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Thread: Spa return jets very weak after installing new heater

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
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    San Diego, CA
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    Spa return jets very weak after installing new heater

    My old heater stopped working right about three years ago. It wasnít worth repairing and I couldnít afford a new one at the time. So after three years, I finally got a new heater. The first time I used the spa and heater it was great, I had forgotten how nice a heated spa was. I only use the heater for the spa, I never heat the pool.

    The second time I used the heater and spa, the jet action of the water being returned to the spa was noticeably diminished. I checked the pool and there wasnít any water being returned to the pool, it was just being returned to the spa. After about an hour, I turned the heater off to let things cool down before turning off the pump. As soon the heater was turned off, the jet action in the spa became very strong. I left the pump running for about an hour and when I went to turn it off, it didnít seem like the temperature of the water had dropped at all.

    The third time I used the heater and spa, the jet action of the water was even more diminished than the last time and it stayed like that even after I turned off the heater. If I covered a few jets, some bubbles would come out of another jet for a few seconds, but that was it. When I turned the heater on, it made this weird whining sound, almost like a jet engine, for about 15-20 seconds while it was flashing ďSparkĒ and before ďWater HeatingĒ was displayed. Other than that, the heater seemed to work fine.

    The fourth time I used the heater and spa, there was no jet action at all. The flow of the water being returned was really weak and it stayed like that the whole time even after I turned off the heater. Covering the jets made no difference at all. The heater made that same weird whining sound when I turned it on but other than that, it worked fine.

    A couple things to note:

    After using the spa the first time and before using it the second time, I cleaned out the pool pump strainer basket. As soon as I take the lid off I shove a hose in the pump while I clean out the basket but some air always gets in anyway. I stuff a tennis ball in the strainer too but it usually pops out so I always have to prime the pump when I start it up again. This time was no exception. Could this have caused the problem?

    Right before we used it the second time, my son-in-law took that silver dome lid off the air blower to look at the filter inside even though I asked him not to. I already knew it was in bad shape because it was three years ago and I wasnít planning on using the air blower. Everything worked great the first time so I didnít want to mess with the filter at this time. I havenít been able to find a replacement filter for this anywhere. Could this have contributed to the diminished jet action?

    I also noticed that the air tube has a crack in it. It didnít used to be like that and Iím not sure when this happened. I think it was intact the first two times we used the spa but I donít know for sure. I taped it up to see if that made any difference but it didnít. I know this has to be replaced but I think there were issues before this was cracked.

    Since I didnít have heated water running through the system for three years I thought maybe the hot water caused the seals in the Ortega valves to shrink a little but if that did happen then I would think that some water would be returned to the pool and itís not. It seems like Iíve got air trapped in the system somehow but I donít know how to check for that. If anyone can help me solve this I would really appreciate it.
    13500 gal, IG plaster Pool/Spa combo
    Pentair 48 sqft FNS Plus DE filter (FNSP48), 2Ē PVC Slide/Push-Pull Backwash valve
    Sta-Rite 1.5hp Max E Glas pump (PE6F), Ortega 3-port Diverter valves, Jandy Check valve
    Raypak Digital Pool/Spa heater (P-M206A-EN), TF-100 Test Kit w/ SpeedStir (coolest gadget ever!!)

  2. Back To Top    #2
    mas985's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Pleasanton, CA
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    Re: Spa return jets very weak after installing new heater

    The air filter is important because it prevents anything large from getting into the air vent. But that should not affect the water flow rate. That would only affect the air bubbles. If it was blocked, there would be few air bubbles but the jets would still feel strong.

    But a few questions.

    So when you say jet action reduced, do you mean less bubbles or less flow rate?

    Have you tried backwashing the filter? I would do this first

    Has the clean filter pressure changed much since you added the heater? What was it before/after the installation?

    Does the heater have a bypass with an automatic valve?
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    6

    Re: Spa return jets very weak after installing new heater

    The flow rate is much lower and there are no bubbles.

    I'm going to backwash the filter this weekend. It was a little over 20 psi before the heater was installed and now it's a little over 25 psi.

    I don't believe there's any bypass with an automatic valve. The outlet from the filter goes to the heater intake and the outlet from the heater returns to the pool or spa depending on how you have it set. I never heat the pool so when I'm using the heater I always set it to spa.

    I tried to upload a picture but it just said upload failed. Maybe it's because my first post was so long, I'll try uploading it again. Thanks!

    Still can't upload file - get error saying upload of file failed.
    13500 gal, IG plaster Pool/Spa combo
    Pentair 48 sqft FNS Plus DE filter (FNSP48), 2Ē PVC Slide/Push-Pull Backwash valve
    Sta-Rite 1.5hp Max E Glas pump (PE6F), Ortega 3-port Diverter valves, Jandy Check valve
    Raypak Digital Pool/Spa heater (P-M206A-EN), TF-100 Test Kit w/ SpeedStir (coolest gadget ever!!)

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    May 2010
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    Tucson, AZ
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    37,389

    Re: Spa return jets very weak after installing new heater

    Likely the picture is too big:
    To post more/larger pictures, you either need to raise your storage allotment by Becoming a TFP Supporter or follow the How To Post Pictures tutorial.

    You should backwash when the pressure rises 20-25% over the clean pressure ... you should certainly start with cleaning the filter and see if that is causing the flow reduction. The fact that your flow has been slowly dropping certainly sounds like a filter clogging 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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