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Thread: Please help me understand!

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    Please help me understand!

    Hello! I have recently started renting a house with a pool / spa. I have tried for 3 months to catch the pool guy so he can give me a lesson on how to work all this stuff, but i always seem to miss him. I want to know how to heat the pool & spa, but i don't want to start playing with levers and screw something up. I've searched online for diagrams and some explanation but it is all confusing to me and it seems that every setup is different. Here are some pics...anyone? Thanks in advance..


    PS- I apologize if this post isn't in the correct section ,or if I broke any rules






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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Please help me understand!

    It is difficult to follow the pipes that come out of the heater in those pictures, but they look like they are cut off and don't really go anywhere.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Please help me understand!

    The owner of the house says everything should work. I know the timer works, the pump/filter kicks on for 3 hours each day

    I can clean it up a bit and take more pics of the plumbing if needed..

    Thanks for your response

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Please help me understand!

    Here is my guess. In the top picture, the valve on the right are for controlling the suction from either the spa or pool. The valve on the left is for the return. Trial and error will tell you which is which but it looks it is currently set for either the pool or spa. At the bottom of the return valve and pipe is a bypass for the spa overflow.

    Given that you are currently running the pump, the valves are probably set for pool mode. To get into spa mode, with the pump off turn both valves 180 degrees so they are pointing in the other direction. This should circulate the water through the spa. You should then be able to turn on the heater. Make sure the gas is turned on as well to the unit (usually a small valve on the gas pipe). Not sure if that unit requires a pilot light or not but that may need lighting. You may need to adjust the thermostat to get it to turn on.

    The cut off pipe at the bottom of the filter is for draining the filter so it can be cleaned. Cartridge I think.
    Mark
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    Re: Please help me understand!

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    At the bottom of the return valve and pipe is a bypass for the spa overflow.
    Are you talking about the red knob on the ground to the left of the return? and by overflow, do you mean the overflow from ythe spa that spills into the pool?

    I'm assuming that when the return is pointing towards the spa, it operates the jets?

    Thanks for your help

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    Re: Please help me understand!

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985

    The cut off pipe at the bottom of the filter is for draining the filter so it can be cleaned. Cartridge I think.
    However, those look a lot like DE grids standing near the filter.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Please help me understand!

    I was wondering what those were.....
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Please help me understand!

    Quote Originally Posted by nnnick
    Are you talking about the red knob on the ground to the left of the return? and by overflow, do you mean the overflow from ythe spa that spills into the pool?

    I'm assuming that when the return is pointing towards the spa, it operates the jets?

    Thanks for your help
    I don't see a red knob near the return. However, in the top picture, the black 3-way valve on the left is to switch between the pool and spa return. Right underneath is a 1 or 3/4" pipe bypass with a check valve. I believe that is for the spa bypass so you get a spillover effect when in pool mode but it will shut off in spa mode.

    Also, when you reverse the black 3-way return valve, the spa jets should come on. If you don't reverse the suction as well (right black 3-way) the spa will just spillover into the pool. Reversing the black 3-way suction valve, will suck water out of the spa so then the spa will be isolated from the pool which is desireable when heating.

    Also, Waterbear is probably right, that might be a DE filter but I suspect it is the kind than needs to be cleaned by hand rather than backwashed.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
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    Re: Please help me understand!

    Ok, it's all starting to make sense now.

    In the first pic, there is a red valve to the left of the return pipes, on the ground. Any idea what this might be?

    Also, the heater has 2 temp knobs - is there one for the pool, one for the spa?

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Please help me understand!

    I looked a little harder at the picture and I see the red knob which looks like it could be pool fill valve. When you turn it on, do you hear water start to flow?

    I think the two thermostats apply to the switch high and low settings. I would think you could use either one in either pool or spa mode.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater, ThePoolCleaner

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    Re: Please help me understand!

    I haven't messed with it. I'll give it a shot when I get home later..

