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Thread: Water Level Drops

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    Compstuff's Avatar
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    Water Level Drops

    Split by moderator out of this sticky. Best to start your own thread. Thanks, jblizzle

    Thankfully found your forum today as I am desperately trying to learn how to maintain my pool and get rid of the pretty neon green that has started within the last few weeks... but I will read read read before I start asking
    POOL: 15 x 30 IG Plaster Pool With Spa about 15,900 Gal 1996
    Single Main Drain + Spa Drain + Single Skimmer
    FILTER: Purex Triton CC150 150GPM Cartridge Filter 31 x 10
    PUMP: Pentair SuperFlo SF-N1-1A + Pentair Model 320 Chlorinator

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    Water Level Drops

    Well this is my first question on the forum but it relates to a problem I have had since I bought this house three years ago. The house came with a pool and attached spa and every night after the the pump turns off the spa will drain water down to just below the inlet jets and in the morning when the pump turns on it will fill up again and start falling over the wall as designed.

    20140623_144648.jpg

    Here are my questions:

    1) The spa drain valve has a small leak on the bottom of the valve (which the previous home owner obviously tried to fix with epoxy), I want to replace the valve but its so close to the concrete pad that I'm not sure how, so any help would be appreciated
    20130513_111529B.jpg20140622_101452.jpg

    2) The spa feed comes out of the chlorinator and then go to a J valve whch splits into 2 actual feeds that control separate jets in the spa. I already replaced the check valve on the one feed line but I don't understand why their isn't a 2nd check valve on the other feed line, shouldn't their be one? For that matter I don't quite understand why they even have separate controls for the spa inlets.
    20130513_111529C.jpg

    3) The pool heater has never worked since I moved in. It turns on (the light goes on) but nothing seems to actually happen. At this point I'm not sure if I should try and get it repaired of if I should just remove it from my entire system. Even though it would be nice to have a hot tub, I'm not sure I will ever actually use it in Miami and I imagine it would probably be pretty costly to actually run. I would appreciate any thoughts on this. Additionally if it is actually dead should I remove it and if so how would you suggest I plump the lines.

    20140618_104629.jpg

    Thanks in advance
    Last edited by Compstuff; 06-23-2014 at 02:04 PM. Reason: Added pictures
    POOL: 15 x 30 IG Plaster Pool With Spa about 15,900 Gal 1996
    Single Main Drain + Spa Drain + Single Skimmer
    FILTER: Purex Triton CC150 150GPM Cartridge Filter 31 x 10
    PUMP: Pentair SuperFlo SF-N1-1A + Pentair Model 320 Chlorinator

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    Re: Water Level Drops

    OH MAN!!! I just noticed that the spa drain valve has developed a crack in the small pipe that feeds the valve. Its so close to the concrete I'm not sure how to replace it. If I do it or call a plumber can anyone tell me if I should reuse the same valve or buy a new one/better one?

    20140622_101512B.jpg
    Last edited by Compstuff; 06-23-2014 at 12:03 PM. Reason: Change Picture
    POOL: 15 x 30 IG Plaster Pool With Spa about 15,900 Gal 1996
    Single Main Drain + Spa Drain + Single Skimmer
    FILTER: Purex Triton CC150 150GPM Cartridge Filter 31 x 10
    PUMP: Pentair SuperFlo SF-N1-1A + Pentair Model 320 Chlorinator

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    Re: Water Level Drops

    OK so after reading a bunch of threads regarding different valves it seems pretty clear that the recommendation is to go with better quality valves like the Jandy or Pentair. I definitely need to replace the Spa valve that is leaking but I am wondering if I should just do all 4 valves and re-plumb the whole "manifold". I also have a main drain valve with a broken handle and an extremely sticky ball so I really need to replace that at well.

    Any suggestions and advice would be really appreciated.
    POOL: 15 x 30 IG Plaster Pool With Spa about 15,900 Gal 1996
    Single Main Drain + Spa Drain + Single Skimmer
    FILTER: Purex Triton CC150 150GPM Cartridge Filter 31 x 10
    PUMP: Pentair SuperFlo SF-N1-1A + Pentair Model 320 Chlorinator

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    Re: Water Level Drops

    Getting nervous that the pipe crack may get worse so just wondering if anyone has suggestions before I make another mistake due to my pool ignorance
    POOL: 15 x 30 IG Plaster Pool With Spa about 15,900 Gal 1996
    Single Main Drain + Spa Drain + Single Skimmer
    FILTER: Purex Triton CC150 150GPM Cartridge Filter 31 x 10
    PUMP: Pentair SuperFlo SF-N1-1A + Pentair Model 320 Chlorinator

