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Thread: Raised spa losing water with pump off and on

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    Raised spa losing water with pump off and on

    Hello.
    I woke up to see my spa about a foot down. The pool was fine at bed time; and pump off. Near pool water level. Research said inspect the check valves. I did. No blockages but I did see something like glue near the Jandy flapper. Photo posted (looks like human placed, not sediment).
    I filled the spa up; the pool pump started and went to work. Panicked wife called to say the main pool was leaking. Water was pooling out where we normally see overflow but the pool was not at the over flow drain.
    We turned off the pump. The pool level stayed fine, the spa lost water again.
    I don't understand how the water was getting out of the pool during the day...?
    I would think if there was a valve issue the spa water would end up in the pool.
    So obviously the pump was give the spa more water, which it leaked somehow.
    The equipment area is dry. Is there another drain that water can leave the outside of the spa/pool?
    Thanks for any advice. I have a call out to a repair guy (from the builder).....I don't think I know how to fix this.
    Cheers.
    JimAttachment 42116Attachment 42117Attachment 42119
    12K gal. In ground with raised spa. Mostly Jandy equip. Build in 2011.

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    Corleone's Avatar
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    Re: Raised spa losing water with pump off and on

    I have a raised spa as well. The head pressure will cause the spa to drain into the pool unless the valves are shut off.

    Do you keep the spa valves closed when you're not using it? When the pump is running its not an issue because you're pumping water back into the spa, but when its off, it only drains.

    The reason your overflow is wet is because the spa is draining into the pool. Your pool level is fine because once you notice what happened, the overflow has done its job.

    That's just one theory.
    13K Gallon IG Pool/Spa -- First time pool owners -- Completed in 2015 Caribbean Blue Pebble Tec Pentair 4000 Series 47 sq. ft. D.E. Filter Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump Pentair SWG Jandy LXi Heater 400,000 BTU S.R. Smith Typhoon Slide Pentair LED 12v Lights Dolphin Nautilus Robotic Cleaner TF-100 Test Kit
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    Re: Raised spa losing water with pump off and on

    Hi - I meant the overflow out in the back of our yard, outside the pool (normal drain exit area when rain overflows the pool), was wet with pool water completely leaving the pool.
    The water is leaving the pool somehow. The source seems to be the spa, when the pump is off the spa looses water fast. When the pump is on the water is leaving the pool and spa. (Pump feeding spa leak).
    It's a mystery to me.
    12K gal. In ground with raised spa. Mostly Jandy equip. Build in 2011.

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    Re: Raised spa losing water with pump off and on

    Ok, so its not an easy quick fix then.

    When you leave the pump off and the water is draining from only the spa, how far down the spa does it go?

    If it drains below your jets, then the leak is in the suction. Does your plumbing run near where the wet spot is? If so, that's probably where the leak is.
    13K Gallon IG Pool/Spa -- First time pool owners -- Completed in 2015 Caribbean Blue Pebble Tec Pentair 4000 Series 47 sq. ft. D.E. Filter Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump Pentair SWG Jandy LXi Heater 400,000 BTU S.R. Smith Typhoon Slide Pentair LED 12v Lights Dolphin Nautilus Robotic Cleaner TF-100 Test Kit
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    Re: Raised spa losing water with pump off and on

    Hi. The water drains down to the jets then stops (pump off). I don't know how the plumbing gets to the area where the water surfaces on pavement next to a street light. It likely comes out closer to the pool where I see do see two pool overflows in the grass - then possible follow a underground utility "path" to exit near a street light. One overflow in the grass is wet and the other is dry. I was not home to get a closer look.
    12K gal. In ground with raised spa. Mostly Jandy equip. Build in 2011.

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    Re: Raised spa losing water with pump off and on

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmerpro View Post
    Hi. The water drains down to the jets then stops (pump off). I don't know how the plumbing gets to the area where the water surfaces on pavement next to a street light. It likely comes out closer to the pool where I see do see two pool overflows in the grass - then possible follow a underground utility "path" to exit near a street light. One overflow in the grass is wet and the other is dry. I was not home to get a closer look.
    Here's one thought.

    The overflow in the grass: Is it in a direct line with your equipment? The reason why the overflow in the street could be wet is because you possibly have hard ground and rather than drain, the water is traveling along the pipe out into the street. I suspect that if you plugged your drainage risers and let the spa drain again, you wouldn't have any water inside the drainage into the street, but I bet that spot would still be wet because the water is following the slope of the pipe.

    Normally for leaks, you look for the wet spot in the ground, it should be pretty noticeable.

    If you want to attempt to locate it yourself, then you're probably going to need to make a trip to home depot.

    One way to find out without hiring a crew: plug all the jets in your spa except one. You could use winter plugs, or if you have some people to help, you could use cheap rubber stoppers and have a few people hold them so the pressure doesn't pop them out. You may be able to unscrew your jets and insert a threaded plug, that would be best, but I don't know how easily yours will turn.

