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Thread: Spa draining into pool when equipment is off

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    Spa draining into pool when equipment is off

    Hello all,

    I did do a search on this and I realize there are MANY topics on this but am starting a new one because my equipment is original and I am a first time pool owner and pretty clueless so far!

    Every day, the spa empties into the pool (when the spa pump and pool pump are not running) and then refills itself when equipment is back on.

    We had a pool service company come out and install a new check valve and change some o rings and clean all the filters on the equipment but it hasnt seemed to do anything. He said there are no leaks anywhere in the pool or plumbing either.

    I've seen some instances where people reference an actuator is what causes the problem but I do not believe my equipment has one?

    Below are some pictures of my spa and equipment, if anyone has any suggestions and/or questions, I will answer immediately and to the best of my knowledge!







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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Spa draining into pool when equipment is off

    I am confused. Do the pool and the spa have completely separate equipment?
    So the pump on the left is the spa and the stuff on the right is the pool?

    If the systems are isolated, there is no way for the water to flow out of the spa and into the pool.

    Since the water is draining below the return jets, and assuming it is infact flowing back to the pool (somewhere???) the the leak must be in the suction side through the drain.

    I am just not clear how your system is setup.
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    Re: Spa draining into pool when equipment is off

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    I am confused. Do the pool and the spa have completely separate equipment?
    So the pump on the left is the spa and the stuff on the right is the pool?

    If the systems are isolated, there is no way for the water to flow out of the spa and into the pool.

    Since the water is draining below the return jets, and assuming it is infact flowing back to the pool (somewhere???) the the leak must be in the suction side through the drain.

    I am just not clear how your system is setup.

    Correct. The systems are isolated.

    This is one thing pool companies we have had out say they want to re-plumb and combine the two. This is original equipment from back in the 80s.

    There has been no water level change in the pool that we have noticed so it's definitely going back in there.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Spa draining into pool when equipment is off

    Where does the pipe with the new check valve go? Guessing it is going to the spa for a spill over function?
    Where does that water enter the spa?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Spa draining into pool when equipment is off

    It's not a leak. The spa is raised and you have no check valve on the suction side. The water is not emptying via the spa jets (your new check valve prevents that). It is emptying via the spa drain, to the pump, through the filter, out the filter, through the pool returns, and finally into the pool.

    It doesn't drain completely because it stops when the water level is equalized with the pool.
    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
    You Need: Bleach, a A Test Kit & a Bookmark to "Pool School". Now what's your question?

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    Re: Spa draining into pool when equipment is off

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Where does the pipe with the new check valve go? Guessing it is going to the spa for a spill over function?
    Where does that water enter the spa?
    That is a question I honestly cannot answer. I was not home when the guy installed the check valve or else would have asked him numerous questions. There is a spill over from the spa into the pool when it is full though.

    When the spa is re-filling itself, these two jets are the ones that are pumping water back in that I have noticed.

    spa pic_zpsqrb2ugyy.jpg

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by mikemass View Post
    It's not a leak. The spa is raised and you have no check valve on the suction side. The water is not emptying via the spa jets (your new check valve prevents that). It is emptying via the spa drain, to the pump, through the filter, out the filter, through the pool returns, and finally into the pool.

    It doesn't drain completely because it stops when the water level is equalized with the pool.
    OK thank you so much! I will have another check valve installed on the suction side. This does make sense.

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    Re: Spa draining into pool when equipment is off

    I'm not convinced that the check valve is indeed on the spa jets return. Can you turn on the system and start turning some of those 3 way valves so we can see what indeed goes to what? Namely the the 3 way at the "new" check valve & "water feature". That's the one I am really curious about.
    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
    You Need: Bleach, a A Test Kit & a Bookmark to "Pool School". Now what's your question?

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    Re: Spa draining into pool when equipment is off

    can you give me a more broad shot of the pool? I am looking for:

    How many skimmers
    How many returns
    How many drains.

    Basically I am trying to map all routes that water can enter and leave both the pool and spa. And then try and figure out where the pool and spa are connected (plumbing-wise). Because it isn't at the equipment pad from what I see!

    Also where is the equipment in relation to the layout of the pool?
    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
    You Need: Bleach, a A Test Kit & a Bookmark to "Pool School". Now what's your question?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Spa draining into pool when equipment is off

    Mike, there does not appear to be a suction line connecting the pool and spa ... although that would make the most sense.

    Right now I would think the pool pump just has the ability to put water into the spa and then it spills over.
    Then for spa mode, the 2nd set of equipment runs on a dedicated suction line from the spa to dedicated return jets in the spa.
    However, if this was true, then the spa would only be able to drain down to the return jet level back to the pool through the check valve line.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Spa draining into pool when equipment is off

    Quote Originally Posted by mikemass View Post
    can you give me a more broad shot of the pool? I am looking for:

    How many skimmers
    How many returns
    How many drains.

