Leaking Penn Plax Cascade 500 Problem

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Aquarium Advice Newbie
Mar 7, 2024
Ohio, USA
Hi all,

I have a Penn Plax Cascade 500 hooked up to a chiller on my axolotl tank. This filter is the single most critical filter in my entire collection as it is the one the chiller depends on to run the axolotl tank and keep the temperature at a crisp 60-65* F for the babies. They are fine, they're just going to be cranky for a bit with only a sponge filter and fan.

The problem: the points where the flow control valves have each developed small leaks. It's a slowish, steady drip that appears under pressure but does not stop when the filter has been turned off, provided there is still water in the line. It's bad enough that I've taken the filter offline until I can figure out what to do.

Things I've done:

Swapped filters. I had my old Fluval 306 running last night; it was leaking so I swapped to my old Cascade 500. It was leaking. Took it offline, went to bed, got up, took my backup Cascade 500 out of the box (brand new, never used) and set it up. IT'S leaking too.

Bought new hose and hose clamps. Swapped out all hose for new hoses that were warmed with near-boiling water and sealed on tightly with hose clamps that cannot be put on any tighter.

The only old material on the filter are the flow control valves, the input tube, and the output lily pipe. Of those, only the flow control valves are a potential problem.

Does anyone have ideas on what next steps should be? I'm considering swapping out the flow control valves, but if I can fix this with an O-ring, I'd rather do that.

Replacing the flow valves fixed the filter, but now the chiller is leaking the same. I'm ordering a new nozzle to see if that fixes it, but the new flow valves fixed the Cascade 500.

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