Pool pump leaking at sealed intakeThis pool pump is leaking at the intake. I am not strong enough to unscrew it by hand. It looks like it was sealed with silicon or something.

What tool or trick can I use to unscrew it (if possible)?

  • Update: Couldn't find strap wrench anywhere. Tried bottle-opener - broke it. Finally borrowed Channellock-type pliers and got it open. Reseated the ring seal - no sealant - and it's pumping away. Commented Feb 13 at 6:18

4 Answers 4


I would look at the strap wrenches for that fitting.

They can be used for many things like oil filters, pipes, pipe fittings etc etc

I find they are less likely to damage things as the compression is more "even" and there are no teeth.

I would also be looking at how that joint works and using a plumbing sealant appropriately. Check the pipe/fitting joint as well.

  • Those fittings also have an o-ring on the mating surface. They can leak if the o-ring is pinched or dried out. A little silicone grease can extend their life but the chlorine eventually dries them out and they crack. My guess is the sealant is someones attempt to fix a leak when a simple o-ring replacement would have taken care of it.
    – beswald
    Commented Dec 27, 2023 at 14:22

You need a plumbers wrench. The jaws open a lot wider. Cover it with a kitchen towel if you want to avoid scratches.


Oil filter pliers are nice to have for pool and spa fittings like that. The jaws of pipe wrenches often don't get much deeper as the size goes up, where you might find that a really large pipe wrench still won't bite on a fitting that large. Same with groove joint pliers.


I have always used a large pair of Channellocks. They work great on 1-1/2" and 2" pipe fittings. If it makes you feel better, I have never had any PVC fittings that didn't leak after only being hand tightened. They always need a 1/8 or 1/4 turn with the Channellocks. No sealant should be used with this fitting so clean off all the existing sealant before reassembling.

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