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Thread: Plumbing leak?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Dallas, Tx
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    Plumbing leak?

    I have a leak in my fiberglass spa. The spa is separate from the pool, but shares the same equipment- pool does not appear to be leaking.

    I suspect a pressure side leak due to greater loss when the pump is running. All plumbing lines not under concrete decking have been dug up- no leaks.

    When I drained the spa I found one of the jet’s plastic gasket askew, see pic. Can I remove the jet ‘covers’ some how- the part the arrow is pointing to? On the other side the jets are set back further and on the grey ‘ring’ I can see threads, so I’m thinking these may unscrew. They are not moving easily though, and are 24 yrs old so I have been hesitant to force the issue not knowing how they might have been put together originally. There is a gasket of some type between the spa shell and the white outer ring/covering.

    I would like to
    1) obviously fix the gasket (how wonderful if that fixed my leak!) and
    2) if I can get to threaded plumbing I could seal off the spa and confirm the leak is in the filter plumbing because
    3) there are lots of little holes on the floor and seat that air comes out of- I suppose it’s possible I’m loosing water through these.

    Thanks in advance!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    20k white plaster with blue quartz, IntelliFlo VS, Quad DE 100
    1000 gal spa with natural stone waterfall
    Beach entry with 2 bubblers. Pool built Spring 2013

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    May 2007
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    South Central NJ
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    Re: Plumbing leak?

    A needle nosed pliers into the slots and twist counter clockwise will loosen the ring holding the jet. That white thing is a spacer that should be seated behind the ball end of the jet in the socket. There should be one in the ring too. They are made of Teflon and allow the ball to be held but still move and in the position needed so it can aspirate (let air bubbles in when running. It is not likely to fix the the leak, if it is an actual water loss leak and not just a leaky valve at the equipment pad.

    Put a piece of duct tape at the water line of the pool. Run the spa (no heat) for an hour or two. You may need to put a plug in the skimmer of the spa. Did the pool level go up when the spa went down? If so, the return side valve is leaking. This will send the lost water to the pool but the suction side will function normally.

    You didn't mention anything about air in the pump.

    I hope you don't have water under the spa.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Plumbing leak?

    Thanks, Scott. I’ll do as you suggest, checking to see if the spa is losing water to the pool, but I’m pretty sure it’s a leak- I’m loosing water even when the equipment is set to pool only, could a leaky valve cause this? Would be really cool if it was the valve, though! (and the return valve is an original (grey) Jandy valve- but I'd happily replace any of them. )

    There is air in the pump basket when running the spa. I realize this could be a suction side leak.

    When shutting off the equipment I get a few air bubbles out the 2 jets closest to the equipment. One of these jets is the one with the displaced spacer.

    The spa is equipped with a Polaris Blower and a 4 way air switch. There is also a set of pipes with a Jandy valve that toggles between air out the bottom of the spa, air out the jets, and both. If seeing the equipment/ plumbing/ spa/ etc would help I'll post a picture.

    I would like to plug all the lines with pvc plugs and see if I can get the spa to hold water. Got plugs for the intake lines, is there a way to do that with the jets?

    Ok, I'll bite, what happens when water gets under the spa?
    20k white plaster with blue quartz, IntelliFlo VS, Quad DE 100
    1000 gal spa with natural stone waterfall
    Beach entry with 2 bubblers. Pool built Spring 2013

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
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    Dallas, Tx
    Posts
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    Re: Plumbing leak?

    You may need to put a plug in the skimmer of the spa.
    Why would I do this? How would I know if I needed to do this?
    20k white plaster with blue quartz, IntelliFlo VS, Quad DE 100
    1000 gal spa with natural stone waterfall
    Beach entry with 2 bubblers. Pool built Spring 2013

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: Plumbing leak?

    Water under the tub and low water in the tub equals pop-up.

    Plugging the skimmer, if the spa is sending some water to the pool will prevent air entering if the water level dropped below the skimmer.

    Small suction side leaks normally lose water when the system is off, not when running.

    Gray Jandy valves have replaceable parts, i.e. the diverter assembly (held by the screws on top) and the grease fitting. No plumbing change required.

