We recently purchased a house (in South Florida) that has a pool, spa, heater, and solar power heater. I have no experience with pools, though I am an engineer and am good at fixing things, especially electrical. I do have a pool maintenance person coming on once a week, and a pool heater person who has been here twice but not completely / correctly answered all my questions. Therefore, I turn to you all.
I'll list my questions first, for context, as you read about our spa / pool:
1) Is there a way to replace the 4-way air switch with a regular switch so I can test if the items hooked to that switch (spa pump) work?
2) Can the air line that has been cut be fixed?
3) is there a way to heat only the spa, and not the pool?
4) Does it sound reasonable to pay $2,155 to gut all the plumbing and switches, replace it with a wireless (iPhone) system, and which can heat the spa without heating the pool using only the one main existing pump (and no need for a second pump) due to a check valve design?
5) What do the switches in Figure d do? One is the pool lights, another is to the black box show in Figure e whose function I cannot determine. The third switch I cannot figure out.
All the pictures are here:
When the pool's main pump is turned on, it pumps water through the spa (4 - 5 jets), where it then falls into the pool (which only has 2 jets, one of which isn't working). It is controlled by an Intermatic T104R timer (Figure b, Figure i). Additionally, there's a solar power heater (Figure h). The solenoid only directs the water up to the roof for heating (Figure g) if it is turned on, the temperature is right, and if the main pump is on. That causes hot water to pump into the spa, which then falls over into the pool (Figure a).
I got the spa as high as 98 F here in August in south Florida, with the pool a little less since the water from the spa just falls into the pool. There is a four way air switch (Figure f) that is connected to a now broken air line (Figure b), a second pump (Figure c), and the blower to the spa. The repair person told me the second pump (Figure c) is to keep the water in the spa. He says the 2nd pump is broken, preventing the water in the spa from staying in the spa, which is why it falls into the pool and thus heats the pool (though when the solar heater is on, the one jet in the pool is hot). He said I wouldn't be able to operate the blower since the air line on the four-way switch is broke (Figure b) but the switch on the blower (Figure j) DID turn it on and off. There's also a regular pool heater that he feels was leaking refrigerant and therefore broken. I question if I even need a regular pool heater since I have the solar power heater.
The offered two options. Option 1 is to repair the pool spa pump and the 4-way switch for $1000. Before I consider that, I'd like to know if there's a way to verify that the 4-way switch is broken, and if that cut air line can even be fixed. I'd also like to know if there is any other way to keep the water in the spa in the spa, without falling over to the pool. The second option is to gut the plumbing and electrical, though we keep the main pump, and have a system controlled by an iPhone. He said that with a check valve design, that one main pump can keep the water in the spa, or pump the whole pool, though it can't do that now. That would cost $2200. He also says with that option, we should fix the pool heater ($3400) and it would backup the solar power heater. As I said, since we live in South Florida, not sure I want to replace that heater. Does this make sense?
There are also lights in the pool, controlled by the right bottom switch in Figure d and Figure g. Another switch there controls the black box in Figure e, but I can't figure out what that box does. There was a strip of lights that went around the pool, but I ripped them out on the recommendation of my pool maintenance person. Would it make sense for this black box be connected to it? Is there a way with these switches could provide even more control of the solar power heater, though they are nowhere near the solenoid, or allow me to keep the the spa from falling into the pool?
All the pictures again are here:
2014-08 Pool Pictures.jpg