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Thread: Filter/pump spagetti: Is my spa doomed to heat the pool?

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    Filter/pump spagetti: Is my spa doomed to heat the pool?

    FP here, be gentle. We bought a house with a nice pool and an in-ground spa. I've spent the last months untangling its mysteries, learning how to balance my water (thanks TFP!), and trying to sort out the equipment that's already set up.

    The short version of this question: my in-ground spa spills over into the pool when the heater is on. I don't want to heat my whole pool every time I want to use my spa: the pool is something like 60,000 gallons. I'm trying to figure out whether I'm doing something wrong, or the setup is wrong. I suspect there may be some automated valves I need to be selecting, but I don't want to select wrong, and destroy my pumps. I have photos of my equipment to help us sort out what's going on here. I've attached those photos. You may want to look at them before reading the long description below.

    Long version: the pool and the spa are adjacent and appear to share filtration. The pool is large, with two Hayward canister filters (one filter apparently tied to the spa.) There is a Hayward Aqualogic controller driving the whole system. The controller allows selection of "Pool" or "Spa" -- there is a "spillover" option, but it cannot be chosen. There are a number of 1-1.5 HP "primary" pumps:

    * one pump connects to a filter, which connects to the heater, which connects to either the pool or the spa depending on what selections you make with the controller. The heater cannot be turned on unless the filter/ pump is also on.

    * one pump drives a waterfall

    * one pump drives jets on the in-ground spa

    * one pump connects to a second filtration system on the opposite end of the pool (the pool is about 95 feet long, which I guess necessitates this second filter, though I hadn't been using the spa filter until today.)

    There are also two 3/4 HP booster pumps:

    * one drives a pressure-side Polaris 280 pool cleaner

    * one is connected to nothing.

    As I mentioned earlier, there are valve selectors in the controller (see controller photo) and I suspect one of them may control spillover on the spa. Or maybe not. It's just hard to believe someone would build a pool with a spa that would cost a mint to operate. As things stand now, I appear to have to heat my entire pool to be able to heat the spa.

    A lot of detail, but hopefully it helps us get to the bottom of this. Any ideas out there?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    60k gallon (est), 83ft PebbleTech pool, spa. Goldline Aqualogic controller, AQL-PS-8. 2 Hayward SwimClear C5025 filters. Hayward H400ED2 heater. 2 T-15 SWG. Pool pump: Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.5 HP A.O Smith SP1615-Z-1-BNC motor. Spa pump: Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.0 HP Emerson 1081 motor (SF 1.4, RPM 3450, Amps SF 6.2-5.8/11.6). Hayward 5060 3/4HP booster pump. 6' x 9' waterfall driven by a Hayward SP4015NS pump (115 GPM @ 47' of head & 2200 watts). Spa jets driven by a Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.5 HP A.O Smith SP1615-Z-1-BNC motor (SF 1.6, RPM 3450, Amps SF 11.0 - 10.2/20.4) Still learning!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Filter/pump spagetti: Is my spa doomed to heat the pool?

    I do not know about the automation, so based on my experience turning valves manually:
    Pool mode: sucks from pool and returns to pool
    Spa mode: sucks from spa and returns to spa
    Spillover mode: sucks from pool and returns to spa

    It sounds like what you are describing happening for Spa mode is really spillover. So you are heating water sucked from the pool and then returned to the spa ... so it never gets hot. Either the valve actuator on the suction side is not working anymore and stuck on the pool or something is messed up in the controls.

    I would suggest you post a better picture of the equipment showing the plumbing and valves a little better so the experts can chime in.

    ETA:
    So I think I ca see the valve right in front of the pump (likely suction choosing Pool/Spa), one near the filter (likely return choosing Pool/Spa) and one in between (that one is a mystery to me). Do 2 of those valves turn when you switch between Pool and Spa mode?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Filter/pump spagetti: Is my spa doomed to heat the pool?

    Thanks for the help. Attached are more pictures of the controls. You asked if I could see the valve turning. Do you mean that some kind of motor will turn the valve automatically, and that I should be seeing the valve handles turn?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    60k gallon (est), 83ft PebbleTech pool, spa. Goldline Aqualogic controller, AQL-PS-8. 2 Hayward SwimClear C5025 filters. Hayward H400ED2 heater. 2 T-15 SWG. Pool pump: Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.5 HP A.O Smith SP1615-Z-1-BNC motor. Spa pump: Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.0 HP Emerson 1081 motor (SF 1.4, RPM 3450, Amps SF 6.2-5.8/11.6). Hayward 5060 3/4HP booster pump. 6' x 9' waterfall driven by a Hayward SP4015NS pump (115 GPM @ 47' of head & 2200 watts). Spa jets driven by a Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.5 HP A.O Smith SP1615-Z-1-BNC motor (SF 1.6, RPM 3450, Amps SF 11.0 - 10.2/20.4) Still learning!

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    valve handles don't move... is my spa doomed to heat the poo

    An update: I observed the valve handles as I switched between Spa and Pool mode, and noticed no change in their position even though they appear to have automation attached to them. So maybe there is a problem with the automated valves. I don't mind turning them manually if I know what to turn. I took more photographs, including the valves and their positions, which I will post in a sec, here.
    60k gallon (est), 83ft PebbleTech pool, spa. Goldline Aqualogic controller, AQL-PS-8. 2 Hayward SwimClear C5025 filters. Hayward H400ED2 heater. 2 T-15 SWG. Pool pump: Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.5 HP A.O Smith SP1615-Z-1-BNC motor. Spa pump: Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.0 HP Emerson 1081 motor (SF 1.4, RPM 3450, Amps SF 6.2-5.8/11.6). Hayward 5060 3/4HP booster pump. 6' x 9' waterfall driven by a Hayward SP4015NS pump (115 GPM @ 47' of head & 2200 watts). Spa jets driven by a Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.5 HP A.O Smith SP1615-Z-1-BNC motor (SF 1.6, RPM 3450, Amps SF 11.0 - 10.2/20.4) Still learning!

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    overview photos: Is my spa doomed to heat the pool?

    some pictures of the overall plumbing.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    60k gallon (est), 83ft PebbleTech pool, spa. Goldline Aqualogic controller, AQL-PS-8. 2 Hayward SwimClear C5025 filters. Hayward H400ED2 heater. 2 T-15 SWG. Pool pump: Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.5 HP A.O Smith SP1615-Z-1-BNC motor. Spa pump: Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.0 HP Emerson 1081 motor (SF 1.4, RPM 3450, Amps SF 6.2-5.8/11.6). Hayward 5060 3/4HP booster pump. 6' x 9' waterfall driven by a Hayward SP4015NS pump (115 GPM @ 47' of head & 2200 watts). Spa jets driven by a Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.5 HP A.O Smith SP1615-Z-1-BNC motor (SF 1.6, RPM 3450, Amps SF 11.0 - 10.2/20.4) Still learning!

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    valve positions : Is my spa doomed to heat the pool?

    these are closeup pictures of the controls shown in the overview. here are the valve handles and their positions for the valves that seem to apply to the filter/heater/pump combo which applies to the spa.

    there are also valve handles on the pump which drives the waterfall, and the pump which drives the spa jets, but I don't think they are out of whack.

    as I mentioned earlier, it does not seem like these valves are moving automatically. I'm happy to do the controls manually so long as I know what the right settings are.

    Thanks again for the help, folks! I'm learning more already!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    60k gallon (est), 83ft PebbleTech pool, spa. Goldline Aqualogic controller, AQL-PS-8. 2 Hayward SwimClear C5025 filters. Hayward H400ED2 heater. 2 T-15 SWG. Pool pump: Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.5 HP A.O Smith SP1615-Z-1-BNC motor. Spa pump: Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.0 HP Emerson 1081 motor (SF 1.4, RPM 3450, Amps SF 6.2-5.8/11.6). Hayward 5060 3/4HP booster pump. 6' x 9' waterfall driven by a Hayward SP4015NS pump (115 GPM @ 47' of head & 2200 watts). Spa jets driven by a Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.5 HP A.O Smith SP1615-Z-1-BNC motor (SF 1.6, RPM 3450, Amps SF 11.0 - 10.2/20.4) Still learning!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Filter/pump spagetti: Is my spa doomed to heat the pool?

    Yes they should move. Those Goldline Valve Actuators should turn the 2 valves when you switch modes.

    Currently where does the water appear to be sucking from (skimmer in pool)? and Where is the water returning to?
    If the answer to both are the pool...
    Try this.
    Turn off the pump. Turn the 2 valves with the actuators (not the 3rd one in the middle) 180 degrees. Turn the pump back on and see what happens.

    Odds are the water should then be pulled from the spa floor drains and returning to the spa (somehow ... I am not sure where a blower motor ties into this as I did not have one). Then if you turn the heater on, only the spa water is heated. You will still get some spill over between the pool and spa when you get in and out, but that is normal ... it can be refreshing if you are sitting by the pool
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Filter/pump spagetti: Is my spa doomed to heat the pool?

    Here is some guesses what your valves do. Looking at IMG_4792:

    The plumbing on the left is your suction area:
    The LEFT most pipe coming up is probably from the spa (since it is currently closed)
    The pair at the RIGHT are from your pool (1 is probably from the skimmer and 1 from the floor drain). Since the OFF on the valve is pointed in the middle, they are both on, so you are sucking from the skimmer and drain ... you can play with these to determine which is which and then label them.
    The MIDDLE pipe under the valve is sending the water down into the ground and then doing a U and coming right back up into the pump.

    The plumbing on the right is your return:
    The water comes out of the filter/heater/SWG and goes down, does a U, and comes up the MIDDLE pipe into the valve.
    The (LEFT-wrong) RIGHT pipe is probably the return to the pool
    The (RIGHT-wrong) LEFT pipe is likely then the return to the spa

    EDIT based on later information
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: Filter/pump spagetti: Is my spa doomed to heat the pool?

    Answering your question about where the water is coming in and out when the filter is on and the control box is set to "Spa":

    A powerful jet of water appears to be coming in to the spa from the floor of the spa, and
    ... water is being pulled quite forcefully from the *pool* -- I opened up the skimmer hatch and pulled out the blue filtration basket and stuck my fingers (painfully) into one of the holes. So yeah, the hot tub isn't going to get hot anytime soon based on this, just as you say.

    Based on this info, how would you recommend I set those valve controls to make the spa go? When I want to filter the pool, how should I set things?

    Thanks again for the insight, it's making some sense now.
    60k gallon (est), 83ft PebbleTech pool, spa. Goldline Aqualogic controller, AQL-PS-8. 2 Hayward SwimClear C5025 filters. Hayward H400ED2 heater. 2 T-15 SWG. Pool pump: Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.5 HP A.O Smith SP1615-Z-1-BNC motor. Spa pump: Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.0 HP Emerson 1081 motor (SF 1.4, RPM 3450, Amps SF 6.2-5.8/11.6). Hayward 5060 3/4HP booster pump. 6' x 9' waterfall driven by a Hayward SP4015NS pump (115 GPM @ 47' of head & 2200 watts). Spa jets driven by a Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.5 HP A.O Smith SP1615-Z-1-BNC motor (SF 1.6, RPM 3450, Amps SF 11.0 - 10.2/20.4) Still learning!

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    Re: Filter/pump spagetti: Is my spa doomed to heat the pool?

    BTW the other set pump/filter is a little simpler:
    You can see in front of the pump there are 2 pipes coming from the pool (again likely a skimmer and floor drain which are currently both on)
    Then the water goes through the filter and a 2nd SWG(?) and back to the pool.

    Based on the size of the pool, I am guessing if you are going to use the SWGs you may have to run both sets of equipment to generate enough chlorine ... and to keep it clean in the summer.

    So, currently either both actuators went bad ... or more likely, something is wrong with your automation controller.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Filter/pump spagetti: Is my spa doomed to heat the pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by socrates
    Answering your question about where the water is coming in and out when the filter is on and the control box is set to "Spa":

    A powerful jet of water appears to be coming in to the spa from the floor of the spa, and
    ... water is being pulled quite forcefully from the *pool* -- I opened up the skimmer hatch and pulled out the blue filtration basket and stuck my fingers (painfully) into one of the holes. So yeah, the hot tub isn't going to get hot anytime soon based on this, just as you say.

    Based on this info, how would you recommend I set those valve controls to make the spa go? When I want to filter the pool, how should I set things?

    Thanks again for the insight, it's making some sense now.
    So it sounds like you are currently in a "spillover" mode. Water leaving pool and entering spa ... this can be used to keep the spa relatively clear of debris.

    Turn the valve in front of the pump 180 degrees (best with the pump off) and you should start pulling from the spa ... wait ... although then that does not agree with my other post about what all the pipes are for ... hmmm

    You can not really hurt anything by turning the valves (pump off) and seeing the affects. The worst case is sucking from the spa and returning to the pool ... likely will drain the spa completely, but you would notice this in your experiments.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: Filter/pump spagetti: Is my spa doomed to heat the pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblauert
    Quote Originally Posted by socrates
    Answering your question about where the water is coming in and out when the filter is on and the control box is set to "Spa":

    A powerful jet of water appears to be coming in to the spa from the floor of the spa, and
    ... water is being pulled quite forcefully from the *pool* -- I opened up the skimmer hatch and pulled out the blue filtration basket and stuck my fingers (painfully) into one of the holes. So yeah, the hot tub isn't going to get hot anytime soon based on this, just as you say.

    Based on this info, how would you recommend I set those valve controls to make the spa go? When I want to filter the pool, how should I set things?

    Thanks again for the insight, it's making some sense now.
    Turn the valve in front of the pump 180 degrees (best with the pump off) and you should start pulling from the spa ... wait ... although then that does not agree with my other post about what all the pipes are for ... hmmm
    NO WAIT. That does match my previous description. You just have to turn the valve in front of the pump 180 and that will then suck from the spa

    ETA: I did think it was odd the valves were pointing in different directions. So if you have the valves both pointing 1 way that will be spa mode and if they are both pointing the other way that will be pool mode.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    actutors stuck Re: Filter/pump spagetti:

    NO WAIT. That does match my previous description. You just have to turn the valve in front of the pump 180 and that will then suck from the spa

    ETA: I did think it was odd the valves were pointing in different directions. So if you have the valves both pointing 1 way that will be spa mode and if they are both pointing the other way that will be pool mode.
    Thank you. Two questions:

    1) Please see the annotated image and confirm the circled valve is the one that you want me to be turning.

    2) The valves attached to the actuators do not turn if I attempt to pull on them manually. They seem to be stuck, or engaged to a heavy gear: they do not move at all. This is true even if I use a lot of force, and if the Filter and Spa are on and selected in the controller. Is there a trick to making the valves turn by hand? If not, is there a way I can remove the actuators without electrocuting myself or otherwise doing anything horrible? I am reasonably handy with tools but the high voltages give me pause.

    The valve that is on top in the attached picture (without the actuator) will turn 90 degrees in either direction, but not 180.

    Thanks!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    60k gallon (est), 83ft PebbleTech pool, spa. Goldline Aqualogic controller, AQL-PS-8. 2 Hayward SwimClear C5025 filters. Hayward H400ED2 heater. 2 T-15 SWG. Pool pump: Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.5 HP A.O Smith SP1615-Z-1-BNC motor. Spa pump: Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.0 HP Emerson 1081 motor (SF 1.4, RPM 3450, Amps SF 6.2-5.8/11.6). Hayward 5060 3/4HP booster pump. 6' x 9' waterfall driven by a Hayward SP4015NS pump (115 GPM @ 47' of head & 2200 watts). Spa jets driven by a Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.5 HP A.O Smith SP1615-Z-1-BNC motor (SF 1.6, RPM 3450, Amps SF 11.0 - 10.2/20.4) Still learning!

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    Re: Filter/pump spagetti: Is my spa doomed to heat the pool?

    Yes that is the correct valve to turn 180 degrees and then you will be in spa mode. After confirming, mark the valves so you remember. After using the spa, you probably want to switch them both back to pool mode for normal everyday operation. Actually, given that you need some flow into the spa to keep the chlorine up, you may want to have the return valve (close to the filter) somewhere in the middle so you are sucking from the pool and returning to both the pool and spa.

    The one on the top is selecting between main drain and skimmer in the pool.

    I am glad you did not try to turn it too hard as I was not sure how these work. Apparently there is a bit more to turning them manually than I thought. Look at the GVA-24 manual HERE. Page 5 explains how to manually override the valve.

    That will also show you how to take them off and reinstall them if you have.

    Given that they are not moving ... I doubt there is any voltage getting to them as having both actuators fail is probably less likely than there being a problem at the panel (have you checked if they are actually wired into the controller?).

    Now that you are hopefully starting to understand the plumbing, you need to start to figure out what is going on with the automation. Are you planning to keep the automation and using the SWG? How are you currently adding chlorine? Are the SWG working? Are there any codes or lights showing up on the panel?

    ETA: Before you disconnect and manually turn the valves. There should be a toggle switch on the actuators ... check if it is in the middle (OFF) or to either side. Maybe they got turned off by someone so they would not switch due to the automation. You may just have to turn them back on or ON1 or ON2

    ETA2: See THIS POST for some more info on testing the actuators. Sounds like if you just flip the switch on the actuator, the valve should turn if it has power ... at least then you would know it works, but you may want to keep the switch in the position it is currently in until the automation is understood.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  15. Back To Top    #15

    success!

    Hey, that did the trick! The spa is heating as we type. Thank you!

    Toggling the toggle switch did nothing -- I had to move the valve manually. Tomorrow I'll try to test the actuators and hopefully can figure out if they are getting power.

    The pool will be a project, an interesting one: this is my first experience managing or owning a pool. Sharing a bit of history and answering your other questions: We're in Northern California, near Sacramento. We took possession of the house in October and received very little information about the pool, not even a gallon count. The SWG alert light was on, but the realtors had been treating the pool with trichlor pucks. Cold temps (and a new baby) allowed me to punt on many questions of pool management, but I started reading this site extensively. About two months ago the pool started turning green as temps warmed up, the horror. The controller indicated low salt count and another alert. I started doing FC and PH tests daily, and bought the complete Taylor test kit. I adjusted the PH downward, from about 7.8 - 8.0 to 7.4. FC was nonexistent so I bombed the water up to 25 PPM with unstabilized chlorine and filtered. Algae died quickly and clean pool resulted. The Cyuranic Acid count was almost undetectable so I started treating the water with Trichlor pucks, knowing that in time using Trichlor will probably bring the CYA count up to recommended levels for the SWG. The salt count was low (I tested for it using a Taylor kit) so I added almost 800 lbs of salt to bring it up to about 3400 ppm. I've continued with the Trichlor treatments and daily water tests and am finding that very easy.

    Somewhere along the line Someone broke the cover to the pump attached to the heater and that pump has been out of commission until today, when I received a new pump cover and o-ring and ring from Amazon. We've now figured out the mystery of the valves (thank you! thank you!) which means I can enjoy my hot tub in a few hours here.

    For the future: getting the SWG cells working is a possibility, though frankly I'm finding the Trichlor pucks so cheap and so easy that it's hard to justify putting any money toward repairs on those cells. Once CYA rises to appropriate norms, I could also begin using liquid chlorine for my treatments per the advice on this site. Regardless of how I chlorinate the water I will continue to test daily, so the method of adding that chlorine is not a big deal for me.

    Energy costs are a concern and I would really like to make the pool pumps as efficient as possible. The Polaris 280 I have running is being driven by a Hayward model 5060 3/4 HP pump. I am wondering if I could directly swap this pump in, and if would be possible for me to do this without electrocuting myself: http://www.amazon.com/Hayward-6060-Boos ... =8-2-fkmr0. I have a reasonable amount of experience doing home improvement and a lot of experience working on computers, but almost no experience working with truly dangerous voltages.

    Longer term it would be nice to replace the primary pumps with more efficient models, something like this: http://www.amazon.com/HAYWARD-ECOSTAR-P ... 735&sr=8-2. It is not clear to me if this will necessitate a controller upgrade to drive the variable speed pump. I have no idea what it would cost to have somebody qualified do this work. My experiences trying to find reliable people who can work on the pool equipment have not been good to date, and if it possible for me to manage all of the installation myself without killing myself and my family, that would be preferred.

    You will notice in the pix there is unused plumbing for solar, and it is plumbed to the house. Tempting to eventually install that, especially if I can isolate the hot water to the hot tub, but it isn't clear to me how the cost savings on gas heating will compare to the expense of pumping water (via electricity) through the solar heater all day long.

    I want to install LED lights to replace the 1500W of floods in the pool, and have been exploring expensive and inexpensive options for that on ebay and Amazon.

    I'll try to figure out the actuators, but to be honest with you this automation is a fairly minor interest. Not such a big deal to swap a valve manually for now.

    Thank you for all of the help, I will be hot-tubbing under the full moon in a few hours here. What a great welcome to this site!
    60k gallon (est), 83ft PebbleTech pool, spa. Goldline Aqualogic controller, AQL-PS-8. 2 Hayward SwimClear C5025 filters. Hayward H400ED2 heater. 2 T-15 SWG. Pool pump: Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.5 HP A.O Smith SP1615-Z-1-BNC motor. Spa pump: Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.0 HP Emerson 1081 motor (SF 1.4, RPM 3450, Amps SF 6.2-5.8/11.6). Hayward 5060 3/4HP booster pump. 6' x 9' waterfall driven by a Hayward SP4015NS pump (115 GPM @ 47' of head & 2200 watts). Spa jets driven by a Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.5 HP A.O Smith SP1615-Z-1-BNC motor (SF 1.6, RPM 3450, Amps SF 11.0 - 10.2/20.4) Still learning!

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    Re: Filter/pump spagetti: Is my spa doomed to heat the pool?

    Glad you got the spa working ... and hopefully understand a bit more about the plumbing.

    There is a chance that the SWG are actually working. The hayward/goldline SWG I had previously would turn on the check cell light every 3 months to remind you to inspect them ... did not necessarily mean there was anything wrong. You should be able to toggle through the screens on the controller and tell if the SWG is getting power (the first pic you posted showed 90% ... so that may mean it is generating chlorine).

    With no CYA in the pool, any FC you do get in there will be broken down by the sun pretty quickly. Just keep an eye on your tests to make sure the pucks are keeping up. If you have them, pucks are ok until your CYA creeps up ... then you would probably want to switch to liquid of see if you SWG are working.

    I am afraid I may not be much help as far as pump recommendations and how to check out your automation equipment

    The solar heating really does not have a cost besides the initial equipment cost and install. You will really not be using a noticeable additional amount of extra electricity to pump the water up to the roof as gravity takes over and brings it back down. Although, not sure how hot you could actually get your spa from just solar ... you will certainly still need the heater.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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