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Thread: PLEASE HELP, WHICH VALVES TO TURN ON HOT TUB

  1. #1
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    PLEASE HELP, WHICH VALVES TO TURN ON HOT TUB

    [attachment=0:2syp0huk]2010-04-29 19.22.45.jpg[/attachment:2syp0huk]

    Ok, Not sure how to turn on the hot tub. The hot tub is attached to the pool, and spills into the pool. I cant get the jets going, without the water level keep going down. Or, the jets were going, but still spilling into the pool....PLEASE HELP At the present time of that picture, I had turned the red valve on the left inline with the pipe, which is closed I belive, and the right 2 valves I turned the left one to the right, which closed the left tube...
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  2. #2
    Guest

    Re: PLEASE HELP, WHICH VALVES TO TURN ON HOT TUB

    The 3 way valve in front of the pump pulls (suction) from the spa or from the pool, depending on which way you have it turned. The 3 way valve after the ball valve (red handle) returns water to the spa or the pool, depending which way you have it turned. Usually if the handle is turned one way (left, for example) on the suction side, the handle is turned the same way on the return side. So if left is pool suction, good chance left is also pool return (but not always!). The ball valve is your spa bypass valve.

    Try turning the 2 valves both to the left (right now you have the suction valve to the left but the return valve partially open to the left) and see what happens. Then turn both valves to the right. I would bet that left (the handle dictates the direction of the water) is pool suction/pool return and right is spa suction/spa return.

    Now, if you go spa suction/spa return you'll learn what that does real quick

  3. #3
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    Re: PLEASE HELP, WHICH VALVES TO TURN ON HOT TUB

    Agree with above poster. It is very simple to test. Just turn them and see what is sucking and what is returning
    When you get the spa overflowing, that means you obviously have the suction coming from the pool and the returns coming from the spa.

    Once you figure everything out, take a black marker and label the pipe "return" and "suction" so when you need to mess around with it after a few drinks, you can figure it out.

    The only thing you really need to watch out for is making sure you don't accidentally leave the suction coming from the spa and the return going to the pool. If you do this, you will empty the spa in about 5 minutes flat which will cause you to be dry running the pump. If this happens too long you can mess up your fittings or worse, damage your pump.

    One other word of advice. Once you get comfortable with the controls and exactly what does what, you can start making adjustments for water displacement. In other words, when 3 or 4 people get into the spa, the water level obviously goes WAY up and flows out the overflow and into the pool. When those people get out of the spa, your water level will obviously be very low.

    So what I do to get around this is turn the spa on. Which means suction comes from spa and water returns to spa. But then I "crack" the lever that controls the suction just a tad to allow the slightest bit of suction to come from the pool. That will mean the spa is getting a tiny dose of fresh water throughout the time the spa is on. This refills the spa and gives the spa a bit of fresh water after the filthy neighbors are in it.

    You dont want to crack it too much cause then you feel the cold water coming in. Just enough to slowly refill the spa from displacement caused by body weight.

    Good luck!!!!!! Spill over spas are the best. Zero maintenance
    20,000 gallon IG vinyl

  4. #4
    Senior Member Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: PLEASE HELP, WHICH VALVES TO TURN ON HOT TUB

    They already beat me to it. I have a similar setup. Once I figured out which pipes went where, I wrote what they are with magic marker right on the pipes.

    One 3-way is labelled Pool-In-Spa, the other Pool-Out-Spa. This way I can call the wife if I had a rough day at work, she can set the valves to Spa and Spa and start the heater, and it's ready by the time I get home
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
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  5. #5
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    Re: PLEASE HELP, WHICH VALVES TO TURN ON HOT TUB

    Ok, I am understanding a lot more about my valves, returns, etc. I think I have hot tub action all figured out now, thanks to you guys.

    Far left 3-way valve(return), is turned all the way right, the 3-way valve(suction) right in front of the clear filter on the right, is also turned all the way to the right. The red valve ball-valve on the left is closed when operating the hot tub as well. The far right 3-way valve I never touch. HOT TUB WORKS RIGHT

    OK, SO NOW...when I go back to pool use. I turn the 3-way(suction) right in front of the clear filter back to the left. Then I turn the far left 3-way valve(return) back to the left, but at a 45 degree angle as shown in the picture. I leave the red ball-valve closed. Here is what is happening, the spa jets are shooting too much water, and the waterfall is way too much. So I turn return valve more to left to cut down the amount returning to the spa. Then the pressure starts getting too high, and testing my seals. So, I turn it back to return more to pool, and sometimes can get the mix right. BUT, the cleaner jets in the pool only work for a couple minutes, at most, and then stop working. When the jets are working, the pressure is perfect with a perfect waterfall, but as soon as those jets stop working the pressure shoots up, and the hot tub jets again go crazy, cause I assume all the pressure is coming into the hot tub.

    Do I not have the valves set right for pool mode? Does the red valve have anything to do with it? I feel like I am soo close.

    On the positive side, I found some cracked seals, and replaced them!!

  6. #6
    Guest

    Re: PLEASE HELP, WHICH VALVES TO TURN ON HOT TUB

    The "problem" that you have is a one pump system. When you are truly in spa mode, your jets are always "on", since one pump is doing the duty of water circulation/heating/filtering/jet action. When you are in pool mode, and bypassing water to the spa to purge that water (and create the waterfall at the spillway), you are walking a fine line between providing enough water to bypass without drawing air for the jets. When you cross the line on the jets not bubbling to having enough flow to draw air, the pressure is changing. By adjusting the three way valve on the return side, you are doing your best to make water do "double duty", but the air line for the jets is fighting you a bit.

    See if you can find the "sweet spot" and make a mark where it is. You should be able to hit it pretty close after that without too much trouble!

  7. #7
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    Re: PLEASE HELP, WHICH VALVES TO TURN ON HOT TUB

    Yeah, I know what you mean, but I figured I must NOT have something right, because I have been trying for hours to get it right, and I cant. The jets havent worked fully for a week. What does the red ball-valve do? Would that affect the jets? Again, after I was messing with all the valves trying to remember how to make the hot tub work, I got that figured out, but now cant get the pool to function right.

  8. #8
    Guest

    Re: PLEASE HELP, WHICH VALVES TO TURN ON HOT TUB

    It looks to me like you could just turn the ball valve to the off position and it would divert all the water to the spa (it's hard to say how the builder plumbed it, so that's my best guess!). Try turning it to the off position and see what happens! It is either going to send all of the water to the pool or the spa. The three way is allowing for adjustment to either/or, but I would bet the ball valve just gives one return option.

  9. #9
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    Re: PLEASE HELP, WHICH VALVES TO TURN ON HOT TUB

    The only thing you really need to watch out for is making sure you don't accidentally leave the suction coming from the spa and the return going to the pool. If you do this, you will empty the spa in about 5 minutes flat which will cause you to be dry running the pump. If this happens too long you can mess up your fittings or worse, damage your pump.

    Is this a faster/better way to clean spa, rather then vacuuming and to brush easier ?

  10. #10
    Senior Member XsAllOverIt's Avatar
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    Re: PLEASE HELP, WHICH VALVES TO TURN ON HOT TUB

    I'm one up on Richard. I set all the valves correctly for pool mode and took a picture. I set all the valves correctly for spa mode and took a picture. Labeled each appropriately and now Lana can set up pool mode or spa mode whenever she wants. You do want to turn off the drain for the spa if you want the water to spill over to the pool. The only time I use the hot tub drain is exclusively when using the hot tub in hot tub mode.
    18 x 36 Inground Gunnite, White Plaster 21K gallon
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