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Thread: I Have a Perplexing Leak

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    I Have a Perplexing Leak

    So I have an air leak somewhere. I have read others' posts about this and didn't want to hijack them. I also read the page in pool school about it and did all that stuff. I feel like I have done everything and still can't solve the riddle so I'm hoping one of you holds a clue to the solution. Basically I'm getting lots of air coming out of the return jets in the (built-in) hot tub, but only out of 2 of the 6 jets. No air is visible in the pump basket/lid. I don't get any air in the pool return jets, and when the pump is in spa mode and I turn it off, it doesn't lose prime. So I figure it has to be suction side because return side only makes water leaks, right? The suction for the spa is two floor drains. I have checked pump lid, filter o-ring, valve seals, pvc joints, everything! Is there a possibility that there's some kind of leak on the air blower? I'm not sure where the pipe for that even ties in since that's all underground. Like I said, the air only comes out of 2 jets.

    The strange thing that may not be related (but in the name of full disclosure), one of the jets has virtually no water pressure coming out and two others barely do. So pretty much only half the jets work and the two strongest ones produce lots of air. I pulled the eyeballs off all 6 jets to make sure there was nothing blocking flow, but there are no visible problems.

    The even more strange thing that may not related at all, I found some pieces of black duct tape partially blocking a few of the return jets in the pool when I noticed a little bit sticking out of the eyeballs. Since removing that, every pool return jet works and seems to be of equal pressure. I believe this pool was built in 2006 but we bought the house only 3 years ago. I will take pictures tonight if anyone needs a visual. I really wish I could have seen the pool being built so that I know how all the underground pipes are laid out.
    Curtis- 20k gallon IG gunnite/plaster with hot tub/waterfall and "grotto"
    All Jandy equipment: 60sqft DE filter - 399k btu natural gas heater - Stealth pumps - iAquaLink RS8.
    Polaris 9400 on patrol.
    TF-100 in da house/TFP method in effect: FC=4-6, pH=7.5, TA=80, CH=250, CYA=50, Borate=50, CSI=-0.21

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: I Have a Perplexing Leak

    It almost sounds like you are expecting no air out of the spas but you should be getting air out of all the spa jets. That's the way spa jets are suppose to work even sometimes without a blower running.

    So is the issue that you are not getting air out of all the jets? That sounds like you might have a plugged jet. Sometimes you can clear the lines by removing the nozzles.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    wjr75's Avatar
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    Re: I Have a Perplexing Leak

    I have a venturi spa system which adds the air bubbles to the spa jets. I guess some people have a blower that does so. My system has two air intakes on top of the spa that unscrew which adjusts the air intake thus the bubbles. I had a clog this spring and after having two service people out it was found I had a maple tree helicopter stuck in two of the jets. My jet throats unscrew so they can be removed and cleaned out. I also have adjustments for the flow rate on the outer rings for the spa jets which just turn one direction or the other.
    Inground 22k gallon gunite 15x31 main pool, 15x7 wading pool/sunning deck, hot tub/with overflow (9' octagon with limestone top) & slide NSWG, Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen
    Filter dual cartridge Sta-rite 450sq/ft, TF-100 Test Kit
    Heater Raypak 2100 400k btu cupro-nickel exchanger
    Auto pool cover, Polaris 280 auto pool cleaner, Jandy AqualinkRS8 Remote Control System

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: I Have a Perplexing Leak

    All spas jets with bubbles should use venturies. A blower is used in situations where the venturi does not pull in enough air to clear the air line. Usually in poor spa designs.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: I Have a Perplexing Leak

    I wasn't aware that all spa jets should have air. I figured it's a closed loop system like the pool side suction/return so why would there be air (unless I turn the air blower on)? I don't see any venturi devices anywhere near my equipment or hot tub. Is that common practice for above-ground stand-alone spas or both?

    I do agree that it sounds like a couple of jets may be clogged because of the flow issues, but I have removed the eye balls and the jet tips and they are all clear, unless the clog is in the pipe where I can't see it.
    Curtis- 20k gallon IG gunnite/plaster with hot tub/waterfall and "grotto"
    All Jandy equipment: 60sqft DE filter - 399k btu natural gas heater - Stealth pumps - iAquaLink RS8.
    Polaris 9400 on patrol.
    TF-100 in da house/TFP method in effect: FC=4-6, pH=7.5, TA=80, CH=250, CYA=50, Borate=50, CSI=-0.21

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: I Have a Perplexing Leak

    The venturi is in the spa wall right behind the jet exit. Most use a venturi tee which looks something like this:




    I figured it's a closed loop system like the pool side suction/return so why would there be air (unless I turn the air blower on)?
    The water flowing through the venturi tee causes low pressure at the air inlet which draws in air. Not all spas use/require a blower. A properly designed spa should not require a blower but unfortunately, most PBs really don't know how to design a spa. A blower is pretty much a crutch.

