I am helping a buddy replace a filter housing, on which the lid threads have split off, in a hot tub. All of the piping is PVC. The inlet and outlet have fitting right up to the junction of the filter housing, leaving basically no place to cut the line. Inlet of the housing: outlet side Top picture is the inlet, bottom is the outlet. In both pictures, the housing is the gray piece on the left of the picture.

In the inlet, I could potentially just cut it way back before the tee, and replace all the pieces there after. On the outlet side, though, the pipe curves immediately upon exiting the last manifold fitting, making it very unlikely that it will fit into a new fitting. Plus, cutting and replacing all off those hoses and fitting seems like a huge amount of work, if someone knows a better way...

Any ideas? Thanks so much!

  • How is the filter housing attached to the PVC? Is the grey housing PVC?
    – ojait
    Jan 31 '16 at 3:28
  • 1
    The filter housing is solvent welded onto the pipes, the same as all the other connections.
    – Joel Keene
    Jan 31 '16 at 3:29

I can see your predicament: cut it all or nothing. It is possible to remove PVC pipe that has been welded into a fitting. I've sawed out pipe sections from slip valves and re-glued the valve with no leaks. It's an extreme last ditch effort, but I don't see any other way other than cutting the entire manifold out . Hopefully some one else will see an easier way. Here's how I'd do it:

Looking at your first photo, the short length of pipe as it enters the 45, can be cut half-way up the hub so that half of the connection is left (left on the 'Tee and short pipe stub). This will free one end of the housing. The amputated 45 sleeve attached to the pipe that is the inlet can be section with a saw and should peel off with pliers a segment at a time.

The outlet at the 45 and housing connection; the same can be done. This will free the housing. At the 45 you will have to cut segments into the still glued pipe. A hacksaw blade works well. Cut a minimum of 6-8 segments around the inside pipe and only cut the pipe not the fitting hub it is glued to. The more segments you cut the less chance of cracking the fitting when removing the pipe and the easier it is to remove. A quick blast with a heat gun to soften the PVC helps.

If you are successful you'll only have some minor saw marks after the pipe is removed. They won't affect the seal once new sections are glued. Use primer and "Hot" (blue) glue when installing new pipe.

  • I appreciate the points of technique on how to de-fit pipes, I think that's the plan I'm going to go with. Thanks!
    – Joel Keene
    Jan 31 '16 at 16:39
  • @Joel Keene- Glad to help, but you should delay using my suggestion it's really a "last ditch, nothing to loose" plan that depends on much luck and finesse. I'm sure some of the professional plumbers will have a simpler way of removing the housing.
    – ojait
    Jan 31 '16 at 17:00

Is your time worth anything? Not "are you getting paid" (helping a buddy I assume not) but do you/your buddy value it at all? If so, find the nearest point (if any) where you can put a coupling on the cut pipe, cut there, scrap the fittings in-between and re-plumb with new fittings and pipe (and perhaps add some unions to the system so it's not quite as all-or-nothing the next time.)

Cluster-bleep plumbing seems to be a common "feature" of hot tubs, I suppose from trying to cram it all into no space.


You could use a "Fernco" fitting to re-connect the cut pieces. They can be made to seal quite well.

Since it might have to fit over a fitting and not over a standard pipe diameter, you might have to experiment to see what coupling size would fit the best.

Example: enter image description here

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