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Thread: Separate spa pump with spill

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    Separate spa pump with spill

    If a spa has a separate pump from the pool and is designed to spill water over into the pool would an additional return need to be added in the pool that goes back to the spa pump?

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    chiefwej's Avatar
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    Re: Separate spa pump with spill

    I have two pumps. One for the pool and one for the spa. In my system either can be set to draw from the pool or from the spa and to return to the pool or spa. The reason is that only the spa circuit has the heater so to heat the pool I have to change the setting to draw and return heated water to the pool.

    But if your spa pump draws water from the spa and heats it and returns to the spa, there won't be any extra water to spill over, and you don't want any. You want all the heated water back in the spa, not spilling out into the pool. Your spa would only spill over when drawing from the pool and returning to the spa, which is a more common setting on your primary pool pump. Make sense?

    BTW: I think you have your terminology backward.
    Return, refers to lines that are returning water to the pool.
    Suction, refers to all lines that are drawing water from the pool to feed the pump.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    19k gallon Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS (3 hp) 011018, Super II 2hp (for spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE filter, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Separate spa pump with spill

    Thanks chief for straightening me out with the terminology, I'm not all that familiar with pools yet.

    I think I follow what you are saying, so if plumbed as you described the only time the spa would spill over is during the 8-10 hrs the pool is doing its circulation?

    What happens if you want to use the spa at the same time the pool is circulating? Do you just reschedule the pool circulation or just not pump the pool water into the spa at that time? Are there valves that would automatically adjust to accommodate this?

    Do you use the same return port in your spa for both pumps controlled by a valve or does each pump have it's own port?

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    Re: Separate spa pump with spill

    The main pool circuit should have returns to both the spa (for the spill over) and the pool. There should be a valve that will let you control how much water is directed to each. You don't want all of the water to be returned through the spill over, you need to be able to control this. If you have such control you can simply set all the water from the main pump to draw from and return to the pool, or just have the main pump shut down during use of the spa.

    The spa circuit will similarly be drawing from and retuning to the spa through the jets, which are seperate from the returns used by the main pump. That all works fine and you see that you can seperate the water flows in the two, however if you ever want to heat the water in the pool you need a way to draw pool water into the spa circuit ,which is where the heater is. That heated water is normally returned to the spa via the jets. But, if you are trying to heat the pool that's not very efficient, so you also need a way of returning that water to the pool instead of the spa. So, I have a couple extra valves that connect between the pool and spa circuits on both the suction and return side for heating the pool.

    This all makes for a few extra valves but it means I can draw water from pool or spa and return to either pool or spa, and I can do it either with the main pump (which has the filter, solar system and SWG in it's circuit) or with the spa pump (which has a heater in its circuit). I can heat the spa with solar, heat my pool with the spa heater, empty the spa to the pool, etc. lots of options and flexibility.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    19k gallon Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS (3 hp) 011018, Super II 2hp (for spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE filter, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    sddiver's Avatar
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    Re: Separate spa pump with spill

    is it possible that the extra pump you are referring to is just for a dedicated spa jet circuit? I have that type of system, but that is an extra pump just for additional jet action - it only draws from and returns to the spa - in my case this pump is not capable of creating a spill over condition since it only recirculates the water in the spa circuit.

    I think there are 2 methods of creating a spillover. yours may be different but this is how mine works

    1) spillover mode: a setting in your system that turns the valves for the main filter pump so water is pulled from the pool and returned to the spa - this is done for visual effect mostly to have a large volume of water go over the spill way - all of the filtered water is returned to the spa under this setting.

    2) spa bypass - this is usually a small manual valve that allows a portion of the filtered water to be directed to the spa returns causing a smaller amount of spill over since most of the filtered water is going back to the pool returns with only a small amount diverted to the spa.

    not sure if this applies to your situation or not - but it may be that the extra pump you are referring to is just a spa only pump for additional spa jet action.
    18500G Freeform IG pool & spa. 39'x19' Wet Edge Satin Matrix Tahitian Tropical. AquaPure 1400 SWG, JXI 400K BTU HTR, VSSHP270AUT 2.7HP VS PMP, 460CF + CS150 Cart Filter, PFPF2.0 2HP jet pump for spa jets, 1HP wtr ftr pmp Jandy LED RGBW 9W Nichless lights (3x-pool, 1x-spa), 2 - 24" sheer descents, 4 - deck jets, 2 - LED Laminar jets, Construction start 5/5/16 - Fill date 8/9/16. SD County SoCal (Oceanside). TF100 test kit

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    Re: Separate spa pump with spill

    Yes, the spa pump runs the jets, but it's not limited to that. Originally I had two seperate 2 hp Superpumps setting side by side. (Main one since replaced with a Intelliflow VS pump.)

    Main pump circulates water through the filter, SWG and optionally the solar system and in floor cleaning system. It can draw from my skimmers, the main drains, a cleaner port and/or the spa and it returns water through the pool in floor, side ports, spa return (not the jets but side returns) and/or a fountain in the center of the spa.

    The secondary one (or spa pump) sends the water through the heater. It can either draw from the spa or be connected to the other pump's same suction manifold and thus draw from the all of the same sources as it. It can return water either directly to the spa jets or be switched to the other pumps return manifold and thus return water to any of the same returns as it.

    Originally it was planned to connect (as you suggest) to only the spa jets. I asked the pool builder how I would heat the pool, since the heater could only draw from and return to the spa. He added the valves and interconnection with the main pump circuit to provide that extra flexibility. The valves allow me to select any of the sources on the suction side and any of the returns on the return side.

    Where is your heater in your system? Is it possible to heat the pool or even the spa without running the jets?

    Your description of your different modes of operation makes me think you are using an automation system. I don't have (or want) automation, I believe in K.I.S.S. Since I'm not limited to any preprogrammed modes, I am able to setup my valves to run any way I want.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    19k gallon Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS (3 hp) 011018, Super II 2hp (for spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE filter, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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