    Air in the returns is expected when you have a blower. The jets suck air from the blower line.

    Removing the rings as mentioned in my earlier post and plugging with #11 winter plugs will plug the returns. THe skimmer can be plugged but it is unlikely the drain can be plugged.

    It is because of this, when I winterize these tubs, I use a vinyl liner after emptying the tub and blowing out the lines. Then I refill it to prevent pop-ups. The liner keeps the water out of the drain.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Plumbing leak?

    Thanks again, all very helpful advice.

    Air in the returns is expected when you have a blower. The jets suck air from the blower line
    Even when the blower is off? Does any of this air end up in the suction line/ explain the air in the pump basket?


    Ok, the jet is finally off, it appears they siliconed it in. You can see that the black washer is pretty chewed up, I’ll need to replace it, and the gasket that was between the outer ring and pool was rotten and fell apart when the ring came off. Are these standard parts that are still used? Is there a name brand/ part name I should ask for?

    I don’t see anything inside that looks like it is leaking. Everything lines up well, I don’t see any gaps, etc.

    The red arrow is pointing to the joint between the spa shell and the fitting, there was silicone in this area and it appears the pressure created by the outer ring screwing in is what seals this area. Correct? I see opportunity for a leak here, don't necessarily think this one was leaking, but opportunity.

    The blue arrow is pointing to a hole in the bottom of the fitting, about ½” or so in size. I assume this is where the water comes in? This hole is behind the white in the pic.

    In front of the white (can’t tell if these are different fittings) is a hole in the top, approx ¼” in size. I think this is where the air enters?

    I’d like to understand a little better how this is all plumbed. Is there a pipe under the jets that shoots water up into the ‘blue arrow hole’? Is this a continuous pipe that runs under all the jets? There are 5 jets all in a row around the octagon shaped tub. There is only one line leaving the equipment pad to the spa.

    There is water sitting in the bottom of the jet hole, the tip of the blue arrow is just touching it. If I am right in how it's plumbed wouldn't this mean the return line is intact?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    20k white plaster with blue quartz, IntelliFlo VS, Quad DE 100
    1000 gal spa with natural stone waterfall
    Beach entry with 2 bubblers. Pool built Spring 2013

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Plumbing leak?

    The left most item needs to go back. Empty the spa, use some GE clear silicone(kitchen and bath) around the facia and let it dry for 3 hours before refilling the tub. It holds the back of the jet body tight to the shell. I hope the back section doesn't break free.

    The arrow pointed up is where the air comes in.

    Once the spa jets start, a venturi is formed. Air is drawn in at the blower, even when it's off. This sucks any water out and eventually, air will enter. The blower obviously speeds this process. If you turned off the blower but not the jets, air will continue to be drawn in, though without the blower, it will be substantially less.

    The jet is a Hayward SP1434. You want the white Teflon rings and the proper retainer ring. The retainer ring may be hard to find. I usually have to use the rebuild kit to get them.

    You spa has 3 lines from the pad, Suction, Return and Air. The Suction is tied to the skimmer and drain(s). The Return and Air lines are connected to two loops that go from jet to jet. One loop is the Air and the other is the Return. There is, or should be, service slack in the lines from the pad made of flex pipe so the shell can be lifted onto the deck. This isn't always easy as the the deck is usually poured and some concrete gets on the inside and locks the shell in place and requires a grinder with a diamond wheel to free it, which can create difficulties when resetting in it's hole unless a tunnel is dug to get under the shell.

    Water under the shell here is so much fun. If it isn't the water table, it's the leak. There isn't a lot of room to maneuver either.

    I hate these things. Most liner pool installers won't do them because of the headaches they create. I have removed several and replaced a few. I told the homeowners if the really wanted the new one, they had to raise it so the bottom is at the deck's level, not sunken in.

    Air in the pump basket is either a suction side air leak or boiling due to a vacuum, aka cavitation. The latter is often the result, in this application, the result of a collapsed/kinked line if it isn't an air leak.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Re: Plumbing leak?

    I found the Hayward parts, and seeing how the whole thing goes together helps a lot. I did put the outer ring back on, temporarily (without silicone and gaskets), to hold it all together.

