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Thread: No more bubbles out of the spa jets

  1. #1
    Junior Member wetwilly's Avatar
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    No more bubbles out of the spa jets

    So I have an in ground pool and spa with an overflow waterfall. When running the spa, I no longer consistently get bubbles out of the jets. I do not have a blower, just an air pipe. I recall there used to be some suction at the opening of the air pipe, but it is almost undetectable now. Intermittently, I do get some bubbles out of 2 of the jets.

    So far, I've tried:

    - Checking the air pipe for obstructions, but I have not tried snaking it out. The air pipe opening faces down, so other than maybe spiders, I doubt there's much in the pipe.
    - Draining the spa below the level of the jets and filling again. When I do this there are bubbles for a while, but when the water gets high enough, they stop.
    - Attaching the output of a wet/dry vacuum to the air pipe. That didn't help although last time I had this problem about a year ago, it did seem to resolve it.

    Our spa does not get much use. This is probably the first time I've tried to use it this year. Perhaps lack of use contributes to the problem.

    I have no idea what is going wrong or how the air pipe connects to the jets.

    Any ideas how to fix this?

    If I bought a blower would that fix the problem?

    Thanks

    - Bill
    24,000gal IG gunnite pool+spillover spa, DE filter, IntelliFlo VS 3050
    EasyTouch 4 + IC40 SWCG, TF-100

  2. #2
    Administrator JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: No more bubbles out of the spa jets

    Usually this problem is caused by either water or debris getting into the air pipe. If it is water in the pipe, then blowing into the pipe with a vacuum while the jets are running should clear it. But if debris has gotten into the pipe it can be tricky to clear. Sometimes you can clear it by removing the jets and then blowing with the vac.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  3. #3
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    Re: No more bubbles out of the spa jets

    1) Drain the spa. This keeps you from getting wet.
    2) Close the valve that sends pool water to the spa. If the spa jets are on a separate pump, block it's exhaust flow to the spa.
    3) Plug all but 1 spa jet.
    4) Blow air in from the blower side of a shop vac.
    5) Repeat for the other jets, i.e. unplug one jet and use that plug to seal the one you just blew.

    That should clear any obstructions in the jet bodies' air channel.

    Sometimes the foreign obstruction is too heavy for the air flow to move. Repeat the above except fill the spa to just above the jet ports. The added water may provide an added bit of umph. The water will bubble and splash some, but not as much as if it were a full tub.

    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.

  4. #4
    Senior Member mas985's Avatar
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    Re: No more bubbles out of the spa jets

    Does the end of the air pipe have a grate to prevent small animals from crawling into it?
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study
    18'x36' 20k gallon plaster/gunite pool, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge Filter, 450 sq-ft EPDM Solar Panel, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater, ThePoolCleaner, DIY Acid Dosing

  5. #5
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    Re: No more bubbles out of the spa jets

    Quote Originally Posted by wetwilly
    So I have an in ground pool and spa with an overflow waterfall. When running the spa, I no longer consistently get bubbles out of the jets. I do not have a blower, just an air pipe. I recall there used to be some suction at the opening of the air pipe, but it is almost undetectable now. Intermittently, I do get some bubbles out of 2 of the jets.

    So far, I've tried:

    - Checking the air pipe for obstructions, but I have not tried snaking it out. The air pipe opening faces down, so other than maybe spiders, I doubt there's much in the pipe.
    - Draining the spa below the level of the jets and filling again. When I do this there are bubbles for a while, but when the water gets high enough, they stop.
    - Attaching the output of a wet/dry vacuum to the air pipe. That didn't help although last time I had this problem about a year ago, it did seem to resolve it.

    Our spa does not get much use. This is probably the first time I've tried to use it this year. Perhaps lack of use contributes to the problem.

    I have no idea what is going wrong or how the air pipe connects to the jets.

    Any ideas how to fix this?

    If I bought a blower would that fix the problem?

    Thanks

    - Bill
    Hi mate, did you get this sorted? My mate had the same problem, ended just being debris.
    30K plaster pool, 1HP whisperflow pump, cartridge filter, compupool CPSC48 SWG

  6. #6
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    Re: No more bubbles out of the spa jets

    I had this same problem last year and found my problem to be debris as well. It seems very odd that when you drained the water to a lower level the jets would blow but when the water level was raised back up it would stop blowing. I would think that if there was water in the piper it would have blown out when you lowered the water levels. Let us know if you have figured this out.
    JJ

  7. #7
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    Re: No more bubbles out of the spa jets

    Gah. Same problem here...still haven't figured it out. I've tried cleaning the filters, replacing check valves, checking JVAs, etc. I'm stumped. I'm going to try blowing out the lines next. I'm also wondering if the gas heater manifold is clogged, or the flow valve (Pentair MiniMax 400) isn't working right...any ideas greatly appreciated...

  8. #8
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    Re: No more bubbles out of the spa jets

    I know this is an old post but I am having the same problem now. I had a two pump system before. 1 pump for the pool and 1 pump for the spa. I had a pool heater installed and when replumbing they went to a 1 pump system. The heater works great and I'm happy with it but I the amount of pressure and bubbles that come out of my spa seems to be significantly reduced.

    I have placed my shop vac out put onto the air intakes to the spa and pretty much blown them out. It works find for a little while but next time its turned on there are fewer bubbles.

    I'm think the lack of bubbles and pressure is due to going down to one pump. It;s a 3/4 horsepower pump. Perhaps I need to switch to a 1.5 hp pump? Or did the pool company plumb this wrong? Not sure what to do next to get the pressure back.
    pool products ~ swimming pool pumps

    "Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  9. #9
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    Re: No more bubbles out of the spa jets

    How big was the original spa pump?

    How many jets are in 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.

  10. #10
    Senior Member mas985's Avatar
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    Re: No more bubbles out of the spa jets

    3/4 HP pump is probably undersized for your spa. Not only that but going through the filter for the jets reduces the flow rate significantly. If possible, a two pump solution will result in much stronger jets.

    What was the original size of the pump, how many jets do you have and what size pipe goes to and from the spa and do you happen to know the orifice size of the jets?
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study
    18'x36' 20k gallon plaster/gunite pool, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge Filter, 450 sq-ft EPDM Solar Panel, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater, ThePoolCleaner, DIY Acid Dosing

  11. #11
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    Re: No more bubbles out of the spa jets

    Originally I had two 3/4 HP Pumps. One for the pool, one for the Spa. Now I am down to one 3/4 HP Pump since they installed the heater. I flip valves to switch the intake and output from pool to spa now.

    There are 4 Jets in the spa. I believe the orifice is 1/2".

    I believe the piping to and from the spa is 2"
    pool products ~ swimming pool pumps

    "Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  12. #12
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    Re: No more bubbles out of the spa jets

    I would bump it up to a full rated 1.5 HP 2 speed motor and impeller. If there is no automation, make sure it has a Hi/Lo switch on it.

    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.

  13. #13
    Senior Member mas985's Avatar
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    Re: No more bubbles out of the spa jets

    Are you sure the jets are 1/2"? The jet is on the inside of the pipe behind the exterior eyeball or fitting. 1/2" is pretty big for a jet and more common jet sizes are 3/8" or 7/16". If the jets were pretty strong before with the old 3/4 HP separate pump, then they were probably 3/8", otherwise they might be 7/16" if they felt more on the weak side. Another option might be to swap out the spa jets depending on what type/size you have now.

    Also before upgrading to a larger pump, you should make sure your filter can handle the increased flow rate. What type/size is the filter?
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study
    18'x36' 20k gallon plaster/gunite pool, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge Filter, 450 sq-ft EPDM Solar Panel, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater, ThePoolCleaner, DIY Acid Dosing

  14. #14
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    Re: No more bubbles out of the spa jets

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    Are you sure the jets are 1/2"? The jet is on the inside of the pipe behind the exterior eyeball or fitting. 1/2" is pretty big for a jet and more common jet sizes are 3/8" or 7/16". If the jets were pretty strong before with the old 3/4 HP separate pump, then they were probably 3/8", otherwise they might be 7/16" if they felt more on the weak side. Another option might be to swap out the spa jets depending on what type/size you have now.

    Also before upgrading to a larger pump, you should make sure your filter can handle the increased flow rate. What type/size is the filter?

    I'm an idiot. I think you;re right they are 3/8" . But that's not what makes me an idiot. I cleaned the cartridge filter last night and TADA... jets are back in action. When they replumbed the system the Spa now goes through the filter, which it didn't used to.

    Thanks!
    pool products ~ swimming pool pumps

    "Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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