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    Re: Water Level Drops

    Just wondering if anyone can help me at all with my questions or make any suggestions based on my system problems??? I continue to research, read, watch youtube videos etc but still not sure whats right and whats wrong.
    POOL: 15 x 30 IG Plaster Pool With Spa about 15,900 Gal 1996
    Single Main Drain + Spa Drain + Single Skimmer
    FILTER: Purex Triton CC150 150GPM Cartridge Filter 31 x 10
    PUMP: Pentair SuperFlo SF-N1-1A + Pentair Model 320 Chlorinator

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    Re: Water Level Drops

    Hopefully this bump will get you a little more visibility.

    The only one I can start to help with is the heater. Do you have a manual for it? See if you can find a troubleshooting section with a decision tree or something. There are lots of things that could be wrong, and they could run the gamut from easy and cheap to really hard and really expensive. You'll have to start with gas vs. electric, is the pilot light on or does it auto ignite, and you'll have to individually test the switches in the circuit.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
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    Re: Water Level Drops

    Man that leak is in a bad spot! Actually I wouldn't want any of my plumbing encased in concrete like that. I know your in Miami but concrete flexes a bit with temp changes. Not good for the PVC - as you know! I would probably plan to cut out that 6 inch patch of concrete and redo all the valves... In the meantime, you could try some JB Weld on that leak and see if that fixes the water level problem.
    16 x 32 inground vinyl pool (21000 gallons) (new liner installed 2014)
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    Re: Water Level Drops

    Its an Electric Heat Pump but I am going to track down the manual and info today... I can do a good deal of troubleshooting but fall short in on the AC side of things... thanks I will report back

    Quote Originally Posted by Smykowski View Post
    Hopefully this bump will get you a little more visibility.

    The only one I can start to help with is the heater. Do you have a manual for it? See if you can find a troubleshooting section with a decision tree or something. There are lots of things that could be wrong, and they could run the gamut from easy and cheap to really hard and really expensive. You'll have to start with gas vs. electric, is the pilot light on or does it auto ignite, and you'll have to individually test the switches in the circuit.
    - - - Updated - - -

    The fact that they did this in concrete this way kills me... I have nothing really to work with so I am seriously considering what you suggest and just open up the concrete. Can you or anyone help me with ideas for changing out the valves and or redesigning the manifold? Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Sminor View Post
    Man that leak is in a bad spot! Actually I wouldn't want any of my plumbing encased in concrete like that. I know your in Miami but concrete flexes a bit with temp changes. Not good for the PVC - as you know! I would probably plan to cut out that 6 inch patch of concrete and redo all the valves... In the meantime, you could try some JB Weld on that leak and see if that fixes the water level problem.
    POOL: 15 x 30 IG Plaster Pool With Spa about 15,900 Gal 1996
    Single Main Drain + Spa Drain + Single Skimmer
    FILTER: Purex Triton CC150 150GPM Cartridge Filter 31 x 10
    PUMP: Pentair SuperFlo SF-N1-1A + Pentair Model 320 Chlorinator

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    Re: Water Level Drops

    That's a tough one. I would imagine you'll need to get a concrete saw and cut from behind the valves all the way across the pad one both sides, and then cut the pipes off at ground level under the concrete. Assuming of course there is room... if not you might have to get a jack hammer and score the crete first. Not going to be an easy job or one for the weak of heart (ie. not handy). I consider myself pretty handy and that is something I would dread for sure. Crazy that they concreted those pipes in, that would have been my fear from the beginning. The only other option I could think of would be some kind of plumbers tape that will seal around the pipe as a stop gap measure until you can come up with a better solution or bite the bullet and go the hard way on this. Best of luck!!!
    Installed May 2014 - 16' x 48" Summer Escapes Pro Series Pool AG Vinyl (6,000 gal) - Intex 2650 Sand Filter - Christmas, FL

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    Re: Water Level Drops

    How far out does the concrete pad extend? Could you post a picture of the whole pad? Personally I would like a little more elbow room in my pad plumbing. It looks nice to have everything all compact but it can be a pain to work with when a problem pops up, as you have found. If you have time to re-plumb the pad I would go with paver blocks and gravel for a foundation, with the gravel surrounding the area where the pipes exit the ground. I would add the better quality valves as you indicated earlier, and place unions between the pieces of equipment to make it easier to swap out in the future. If you are not using the inline chlorinator I would remove it as well.
    I would raise the height of the pipes coming out of the ground so there is more space to work on pipes in the future. Try sketching out a couple of re-plumbing plans and post them here and we can help you tweak your plans.
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    Re: Water Level Drops

    Were definitely on the same page... I am handy for sure and not "afraid" of this but I truly dread how big a job this will turn out to be. I am trying to think this through very carefully before I jump... and if I go that route I will probably wind up replacing a bunch of items so it's not just the hard work its going to add up quickly. I checked yesterday and I can rent a concrete saw for a day for only $40.00 which isn't bad at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Waldog View Post
    That's a tough one. I would imagine you'll need to get a concrete saw and cut from behind the valves all the way across the pad one both sides, and then cut the pipes off at ground level under the concrete. Assuming of course there is room... if not you might have to get a jack hammer and score the crete first. Not going to be an easy job or one for the weak of heart (ie. not handy). I consider myself pretty handy and that is something I would dread for sure. Crazy that they concreted those pipes in, that would have been my fear from the beginning. The only other option I could think of would be some kind of plumbers tape that will seal around the pipe as a stop gap measure until you can come up with a better solution or bite the bullet and go the hard way on this. Best of luck!!!
    POOL: 15 x 30 IG Plaster Pool With Spa about 15,900 Gal 1996
    Single Main Drain + Spa Drain + Single Skimmer
    FILTER: Purex Triton CC150 150GPM Cartridge Filter 31 x 10
    PUMP: Pentair SuperFlo SF-N1-1A + Pentair Model 320 Chlorinator

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    Re: Water Level Drops

    The pad is 4 ft x 8 1/2 ft but I have no idea how deep. I will try a few things tomorrow to see if I can determine that. Here are some pics and a mechanical drawing, that is not exact regarding orientation but mechanically correct, except I left out the chlorinator.
    20140703_090018.jpg20140703_090104.jpg20140703_090119.jpg
    valve_settings_3.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by zea3 View Post
    How far out does the concrete pad extend? Could you post a picture of the whole pad? Personally I would like a little more elbow room in my pad plumbing. It looks nice to have everything all compact but it can be a pain to work with when a problem pops up, as you have found. If you have time to re-plumb the pad I would go with paver blocks and gravel for a foundation, with the gravel surrounding the area where the pipes exit the ground. I would add the better quality valves as you indicated earlier, and place unions between the pieces of equipment to make it easier to swap out in the future. If you are not using the inline chlorinator I would remove it as well.
    I would raise the height of the pipes coming out of the ground so there is more space to work on pipes in the future. Try sketching out a couple of re-plumbing plans and post them here and we can help you tweak your plans.
    POOL: 15 x 30 IG Plaster Pool With Spa about 15,900 Gal 1996
    Single Main Drain + Spa Drain + Single Skimmer
    FILTER: Purex Triton CC150 150GPM Cartridge Filter 31 x 10
    PUMP: Pentair SuperFlo SF-N1-1A + Pentair Model 320 Chlorinator

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    Re: Water Level Drops

    Haven't had a chance until today to check up further on this, plus its been raining like crazy every day but I finally checked this morning. I dug on the side of the pad and can see that it is a 4" extension pad. I was able to dig under the pad and actually touch the first PVC pipe so this isn't as bad as it could have been. I am going to plan on renting a saw and cut the concrete pad for a redesign. Before I make the plan, which I will report here, my wife has asked me to see about the heater because she would like it for the spa. Based on that I decided to call Aqua-Cal and I will have them come out and determine if the heater is salvageable and at what cost.... I figured with all the projects I have going on that was the most effective thing to do.

    20140709_092026.jpg20140709_092046.jpg20140709_092052.jpg
    POOL: 15 x 30 IG Plaster Pool With Spa about 15,900 Gal 1996
    Single Main Drain + Spa Drain + Single Skimmer
    FILTER: Purex Triton CC150 150GPM Cartridge Filter 31 x 10
    PUMP: Pentair SuperFlo SF-N1-1A + Pentair Model 320 Chlorinator

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    Re: Water Level Drops

    The tech from Aqua-Cal came over and was IMHO very sincere and honest. He told me that he could repair the unit but he recommended not doing it. The unit is 13 years old and was plumbed with copper and he said the copper starts thinning out and weakening at the 11 year mark. Based on the age and condition he said it could burst anytime after being put back in use which would be a waste of money.

    He also said that if I was only interested in heating the spa I could go a much more economical way.

    I am planning to cut the unit out this weekend and dispose of it properly next week.
    POOL: 15 x 30 IG Plaster Pool With Spa about 15,900 Gal 1996
    Single Main Drain + Spa Drain + Single Skimmer
    FILTER: Purex Triton CC150 150GPM Cartridge Filter 31 x 10
    PUMP: Pentair SuperFlo SF-N1-1A + Pentair Model 320 Chlorinator

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    Re: Water Level Drops

    I was thinking of using these, http://www.poolsupplyworld.com/Penta...mpid=fbt_78742 1 each for the old valves and then 1 for the main return valve. Is this a good choice? Any other suggestions?
    POOL: 15 x 30 IG Plaster Pool With Spa about 15,900 Gal 1996
    Single Main Drain + Spa Drain + Single Skimmer
    FILTER: Purex Triton CC150 150GPM Cartridge Filter 31 x 10
    PUMP: Pentair SuperFlo SF-N1-1A + Pentair Model 320 Chlorinator

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    Re: Water Level Drops

    I have not heard any complaints on the quality of the pentair valves, and it looks like a good price on sale. I would also add unions between your equipment, so you can undo the unions to pull a piece out for repair if needed.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Water Level Drops

    When you say add unions do you mean at each end of the valves (PVC-UNION-VALVE-UNION-PVC)?

    The current manifold has 4 valves; Spa Drain, Main Drain, Skimmer & Vacuum. Am I correct that I should add a separate Pentair Valve for each to maintain the individual control?

    I am definitely removing the heater and the chlorinator, is their a "proper" way to make the new connection and feed the Main pool return and Spa jets so water pressure and flow are correct?

    For the spa jets I will definitely be adding a second check valve and if I can't find new seals for the current j-valve I will replace it.

    I will replace the main pool return valve with the same pentair referenced above.

    That leaves me with my final item, an already broken drain valve which needs to be replaced... not sure if I will use the pentair on that.

    Does this all sound about right?

    Quote Originally Posted by zea3 View Post
    I have not heard any complaints on the quality of the pentair valves, and it looks like a good price on sale. I would also add unions between your equipment, so you can undo the unions to pull a piece out for repair if needed.
    POOL: 15 x 30 IG Plaster Pool With Spa about 15,900 Gal 1996
    Single Main Drain + Spa Drain + Single Skimmer
    FILTER: Purex Triton CC150 150GPM Cartridge Filter 31 x 10
    PUMP: Pentair SuperFlo SF-N1-1A + Pentair Model 320 Chlorinator

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    Re: Water Level Drops

    Don't want to sound stupid but I'm not sure I understand about the pavers and the gravel. I visualize filling the cut area around the pipes with gravel and then laying pavers on top.

    I am trying to figure out how to raise the pipes and valves and then connect to the pump

    Quote Originally Posted by zea3 View Post
    If you have time to re-plumb the pad I would go with paver blocks and gravel for a foundation, with the gravel surrounding the area where the pipes exit the ground.

    I would raise the height of the pipes coming out of the ground so there is more space to work on pipes in the future.
    POOL: 15 x 30 IG Plaster Pool With Spa about 15,900 Gal 1996
    Single Main Drain + Spa Drain + Single Skimmer
    FILTER: Purex Triton CC150 150GPM Cartridge Filter 31 x 10
    PUMP: Pentair SuperFlo SF-N1-1A + Pentair Model 320 Chlorinator

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Water Level Drops

    I'll reply within your post in red

    Quote Originally Posted by Compstuff View Post
    When you say add unions do you mean at each end of the valves (PVC-UNION-VALVE-UNION-PVC)? It doesn't have to be right after the valve, in fact I would put it closer to the piece of equipment if possible.

    The current manifold has 4 valves; Spa Drain, Main Drain, Skimmer & Vacuum. Am I correct that I should add a separate Pentair Valve for each to maintain the individual control? Yes.

    I am definitely removing the heater and the chlorinator, is their a "proper" way to make the new connection and feed the Main pool return and Spa jets so water pressure and flow are correct? If there is no more equipment between the filter and the pool just make the line as straight a shot to the pool return as possible.

    For the spa jets I will definitely be adding a second check valve and if I can't find new seals for the current j-valve I will replace it.

    I will replace the main pool return valve with the same pentair referenced above.

    That leaves me with my final item, an already broken drain valve which needs to be replaced... not sure if I will use the pentair on that.

    Does this all sound about right? sounds ok to me.
    TFP Moderator
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