    Is part number 11 (spx1434j) what you are referring to as the retainer ring?
    http://www.allpartspoolandspa.com/store ... 4-150-W001 Is the retainer ring the black ring in my picture?

    Looking at these parts, it looks like the ‘jet body assembly’ is all one piece- so no opportunity for leaks in it (unless it broke). I have 5 of these jet body assemblies around my spa, with piping connecting them- so any of these joints could be a source of a leak. BUT, if I can see water sitting in the bottom of the jet body assembly then the return line should be intact- though there could be a break at a higher point in the line on its way back to the pad. In addition, if I’m understanding you right, water will also fill the air lines when the equipment is off, so if the air line was broke I could leak there? Please correct me if I’m wrong on any of this.

    I added some additional water to the spa about 8 this evening- just below the bottom of the jets. I marked the level and haven’t lost any water yet. This should test the drain (which is on the side wall at the bottom) and all the little holes in the floor and seats. Hopefully, I can rule out a leak in these areas in the morning.

    Assuming no leak in the lower part, once I get the replacement parts for the jet I will plug the jets and raise the water to just above the jet level. Holding water here tells me that I am not leaking around the jets where they penetrate the shell.

    Passing that test, I will remove the plugs and see if the return lines hold water. Wild card here is that if the return line travels higher than the water level (on its way to the pad) I could have a break and appear to pass my test. Although, if I were to plug the skimmer and raise the water level to the top of the spa that should force water though the entire return line, right?

    Then, if I’m lucky enough to get that far I would finally complete the test by removing the skimmer plug.

    Please let me know if any of this is incorrect.
    20k white plaster with blue quartz, IntelliFlo VS, Quad DE 100
    1000 gal spa with natural stone waterfall
    Beach entry with 2 bubblers. Pool built Spring 2013

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: Plumbing leak?

    The Hayward part number is SPX1434J. I believe All Parts calls it 55-150-1235.

    There are 2 per jet. On fits in the body, one in the retainer ring. Your retainer ring is not the Hayward ring. The Hayward has the four tines for the tool to press against when threading it on or off.

    Get the silicone on the bulk head fitting ASAP, even if you have the gasket. With the gasket, use a little less silicone. Don't get it in the threads. That can cause the jet body to come loose in back.

    The skimmer and drain are tied together.

    The air line and the return line are tied in the return jet bodies.

    A static test, that is to say, one where the valves at the pad are open to the spa but the pump is off, will test the integrity of the shell and items attached to it.

    You cannot narrow the leak easily if it's on the returns since they are are tied to each other at both the air and water loops. Keep that in mind.

    Check the valves at the pad. A worn gasket on the return valve's diverter can let water meant to go to the spa go to the pool when the pump is on. On the suction side, it can suck spa water when set to get water from the pool.

    The grease fitting on these valves, when empty, can leak air. Replace as needed.

    I think you have a better understanding now.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Dallas, Tx
    Posts
    128

    Re: Plumbing leak?

    Turns out winterizing plugs aren’t so common about these parts. Turns out the 2” test plug from the plumbing aisle is too small… and 3” is too large. Turns out plumbing stores don’t carry the rubber winterizing plugs. Turns out things aren’t working so good for me.

    I did manage to scrounge up a couple size 10s- definitely too small. I also found 3 size 11s- these are marginally small, I really had to shove them back in there and not sure how well they sealed. I need a size 12, I think. More accurately, I need 5 size 12s. I haven’t been able to find anyone willing to admit to having any 12s so I thought I’d see if anyone here has a contact in the Dallas area that might be able to hook me up with a supply house- or resell me some- or rent me some- or something.

    On another note, turns out I actually have HydroAir AF Mark II jets. Good news: they are cheaper. Bad news: they are discontinued. Seeing a pattern? They do have a replacement line, which requires changing out the wall fitting, which I don’t mind as my current wall fittings have definitely seen better days, but I’m a little nervous about it given Scott’s anxiety over the one I did remove. One step at a time though, need to solve the leak puzzle first.
    20k white plaster with blue quartz, IntelliFlo VS, Quad DE 100
    1000 gal spa with natural stone waterfall
    Beach entry with 2 bubblers. Pool built Spring 2013

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