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Thread: Raised spa is losing water

  1. #1
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    Raised spa is losing water

    Hello everyone,

    We recently had a fairly good little cold snap here in Austin, TX with some below freezing temps - nothing that lasted more than 12 hours, but my problem coincides with this which is why I mention it.

    Note that my circulation pump and boost pump (for the Polaris) are cold protected by the automation system and kick on periodically when the temperature drops below 38F.

    I essentially have three "water levels", call them A, B and C, in decreasing height.
    A = level of water in the spa when it is full
    B = level of water in the valves at the equipment pad
    C= level of water in the pool

    I let my spa lose water until it stopped - it's a pretty slow leak - it stopped a few inches above the spa jets, which seemed like an odd place for it to stop, but it turns out that is level B.
    I have not seen any damp areas or water anywhere. I am almost certain that the water from the spa is leaking into the pool, but the volume difference is so big it's hard to tell. Do they make a dye that would help me tell for sure?

    Based on what's happening, I surmise that there is a leak in one of my Jandy valves (suction or return) that is allowing
    the spa water to drain back to the pool and it stops when the spa water reaches the level of the valves and equalizes.

    Do the experts on here think I'm on the right track? Any suggestion on which of the two valves might be the culprit?
    And if so, what should I be looking for when I disassemble and inspect the valve?

    Thank you!

    Slade
    =====================================
    17K gallon IG freeform Pebble-Tec pool w/ raised spa/waterfall, Hayward 6020 DE filter, Tristar 1 HP circulation pump, Tristar 2.5 HP spa pump, Silencer 2hp blower, Aquarite SWG, Polaris 280 w/ booster pump, Hayward Universal H-Series 400K LPG heater, Ultrapure Ozonator 25, Aqualogic PS-8

  2. #2
    Guest

    Re: Raised spa is losing water

    I doubt it is either of your Jandy valves, Slade. You have a raised spa from the description, which means you have a check valve somewhere for the spa bypass. That most likely is the culprit.

    Can you post up a pic of the EQ area? A shot from the front showing the EQ configuration from the pipes on is the best.

  3. #3
    Senior Member taekwondodo's Avatar
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    Re: Raised spa is losing water

    If your pool is plumbed like most other shared pool-spa combo's, it should have a "bypass" plumbed between the pool and the spa returns on the return side of the return 3-way valve. If this is the case, there should also be a check-valve somewhere, likely at the very end of the return-side of the spa return right before the pipe goes back to the spa.

    I've seen the check-valve leak (not keep water from back-flowing through the system when the pump is off) and cause the spa to drain backwards - especially in raised spa configurations.

    In, some "flapper" based check valves you can remove and replace the flapper - other types requires cutting-out and replacing the check valve (and if you have to do that, put a "flapper" type back in).

    - Jeff
    ~45Kg Pool with attached Spa, NSP-72 DE, Minmax 400 Heater, Tahoe Blue Pebbletech, Jandy SWG via Aqualink RS-8, The Pool Cleaner (black)
    Pumps: X3 Hybrid Pump (switches to SPA), 2HP Spa (additional, when SPA is on), and a 1HP For Waterfall
    8, 4x12 Solar Panels on the roof of the pool-house (~12' up)
    CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK: "I'M SORRY. I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF HOW AWESOME I AM" (Thanks to TFP!)

  4. #4
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    Re: Raised spa is losing water

    Here is a picture of my equipment pad.

    From left to right, the vertical pipes are:
    spa return - the line with a check valve on it
    pool return
    pool cleaner line
    spa suction
    pool main drain suction
    pool skimmer 1 suction
    pool skimmer 2 suction

    The spa jet pump can be seen partially on the right side of the picture, and there is a blower over there as well, but I don't think they play into this problem.




    For the spa water to be draining back into the pool via the spa return, that would mean I would have to have a faulty
    check valve AND a faulty Jandy 3-way. That seems unlikely.

    Could it then be the case then where the other Jandy 3-way valve (on the right that controls where suction comes from is the problem? Seems like the spa would continue to drain down if this was the problem, since it would suck some water from the spa when the circulation pump was running.

    Thank you for the responses you guys!

    Slade
    =====================================
    17K gallon IG freeform Pebble-Tec pool w/ raised spa/waterfall, Hayward 6020 DE filter, Tristar 1 HP circulation pump, Tristar 2.5 HP spa pump, Silencer 2hp blower, Aquarite SWG, Polaris 280 w/ booster pump, Hayward Universal H-Series 400K LPG heater, Ultrapure Ozonator 25, Aqualogic PS-8

  5. #5
    Guest

    Re: Raised spa is losing water

    I don't see a spa bypass, so I am assuming that you have automation turn the valve during circ mode to purge some water from the spa into the pool, correct? In other words, the auto valve on the return side switches to spa return for a period of time, creating a spillway at the spa to push the spa water into the pool and get cleaned water in the spa. As it is in the photo, you are on straight pool return now.

    I am still going to suspect the check valve. Can you let me know if there is a spa bypass somewhere that I am just not seeing in the pic?

  6. #6
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    Re: Raised spa is losing water

    You are correct on all accounts simicrintz.

    - there is no spa bypass
    - automation does turn the valves
    - there is a waterfall setting that sucks from the pool and returns to the spa; indeed that is really the only way I can sanitize my spa water
    since I only add chlorine/etc. to the main pool

    If you are right and the check valve on the spa return line is faulty, how would the water get back to the pool? Wouldn't it also have to get past the 3-way valve?
    What should I look for when I disassemble and inspect the check valve?

    Slade
    =====================================
    17K gallon IG freeform Pebble-Tec pool w/ raised spa/waterfall, Hayward 6020 DE filter, Tristar 1 HP circulation pump, Tristar 2.5 HP spa pump, Silencer 2hp blower, Aquarite SWG, Polaris 280 w/ booster pump, Hayward Universal H-Series 400K LPG heater, Ultrapure Ozonator 25, Aqualogic PS-8

  7. #7
    Guest

    Re: Raised spa is losing water

    Leaving the JVA in the position in the photo, unscrew the 8 screws on the check valve. If the JVA is bad, then you will see water coming out the check valve. The current position shows the valve shut, so it shouldn't leak water (maybe a little, but not a lot). Obviously make sure the pump is off when you do all this!

    The check valve is easy to clean or replace the flapper, if needed. I'd pull it apart and see if there is something stuck in there, and clean it good even if not. The JVA and regular Jandy valves (same body) do not fail very often, but it is possible. I'd start with the check valve and work your way back.

  8. #8
    Guest

    Re: Raised spa is losing water

    Just thought of something else. You probably will still get water coming from the check valve (from the spa side of the valve as opposed to the return side) depending on where your water elevation is at the time you check it. If you can plug the return lines in the spa (there are probably two) then you would not check back from the spa and could see if it is getting past the JVA.

  9. #9
    Member Prav's Avatar
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    Re: Raised spa is losing water

    OR.... read http://www.troublefreepool.com/spa-l...is-t28128.html. I thought it was the check valve, but it was not. Follow along and maybe you can self-diagnose it.
    14'x30' (est. 14K gal) w/spillover spa (est. 500 gal) - 1995 // Diamond Brite Blue Quartz - 2006
    Hayward SwimPure Plus T-15 - 2013 // Zodiac MX-8 - 2013
    Plain ol' Intermatic mechanical timer // Pump: 1 HP Pentair SuperFlo - 2012
    Filter: Hayward C17502(S) Cartridge Filter - 2011 // Heat Pump: Sunrunner/Aquapro 1300 (127K BTU) - 2011

  10. #10
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    Re: Raised spa is losing water

    Assuming there is no water lost when the spa drops overnight when the system is off:

    Fill the spa till it spills over. (Spa Fill mode)

    Run the spa in Spa Mode for 20 minutes.

    Did the spa level:
    A) increase and continue to spill over?
    B) drop more than a half inch?
    C) stay the same?

    If A occurred, the suction side valve has an issue.
    If B occurred, the return side valve has an issue.
    If C occurred, the spa check valve has an issue.

    Issues may typically be debris or worn gaskets on the doors/flappers.


    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.

  11. #11
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    Re: Raised spa is losing water

    Excellent guys - many thanks.

    Small update - I took the cover off of the check valve on the spa return line and water gushed out from the spa. It clearly had not drained to this level.

    I am trying out another experiment, which coincides nicely with your advice Scott.

    I suspect that the spa is only going down when the pool circulation pump is on. I filled the spa up again using the spillover, and I turned my pump off and will leave it off all night. I checked a bit ago and I don't think the spa has gone down. I'll know definitively in the morning.

    I'll also try your idea then too Scott.

    SF
    =====================================
    17K gallon IG freeform Pebble-Tec pool w/ raised spa/waterfall, Hayward 6020 DE filter, Tristar 1 HP circulation pump, Tristar 2.5 HP spa pump, Silencer 2hp blower, Aquarite SWG, Polaris 280 w/ booster pump, Hayward Universal H-Series 400K LPG heater, Ultrapure Ozonator 25, Aqualogic PS-8

  12. #12
    Guest

    Re: Raised spa is losing water

    If the spa is going down with the pump on, then your suction from the spa is slightly open. In essence, you are in "spa suction, pool return" mode. That would eliminate the check valve and have you looking towards the JVA on the suction side of your pump.

  13. #13
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    Re: Raised spa is losing water

    I checked the spa this morning and the level has not dropped at all - my circulation pump has not been running since yesterday.
    So the spa only loses water when the pool circulation pump is running.
    This combined with the fact that the spa level did not drain all the way down to the level of the check valve is a strong piece of evidence.

    My guess matches your suggestion simicrintz - the 3-way valve that controls suction (the one on the right in the picture) looks to be the faulty piece.

    Scott - do you think it is still worth running in spa mode as you suggest? Seems like we have enough evidence to point to the suction 3-way valve.

    One question though - the spa drained to a certain level and then equalized/stopped. It seems like if it was a suction valve problem that happens when the pump runs, that it would continue to drain, potentially all the way down eventually, but that did not happen. Any thoughts there?

    SF
    =====================================
    17K gallon IG freeform Pebble-Tec pool w/ raised spa/waterfall, Hayward 6020 DE filter, Tristar 1 HP circulation pump, Tristar 2.5 HP spa pump, Silencer 2hp blower, Aquarite SWG, Polaris 280 w/ booster pump, Hayward Universal H-Series 400K LPG heater, Ultrapure Ozonator 25, Aqualogic PS-8

  14. #14
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    Re: Raised spa is losing water

    Run the spa for 20 minutes and see what happens.

    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.

  15. #15
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    Re: Raised spa is losing water

    Hang in there; you'll get it!

  16. #16
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    Re: Raised spa is losing water

    Well, I won't look a gift horse in the mouth, but I fired up the circulation pump in pool mode and the spa is no longer losing water.

    I wonder if something cleared out when I took the flapper piece out of the check valve?

    Thank you so much for all of your help guys!

    SF
    =====================================
    17K gallon IG freeform Pebble-Tec pool w/ raised spa/waterfall, Hayward 6020 DE filter, Tristar 1 HP circulation pump, Tristar 2.5 HP spa pump, Silencer 2hp blower, Aquarite SWG, Polaris 280 w/ booster pump, Hayward Universal H-Series 400K LPG heater, Ultrapure Ozonator 25, Aqualogic PS-8

  17. #17
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    Re: Raised spa is losing water

    Wow, that looks just like my pad, I would say almost identical. I think that is your check valve on that left vertical pipe.
    i'VE FALLEN IN AND i DON'T WANT TO GET OUT.

  18. #18
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    Re: Raised spa is losing water

    If the spa level is dropping when the pump is on then the automated valve probably needs to be calibrated. It might be the case of the valve not lining up perfectly when it is in pool suction mode. This happens all the time and is an easy fix. Look on line to show you how to calibrate the valve. There should be 4 tiny screws that hold the top case down and underneath that is where you can fix the problem. Try that.

  19. #19
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    Re: Raised spa is losing water

    That is what I had to do, I had to adjust the limits on the valves.
    i'VE FALLEN IN AND i DON'T WANT TO GET OUT.

  20. #20
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    Re: Raised spa is losing water

    I have a similar problem -- raised spa looses water when pump is off. The configuration looks very similar to the picture shown above. I checked the check valve/flapper -- that looks great. Do I need to change the position of the JVA valves? They are controlled by the automatic system -- I tried to change them manually, but they are very hard, just didn't want to break the JVA.

    Will really appreciate your kind advise.
    NUbee!
    Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
    Gallons? Unknown. Medium sized pool.
    Filter? I think cartidge. Big beer can looking device with pressure valve on top running around 30 PSI
    Inground plaster pool.
    Spa above spills into pool. Waterslide above Spa spills into pool.
    Heater: Purex Triton MiniMax
    Vacuum: Hayward Navigator
    Pool guy does regular water maintenance.

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