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Thread: Spa Air Problem.....

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    Spa Air Problem.....

    New pool and spa. Intelliflo 3HP pump.

    When in spa mode and intelliflo on highest RPM, the 8 jets in the spa are not very strong. The heater has a bypass built into it, so I don't think that is the obstruction. Also, in a pool we previously owned, we always had air coming from the spa jets, even without the blower on. We liked it that way a lot and hardly ever used the blower. On this pool, there is no air unless we turn the blower on and then instead of a stream of little air bubbles coming out of the jets, we get big splashy bubbles that seem to overpower the water stream coming out. It ends up being undesirable.

    Any thoughts on how to get this spa to act like our previous one?
    13,800 gallon in-ground, gunite pool and spa with pebble-sheen surface and infinity edge.
    Intelli-flo variable speed pump for pool and spa, whisper-flo 2hp for infinity edge. Booster pump for cleaner.
    Easy- Touch 8 controller with salt water generator. DE filter.
    Spa is elevated 24" above pool eleavation.
    Equipment is at spa elevation.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    South Central NJ
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    Re: Spa Air Problem.....

    Every pool is different.

    There are many factors that may be affecting the behavior you are seeing. The plumbing size and length or the runs, the jets used, the type of check valve used and the size of the blower all have a significant impact.

    Since we have next to no information about your pool, at this point, we can't say definitively. Have you spoken to the PB about these issues?

    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
    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Spa Air Problem.....

    Have you tried to remove the blower from the air line?
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Spa Air Problem.....

    I apologize for not including enough information....

    The pump is an intelliflo 3HP
    Control is an easytouch 8
    Heater is Sta-Rite max-E therm 400K
    DE-filter.

    Plumbing is all 2 inch, send and return.
    Air line is 2 inch.

    Equipment is about 14feet from the spa.

    I just tried removing the blower from the PVC line and manually pushing open the check valve to see if air would draw through and come out the jets a little, No Luck.

    Pool builder suggested a bypass at the heater to help with the pressure problem but had no solution yet for the air.
    I know that the plumbing plays an important role in flow, but here is what I could dig up for the equipment.
    Intelliflow is rated at 160GPM at max speed
    Heater w/internal bypass is rated at 140 GPM
    Filter Manifold is Rated at 125 GPM
    Am I correct in thinking that any speed that goes beyond 125 GPM is just a waste of energy due to the other equipment in line???

    Thank you for your patience.
    [attachment=0:tz6xw1w6]Equipment plumbing.jpg[/attachment:tz6xw1w6]
    [attachment=1:tz6xw1w6]Spa Plumbing.jpg[/attachment:tz6xw1w6]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    13,800 gallon in-ground, gunite pool and spa with pebble-sheen surface and infinity edge.
    Intelli-flo variable speed pump for pool and spa, whisper-flo 2hp for infinity edge. Booster pump for cleaner.
    Easy- Touch 8 controller with salt water generator. DE filter.
    Spa is elevated 24" above pool eleavation.
    Equipment is at spa elevation.

  5. Back To Top    #5
    mas985's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pleasanton, CA
    Posts
    11,482

    Re: Spa Air Problem.....

    Equipment ratings aren't really relvent as to how the system is acutally performing. I suspect the problem is that the PB used only 2" line for the spa which has quite a bit of head loss at high flow rates. Both a filter and heater bypass may help some but you will still have the 2" lines to deal with. What is the filter pressure when running the spa? Also, do you know the orifice size of the jet nozzles (interior part)?
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Spa Air Problem.....

    That's a LOT of equipment for your small spa/pool. I see you have a cleaner pump - what kind of cleaner is installed? It's hard to tell for sure as the picture of the pool doesn't show much detail, but you're probably stuck with the results you currently have. I see two pumps, but can't tell what they supply. It appears it's all 2" plumbing... Do you have a water feature of some kind, or is the 2nd pump running some of the jets? Each spa jet requires 15-20gpm minimum to create the venturi which draws in the air, without the blower. I doubt that you'll be able to get and different results with the plumbing you have.
    APSP CST Certified
    17k inground concrete; 1.5hp 2 speed Tristar pump, 300sq.ft. Cartridge filter, AquaLogic PS-4 w/ Tcell-15, Navigator suction cleaner.

