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Thread: Spa draining back into pool when pump is off

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    Spa draining back into pool when pump is off

    In the evening when my pool pump turns off, my spa is draining back into the pool until it reaches the same water level. This is my first pool. It is not a new build pool. It came with the house we moved in to about a month ago. The spa is slightly higher than the pool with a water fall flow-over effect. I just started noticing it a couple days ago. I cannot remember if the pool/spa was always doing this. From my research the check valve stops the spa water from flowing back into the pool due to gravity. I have included a picture of return jet plumbing. I cannot seem to locate the check valve on my system. From talking with someone at Leslie's I was informed I either do not have a check valve in my system or the check valve is under ground. When I turn the skimmer and return valves to spa on / pool off at night (when the pump is off), the water stays in the spa. So either I do not have a check valve, or I cannot find the check valve, or it's hidden under ground. Since the pool/spa is plaster will this be a problem with cracking. I am noticing some lines on the seats in the spa. I am not sure if they were already there before or if this is new. I have heard different things about the spa draining back into the pool. One thing I heard is that's good because the pool chemistry will balance better with the spa. Another is that plaster cracks when exposed to sunlight/heat. I live in Las Vegas, so yea, we have a lot of heat. I am not sure what I should do at this point. Just close the pool valves at night? Install a check valve? Look for the check valve? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

    20k plaster pool, Century B130 pump, Pentair cartridge filter, Jandy JXI pool & spa heater, Paramount in-floor pool cleaning system, TF-100 test kit

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

    Not all setups have a check valve. Depends on the plumbing setup. It could drain back through the 3-way valves. Does the water drain below the return jets in the spa?

    Can you add more pictures with all the plumbing, please.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Spa draining back into pool when pump is off

    Or one of the 3 way valves is now not fully sealing off the spa side. I run my discharge jandy acuator controlled 3 way valve to send a small amount of water to cause the spa to overflow water into the pool when the filter pump is running. Run this way, a checkvalve is needed. If you fully close off the suction and discharge valves to isolate the spa, then theoretically you can get by without one. My guess is one of the 3 way valves is leaking by now due to age of the seat o-ring. You may want to disassemble and inspect each and rebuild vs. having to install an additional checkvalve.
    18,000 gunite pool/spa combo. Pebble tec, iaqualink rs8, cl580 filter, aquapure 1400, 400k btu lx heater, 10 solar panels, jandy 1hp, 1 1/2hp, and 2hp stealth pumps for circ, spa, waterfall

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    Re: Spa draining back into pool when pump is off

    Sometimes there is hole in the wall between the spa and pool to equalize the water level. It is only noticeable after the pump is turned off. I keep mine plugged until it is time to winterize.
    Karen
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    Re: Spa draining back into pool when pump is off

    Does the spa have infloor heads in the spa? Sometimes the builders will run a station in the spa. If that is the case the check valve would be near or next to the cleaning valve

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    Re: Spa draining back into pool when pump is off

    I added another photo of the plumbing from the other side. Also, I cannot remember if it drains below the return jets. I want to say, yes. But, I will check in the morning and let you know. The spa does not have infloor heads, only a skimmer drain. Also, I will check tomorrow for a hole in the wall. It's beginning to sound like there's maybe a bad O-ring in one of the 3-way valves or both? Is it bad that the spa is draining. I know I can prevent it by turning the return pool valve to off and the same with the skimmer pool valve. But, I guess I am looking for the correct method so I do not run into any future issues like plaster cracking.

    20k plaster pool, Century B130 pump, Pentair cartridge filter, Jandy JXI pool & spa heater, Paramount in-floor pool cleaning system, TF-100 test kit

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

    No obvious connection in the plumbing. Likely a leaking valve.
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    Re: Spa draining back into pool when pump is off

    On the suction side - do you always keep the spa side off (unless using the spa)? I also see 2 Jandy two-way valves on the suction side under where is says "skimmer" - what do each of them go to?
    Gene
    ​12,300 gal IG play pool - Pebbletec - built 10/1999 || Hayward S360SX 36" sand filter || Hayward Ecostar SP3400 VSP || A&A In-Floor cleaning system || Quik Water Leveler || Quik Dek-clor (limited use)
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    Re: Spa draining back into pool when pump is off

    Today, the spa drained but not below the return jets. Yesterday, I swear I thought it drained below the jets. But, I did fill the pool with water last night because it was a little low. I usually always keep the spa side off unless using the spa. When the spa side is off, the waterfall effect only flows over a little. But, when we have guest swimmers I usually open the spa side valve a crack on the return jets so the waterfall effect flows over a lot. I am not 100% sure what the skimmer valves control. My guess is the main drain on the floor of the pool and the other one controls the skimmer basket drain. I'm not sure which one is which yet. From everyone's replies it looks like I should be researching how to repair Jandy valves. The issue could be a leaky seal on either the spa return or spa suction or both. Is that correct? Thanks!
    20k plaster pool, Century B130 pump, Pentair cartridge filter, Jandy JXI pool & spa heater, Paramount in-floor pool cleaning system, TF-100 test kit

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

    If the spas valves were completely shut off and you're still seeing water overflow then clearly there's a path to the plumbing allowing water between the pool and spa and that is what allowing it to drain down.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Spa draining back into pool when pump is off

    As Jason stated, if the spa overflows with the spa side set to off there is a leaky valve. And it's on the return side.

