Pool Opened yesterday... plumbing questions

Hey ya'll... Opened my pool here in Virginia yesterday and as a rookie pool owner I had a couple questions. Everything went pretty well and there was minimal grossness in the pool once I got the cover off. Pumps started fine. Two problems...
1) There is a line that comes off of the pump, splits into two lines with a valve on each side, then they both go into the ground. I assume they are the feed lines for the two drains on the bottom of the pool, but not sure. Anyway, they are leaking about 6 inches above the ground. It appears that they are PVC pipes with a plastic gasket connection of some sort and a screw on plastic cover (kinda like a mason jar cover that goes around the top of the seal). Is there a reason those aren't just cemented PVC pipe? I assume they are leaking because the gaskets are old, so is that something I can easily repair? Or is is possible to just use PVC cement and seal them up?
2) Second, my sand filter had the small drain hole removed at the bottom by the person who closed the pool. When I put it back in and turn on the pumps there is leak from that hole. It looks like it was caulked or had some other sealer put on there in the past. Can I just caulk it with a kitchen/bath caulk to patch the little hole where the screw in drain plug doesn't fit?
Any thoughts appreciated!
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Compression fittings. Obviously so the plumbing can be disassembled for repairs. Pumps often require removal for service. Take it apart and replace the gasket if deteriorated. Reassemble *with some O-ring lube* and you won't have leaks. Lubed compression fittings will tend to telescope out, so make sure the assembly is held together by something other than the friction of compression joints (friction you will no longer have).

Use Teflon tape. Check the fitting isn't already cracked there from overtightening.
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Ok, I've got problem #1 fixed... new o-rings and some lube worked great.
The second problem is a little more complicated than I originally thought. The teflon tape did nothing so I got down closer and it does look like the place where the drain plug screws into the filter is cracked. The problem is I can't seem to get the stupid sand filter empty enough to stop the leaking to be able to patch it or do anything with it. I've had the pumps off for 48 hours and it's still dripping. It appears to be a metal garden hose sized female plug with a plastic insert that is attached to it. The sand filter is a 525 lb filter and it's pretty old. I guess in theory these things should last forever. Any advice on how to repair the drain cracking?
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What is the old material? You must achieve a pressure-tight bond to it, so it is important to know what it is.
If it is fiberglass/epoxy, I would lightly lube the threaded plug, clean the crack, insert the plug, and fill the crack with epoxy, working it in with a toothpick. Remove and reinsert the plug with Teflon tape. Do not apply to much torque.
Another candidate is 3M 5200 sealant (boat store or boat aisle at Wal-Mart) in the quick-cure grade, similarly applied.
If there's enough meat around the fitting, you could drill and tap a larger hole.
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I tried a couple different approaches last night and none of them worked... ugh.
I'm going to swing by a pool store tonight to see if they have the piece I need or any suggestions as to how to re-plug the filter. Worst case scenario is that I just plug the hole with something and run the filter this year, then buy a new filter next year. I think that might be the way to go anyway.
Thanks for the help Richard.
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