Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Please Help Upgrade/Simplify my Setup

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    LI, New York

    Please Help Upgrade/Simplify my Setup

    I inherited a pool with several issues when I bought my house and was hoping for some advice on the best and most cost-effective way to update it. It is a 30 year old 30,000 gallon gunite freeform pool with a “spa” area. I put that in quotes because there is absolutely nothing separating this area from the rest of the pool and thus no way to keep the water temperature higher than the rest of the pool. It does, however have its own 4 jets hooked up to a 2 ˝ hp pump. The spa appears to have had its own drain at one time, but this is no longer attached to any plumbing. I’m guessing it leaked. Currently, the intake for the spa is from a repurposed jet in the deep end of the pool. This of course makes it even more difficult to heat the spa area.

    Plumbing: I have two single speed Hayward super pumps (1 ˝ hp for the pool and 2 ˝ hp for the spa), one filter, and one gas powered heater. There is a complex system with 4 turnable valves to allow heated water to be directed to the pool jets or the spa jets. Heater and pool pump are on an intermatic mechanical timer. The spa pump used 2 inch pipes and the pool pump uses 1 1/2 inch pipes.

    Currently, the return line for the pool close to the pump is leaking badly. I definitely need to fix that, but figure this would be a good time to deal with some of the other annoyances.

    1) Switching from pool to spa mode is at best too cumbersome and at worst, problematic. I’ve done it wrong a couple of times which resulted in sand from the filter shooting out of the skimmers. Not good.
    2) Spa cannot maintain water temperature higher than surrounding pool
    3) Everything is manually controlled in an inconvenient location.

    Possible solutions/upgrades:
    1) Put up a wall between spa and pool; dig out and replace piping from spa drain. Get 4 valve actuators and an automation system to control them. This is just going to be too costly.
    2) Same as #1 without putting up wall. Still costly and limited ability to heat spa. Doesn’t seem worth it
    3) Simplify plumbing with shared intake (skimmers), single pump (which one?), and a single valve to select spa/pool. This would allow heated jets for the spa although they would be less powerful if I select the smaller pump. Selecting the larger pump would increase energy bills.
    4) Same as #3 but with a new variable speed pump. Would give powerful heated jets for spa when wanted and could lower speed when not using it for energy savings.
    5) Simplify plumbing to make two separate circuits with no valves to turn. Spa circuit would be unheated (and I think without filter unless there is a way to include it) but would provide powerful jets from the 2 ˝ hp pump. A simple remote control could turn on the spa jets without any valve-turning.

    I would like to improve this system and at least start on the path to an overall upgrade but without spending thousands of dollars now. I would appreciate any input and suggestions. Thanks in advance!

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Mount Cheaha Alabama

    Re: Please Help Upgrade/Simplify my Setup

    Option five sounds like they way to go.
    You can remove the spa from the filter circuit provided you have sufficient volume from your skimmers and the normal pool pump keep things circulating normally.
    I'd just perform a test and leave the spa pump off for a while and see if the circulation is sufficient and debris(if any) stay in normal patterns.

    You could still plumb the heater into the spa area and leave it out of the filter loop and only use that when you want to heat the pool or use the spa area.
    Try posting a picture of your setup in this case a picture would be really helpful
    30k in ground vinyl lined pool surrounded by decking in the woods.
    Hayward sand filter circa mid 80's
    If there is a way to do things less expensively and yield a superior product I am all ears

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Divin Dave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Longview, Texas

    Re: Please Help Upgrade/Simplify my Setup

    If you are going to use the heater, then you are going to have the fix the drain in the spa so you can circulate heated water.
    There is no way around that...eventually.

    There are basically two ways to consider it without it becoming frankenstein plumbing.
    Pool AND Spa
    Pool OR Spa

    A Variable Speed pump should be able to run both the spa and/or the pool. This will be huge in energy savings. Or for now you could use your exiting pumps, which are energy hogs.

    Here is a link to plumbing set ups to give you an idea of the required plumbing.
    You need more than 1 or 2 valves, because there are returns going to both the pool and the spa. If you isolate the spa, you have to isolate the returns also as well as the main drain.
    Jandy Valve Plumbing Schematics -

    You do not want to bypas the filter while running the spa. There will be oils, skin cells, and other stuff that need to be filtered out. Otherwise, the spa will just be a giant bathtub full of dirty water.

    Dont know if this is much help to you, but its the best I can provide.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge. Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    LI, New York

    Re: Please Help Upgrade/Simplify my Setup

    Divin Dave: I understand what you're saying but if I'm not going to wall off the spa, why isolate it's plumbing? As long as I run the pool pump/filter daily that should keep the pool and spa area clean, no? I don't see why additionally running a spa pump/heater would create a problem. The plumbing schematics make sense for an isolated spa but that is not what I'm working with.

    Basod: I like the idea of heating the pool using the spa jets. I normally run the pool pump on its own, on a timer for 10 hours, which is sufficient to keep the pool clean. I rarely use the spa pump. With your method, I could leave the pool pump operating daily as it does now, but without heat. I would use the spa pump with heater only when I want to heat the pool and/or use the spa jets. My concerns are

    (1) If I don't give the spa circuit its own filter, will debris get sucked into the heater and damage it?
    (2) If I rely on the heater's pressure switch and just turn the spa pump on and off to activate the heater, will that damage the heater? I know my current timer has a "fireman's switch" to prevent this.
    (3) Don't love the repurposed jet being used for spa intake- afraid it will suck in body parts

    I will definitely post pics as soon as the rain stops.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts