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Thread: Air Issues with spa

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    Air Issues with spa

    I'm still having issues with the spa. The blower is too powerful at 1/2 HP. It blows water over the edge and out of the spa. The distance from spa to air pipe is short enough that I should not need a blower. When the valves are in spa only operation and I turn on the blower than shut it off and remove it from the air pipe I will get a small amout of air flow through the spa jets.

    The spa relies only on the main pool pump which goes through the filter. Do I simply not have enough pump to clear the water from the lines? Would a second pump help? I've attached a picture of my equipment setup.
    ~16.5Kgal free form plaster with spill over spa
    1 1/2 HP Pentair SuperFlo pump, 1 HP Polaris QT Spa Blower, Pentair 48sqft DE Filter, PoolPilot Digital Nano+ SWG

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Air Issues with spa

    So are you saying that when you remove the blower (not it picture) you do not get enough air, but if you run the blower you get too much?

    If so, you could add a valve on the blower pipe to restrict how much air it is able to blow into the pipe.

    I had a spa that was 40 feet from the equipment and it just had an open pipe sticking out of the ground that pulled air in at the equipment. Seems that builders that use blowers just do so to cover up their inability to properly plumb the spa.
    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: Air Issues with spa

    So are you saying that when you remove the blower (not it picture) you do not get enough air, but if you run the blower you get too much?
    Yes

    you could add a valve on the blower pipe to restrict how much air it is able to blow into the pipe
    I've tried the valve. I have to restrict the air flow so much that it causes too much heat on the blower and kicks the saftey shutoff. The pressure out of the jets isn't that strong either. The water in the pool churns more from the 4 pool jets than the spas 5 jets churn the spa. What problems should I look for with the jets themselves? There shouldn't be a clogging issue because the blower does clean out the line. The air line never drains when in spa mode except if forced by a blower. No hartford loop?
    ~16.5Kgal free form plaster with spill over spa
    1 1/2 HP Pentair SuperFlo pump, 1 HP Polaris QT Spa Blower, Pentair 48sqft DE Filter, PoolPilot Digital Nano+ SWG

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Air Issues with spa

    Can you add a picture of the blower?

    The air does not add any kind of pressure to the jets, it just adds bubbles. So when the air is off, if the jets do not feel strong that is due to the pump or plumbing being undersized or some restriction in the plumbing. If you put in smaller jets that would increase the velocity and make them feel stronger.

    Is this a new development? Did the jets used to be stronger? Did the blower use to not have this issue?
    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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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Air Issues with spa

    It sounds like the problem might be that you are not getting enough flow rate to the jets. So a few questions.

    Is that a 1.5 HP Superflo Pump?

    What size is the water plumbing to/from the spa and how long are the runs?

    What size is the air pipe plumbing to the spa and how long is the run?

    What is the filter pressure when the spa is running?

    What is the jet nozzle size (e.g. 3/8" or 7/16")?
    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: Air Issues with spa

    I can add a picture of the blower when I get back home. It won't add much. It's a pipe sticking about 5 feet out of the ground about 2 feet out of the picture with the blower mounted on top. The 5 foot pipe now has a ball valve about 1 foot from the blower.

    This is not a new development. The spa has not worked properly since I purchased the house. The blower is new. It was purchased because the existing blower did not function. I replaced it under the assumption that if it had one, it must have needed one.

    I think it's a superflo pump however the tag is faded to the point I can barely make out the HP rating and not much else. As far as I can tell all of the plumbing is 2". The spa is < 10 foot from all of the equipment including the air pipe/blower. The filter pressure does not appear to change when in spa mode versus pool mode so ~ 10psi. I don't know the nozzle size. I can assume that they are 7/16" because the guy who quoted my replaster offered to change them out to "smaller ones to up the pressure".

    I do get a slight flow of air from the first two jets if I remove the eyeballs from all of the jets.
    ~16.5Kgal free form plaster with spill over spa
    1 1/2 HP Pentair SuperFlo pump, 1 HP Polaris QT Spa Blower, Pentair 48sqft DE Filter, PoolPilot Digital Nano+ SWG

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Air Issues with spa

    10 PSI seems a bit low for that configuration so double check on that. But in general, the spa should work without a blower. 10' is not very long for an air pipe even without a Hartford loop.

    The pump is a little undersized for a spa. Superflo's are up rated pumps so a 1.5 URHP has similar performance to a 1 FRHP (full rated) pump and normally, for spas that go through pad equipment, you would want something a little larger than that.

    Add a picture of the entire pad equipment too.
    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: Air Issues with spa

    I have confirmed it is a 1.5HP SuperFlo pump.

    Air Supply Line
    http://i1276.photobucket.com/albums/...ps7a187bed.jpg

    Blower
    http://i1276.photobucket.com/albums/...psd0f1bf57.jpg

    From return valves to fence for perspective (ignore the junk heater, it's on the list to be replaced)
    http://i1276.photobucket.com/albums/...ps9889889a.jpg

    spa to fence
    http://i1276.photobucket.com/albums/...psd980726e.jpg

    There is no additional equipment pad to show. That's all there is.

    spa operating with blower removed from air supply line
    http://s1276.photobucket.com/user/rj...d3a78.mp4.html

    spa operating with blower attached to supply line
    http://s1276.photobucket.com/user/rj...7f58d.mp4.html
    ~16.5Kgal free form plaster with spill over spa
    1 1/2 HP Pentair SuperFlo pump, 1 HP Polaris QT Spa Blower, Pentair 48sqft DE Filter, PoolPilot Digital Nano+ SWG

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    Re: Air Issues with spa

    Did you confirm the filter pressure too?
    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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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Air Issues with spa

    Well that last video looks like what I would expect in a spa. Silly question, but can you point the jets down a little more?
    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!

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    Re: Air Issues with spa

    I did confirm the pressure. It's either ~10 (which is about where my pool runs normally) or my gauge is broke. Aiming the jets down doesn't help it much. The video does look almost perfect doesn't it? I didn't have the amount of splash out today that it usually produces. It might be acceptable at this level but doesn't explain why it requires the blower at that short of a distance and the jet strength is weak as you can see from the first video.
    ~16.5Kgal free form plaster with spill over spa
    1 1/2 HP Pentair SuperFlo pump, 1 HP Polaris QT Spa Blower, Pentair 48sqft DE Filter, PoolPilot Digital Nano+ SWG

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    Re: Air Issues with spa

    IF the pressure is really 10 PSI, that could indicate that there is lower than normal flow rate through the jets. I would have expect 19 PSI with 3/8" jets and 16 PSI with 7/16" jets with that pump.

    Is 10 PSI what was measured with the valves as was shown in the first picture?

    Do the jets run without the blower if the suction is set for both pool and spa 100% on?

    Have you checked the pump impeller inlet for debris?

    Is the pump elevated above the water level and if so by how much?
    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: Air Issues with spa

    Exact opposite of the first picture. The first picture has the valves set to pool. The pressure doesn't really change much when moving from pool to spa mode.

    Do the jets run without the blower if the suction is set for both pool and spa 100% on?
    No. I can get them to function poorly if I set suction to 100% from Spa and use the blower to remove the water from the line before removing it.

    Have you checked the pump impeller inlet for debris?
    I have not

    Is the pump elevated above the water level and if so by how much?
    The pump is at ground level so it's ~6" above water level
    ~16.5Kgal free form plaster with spill over spa
    1 1/2 HP Pentair SuperFlo pump, 1 HP Polaris QT Spa Blower, Pentair 48sqft DE Filter, PoolPilot Digital Nano+ SWG

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    Re: Air Issues with spa

    I used to have a similar problem with too much air from the blower. What I found is that my blower has a plastic plug in the side that can be drilled out or even removed. I actually found this out by finding and reading a manual for my model blower. I drilled a 3/8" hole to allow air to escape and not let the blower overheat. If I remove the plug, I get a full 1" port opening. That was too much and not allowing enough air through the jets.

    You might check to see if you have this option, but if not, you may be able to affix a release valve in your plumbing. With a 1/4 turn ball valve installed in the leg of a tee, you can release the air to the outside and have quite a bit of adjustment. I could do the valve thing on my blower, but I took the cheap way out.
    John (DIYer). Concrete, approximately 13,000 gallon in-ground pool with adjoining concrete spa. Approximately 40 years old. Hayward Super II pump for pool and legacy Anthony Sta-Rite bronze pump CF6 for spa, VA-26 filter,(2 sets), Rheem propane heater for spa. HASA Liquidator for pool.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Air Issues with spa

    Quote Originally Posted by rjledoux
    The first picture has the valves set to pool.
    But the return valve on the left is closed to the pool and open to the spa. The valve handle is pointed to the pipe labeled spa which means the return is to the spa.
    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: Air Issues with spa

    Oops, you are correct. The return side is set to spa the suction side is set to pool although the valve isn't 100% closed on spa suction. That's not normal operating conditions. The first picture is old. I don't know why the valves would have been in that position.
    ~16.5Kgal free form plaster with spill over spa
    1 1/2 HP Pentair SuperFlo pump, 1 HP Polaris QT Spa Blower, Pentair 48sqft DE Filter, PoolPilot Digital Nano+ SWG

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Air Issues with spa

    Ok, so on to the pressure. Does the gauge go to zero when the pump is off and if you tap the gauge when the pump is on does it change? I am just trying to make sure that what you are reading is true.

    Also, it would be worthwhile to check the pump impeller inlet. Just remove the pump basket and reach into the inlet at the bottom and see if you can feel anything in there.
    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: Air Issues with spa

    the gauge does go to zero when the pump is off. It moves when tapped but settles down to ~10. That sounds low but it's where it settled after the last backwash. I would expect it to be around 20. I checked the impeller inlet and there is nothing blocking it that I can feel.
    ~16.5Kgal free form plaster with spill over spa
    1 1/2 HP Pentair SuperFlo pump, 1 HP Polaris QT Spa Blower, Pentair 48sqft DE Filter, PoolPilot Digital Nano+ SWG

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    Re: Air Issues with spa

    There are two things that can lower filter pressure. A clogged suction pipe or a clogged impeller. You can try flushing out the suction backwards and see if that helps. If not, you may need to take apart the pump to inspect the impeller.
    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: Air Issues with spa

    No matter if the suction is set to main drain only, skimmers only or spa only the pressure does not change. Given this fact I should take apart the pump and inspect the impeller?
    ~16.5Kgal free form plaster with spill over spa
    1 1/2 HP Pentair SuperFlo pump, 1 HP Polaris QT Spa Blower, Pentair 48sqft DE Filter, PoolPilot Digital Nano+ SWG

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