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DIY Python style faucet attachment - make your own water changer 2023-07-31

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  • Author Fishfur
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How much this costs depends on what you have to pay for the individual parts.

The one I built for myself some years ago ended up costing more than the longest Python did at the time but I had to buy everything including 100‘ of tubing when I only needed 25’, because it was the only way I could get the diameter of tubing that I wanted.

On the plus side, the all brass faucet pump I built will last me for life and could last someone after me for their lifetime too. It’s never going to break and the only things that will ever need replacing are gaskets, which are very cheap.

The weight of the large brass shut off valve in the image helps keep the hose end lower in the tank, and that is handy, but it’s heavy enough to crack glass if you’re careless, so keep it under control. Because it is threaded, I can attach the vacuum tube from my old water changer to the shut off valve with an adapter.

I built my own because I got very tired of having to the replace what is termed the ‘faucet pump’ of my original water changer. It regularly wore out and cracked because it wasn’t made all that well and the pressure and repeated attaching/detaching would always end up cracking some part of it.

That faucet pump must have been replaced at least 3 times and while that didn’t cost me anything except the few weeks it took the company to mail me a new one under warranty, it was extremely inconvenient for those weeks, waiting for the new part to arrive.

I figured it had to be possible to make the faucet pump for a water changer like the Python from standard parts you can get online or most hardware stores and it was, so I did.

I used reinforced tubing too, which will take the pressure of being shut off at the tank end without bursting, which cannot be said for the tubing you get with a commercial water changer. I’ve had two tubes burst from backed up pressure.

You will need a little thread sealant of the never-drying liquid kind, which works far more reliably than any teflon tapes do and will prevent the device from leaking at any join. They come in small cans like the one illustrated but that image is not the only brand that’s out there. If it’s ok for use on potable water, it’s ok to use for this project.

Check the clearance you have underneath the tap you want to use, since depending on just what parts you use, the resulting assembly may not fit in the space between the underside of the tap and the sink.

It’s possible to hook these things up to the shower arm too, though that needs a couple more parts to accomplish.

The parts you need are as follows, as in the images.

One Tee fitting 3/4” with GHT
One shut off valve, 3/4” with GHT
One tap adaptor for a garden hose

Optional - another shut off valve for the other end of the hose. The one I used was a Dramm, very high quality but there are cheaper knock offs now that work as well.

Hose of the desired length - either 5/8” or 3/4” garden hose or reinforced PVC tubing fitted with garden hose barbs in whatever diameter you choose. Larger diameter hose may run more slowly but is less likely to become blocked if a snail or rock is sucked into it

You can make any water changer a quick click fit if you want, it just needs a couple more adapters. There are adapters that’ll click fit onto a portable dishwasher fitting that can be left on a house tap

To assemble the faucet pump -

The T fitting attaches to the tap with the adaptor and the shut off valve attaches to the bottom of the T. You attach the hose part of the device to the side port of the T fitting and if you use it, the big lever shut off valve to the end of the hose.

To use it

It works like any water changer - with the shut off valve left open, water runs straight through into the sink.

Close the valve and water is diverted into the hose.

To suck water out of a tank - if water pressure is high enough, just running the tap should start the siphon but if it’s not strong enough or the tank is too close to the same height, the trick is to fill the hose.

Run water into the hose until all the air has been blown out of it and some water is going into a tank.

Then open the valve and it should start draining the tank. Shut the tap off.

If your tap and the tank are close in height the water may drain very slowly. If that happens, just remove the hose from the faucet pump or the faucet pump from the tap and lower it into the tub or maybe the toilet, which will speed up the flow while it drains because it increases the height differential.

You can see the tank end of my changer with a shut off valve I had to replace because it rusted. I replaced it with the Dramm shut off which is brass and never rusts.

The photo of the tap end shows the shut off on the bottom of the Tee and the switch that opens/closes it. I attached it with a click fit to a dishwasher fitting so it needed only one hand to attach or detach it.

What kind of parts to get depends on what you want to spend and how long you want them to last. Brass or SS last just about forever though I prefer brass because it can’t rust. The brass is never in a tank for long, if at all, so the facts there is some copper in the brass has never created any issues, in case that worries you.

You can get shut off valves made mostly of plastic which cost much less than the all metal versions, but they do not last nearly as well.

The T fitting, so far as I know, is only available in metal. You can use actual garden hose or do as I did and use reinforced PVC tubing and fit it with hose barbs so it will screw onto the the T fitting. It’s clear, so you can see clogs if there are, as garden hoses are not clear.

It’s also possible to find these fittings with NPT (national pipe thread) threading and in that case, you need adapters that will fit the NPT threading rather than Garden hose Threading ( Garden Hose thread is peculiar to North America, btw, and is not found elsewhere).

Because you’re making it, you can also make the hose as long as you want or make it in sections that are easier to manage if you wish.

To keep the hose in good shape, don’t leave it full of water. Drain after use and hang up.
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