    Basically I am trying to map all routes that water can enter and leave both the pool and spa. And then try and figure out where the pool and spa are connected (plumbing-wise). Because it isn't at the equipment pad from what I see!

    Also where is the equipment in relation to the layout of the pool?
    Definitely will as soon as I get home from work. This will be in about 6 hours unfortunately though. Thank you guys for looking at this and helping me.

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    Re: Spa draining into pool when equipment is off

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Mike, there does not appear to be a suction line connecting the pool and spa ... although that would make the most sense.
    I think the return lines are plumbed together underground. The reason they have 2 separate pumps/filters is so they could blow out lines to pool in winter and keep spa up and running? Just a theory.

    For that the be the case the three way on the "spa Equipment" side would have to be turned to shut off what is labeled "returns". I can't read what the other label say. OP? Can you help me out with that. it's like %$&NAPLES?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by ajknoll23 View Post
    Definitely will as soon as I get home from work. This will be in about 6 hours unfortunately though. Thank you guys for looking at this and helping me.
    Take you time. I tend to not be around much at night on the computer. But I will keep looking for updates. Just try and provide as much info as you can.
    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
    You Need: Bleach, a A Test Kit & a Bookmark to "Pool School". Now what's your question?

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    Re: Spa draining into pool when equipment is off

    Quote Originally Posted by mikemass View Post
    I'm not convinced that the check valve is indeed on the spa jets return. Can you turn on the system and start turning some of those 3 way valves so we can see what indeed goes to what? Namely the the 3 way at the "new" check valve & "water feature". That's the one I am really curious about.
    As soon as I get home, I will do this.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by mikemass View Post
    I think the return lines are plumbed together underground. The reason they have 2 separate pumps/filters is so they could blow out lines to pool in winter and keep spa up and running? Just a theory.

    For that the be the case the three way on the "spa Equipment" side would have to be turned to shut off what is labeled "returns". I can't read what the other label say. OP? Can you help me out with that. it's like %$&NAPLES?

    - - - Updated - - -



    Take you time. I tend to not be around much at night on the computer. But I will keep looking for updates. Just try and provide as much info as you can.
    Sounds good.

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    Re: Spa draining into pool when equipment is off

    Arizona. UGH Kill that winter theory. But still provides a way to run one independent of the other. A little unconventional by today's standards. But perhaps that was common back then.
    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
    You Need: Bleach, a A Test Kit & a Bookmark to "Pool School". Now what's your question?

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    Re: Spa draining into pool when equipment is off

    I think that label says Therapies. It is odd that there are 2 different return paths on the spa equipment. Maybe the return side is for if you were just wanting to filter/heat the spa and the therapies side is for the spa jets.

    Still, even if the returns were tied together, the spa should only drain to the return jets.
    On theory was if there was a very low return in the spa near the floor that came from the check valve line.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Spa draining into pool when equipment is off

    OK.. Now my brain is on over drive and I am determined to figure this out. Another question for you OP...

    When the heater was working, were you only able to heat the spa or did you have the ability to heat the pool too?

    What are the two tall pipes sticking out of the ground that are capped off?
    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
    You Need: Bleach, a A Test Kit & a Bookmark to "Pool School". Now what's your question?

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    Re: Spa draining into pool when equipment is off

    Quote Originally Posted by mikemass View Post
    OK.. Now my brain is on over drive and I am determined to figure this out. Another question for you OP...

    When the heater was working, were you only able to heat the spa or did you have the ability to heat the pool too?

    What are the two tall pipes sticking out of the ground that are capped off?
    We just bought the house, moved in a week ago. We bought it knowing the spa heater did not work. But I do know that it only heated the spa.

    The two tall pipes in front was where the spa blower was.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Spa draining into pool when equipment is off

    What about therapy jets in the pool? Maybe by a bench of the steps? Perhaps the spa pump could run jets in the pool?
    .....
    Nix that, the suction would be all out of the spa and drain it

    - - - Updated - - -

    This is something we could likely figure out in about 5 minutes playing with valves in person
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Spa draining into pool when equipment is off

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    This is something we could likely figure out in about 5 minutes playing with valves in person

    Def. Which is makes it so frustrating trying to solve on the interwbez
    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
    You Need: Bleach, a A Test Kit & a Bookmark to "Pool School". Now what's your question?

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    Re: Spa draining into pool when equipment is off

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    What about therapy jets in the pool? Maybe by a bench of the steps? Perhaps the spa pump could run jets in the pool?
    .....
    Nix that, the suction would be all out of the spa and drain it

    - - - Updated - - -

    This is something we could likely figure out in about 5 minutes playing with valves in person
    Quote Originally Posted by mikemass View Post
    Def. Which is makes it so frustrating trying to solve on the interwbez
    Haha. Sorry for my incompetence guys =D . I will take videos tonight.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Spa draining into pool when equipment is off

    I find these threads to be much more entertaining than the typical ... "Help my pool is green" threads
    I guess I like the challenge

    - - - Updated - - -

    No worries
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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