Reef nutrition

Bulkhead question


Supporting Member
I see that it’s common to use ABS bulkheads for the overflow of an aquarium. What do people use to connect PVC pipe to an ABS bulkhead?

I’ve got a new 120 gallon acrylic aquarium with an internal overflow with holes in the bottom for overflow and return plumbing. It came with what I believe are ABS bulkheads and I am using PVC pipes for the plumbing. I bought some PVC bulkheads and two of them won’t seal completely and have threads that slip when I tighten the nut too much by hand. Unfortunately I didn’t discover that until the leak test *after* gluing all of the return pipe to the bulkheads :(.

Any suggestions for using PVC pipe with ABS bulkheads? Unfortunately I probably don’t have any extra height to consider threaded bulkheads for an ABS to PVC transition. Or any other suggestions on how to deal with this situation? Do I just bite the bullet and glue PVC pipe to the original ABS bulkheads? (Even that will be a pain since the original bulkheads are a different length than the ones I used and plumbed everything to, but I’ll probably have to deal with that no matter what.)


Supporting Member
I just use normal pvc glue

Same. PVC primer and glue.

If you’re really concerned, you can buy PVC bulkheads. Lifegard Aquatics makes them. AC used to carry them, not sure if they still do or not.

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Supporting Member
The lifeguard bulkheads have worked well for me in the past.

When I got generic pvc bulkheads in the past I had the issue described in the OP. Small leak and threads that slip.