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Spa Air Problem.....

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    Equipment ratings aren't really relvent as to how the system is acutally performing. I suspect the problem is that the PB used only 2" line for the spa which has quite a bit of head loss at high flow rates. Both a filter and heater bypass may help some but you will still have the 2" lines to deal with. What is the filter pressure when running the spa? Also, do you know the orifice size of the jet nozzles (interior part)?

    The pressure is about 28psi with motor at full speed in spa mode.
    Should i be able to see or touch the internal part of the spa jet? I took the eyeball fitting off of one of them and stuck my finger as far in as I could and there is nothing in there???

    I know that it is not a direct comparison, but in our last pool we had a 2HP motor, 2" plumbing, and 6 jets. The plumbing run was about 60 feet (3x our current setup) and we never had a pressure or air problem.
    13,800 gallon in-ground, gunite pool and spa with pebble-sheen surface and infinity edge.
    Intelli-flo variable speed pump for pool and spa, whisper-flo 2hp for infinity edge. Booster pump for cleaner.
    Easy- Touch 8 controller with salt water generator. DE filter.
    Spa is elevated 24" above pool eleavation.
    Equipment is at spa elevation.

  8. Back To Top    #8
    mas985's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
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    Re: Spa Air Problem.....

    8 jets will require about 1/3 more flow rate than 6 jets plus if the PB had used mutliple 2" lines on you old spa, that would of helped as well. Another possibility is that your old spa used smaller orifice jets which require less flow rate to feel strong.

    Spa jets can require from 10 GPM all the way up to 25 GPM per jet so you might just ask the PB what type of jets he used and how much flow rate per jet is required. Most jets used these days have a 7/16" orifice and assuming yours do too, then you would need about 19 GPM per jet in order for them to feel fairly strong. That is a total of 152 GPM! With the pressure you are seeing and the information on your setup, I estimate that the total flow rate of the Intelliflo at full speed would only be about 97 GPM or 12 GPM per jet with an exit pressure of 4.5 PSI which are fairly weak jets. According to Waterway, 10 PSI are weak jets, 15 PSI are moderate jets and 20 PSI are strong jets so you have about 1/2 the pressure of weak jets.

    Bypassing the filter and heater would get you up to about 15 GPM per jet but the pressure would still be fairly weak at 7 PSI. Additionally, if your jets support it, you could use nozzle inserts to reduce the orifice size. This reduces the amount of flow rate required to run the jet but it also increases the exit presssure of the jet. Reducing the orifice down to 3/8" would reduce the flow rate down to 13 GPM per jet but would increase the exit pressure from 4.5 PSI as it is now up to 10 PSI which is twice as strong but for a spa jet, but still on the weak end. A 1/4" insert would increase the pressure to 16 PSI and allow you to back off the pump some if necessary but the total head loss in that case would be quite high and could be hard on the pump bearings.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Spa Air Problem.....

    I have asked my builder what type of jets they are. Hopefully I will have more info soon.
    Is it possible that he didn't put "jets" in at all. When we turn the blower on, we just get giant blobs of air coming out. There is no "stream" of aerated water like you would expect...
    13,800 gallon in-ground, gunite pool and spa with pebble-sheen surface and infinity edge.
    Intelli-flo variable speed pump for pool and spa, whisper-flo 2hp for infinity edge. Booster pump for cleaner.
    Easy- Touch 8 controller with salt water generator. DE filter.
    Spa is elevated 24" above pool eleavation.
    Equipment is at spa elevation.

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Guest

    Re: Spa Air Problem.....

    OK, this may sound stupid, but I don't see a blower! Additionally, I just see 2" lines coming back to the spa.

    Jets (all the ones I have ever seen anyway) have a water supply and an air supply (just got a creepy song stuck in my head when I said Air Supply). Jets work off of a venturi, whereby they draw air from an air line, or could be pushed by a blower.

    I don't see any air line in the pictures, so my guess is the builder put in straight plumbing lines, fitted the ends with eyeball fittings and hooked the blower to this configuration. That would explain the large "gobs" of air also.

    From what I see, you have a whole lot of return lines, and no jets

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Spa Air Problem.....

