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Thread: Searching for suction side leak in spa, need help -- SOLVED

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    Searching for suction side leak in spa, need help -- SOLVED

    We have coated all suspect areas of the suction side of the pump with shaving cream, since running water over those areas did no good a few months ago. When we coated the Jandy Valve Actuator seal the bubbles in the pump basket stopped. I assume there is a gasket in there that can be ordered for replacement. Now in the process of slowly rinsing off each area in turn to confirm when bubbles reappear.

    HOWEVER, the bubbles in the spa continue. No air in the filter when we opened the bleed off valve, but maybe air is trapped in the lines and still running to the spa.

    Meanwhile, we are looking at the blower and wondering how it works, where does it put air into the system, is there any way that could be part of the problem now. It seems that this blower would be a pressure side thing adding air after the heater, so no air ought to come from there, ought to leak water if anything, but I don't have any idea.

    Or maybe air now is not an issue. We had been unable to get the heater to come on in order to use the spa this winter. Read that the air visible in the pump basket affects the controls of the heater, not sure if pressure or flow sensors or exactly what. Maybe with the air in the pump gone, I don't care about air in the spa when the blower is turned off?
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Searching for suction side leak in spa, need help

    Hey

    The leak on the Jandy valve is probably the 'housing' or top o-ring, though it could be the shaft o- ring. Does shaving cream around the edge seal it or only when applied to where the shaft comes through?

    I'm wondering if you might have a venturi air inlet on one of the lines not fed by the blower (it's a strange combination but, I've seen it - though only on spas that have a booster pump, the booster pump feeds the hydrotherapy jets and has the blower attached, for more airation, and the regular returns have a venturi to make bubbles while the blower is off.

    The other option is that you are creating the venturi effect by running a lot of water into the spa (to test for this, put a plastic bag over the blower and securely tape the bag to the pipe it feeds) [DO NOT turn on the blower with the bag in place! ]

    I hope I've given you a couple ideas, try them out and let me know if you need anything more from me
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Re: Searching for suction side leak in spa, need help

    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    Hey

    The leak on the Jandy valve is probably the 'housing' or top o-ring, though it could be the shaft o- ring. Does shaving cream around the edge seal it or only when applied to where the shaft comes through? Put shaving cream on the housing and the shaft at the same time, so not sure. Never saw any place where shaving cream was obviously sucked in. When we washed the shaving cream away, there was no air in the pump basket afterward. Figured it would return when we carefully cleaned each spot -- nope.

    I'm wondering if you might have a venturi air inlet on one of the lines not fed by the blower (it's a strange combination but, I've seen it - though only on spas that have a booster pump, the booster pump feeds the hydrotherapy jets and has the blower attached, for more airation, and the regular returns have a venturi to make bubbles while the blower is off. [color=#BF0040]No booster pump for the spa but the blower is very large and has power. No evidence of venturi air inlet. There have been times that the spa ran without this extra bubbles. Only been here 3 years and spa has been an issue 2 winters out of 3. First year thermostat probe or something broke, second was fine, third was unable to start heater apparently due to bubbles in line.

    The other option is that you are creating the venturi effect by running a lot of water into the spa (to test for this, put a plastic bag over the blower and securely tape the bag to the pipe it feeds) [DO NOT turn on the blower with the bag in place! ] Off to cover the blower with a bag. The blower does gurgle right as the spa is turned off.

    I hope I've given you a couple ideas, try them out and let me know if you need anything more from me
    Oh yes, thanks so much. Will report back with any results.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Searching for suction side leak in spa, need help

    OK, blower does suck air. The bag was all sucked in and the air bubbles in the spa were much reduced when the bag was over it. Not gone, but much reduced, hard to be certain since we ran out of shaving cream to seal the Jandy valve housing. But, I think the two of them together probably explain the entire issue.

    We will investigate where to find O-rings for the Jandy valve and shaft (will replace both while it is opened). Ah ha, one is supposed to lube that Jandy valve annually. No record of prior owner ever doing that, nor have we in 3 years. So, will replace them and add that to the maintenance task list. wonder if we ought to open the rest of them and do the O-rings in them also, all are 9 1/2 years old with no lubrication that I can find evidence of.

    What can we do about the blower issue? Ignore it? If it is not hurting the pump or the heater I am fine with that. Dear hubby is intent on finding what sort of seal it is that has failed. Looking online for data on the blower to see parts list and diagram, maybe a check valve. Your advice?

    Oh, BTW, have I told you lately how very much I appreciate your help in this? I really do. Thanks.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Searching for suction side leak in spa, need help

    One thing in the paperwork, it says that the blower needs to be 2' above other stuff. The cart filter is very tall, maybe 5' at the top, and the blower is about 4' tall. So maybe the hydraulics are wrong? Or just a check valve?
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Searching for suction side leak in spa, need help -- SOL

    Ok, just a follow up for any one who has searched on "suction leak in spa" or something like that.

    We opened the Jandy valve actuator and it appeared to be OK but we washed in dish detergent and then lubed the o-rings at the top and bottom of the shaft anyway. Then we opened the valve body itself and removed the two small o-rings on the shaft, very gritty) and the big o-ring and washed and lubed them. The larger o-ring felt a bit cracked (will replace soon). On test there were still some bubbles in the view glass of the filter housing and a lot of bubbles in the spa returns. We had bled air off the filter so that was not the source. Then we removed the drain plugs on the filter pump housing and washed and lubed their ribber washers, and the o-ring on the Rainbow chlorinator.

    When reassembled, there were still bubbles in the spa but we resolved that whether it was normal or not it was not going to affect the heater. Then we tested the heater, since that was the actual problem we were trying to solve, since it would not stay on when there was air in the system. It came on and clicked off a few times, then ran correctly and the spa got to its setting pretty fast. And the bubbles in the spa stopped. Don't really know why, maybe there was a collection of them somewhere in the system.

    Anyhow, problem solved. The paperwork on the Jandy Neverlube valve said to skip the part about grease if you have the Neverlube valve, but the part about the o-rings was below that section. Sort of hard to follow but I'm pretty sure that the problem was that large o-ring, and/or the filter housing plug washers.

    Waste, thanks for the help. Now it does not seem so mysterious. I will be ordering the needed o-rings and washers and next time we are working on the equipment we can change out the o-rings all around. I'd like to have a "new on date" in the files.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Searching for suction side leak in spa, need help -- SOL

    One more thing, Warehouse Pool Supply had every o-ring I needed, in stock, at massive savings over online sources.

    $1.59 instead of $9.40 Jandy valve cover o-ring
    $0.69 instead of $2.40 Jandy valve shaft o-ring
    $7.99 instead of $9.40 Whisperflow pump cover o-ring
    $3.29 instead of $5.70 Rainbow 320 lid o-ring
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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