01-09-2013, 08:17 PM
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I use the Aqueon changer at work to fill several tanks. I totally agree, the plastic's c-h-e-a-p! The first thing I noticed was that I almost stripped the faucet threads on the plastic after the first use. My solution to that was to use a quick-connect hose adapter fitting (brass) on the plastic "T" and on the faucet. That's worked well. For me, the vacuum is ok but slow, but I just siphon to a floor drain, so gravity works for me. For filling, I quick-connect, and the fill works well. The only time I really vacuum is just to help clear water from the line to minimize mildew growth!
At home, here is what I do:
I have a pump that I purchased on sale. I use that solely to drain my tanks and pump the water out a window or door. I have a smaller pump that I use to pump water from a five-gallon bucket on the floor to the tank (Don't like lifting and spilling repeatedly). I fill the 5 gallon bucket via smaller 2-gallon buckets. My 2-gallon buckets are easily managed and fill faster than my 5 gallon bucket empties, so it doesn't really slow me down and I can tweak the temp as needed. I prefer to use a bucket to minimize my use of dechlorinator chemicals and it's easier, for me, to assure the temperature of the new water is close to the aquariums.
You can order a replacement "T" online from several vendors. It won't be any stronger, but if handled very carefully and used with a quick-connect, and a faucet thread adapter, it works well for filling while minimizing wear and tear on the plastic.
Heck, I'd try the PVC thing, what do you have to lose!