    I think the fact that having only the spa in the picture has confused things....
    Here is a picture of the whole thing.
    [attachment=0:2teow6yg]1.jpg[/attachment:2teow6yg]

    I dont have a clear enough picture, but there is (1) 2" line from blower to spa. (1) 2" line from output of intelliflo/filter/heater to spa, and (1) 2" line from spa floor drains to the input of the intelliflo.

    All other plumbing pictured pertains to the main pool, infinity edge, and catch basin.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    • File Type: jpg 1.jpg (71.0 KB, 141 views)
    13,800 gallon in-ground, gunite pool and spa with pebble-sheen surface and infinity edge.
    Intelli-flo variable speed pump for pool and spa, whisper-flo 2hp for infinity edge. Booster pump for cleaner.
    Easy- Touch 8 controller with salt water generator. DE filter.
    Spa is elevated 24" above pool eleavation.
    Equipment is at spa elevation.

  12. Back To Top    #12
    Guest

    Re: Spa Air Problem.....

    The picture helps, but I still don't see what I should be seeing. It appears that you have 8 "jets" and 2 overflow lines that go back to the pool. I still do not see an air loop.

    I am going to assume that your equipment is at the spa elevation (it looks like the spa is about +24"-30" above the pool, from the drawing), since I don't see any check valves (do you have a v-edge pump somewhere to?). I'll also assume that pipe standing up "open" by the heater is where the blower is mounted?

    Just trying to get a grasp of what you have (and don't have!). I still don't understand how jets could work without an air line of some sort, and I do not see one in your pics.

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Join Date
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    Location
    South Central NJ
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    3,192

    Re: Spa Air Problem.....

    Mixman, the spa has two loops connecting each jet body in the spa. The upper loop is typically the air loop and the lower one is the water loop.

    The air loop should have a "T" between two jets and a connection to blower line at the equipment pad. This is what simcrintz doesn't see. I don't see it either.

    The lower water loop should be similar but connected to line on the return valve.

    It's possible the lines got mixed up.

    To test, drain the spa, remove a jet eyeball and it's socket. Look inside. You should see a tube with a hex-nut shaped end. Using a fireplace lighter, the long nosed style., light it just a bit deeper and turn on the blower. If it doesn't blow out, move the flame just in front of the hex nozzle. If that blows it out, it's likely plumbed backwards.

    Be careful not to melt anything.

    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.

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Spa Air Problem.....

    In the picture i posted previously, if you look closely, the main drain, and the water return to jets are both at the rear of the spa. It is hard to see that there are 2 lines there, but they are right on top of each other. Off to the side of the spa is the air line. By pieving together many different photos that I have, I can tell that they are indeed plumbed properly......air line from blower to top loop of spa. Water line to bottom loop of spa. Builder told me today that they are waterway polyjet internals. He is going to come investigate next week (i hope)
    I am trying to educate myself as much as possible for my own benefit and his.
    Are there any adjustments on the jet internals? Or are they plug and play?
    13,800 gallon in-ground, gunite pool and spa with pebble-sheen surface and infinity edge.
    Intelli-flo variable speed pump for pool and spa, whisper-flo 2hp for infinity edge. Booster pump for cleaner.
    Easy- Touch 8 controller with salt water generator. DE filter.
    Spa is elevated 24" above pool eleavation.
    Equipment is at spa elevation.

  15. Back To Top    #15
    Guest

    Re: Spa Air Problem.....

    Sometimes you can get different sized orifices that will adjust flow, but I am not sure on these. Usually jets are plug and play, as you say.

    Here's a .pdf on the jets, which also shows the air line info: http://www.waterwayplastics.com/manuals ... 8.0109.pdf

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Join Date
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    Re: Spa Air Problem.....

    Depending on the inserts, they will use between 8 and 25 GPM each.

    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.

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Spa Air Problem.....

    Thank you for all of the info. I will post back when I find a solution.....
    13,800 gallon in-ground, gunite pool and spa with pebble-sheen surface and infinity edge.
    Intelli-flo variable speed pump for pool and spa, whisper-flo 2hp for infinity edge. Booster pump for cleaner.
    Easy- Touch 8 controller with salt water generator. DE filter.
    Spa is elevated 24" above pool eleavation.
    Equipment is at spa elevation.

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