PVC Plumbing Intex Pool Sand Filter

A few years back when I upgraded to an Intex Sand Filter on my above ground pool I also added a Hayward Skimmer to feed the sand filter/pump. Unfortunately the Intex Sand Filter (and other Intex products) use a non-standard 40mm threaded fitting, while the Hayward products use a standard 1-1/2″ fitting. To bridge the two systems I had to do a little custom plumbing.


Want to hard plumb your Intex pool to standard PVC?

(These methods require some simple fabrication)

Method 1: Modified PVC Bushing < Recommended

Method 2: Filter Hose Conversion Kit


Want to connect Intex hoses to a standard 1-1/2″ PVC fitting?

Method 3: 40mm to 1-1/2 Inch Conversion Kit


Method 1: Modified PVC Bushing

PVC reducer bushing

This is my preferred method as you will have a 40mm nut on your 1-1/2″ PVC that spins freely and operate as a union on the pipe.

The key to bridging these systems is finding a PVC bushing or box adaptor that will work. Since I first made this modification a few years back, I’ve found additional bushings that work well. The above pictured reducer bushings (1-1/2″ x 1-1/4″) can be found with various conduit connectors or with the PVC plumbing connectors at your local hardware store. Depending on which piece you start with, expect to pay less than $3. The white PVC (1-1/2″ x 1-1/4″) reducer bushing shown above made by “Dura” purchased at Home Depot ($0.97) is a perfect fit with minimal fabrication to smooth the molded letters on the face.

The Fabrication – Gray PVC Reducer Bushing with nubs

Fabrication on PVC reducer bushing

1. File down the nubs on the outer ring of the reducer bushing. The goal is to have a perfectly round perimeter.

If you are starting with a white PVC (1-1/2″ x 1-1/4″) reducer bushing, Carlon, or Cantex (1-1/2″ x 1-1/4″) box adaptor that are already perfectly round like the ones shown above skip to step 2.

In this picture you’ll see my in-progress adapted PVC bushing side-by-side with an untouched bushing and notice that I’ve already begun sanding the face of the bushing flat but have a ways to go to make it perfectly smooth.

Sanding PVC reducer bushing

2. Sand the face flat removing the molded letters and numbers. I placed medium and then fine sand paper on my concrete patio and using circular motion sanded the face clean and perfectly flat. This flat surface will ultimately be pulled snug against the rubber gasket at the threaded pump inlet.

3. Using a file or rotary tool, remove the ridge on the inside diameter of the PVC reducer bushing. This will improve the flow through your custom adaptor. You can see the rough work I did for this step in the picture below (#5).

PVC reducer bushing with Intex fitting

4. Sacrifice one of your Intex hoses by cutting it near one end and remove one of the dark grey 40mm threaded hose-to-pump connector nuts.

I still use this cut hose with it’s other Intex fitting to connect to my pump’s backwash outlet.

Your newly adapted PVC bushing should slide through with it’s outer ring holding nicely on the inside of the threaded Intex hose fitting as seen in this picture. At this point you’ve done the hard work, the rest is assembly!

PVC reducer bushing primed and ready to glue

5. Using PVC primer and glue, connect the grey reducer bushing into a white PVC 1-1/2″ pipe connector leaving room for the Intex connector to move and spin freely. In this picture my adapted fitting is primed and ready.

Be sure to have your Intex fitting on the grey adapted bushing before gluing!

From this point you can connect your pump to the standard 1-1/2″ PVC pipe and a variety of standard plumbed products!

Spa hose allows flexibility

6. Under spirited swimming or play, your above ground pool can move and flex quite a bit. To reduce the chance of having the skimmer tear the pool liner or crack the PVC system that I worked so hard to fabricate, I decided to add some flexibility to the system via a section of 1-1/2″ PVC braided spa hose slipped over opposing “PVC-to-hose” fittings. (No need for hose clamps) This braided hose goes directly below my skimmer and above an in-line PVC shut-off valve allowing me to disconnect the pump without losing valuable water.

pvc plumbing Intex pump to Hayward skimmer

The completed plumbing looks like this:

Summary
Take your time and dry-fit your pieces first. Always measure twice, and be certain that you have pieces ready to assemble in the correct order. With this fabrication method it is critical that you allow the 40mm threaded hose connector to spin freely between your bushing and the 1-1/2″ PVC connector once glued.


Method 2: GAME 4550 Filter Hose Conversion Kit

Hacksaw cutting the Game 4550 Adaptor

This 2nd method still requires some simple fabrication, but it utilizes an inexpensive part found at online retailers including Amazon.com. No need to cut up your Intex hoses for the 40mm fitting here.

The goal with this fabrication is to cut the GAME 4550 Filter Hose Conversion piece down and then sand the remaining diameter until we can slide it into a 1-1/2″ PVC connector (and glue them). From there you can plumb away using standard PVC fittings.

The kit features 2 adaptors with a 40mm “female” threaded connector that will connect to your Intex pump inlet or outlet.

To allow you to connect or disconnect the newly modified adaptor to your pump, it’s a good idea to plumb a 1-1/2″ PVC Union shut-off valve into the 1-1/2″ PVC pipe near the pump. This will allow you to spin (tighten or loosen) the pipe which is glued to the fitting for any maintenance purposes.


You’ll need the following:


Step-by-step:

Hacksaw cutting the Game 4550 Adaptor

Cut the Game 4550 Adaptor using a hacksaw.

Take your time and work your way around the adaptor as you cut so that you end up with an even amount of the flange in place to mate with the 1-1/2″ PVC coupler.


Cut completed

Here you’ll see where we’ve cut the adaptor.


Emory cloth sanding

Sand the outer diameter of the adaptor using emory cloth. This will take some time and effort. Stop frequently to check if your adaptor will fit into the 1-1/2″ PVC coupler.


Fitting

Dry fitting the adaptor to our 1-1/2″ PVC coupler.


Complete

Side-by-side original adaptor next to the modified adaptor that is snugly fit to a 1-1/2″ PVC coupler.


Add a Hayward Inlet Return Fitting

Hayward Inlet Return Fitting

Update your above ground pool with a 1-1/2″ return fitting which will allow you to easily connect your return to standard 1-1/2″ PVC plumbing and inside your pool to some other popular pool fountains.

This modification will require you to carefully cut a larger diameter hole for the fitting in your pool liner. I used scissors for their control vs. a utility knife.

(Make this modification before you top off your pool with water)


Related:

Improve your water filtration by adding a Hayward SP1091LX Dyna-Skim Above Ground Pool Skimmer. The kit comes with everything you need and even includes a vacuum attachment.

> Hayward Dyna-Skim Above Ground Pool Skimmer Installation