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Thread: Help! Pump not priming in spa mode but does in pool mode

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    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Vienna, VA
    Posts
    13

    Help! Pump not priming in spa mode but does in pool mode

    Hello All,
    I'm still a newbie with pool care here, so I'm wondering if someone can lend some advice. I think I got the chemistry stuff down now, but I still don't know a whole lot about the system. Pool guy came out a few weeks ago to open the pool and everything seemed fine. Somehow he opened the system to have both spa and pool filtering at the same time. I didn't know it could do that. I always thought it was spa or pool at any given time and not both. Water looked decent but pH was crazy high off the chart and TA was 200 so I needed to pour in close to 4 gallons of muriatic acid over course of 3-4 days to get everything in balance. I ran the filter 24/7 for about a week or so to make sure the water was nice and clean. Then after I switched to auto mode, I saw that the spa started to drain into the pool when the filter was turned off. I didn't know this was happening since it was raining a lot and didn't check it everyday and when I did, it was always when the filter was running. I think it was going on for about a week before I noticed it one night after everything was turned off. I also noticed that the spa also had trouble pulling water during the day, but in the evening suction would return to normal or evening a little strong. The Polaris didn't run well, meaning there seemed to not be enough pressure to push it along. Then I noticed the actuators weren't turning at all whether it was on pool mode or spa mode. So after searching around for answers on the forum, I figured out that the guy left the actuators off and not on auto mode. I turned both on and I think I have everything running like it should, but now my pump won't prime all the way on spa mode but functions just fine in pool mode. The spa no longer empties when the filter is off, but I would say the suction is not always great. The Polaris is running much better. There is one valve that was left kind of midway between spa drain and spa skimmer and I'm wondering if that has anything to do with it. I tried to turn it to close on the spa drain side, but I can't. It doesn't want to turn counterclockwise beyond where it is. I also know that not priming means there's air getting into the system somewhere in the spa side, but I don't know where to look. Water level is fine in the spa, O rings are fine on the pump lid. What else should I check? I have attached some pictures of my system if that helps. Any advice would be much appreciated!pool system1.jpgpool system2.jpgpool system3.jpg

    One last thing... There is a pipe labeled "Solar Recirc Sys" next to the main drain and opposite to the pool return. What is it and why does it always need to stay closed off?
    24,000 gallon in-ground plaster pool built 2011 filled with city water, separate 500 gallon spa but runs on same filter, Jandy pump with catridge filter, 3 water features, Polaris cleaner, Nature 2 system, electric opaque solar cover, Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    cowboycasey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Fletcher, OK
    Posts
    3,346

    Re: Help! Pump not priming in spa mode but does in pool mode

    can you turn the spa skimmer off and only pull from the main drain in the spa, if the air stops then you know it is the skimmer.. does the skimmer have a vortex in it while it is open, if it does that is where your air is coming from.. try 80% main drain and 20% skimmer

    Do you have solar? maybe they were going to add solar later on and "Solar Recirc Sys" is not attached to anything or do you have solar?

    that is a very nice setup
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Vienna, VA
    Posts
    13

    Re: Help! Pump not priming in spa mode but does in pool mode

    Maybe I don't know what I am doing, but I can't seem to turn off the skimmer completely. The valve can only be turned to be partially closed either to the skimmer and main drain or closed to both i.e. positioned at 7:30 clock, 9 o'clock, or 10:30 clock positions and not in the 6 or 12 o'clock positions that would indicate that the main drain and skimmers, respectively, are closed completely (see valve on far right in first picture). And how can I tell if the skimmer has a vortex? Does that look like the water is being drawn stronger than usual? If that's what it means, then no at least not now. If anything, the skimmer is pulling a little on the weak side. It was pulling much stronger in the evening (but weaker in the daytime) when both the pool and spa where filtering at the same time. I turned to the the 10:30 clock position and filtering looks the same as it does in the 7:30 position.

    Regarding the solar, I have no idea what that means. How do I know if I have it? The only thing I have is a solar cover.

    - - - Updated - - -

    One more thing to add... I notice water does not run through the pipe labeled Spa Return because I don't see water through the check valve (far left check valve in picture 2). Not sure why or what it means since the returns are pushing plenty of water into the spa.
    24,000 gallon in-ground plaster pool built 2011 filled with city water, separate 500 gallon spa but runs on same filter, Jandy pump with catridge filter, 3 water features, Polaris cleaner, Nature 2 system, electric opaque solar cover, Taylor K-2006 test kit

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