by Mark Garcia May 06, 2014
We've always had a pool lubricants and sealants section at poolcenter.com, because we found these products to be so useful out in the field - back when there was a pool service division to the company.
Today's tutorial focuses on some vital supplies to the poolman, or well-equipped pool owner. They keep the gears turning and make quick spot repairs, to allow time to schedule a larger repair.
Here's a rundown of the items that you would find in my pool service tool bag, or buried somewhere on the truck ~
Silicone lube is used for grey Jandy valves, the older type that has a grease cup on the side. It can also be used for push-pull valve piston o-rings, and for chlorinator lid o-rings. Silicone lubricant is not as slick as Teflon-based lube, but is very sticky. It stands up well to rushing water, chemicals and heat.
Teflon lube is used on pool o-rings on the pump lid and filter tank. It's a more general purpose lubricant, which can really be used on anything that needs less friction. But don't use it in the pool, or inside the pool equipment, or you'll get a small oil slick across the pool, and a sticky residue on the tile. But use liberally on any rubber gaskets to improve the seal and protect it from drying out.
When I was growing up, we always had a pool, and I remember that my dad always had a tube of Aqua Lube. Now known as Aqua Shield, the marine industry is its largest customer. Green pool lube, is used on brass fittings and metal nuts and bolts. It forms a weather tight barrier and makes heater drain plugs and other metal threads turn very easily.
Pool Putty is a two-part epoxy putty that can be used to seal up cracked skimmers or return fittings, or seal up air leaks on pump fittings, as a temporary repair. It can also be used for a quick tile repair, or to seal up cracks in the tile line, or leaks in the pool light conduit. Just mix equal parts with water, and it hardens underwater in about an hour, or for quick set-up, use Fast-Set pool putty.
Silicone can also be useful around a pool, to seal up air leaks on the suction side, or patch up a skimmer or pool light. It's can also be used to affix pool tile to a fiberglass pool. Underwater silicone is best to use, such as EZ Patch 22, a product we've used for years. Flowable silicone, or Super Glue, can be used to fix small cracks in valve housings or mend broken plastic parts on a pool cleaner.
Drain plugs, air bleeders, pressure gauges - all threads should be wrapped in Teflon tape, (3x, in a clockwise direction), even if it has an o-ring. You can also use Liquid Teflon, which comes in small containers, or, in a pinch, you can use pipe dope, but that is used more on metal to metal threads.
For PVC fittings, I like to smear on a dab of Blue Goo, or Blue RTV silicone, into the threads, and then wrap the threads several times with Teflon tape, over the silicone. This works well for pump and heater MTA's - the threaded PVC fitting threading into pumps and heaters.
I hope this look at pool lubricants and sealants, and the many uses they have around the pool has been useful!
Thanks for Reading!