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.

There are a few ways to accomplish the transition from 40mm Intex fittings to 1-1/2″ PVC using readily available parts that I outline on this page.

Want to hard plumb your Intex pool to standard PVC?

(These methods require some simple fabrication)

Method 1: PVC Bushing

Method 2: Filter Hose Conversion Kit

Want to use the Intex hoses that came with your pump/filter?

(No fabrication involved)

Method 3: 40mm to 1-1/2″ threaded adaptor

We recommend using PVC glue on the 1-1/2″ end, connecting the adaptor to your PVC plumbing. Use a good amount of the provided thread tape on the 40mm end to prevent leaks.

If connecting to Hayward Skimmer, we’d recommend making this connection below a 1-1/2″ shut off valve like we have shown in Method 1.

Method 1: Modified PVC Bushing

PVC reducer bushingThis is my preferred method as you will have a 40mm nut on your PVC that spins freely of the pipe when you are done.

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 bushing1. 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 bushing2. 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 fitting4. 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 glue5. 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 flexibility6. 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 skimmerThe completed plumbing looks like this:

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 AdaptorThis 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: