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Thread: Cleaning spa bottom

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    Cleaning spa bottom

    I have a pool with a built in corner that's a spa. The spa always seems to have debris on the bottom of it. I had assumed that when the pool filtration runs, the spa filtration also runs? The spa jets are going when the pool filter is going but I'm guessing that the 'returns' on the bottom of the spa aren't actually sucking water from the spa at the same time?

    How do I get the debris out aside from by hand or with a manual vacuum (since the Polaris doesn't go there either)
    13,000 gallons w/ spa (in-ground) | Plaster pool surface
    2.5HP Jandy Stealth Pump | CL580 Filter | Polaris 480 Pro w/ Halcyon Pump | 400,000 BTU Jandy LT | Jandy Aquapure 3PPM | Jandy PS4

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Cleaning spa bottom

    Quote Originally Posted by Mindflux View Post
    I have a pool with a built in corner that's a spa. The spa always seems to have debris on the bottom of it. I had assumed that when the pool filtration runs, the spa filtration also runs? The spa jets are going when the pool filter is going but I'm guessing that the 'returns' on the bottom of the spa aren't actually sucking water from the spa at the same time?

    How do I get the debris out aside from by hand or with a manual vacuum (since the Polaris doesn't go there either)
    You don't. It's manual or nothing.

    I cheat. I move the valves to empty the spa and fill the pool, then brush all the crud to the drain. Then reset everything the way it was and let it fill back up again.

    I don't like having the spa drain open unless it's in spa mode or I'm watching it. All it would take would be for the skimmer basket to clog, then it would draw faster from the spa than it's filling, empty it, suck air, and smoke my pump.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    skylar18's Avatar
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    Re: Cleaning spa bottom

    I just bought a little Polaris robot P91 just for my spa. It was on sale, clearance and a few other things and I got it for $299 hoping it would work. Threw it in the spa and it took a while (about an hour) because of the tight quarters but cleaned the spa perfectly! I now have a backup as well if my Polaris breaks and it is out of service for a few days. Before that I tried a couple of the pool/spa battery vacuums and they didn't work for me...in fact they were all junk and I returned.

    I just have no interest in using my manual vacuum that attaches into my suction port in my skimmers. Have never used it and my pool and spa are perfectly clean!
    43 x 19 Gunite Pool w/ spa and fire pit, 19,000 gallons, Pebble Sheen Aqua Blue finish, Jandy 2 HP VS E-pump, Jandy 580 sq ft Cartridge Filter, Jandy LXI 400k Heater, Jandy Aquapure 1400 SWCG, 4 Jandy LED color lights, Aqualink PDA and Iaqualink, Polaris 280 with Booster Pump. Polaris 9550 Robot Cleaner. 1 HP Silencer Air Blower for Spa http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...NAL-INSPECTION

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    Re: Cleaning spa bottom

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    You don't. It's manual or nothing.

    I cheat. I move the valves to empty the spa and fill the pool, then brush all the crud to the drain. Then reset everything the way it was and let it fill back up again.

    I don't like having the spa drain open unless it's in spa mode or I'm watching it. All it would take would be for the skimmer basket to clog, then it would draw faster from the spa than it's filling, empty it, suck air, and smoke my pump.
    Just to be clear, you have it in spa mode (jets going) and turn the valves for the spa to drain - sucking water out (and crud as well)? How do you re-fill the spa? just by closing the spa drain the water will come from the pool plumbing when 'spa mode' is enabled?

    Assuming this is the case, where does the crud sucked out of the spa go? Into the pool or straight to a skimmer line?
    13,000 gallons w/ spa (in-ground) | Plaster pool surface
    2.5HP Jandy Stealth Pump | CL580 Filter | Polaris 480 Pro w/ Halcyon Pump | 400,000 BTU Jandy LT | Jandy Aquapure 3PPM | Jandy PS4

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Cleaning spa bottom

    Quote Originally Posted by Mindflux View Post
    Just to be clear, you have it in spa mode (jets going) and turn the valves for the spa to drain - sucking water out (and crud as well)? How do you re-fill the spa? just by closing the spa drain the water will come from the pool plumbing when 'spa mode' is enabled?

    Assuming this is the case, where does the crud sucked out of the spa go? Into the pool or straight to a skimmer line?
    I have two three-way manual valves. If you have all that fancy automation, you're on your own.

    So to clean the spa, I move it to draw 100% from spa and return 100% to pool. The crud goes to the filter, with some nudging with the brush to get it into the spa drain.

    Then I put it back to normal mode, draw 100% from pool, return 20% to spa, 80% to pool. The spa refills in a few minutes.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Cleaning spa bottom

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    I have two three-way manual valves. If you have all that fancy automation, you're on your own.

    So to clean the spa, I move it to draw 100% from spa and return 100% to pool. The crud goes to the filter, with some nudging with the brush to get it into the spa drain.

    Then I put it back to normal mode, draw 100% from pool, return 20% to spa, 80% to pool. The spa refills in a few minutes.
    I do have some automation via Jandy actuators, but nothing I see turns on the spa drain from my Jandy PS4 "PDA" though. It's raining pretty good right now so I'll have to go look at all the other valves and such later.
    13,000 gallons w/ spa (in-ground) | Plaster pool surface
    2.5HP Jandy Stealth Pump | CL580 Filter | Polaris 480 Pro w/ Halcyon Pump | 400,000 BTU Jandy LT | Jandy Aquapure 3PPM | Jandy PS4

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    Re: Cleaning spa bottom

    I found one of these in our pump room, left there by some previous caretaker: http://www.amazon.com/Supa-Underwate...words=supa-vac It is a "pressure-side" vacuum that attaches to your garden hose.

    It actually works surprisingly well for small cleaning jobs. It is cheap plastic (except for the aluminum telescoping pole), so I don't know how long it will last. So I can't say "whole-heartedly" when I recommend it, but I do recommend it. If you scroll down the Amazon page, you'll see similar products that might work as well.

    If you remove the end cap for any reason, you have to be VERY careful when putting it back together to make sure the one pipe goes into the other. It is easy to miss, or jam it on the edge, which is probably where the occasional poor review comes from. When I first tried mine out, I thought it didn't work. Fortunately, I am a tinkerer, so the first thing I did was take it apart to see what the problem was. After a few seconds of fiddling, I had it working perfectly, and I've used it about 10 times since with great results. (Yet another example of how our previous pool caretaker, whom we paid a lot of money, had no clue what he was doing.)

    If I need to clean up more than a few square feet, I break out the real vacuum.
    25000-gallon semi-public IG concrete/plaster pool, Triton II sand filter
    750-gallon semi-public IG concrete/plaster spa, cartridge filter
    Volunteer pool caretaker for my condominium complex

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    Re: Cleaning spa bottom

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    I have two three-way manual valves. If you have all that fancy automation, you're on your own.

    So to clean the spa, I move it to draw 100% from spa and return 100% to pool. The crud goes to the filter, with some nudging with the brush to get it into the spa drain.

    Then I put it back to normal mode, draw 100% from pool, return 20% to spa, 80% to pool. The spa refills in a few minutes.
    Ok, so it seems when I put it in spa drain mode the actuator moves, but it's also still in spa mode (jets are going). I cannot see a perceivable difference in the water level nor tell if there's actually suction at the drains or not.

    I was hoping I could see the water level drop so I could tell things are actually going...
    13,000 gallons w/ spa (in-ground) | Plaster pool surface
    2.5HP Jandy Stealth Pump | CL580 Filter | Polaris 480 Pro w/ Halcyon Pump | 400,000 BTU Jandy LT | Jandy Aquapure 3PPM | Jandy PS4

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    wjr75's Avatar
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    Re: Cleaning spa bottom

    I run my spa in spa mode for 15 minutes a day. I didn't the first year I had the pool and realized that the spa main drains don't get flushed out if I didn't. We have a separate pump also for the spa jets which I run for 5 minutes and also the blower for 1 minute each day. Gets fresh chlorine in all the pipes.
    Inground 22k gallon gunite 15x31 main pool, 15x7 wading pool/sunning deck, hot tub/with overflow (9' octagon with limestone top) & slide NSWG, Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen
    Filter dual cartridge Sta-rite 450sq/ft, TF-100 Test Kit
    Heater Raypak 2100 400k btu cupro-nickel exchanger
    Auto pool cover, Polaris 280 auto pool cleaner, Jandy AqualinkRS8 Remote Control System

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    Re: Cleaning spa bottom

    Quote Originally Posted by wjr75 View Post
    I run my spa in spa mode for 15 minutes a day. I didn't the first year I had the pool and realized that the spa main drains don't get flushed out if I didn't. We have a separate pump also for the spa jets which I run for 5 minutes and also the blower for 1 minute each day. Gets fresh chlorine in all the pipes.

    I could program my Jandy to run the spa on it's own but I'm not entirely sure it also runs spa drains? It seems if it did the spa would never get warm when running the spa heater if it's always getting water from the pool?
    13,000 gallons w/ spa (in-ground) | Plaster pool surface
    2.5HP Jandy Stealth Pump | CL580 Filter | Polaris 480 Pro w/ Halcyon Pump | 400,000 BTU Jandy LT | Jandy Aquapure 3PPM | Jandy PS4

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Cleaning spa bottom

    Quote Originally Posted by Mindflux View Post
    I could program my Jandy to run the spa on it's own but I'm not entirely sure it also runs spa drains? It seems if it did the spa would never get warm when running the spa heater if it's always getting water from the pool?
    Spa mode means draw from spa, return to spa. So you don't have to heat the whole pool to use the spa in the winter. That's one of the downfalls of those programmable systems. It takes you as long to figure it out and program it one time as I spend manually moving my valves in a whole year!
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Cleaning spa bottom

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    Spa mode means draw from spa, return to spa. So you don't have to heat the whole pool to use the spa in the winter. That's one of the downfalls of those programmable systems. It takes you as long to figure it out and program it one time as I spend manually moving my valves in a whole year!
    It's not that hard, everything is labeled. I'm just not familiar with it yet as I just bought the house with the pool mid April.

    As I said above I tried Spa drain mode, but the spa jets were also on at the same time so I saw no drop in water level so I couldn't tell if the drains were actually draining.
    13,000 gallons w/ spa (in-ground) | Plaster pool surface
    2.5HP Jandy Stealth Pump | CL580 Filter | Polaris 480 Pro w/ Halcyon Pump | 400,000 BTU Jandy LT | Jandy Aquapure 3PPM | Jandy PS4

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    wjr75's Avatar
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    Re: Cleaning spa bottom

    When I put my Jandy in spa mode the main pools returns and main drains are turned off and everything goes to the spa. I heat our spa on demand at that point which takes about 35 minutes with the Raypak 400BTU. I also winterize our pool in September and keep the spa open till December which requires some jumper changes which I have a pool company do for me each year. Probably depends how your Pool Builder setup your system.
    Inground 22k gallon gunite 15x31 main pool, 15x7 wading pool/sunning deck, hot tub/with overflow (9' octagon with limestone top) & slide NSWG, Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen
    Filter dual cartridge Sta-rite 450sq/ft, TF-100 Test Kit
    Heater Raypak 2100 400k btu cupro-nickel exchanger
    Auto pool cover, Polaris 280 auto pool cleaner, Jandy AqualinkRS8 Remote Control System

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