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Thread: Building a pool but not getting help with Spa

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    Building a pool but not getting help with Spa

    Hello Everyone,

    I'm currently in the last steps of signing a contract for a pool and spa for a new home. I have been doing some research and I've decided to go with 16 jets in my spa:

    6 Jets(3 rows and 2 columns) for a "King Seat"
    6 Jets(3 rows and 2 columns) for a "Queen Seat"
    2 Jets(1 row of two jets)
    2 Jets(1 row of two jets)

    I'm getting a 2HP blower, and a variable speed pump dedicated to the spa. Do I need an additional blower? Is there anything else that I should be asking about?

    Are there any special jets that I should be looking at?

    I had to wrestle just to get this far but the PB just doesn't do too much in regards to spas. Most people just take the 4 included and go with those.

    Help!

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    Re: Building a pool but not getting help with Spa

    Quote Originally Posted by rottlover0 View Post
    Hello Everyone,

    I'm currently in the last steps of signing a contract for a pool and spa for a new home. I have been doing some research and I've decided to go with 16 jets in my spa:

    6 Jets(3 rows and 2 columns) for a "King Seat"
    6 Jets(3 rows and 2 columns) for a "Queen Seat"
    2 Jets(1 row of two jets)
    2 Jets(1 row of two jets)

    I'm getting a 2HP blower, and a variable speed pump dedicated to the spa. Do I need an additional blower? Is there anything else that I should be asking about?

    Are there any special jets that I should be looking at?

    I had to wrestle just to get this far but the PB just doesn't do too much in regards to spas. Most people just take the 4 included and go with those.

    Help!
    Properly installed therapy jets don't need an air blower.

    Too many pool builder's plumbers don't loop the air lines at the wall of the spa high enough. This allows flooding of the air lines which in turn prevents clean venturi action at the jet. When I build spas I usually vent the jet air line as close to the spa as I possibly can. I rarely run the line all the way to the pad... and I NEVER install air blowers.

    The key is proper water flow to the jets. Most standard jets need 10 to 12 GPM per jet. Some of the more exotic jets (like those made by Waterway) may need 15 to 20 GPM per jet. Focus your attention on the math of total GPM needed for the number of jets, and then build the plumbing loop and trunk lines using the hydraulic information listed in Hyraulics 101. If you do go with 16 jets at 12 GPM per jet, you'll need 192 GPM total. That may require two pumps and some 3" or larger plumbing.

    When in doubt, increase pipe size. Once the gunite is shot and the decks are installed the only way to fix too-small plumbing is with a jackhammer. Adding a monster pump to small plumbing can't overcome poor hydraulic planning.

    Adding an air blower (or two) will give the jets a little more therapy action. If you add one, don't go too big. If you're boosting properly installed jets you can get away with a 1 HP. If the water flow to the jets is inadequate or the jet air loop isn't high enough, then you might need to go big. Last year I had to install a commercial grade 5 HP air blower on another builder's job where all the rules of hydraulics were broken. Don't be that guy.
    APSP Certified Building Professional
    APSP Certified Service Professional
    NSPF Certified Pool Operator

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    Re: Building a pool but not getting help with Spa

    Quote Originally Posted by poolkid View Post
    Properly installed therapy jets don't need an air blower.

    Too many pool builder's plumbers don't loop the air lines at the wall of the spa high enough. This allows flooding of the air lines which in turn prevents clean venturi action at the jet. When I build spas I usually vent the jet air line as close to the spa as I possibly can. I rarely run the line all the way to the pad... and I NEVER install air blowers.
    If the jets are properly installed would a blower increase the action? Are you saying that you never install blowers because it's not essential if your venting is near the spa or that you always vent near the spa? They'll definitely run the air line to the pad. I've already seen a model home that has a blower and my first quote qith 4 jets and a 7x6 spa included a blower.

    I guess this video illustrates what you're talking about the venting:
    Power of Jets in an In-Ground Spa - YouTube


    Quote Originally Posted by poolkid View Post
    The key is proper water flow to the jets. Most standard jets need 10 to 12 GPM per jet. Some of the more exotic jets (like those made by Waterway) may need 15 to 20 GPM per jet. Focus your attention on the math of total GPM needed for the number of jets, and then build the plumbing loop and trunk lines using the hydraulic information listed in Hyraulics 101. If you do go with 16 jets at 12 GPM per jet, you'll need 192 GPM total. That may require two pumps and some 3" or larger plumbing.
    I actually talked to the guy that does the hydraulics as I wanted to get a feel for how well he knew his stuff. He said 3" plumbing from the start and said he'd figure out the pump, etc by 16 GPM per jet. He installs blowers though.

    Quote Originally Posted by poolkid View Post
    When in doubt, increase pipe size. Once the gunite is shot and the decks are installed the only way to fix too-small plumbing is with a jackhammer. Adding a monster pump to small plumbing can't overcome poor hydraulic planning.

    Adding an air blower (or two) will give the jets a little more therapy action. If you add one, don't go too big. If you're boosting properly installed jets you can get away with a 1 HP. If the water flow to the jets is inadequate or the jet air loop isn't high enough, then you might need to go big. Last year I had to install a commercial grade 5 HP air blower on another builder's job where all the rules of hydraulics were broken. Don't be that guy.
    Wow that sounds ridiculous, a 5 HP blower just to balance the system out. I'm typing and email to the hydraulics guy now

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    Re: Building a pool but not getting help with Spa

    Quote Originally Posted by rottlover0 View Post
    If the jets are properly installed would a blower increase the action?
    Yes but it shouldn't be used as the sole means of getting air to the jets. Spa jets drag in their own air. If the air line that feeds them floods when the spa is off they have a hard time evacuating all of the water when the jets are turned on. In some extreme cases, they just don't have the ability to clear the line. That's where a blower is required to overcome a plumber's negligence. I have found that if you keep the venturi air line as short as possible and loop the individual air lines at the jets to a point above maximum spa water level, the jets aerate immediately and a blower is not needed.

    Are you saying that you never install blowers because it's not essential if your venting is near the spa or that you always vent near the spa? They'll definitely run the air line to the pad.
    As mentioned above, allowing the venturi air line to flood is to be avoided. Even though it is air, like water plumbing, the shorter the air line the better.

    I actually talked to the guy that does the hydraulics as I wanted to get a feel for how well he knew his stuff. He said 3" plumbing from the start and said he'd figure out the pump, etc by 16 GPM per jet. He installs blowers though.
    16GPM times 16 jets = 256GPM. Unless you upgrade to a commercial 5HP or maybe 7HP pump, you'll need two residential pumps. If this was my job I'd spec two 3HP Pentair Whisperflo pumps with 3" or 4" plumbing depending on the distance. Assuming common head loss for a dedicated spa jet pump, you should get around 125-ish GPM for one of those pumps - half of what you need.

    Wow that sounds ridiculous, a 5 HP blower just to balance the system out. I'm typing and email to the hydraulics guy now
    More than half of my business income is fixing other pool builder's mistakes. It's way more profitable than building new pools.
    APSP Certified Building Professional
    APSP Certified Service Professional
    NSPF Certified Pool Operator

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