    You can learn about venturi's here:

    Venturi effect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: I Have a Perplexing Leak

    Also, make sure that none of the nozzles are missing.

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    Re: I Have a Perplexing Leak

    I know all about venturi action. I use that principle at work a lot. I just don't see anything anywhere that could be an air inlet. There's nothing on the exterior of the hot tub walls and they are completely covered with flagstone.

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    unfortunately, most PBs really don't know how to design a spa. A blower is pretty much a crutch.
    That explains why the PB is out of business as far as I could find. I tried to contact them for some warranty issues when we moved in.
    Curtis- 20k gallon IG gunnite/plaster with hot tub/waterfall and "grotto"
    All Jandy equipment: 60sqft DE filter - 399k btu natural gas heater - Stealth pumps - iAquaLink RS8.
    Polaris 9400 on patrol.
    TF-100 in da house/TFP method in effect: FC=4-6, pH=7.5, TA=80, CH=250, CYA=50, Borate=50, CSI=-0.21

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    wjr75's Avatar
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    Re: I Have a Perplexing Leak

    They are not that big. Here is a pic of my two...the little white caps. IMG_0372.JPG
    Inground 22k gallon gunite 15x31 main pool, 15x7 wading pool/sunning deck, hot tub/with overflow (9' octagon with limestone top) & slide NSWG, Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen
    Filter dual cartridge Sta-rite 450sq/ft, TF-100 Test Kit
    Heater Raypak 2100 400k btu cupro-nickel exchanger
    Auto pool cover, Polaris 280 auto pool cleaner, Jandy AqualinkRS8 Remote Control System

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: I Have a Perplexing Leak

    Quote Originally Posted by Ale_Brewer View Post
    I know all about venturi action. I use that principle at work a lot. I just don't see anything anywhere that could be an air inlet. There's nothing on the exterior of the hot tub walls and they are completely covered with flagstone.
    You said before you had a blower, correct? That IS the air inlet. All the air lines from the venturi's are combined into a single larger air line and that is where the air enters even when the blower is off.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    wjr75's Avatar
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    Re: I Have a Perplexing Leak

    I was just pointing out my air intakes to Ale_Brewer. I have a blower but they are for the floor bubbler.
    Inground 22k gallon gunite 15x31 main pool, 15x7 wading pool/sunning deck, hot tub/with overflow (9' octagon with limestone top) & slide NSWG, Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen
    Filter dual cartridge Sta-rite 450sq/ft, TF-100 Test Kit
    Heater Raypak 2100 400k btu cupro-nickel exchanger
    Auto pool cover, Polaris 280 auto pool cleaner, Jandy AqualinkRS8 Remote Control System

  12. Back To Top    #12
    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: I Have a Perplexing Leak

    My comment was to Ale.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: I Have a Perplexing Leak

    I don't have any white caps like that anywhere that I can find. When I turn the air blower on it comes out all the jets.
    Curtis- 20k gallon IG gunnite/plaster with hot tub/waterfall and "grotto"
    All Jandy equipment: 60sqft DE filter - 399k btu natural gas heater - Stealth pumps - iAquaLink RS8.
    Polaris 9400 on patrol.
    TF-100 in da house/TFP method in effect: FC=4-6, pH=7.5, TA=80, CH=250, CYA=50, Borate=50, CSI=-0.21

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: I Have a Perplexing Leak

    Right, and air can still come out of the jets with the blower off. The blower being off does not seal off the pipe and the venturi's still create a suction so they will still draw in some air with the blower off. Just not as well.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: I Have a Perplexing Leak

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    Right, and air can still come out of the jets with the blower off. The blower being off does not seal off the pipe and the venturi's still create a suction so they will still draw in some air with the blower off. Just not as well.
    Got it. That's the first time I have heard of that so that makes me feel much better to know that it's supposed to do that. I wasn't sure what was supposed to do what since air only comes out the 2 jets until i turn the air blower on. Coincidentally, those are the strongest 2 jets. The PB must not have plumbed the 6-way split properly is my guess.
    Curtis- 20k gallon IG gunnite/plaster with hot tub/waterfall and "grotto"
    All Jandy equipment: 60sqft DE filter - 399k btu natural gas heater - Stealth pumps - iAquaLink RS8.
    Polaris 9400 on patrol.
    TF-100 in da house/TFP method in effect: FC=4-6, pH=7.5, TA=80, CH=250, CYA=50, Borate=50, CSI=-0.21

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