    As for the 2 valves on the suction side I previously mentioned - it would be to your benefit to find out exactly what they do so you can set them to the positions that give you the best skimming and circulation. I'm only guessing, but i think the one directly under the "Skimmer" label is for the skimmer. The other is probably the main drain. Since you have the Paramount in-floor, you will want the main drain valve at least partially open to draw in any debris the in-floor pushes its way during normal pump operation.
    Gene
    ​12,300 gal IG play pool - Pebbletec - built 10/1999 || Hayward S360SX 36" sand filter || Hayward Ecostar SP3400 VSP || A&A In-Floor cleaning system || Quik Water Leveler || Quik Dek-clor (limited use)
    TF-100 testkit / Speedstir - A good test kit is not an expense, it's an investment

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    Re: Spa draining back into pool when pump is off

    Can you post a picture of the spa after it has drained down

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    Re: Spa draining back into pool when pump is off

    Val-Pak Spa ReTurnLIne CK Valve, Do you have a fitting like this in spa?

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    Re: Spa draining back into pool when pump is off

    You could also have something stuck that's not allowing the valve to close. I get that alot. Have 2 check valves installed so I can check it. I also put pantyhose over the drain to stop the big piece from getting in there.
    1100 gallon gunite IG spa with vanishing edge and 300 gallon overflow basin. Cartridge filter, hayward variable speed pump, finished 11/15/15, Taylor kit,



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    Spa draining back into pool when pump is off- Part 2

    @kadavis - I provided a pic of the spa drained in the morning. Also, I do not believe I have a Val-Pak Spa ReTurnLIne CK Valve. A few nights ago, I removed the diverter and valve cover from the return jet 3-way valve and the spa did not drain. Also, the spa does not drain when the valves are set to pool off. Only when the valves are set to spa off and the pump is off and everything is covered.

    Here are my next steps, but please let me know if there's anything else I should try.
    1) Replace O-rings on suction side valve
    2) Replace pump basket lid (I have already replaced the o-ring and lubed, but I am still getting a water spurt on the side of the lid when the pump shuts off)
    3) Replace diverter on return jet valve
    4) Replace diverter on suction side valve

    Thanks!

    20160726_071046.jpg
    20k plaster pool, Century B130 pump, Pentair cartridge filter, Jandy JXI pool & spa heater, Paramount in-floor pool cleaning system, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Spa draining back into pool when pump is off

    Does the picture of the drained spa give any clues? Thanks.
    20k plaster pool, Century B130 pump, Pentair cartridge filter, Jandy JXI pool & spa heater, Paramount in-floor pool cleaning system, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Spa draining back into pool when pump is off

    When you removed the valve cover you broke the siphon, so water wouldn't drain in spa. Could you take a picture of the paramount water valve. In normal operation how do you set the valves. If you have spa off how does the water spillover. If the only water returning to spa is through the jets then the spa side would have to be open to some degree. I'm looking for any other return to spa from pool.

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    Re: Spa draining back into pool when pump is off

    I have replaced the O-ring and pump basket cover. Good news, that fixed the water spurt when the pump is shut off. So, I believe that small air leak is fixed. Also, I have replaced both the return jet and suction-side Jandy 3-way value O-rings and diverters. I applied a little lube to all O-rings, but unfortunately, I still have the spa draining back into the pool when the pump is shut off. I have both return and suction lines set to spa off, but a small amount of water is coming in through the spa return jets. I tested this by turning the suction-side to pool off and the return-side to spa off, which should drain the spa. Once the spa started draining below the return jets, I visually saw a small amount of water coming for the jets. Also, when in return/suction spa off mode I have a small amount of water over flowing from the spa into the pool. So, I am left to believe, some how even with a brand new diverter, water is still sneaking by and coming through the spa return jets. The first pic I posted in this thread has the complete plumbing on the return-side. Can anyone offer and ideas on where to go from here to fix my spa drain issue? The only other idea I can come up with at this point is to install a check valve somewhere within the plumbing. Thanks.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also, is it bad that the spa drains when the pump is turned off? Should I even be trying to fix this?
    20k plaster pool, Century B130 pump, Pentair cartridge filter, Jandy JXI pool & spa heater, Paramount in-floor pool cleaning system, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Spa draining back into pool when pump is off

    I have a couple of things that made the spa drain over the years with the pump off. A leaky valve could cause it which I had tweaked once. If you have everything off and try to see if there is actually water coming out of one of the returns in your pool. Need to put a leaf in front of one because it won't be easy to notice that's what the Tech told me when he was trouble shooting that one. Have had the plug leaking once in the main drain where the one port is not used. May have a hydrostatic valve also in there that may be leaking. I also have a chlorinator puck feeder that is in place that I use early in the season to add CYA until I hit 45ppm or when I go on vacation. The one I had replaced has a tube on the front end of the filter for input water than after the heater for return. You need to turn off the feeder valve to it when using the spa mode for my configuration otherwise it still runs across and will drain water into the pool. Leaks drive me crazy which seems to be a yearly occurrence. I forgot to mention that I also had the spa light plug leak once causing a leak.
    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
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    Re: Spa draining back into pool when pump is off

    Can you provide picture of the area around the Paramount valve. I still think the plumber set up one station to return to spa, otherwise the water wouldn't spillover from spa to pool

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