    If you have a air vent for your spa, you're also going to want to cap that. If it's a 2", you may want to glue on a female adapter so you can just remove the threaded plug and it'll give you a nice option for the future if you need to quickly plug that.

    Anyway, once you get them plugged, make sure the valve to the spa is turned off, and insert a garden hose into the one jet you left open. That should create enough pressure to really push the water up out of the ground and make it easy to spot where your leak is. Hopefully not against the shell of the pool.
    13K Gallon IG Pool/Spa -- First time pool owners -- Completed in 2015 Caribbean Blue Pebble Tec Pentair 4000 Series 47 sq. ft. D.E. Filter Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump Pentair SWG Jandy LXi Heater 400,000 BTU S.R. Smith Typhoon Slide Pentair LED 12v Lights Dolphin Nautilus Robotic Cleaner TF-100 Test Kit
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    Re: Raised spa losing water with pump off and on

    If the spa is draining with the pump on AND with it off, you have two separate problems.

    The check valve with the glue mess on the seat is, without a doubt, your problem of the spa leaking when the pump is OFF. If it is also leaking down while the pump is on, look towards the three-way jandy valve in front of the filter pump, or it's actuator not rotating completely.
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    Re: Raised spa losing water with pump off and on

    Do you have a waterfall plus a raised spa? I do and if you do you probably have a check valve in between the two somewhere behind the spa. What i have is a valve to regulate the flow from the spa to the waterfall and vice versa. If it's like mine there will be a check valve at that valve. that valve must be set to go directly to the waterfall or it will drain the spa. I use that valve to lower the temperature fast in the spa, by turning on the waterfall and diverting the water to the spa, but if you shut everything off and shut the valve off then, the check valve stays open. Anyway if you divert the water to the waterfall first and shut off, no problem. Hope it helps

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    Corleone's Avatar
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    Re: Raised spa losing water with pump off and on

    Guys, read his posts. He's losing water, not just a drain issue.

    You've gotta find the leak.
    13K Gallon IG Pool/Spa -- First time pool owners -- Completed in 2015 Caribbean Blue Pebble Tec Pentair 4000 Series 47 sq. ft. D.E. Filter Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump Pentair SWG Jandy LXi Heater 400,000 BTU S.R. Smith Typhoon Slide Pentair LED 12v Lights Dolphin Nautilus Robotic Cleaner TF-100 Test Kit
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    Re: Raised spa losing water with pump off and on

    Quote Originally Posted by Corleone View Post
    Guys, read his posts. He's losing water, not just a drain issue.

    You've gotta find the leak.
    Look at attachment 42116. Water is definitely going past that check valve, not loosing water there, except back to the pool. If it ALSO drops when the pump is on, that's a separate issue in addition to the check valve.
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    Re: Raised spa losing water with pump off and on

    Quote Originally Posted by Pool Clown View Post
    Look at attachment 42116. Water is definitely going past that check valve, not loosing water there, except back to the pool. If it ALSO drops when the pump is on, that's a separate issue in addition to the check valve.
    I understand the issue with the check valve, the plumbing is enclosed, so getting past the check valve won't make a difference in water actually leaving the pool and spa. My initial thought was that the spa was draining into the pool, causing the water to rise and emptying into an overflow in the pool, but that doesn't seem to be the case from what he says.

    I would imagine the water is leaking at the spa return, since that's where the water level drops to.

    The reason it loses water when the pump is on is because it's leaking, the pump makes no difference, except it speeds up the process and also makes the pool lose water because you're pumping the pool water into the spa most likely (which in turn leaks on it's way to the spa via bypass).
    13K Gallon IG Pool/Spa -- First time pool owners -- Completed in 2015 Caribbean Blue Pebble Tec Pentair 4000 Series 47 sq. ft. D.E. Filter Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump Pentair SWG Jandy LXi Heater 400,000 BTU S.R. Smith Typhoon Slide Pentair LED 12v Lights Dolphin Nautilus Robotic Cleaner TF-100 Test Kit
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    Re: Raised spa losing water with pump off and on

    Quote Originally Posted by Corleone View Post

    The reason it loses water when the pump is on is because it's leaking, the pump makes no difference.
    Not necessarily. If the suction side valve actuator was not rotating completely and closing off the spa side due to either the actuator being out of adjustment, or the gear assembly worn, the pump would draw some water, not much, but enough to notice a water level loss in the spa. AND would allow it to continue to drain/siphon when the pump shut off for the day. Real test would be to fix the check valve, and then see if the spa was still loosing water at night when the pump was off. Returns/ jets level may be at the same elevation as the pool water level. Can't tell from here. Or may infact be plumbing leak in the return as suggested.

    OP may want to mark the pool level and see if it rises when the spa drains to rule out/confirm drain back. Note: depending on the size of your pool and spa, the amount of water the pool gains may not be that much, so a physical mark may be best way to determine gains rather than relying on what you remembered where the pool water level was.

    Leaks are one of the hardest things to diagnose... from my office chair. There are more variables with leaks than with any other pool problem.
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