Problem with VPI 16.5

I'm wondering if anyone has had a problem with the suction tubes on their VPI 16.5 cracking and breaking. I've had my unit for almost 2 years. I went through the supplied tube and two more I bought. They all started to show stress fractures where the tube is inserted into the swivel holder, that goes into the "inside of the unit". I did contact VPI, sent them the broken tubes. They replaced them free and I was told the problem was in the height adjustment of the tube on the "swivel". There is a collar with a set screw allowing adjustment for the height of the suction tube above the lp on the platter. I was told to experiment with different heights. I have moved the collar a little each way and have so far succeeded in breaking two of the three free tubes VPI sent me. In the past I have used crazy glue to repair the tubes, and that works for a while. It looks like I may have to contact VPI again, maybe send my whole unit in to have them check it out. I have no complaints about the unit otherwise, I just can't seem to get the right setting, and the way it came from the factory wasn't working. I must say that the vacuum seems quite strong and there is definitely a stress point where the tube fits into the swivel. All the leverage of the vacuum and the tube contact with the moving platter, is centered at that point. It is a weak spot, IMHO. At one point I thought I had discovered the problem. With the more recent units, the clear plasic lid is inset, below the top of the box, and it can press down on the tube at the end, especially when the tube is turned toward the rear(the position it would normally be in when removing a record). I tried only closing the lid when the tube was fully into the center of the platter, with the lid only making contact with the swivel part. This did not change the cracking and breaking. I'm not sure how many records I've cleaned, maybe several hundred since I got the machine. I'm not cleaning scores of records weekly. Would appreciate any suggestions and would like to know if anyone else has had this problem. thanks!
The lid on the VPI 16.5 contacts the top of the suction tube when closing. It can stress the tube and also causes scratching of the lid. I suggest removing the tube for cleaning and not replacing it until you are ready to use the unit again.
Any chance the cleaner you choose for your LP's might be attacking the pick up tube but not the records? What do you use to clean the records?

Do you remove the tubes and use special cleaners to "restore" them? Leave them out in direct sunlight to dry? Just thinking out loud here. Other than that, it has to be the tube adjustment set too low, causing stress from lack of support.

I have a VPI 17F which is essentially the same machine as yours. My tubes last about 3 years before the felt can no longer be restored washing them with Record Research fluid. No cracks in any pick up tubes with over 10 years working with my VPI.

We can't have that much difference in reliability without something being very different, and something that can be resolved.
I found that heat generated by the 16.5 seemed to be the cause of tube breaking. The 17F doesn't seem to have that problem.
Thanks for the responses, I am using a homemade solution made of 75% distilled water, 24.8% alcohol and about 5ml(.2%) of a surfactant. I don't remove the tube or assembly between use. I have been "parking" the tube so that the lid does not stress the tube. I don't detect that much heat from the unit, even after cleaning several albums in row, though I 've heard about that being a problem. I guess my problem is pretty unusual, so the adjustment is the obvious place to keep fiddling with, and that's what VPI said. But they don't mention anything about it in the manual that comes with the machine. Thanks again.
Yikes, that much alcohol can't be good for the stabilizers in the vinyl let alone the plastic tubes. Where did you get that formula from? You are doing extractive research my friend and I would caution you that you are doing permanent damage to your recrords.

I would stop this process immediately and use a proven, safe and effective solution instead. Sorry to be blunt, I just don't want you to suffer in the long run.
Where did you get that formula from?
I don't want to presume to answer for Ritmoman, but the link below to TNT publishes many recipes, all with that amount of alcohol or more. I recall a previous thread here also where high alcohol content was implicated as a vinyl destroying agent, and in the same thread someone refuted the argument.
So, I don't know what the scientifically authoritative position is, but as usual it seems audiophiles can't agree.
I prefer alcohol in me, via single malt scotch. This while cleaning LP's with Record Research fluid :^).
Hello, thanks for the responses, seems my formula raises a few eyebrows, I got the formula from Dusty Vawter at Channel Islands Audio where I bought my VPI. From what I've read, including Michael Fremer's exhaustive review of fluids in Stereophile, alcohol will not harm the vinyl the short time it comes in contact with the record. It takes 30 minutes or more exposure to damage the plastic. Anyway, I don't want to launch a discussion of fluids, IMHO the commercial ones are way too expensive. I have not noticed any adverse effects to my record collection thus far. I'm pretty sure the cracking problem is not related to the fluid I'm using.