Bulkhead Installation Tips

Discussion in 'New To The Hobby' started by AZDesertRat, May 30, 2011.

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  1. AZDesertRat

    AZDesertRat Giant Squid

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    I have done this Sticky for several other reef forums. Maybe we can get it stuck here too to help out fellow reefers.




    Installing Bulkhead Tips
    Bulkhead tips:

    1. Always install bulkheads clean and dry, no silicone, teflon or thread lubricants. Silicone and lubricants cause the gasket to scoot out or not seal properly. Have you ever removed an old automobile windshield or other gasketed glass? The rubber vulcanizes to the glass with time and creates a perfect seal without any help.

    2. Before installing the bulkhead take a few minutes using a jewelers file, nail file or pocket knife and clean any excess flashing off both the male and female threads and from the flat gasket mating surfaces of the flange and nut. This is a common source of leaks.

    3. Always install the gasket on the flange side of the bulkhead, never on the nut side, regardless if its inside or outside the tank. Installing the gasket next to the nut will lead to leaks as water travels along the threads around the gasket. Hand tighten only with maybe 1/4 to 1/2 turn additional, no more.

    4. When using internal threaded bulkheads, again clean the excess flashing from the threads and valleys and use a small amount of the stick or crayon type of thread lubricant designed specifically for PVC treads. These can be found at Lowes, HD, Ace and all hardware stores under names like Laco, Permatex and others.

    I use this one and have since the 1980's with great success.
    LA-CO: Product Detail - PLASTO-JOINT STIK® - Plastic Thread Sealant
    It stays pliable forever and does not tear or roll out of the threads like teflon tape. My swimming pool plumbing up to 2" was all installed with this in 1983, outside in Phoenix AZ and its still pliable to this day!
    Here is an articlle from LASCO, a large PVC fittings manufacturer on the correct lubricants to use since teflon tape is not for PVC.
    http://www.lascofittings.com/supportcenter/TheDosandDontsThreadedPlastic.asp

    5. Never support any pumps or piping from a bulkhead, always use supports so weight is not on a bulkhead and gasket causing differential stresses on the mating surfaces and leaks.

    6. Never screw anything to the external threads of a bulkhead, these are not standard tapered pipe threads (NPT) and will leak. They are there to screw the nut on is all and are not normally even a standard diameter like 1" etc.

     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
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  3. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Very good, I nominate this thread for a sticky.
     
  4. FaceOfDeceit

    FaceOfDeceit Hockey Beard

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    Second. All those in favor? :)
     
  5. R33f

    R33f Astrea Snail

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    Definitely Sticky!
     
  6. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It is a dry heat, yeah right !
    This thread is where I would go to get the information.

    Thanks.
     
  7. progman2000

    progman2000 Astrea Snail

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    Some of these would have helped me with my sump installation as well :)
     
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  9. steve wright

    steve wright Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Someone stuck it

    good write up AZ

    Steve
     
  10. Swmmr52

    Swmmr52 Plankton

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    Az, Thanks I going to start a overflow build/fuge build and those tips are going to be a huge help
     
  11. gabbyr189

    gabbyr189 Bubble Tip Anemone

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    I have read from a lot of people that the teflon tape (or alternatives suggested above) are unnecessary for the reason that the gasket creates the seal, and not the nut.

    I have a hard time believing those other posts, as many reputable, well-known, trusted reefers who have helped me more times than I can count (including AZDesertRat) have provided positive feedback with zero criticism.

    I am wondering why teflon tape is recommended.

    Additionally, would teflon tape be useful for my situation (as I have it on hand)? Here is a picture of my bulkhead:
    [​IMG]
    which will be installed on a 90g reef ready tank (which is drilled in the bottom glass).
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The tape is extra security and it does work for leak control.