that adapts the threaded bulkhead to a slip pvc fitting. Soooo, I tore it apart, replumbed, new fitting, xtra tape, same thing......Really slow leak. Day 2.....now I noticed the same thing from one of my drain lines. Now it’s not that urgent because it’s so slow and the drip falls into the sump....but still really aggravating. Any suggestions to fix this?
 

ROB2005

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Few questions:

1.How do you tighten your bulkheads?

2. Are you putting the gasket on the inside portion of the overflow?

3. Are the surfaces free of debris that may hinder a good seal

4. Did you check to see if the bulkhead may be cracked?
 

homer1475

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Also check the gasket for burrs from manufacturing. Had a bulkhead with a slow drip, took it apart many times, cleaned the glass, sanded the bulkhead, etc. Then one day I just happen to be looking at the gasket, and low and behold there was some extra rubber from the manufacturing process. Sanded that clean, and no more leak.
 

redfishbluefish

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Bulkhead tips:

1. Make sure the flange has no raised burrs.
2. Regardless of the direction of the bulkhead, the gasket goes on the flange side.OFF
3. Hand snug bulkhead but followed by a quarter turn.
4. Do not use Teflon tape on any plastic (PVC) threads. If need be, use pipe thread dope made for PVC
 
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Charley75

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As far as the pipe tape.....I used the tape on the fitting going into the threaded bulkhead???? Is this my mistake?
 

dcfdgaloot

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if they are ABS, you might of cracked it. Sometimes they are very hard to see. But if you wrapped a bunch of tape around the fitting, then over tightened, you could of cracked it. Take a real close look.
 
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Charley75

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Just to clarify, we are talking about the fitting that connecting to the FMT bulkhead and not the bulkhead nut correct?
 

link81

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yes, the bulkhead nut doesn't get anything.
just to idiot check you are not using the same threads for your fitting that the bulkhead nut uses are you? i've seen people try that before and it never works. Totally different thread pitch's.
For tightening the fitting, you really just need hand tight plus a little ugga-dugga, they don't need to be tight at all. Pretty sure at least one of mine is still hand tight.
 

tamanning

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So I just got my tank set up yesterday..... and had a very slow leak on my return line....seemed to be at the connection to the bulkhead....the fitting that adapts the threaded bulkhead to a slip pvc fitting. Soooo, I tore it apart, replumbed, new fitting, xtra tape, same thing......Really slow leak. Day 2.....now I noticed the same thing from one of my drain lines. Now it’s not that urgent because it’s so slow and the drip falls into the sump....but still really aggravating. Any suggestions to fix this?
I would say use plumbers putty are your fitting on the back or bottom?
 
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Charley75

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Bottom.....again though, this this not the actual bulkhead but, but the threaded fitting attaching to the bulkhead.
 

W1ngz

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Pics would clarify your issue a lot, several responses seem to be just assuming its a normal bulkhead leak. My understanding is you have a problem with the MPT/slip fitting.

Like a few have said, tape is a poor choice for PVC/plastic. It creates extra pressure inside the threaded bulkhead neck and could in time split the bulkhead.

PFTE paste is what is designed for that type of connection.
 

tamanning

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Bottom.....again though, this this not the actual bulkhead but, but the threaded fitting attaching to the bulkhead.
Ok as far as i know your choices are limited to tape glue or putty. Before glue I would try putty if you don't want it to be permanent.
 

W1ngz

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Someone else also mentioned, make sure your fitting is going inside the bulkhead neck, and not around the outside. The thread around the outside of the bulkhead neck is only for the bulkhead nut, it's not for pipe fittings. If you've tried to use a fitting around the outside of the bulkhead neck, it would be best to replace the bulkhead as the threads may have been damaged or the pitch forcibly changed.
 
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Charley75

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The middle is the return, the left is the main drain. Both have now developed very slop leaks....but are coming from inside the bulkhead, not from outside. So they appear to be the FMT adapter fitting I’m using to fit to the internally threaded bulkhead.

DBC88A0F-B929-40F9-88F9-B2EA0980FC6F.jpeg
 

link81

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those fittings look like they're buried pretty deep. the bulkhead might be cracked or even deformed not allowing a seal. try pvc compatible dope, but if i doesn't work, id just replace all 3 of them.
 

Miller535

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I would replace them, and use the slip style. You glue/cement a small piece of pvc inside of them, then glue/cement a compression fitting on the other end (so that you can take your plumbing apart later for maitenece or whatever, and you're done.
 

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