    One more question, in the first picture, you see the timer, and right below the timer there is a smaller silver box which contains a light switch. At first I thought it was for the pool light, but it doesn't turn on the light - and there is another switch near the back porch that operates the pool light. Is this a 2nd pool light switch that maybe just doesn't work, or might it be for something else?

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Please help me understand!

    I don't know for sure but it might just be a switch that shuts off the pump (i.e disables the timer).
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater, ThePoolCleaner

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Please help me understand!

    That might be for your heater?

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    Re: Please help me understand!

    Well I just went and played with everything. The red knob does fill the pool. Left lever is the return, right lever suction. It seems that I won't be able to heat the pool, and have the spa overflow into the pool at the same time? Only time I get the cool waterfall is when i pull from the pool and return to spa.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Please help me understand!

    Quote Originally Posted by nnnick
    Well I just went and played with everything. The red knob does fill the pool. Left lever is the return, right lever suction. It seems that I won't be able to heat the pool, and have the spa overflow into the pool at the same time? Only time I get the cool waterfall is when i pull from the pool and return to spa.
    You can heat the spa/pool in spillover mode but you will be heating both the pool and spa at the same time so if you want a hot spa, the only way is to set the valves for spa only and then heat.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater, ThePoolCleaner

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    Re: Please help me understand!

    First, welcome to TFP!!

    Second, Thank you Mark for identifying everything! (good catch on the 3/4 - 1" bypass!) (also, way to spot those DE grids , Evan -- nnnick, any chance of posting some pics of the grid assembly when you clean them? - I've never seen a DE filter like that and my curiosity is piqued 8) )

    Now for a couple of fine points I saw (it's easier once all the pipes are identified ). The heater has electronic ignition (there's a power cord running to it). I'm also not familiar with Versa heaters but, the switch has High/ Off/ Low - I assume that the 2 thermostats are for the High and low functions - high would be used for quickly raising the spa temp when in spa only mode, the left hand dial (the missing one ) would be set to ~ max for a nice toasty spa. The right hand knob would be for slowly raising or maintaining the pool temp (as Mark pointed out, the spa temp will also be raised because of the overflow bypass) with the toggle switch set to low.

    The junction box for the light(s) is in one of the pics (far left) - this is good to know if you ever need to change out the light or want to upgrade to 'color show' lights.

    As far as I can tell from the close-up of the valves, the stops are set so that you can't kill all suction or return flow (easily) so you may not need to kill the pump before adjusting them (though I'd do the return first, wait for the spa to overflow and then change the suction so that you have a full spa to hop into).

    nnnick, I hope you have a great season with your new pool/spa and everything is Trouble Free
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

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  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Please help me understand!

    Thanks for the welcome, and thanks to everybody for the assistance. Much appreciated.

    I heated the spa last night. woohoo! Took about 45 minutes for it to reach 102. The spa seems to slowly lose water though, I had suction on the spam and return on the spa, but after about 30 minutes, the water level was a good 3" lower. So I had to re-fill it by turning suction to the pool, which brought the spa temp back down to the 90's

    waste, I don't see myself cleaning the filter anytime soon (our landlord pays for a pool service), but if I ever happen to catch him out there cleaning it, i'll snap a few pics for ya.


    You guys have any idea how long it would take to heat the pool, and how much it's going to kill my wallet? The pool is aprox 12' x 21', shallow end being aprox 4' deep, deep end being aprox 6'.

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    mitch08's Avatar
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    Re: Please help me understand!

    Quote Originally Posted by nnnick
    Thanks for the welcome, and thanks to everybody for the assistance. Much appreciated.

    I heated the spa last night. woohoo! Took about 45 minutes for it to reach 102. The spa seems to slowly lose water though, I had suction on the spam and return on the spa, but after about 30 minutes, the water level was a good 3" lower. So I had to re-fill it by turning suction to the pool, which brought the spa temp back down to the 90's

    waste, I don't see myself cleaning the filter anytime soon (our landlord pays for a pool service), but if I ever happen to catch him out there cleaning it, i'll snap a few pics for ya.


    You guys have any idea how long it would take to heat the pool, and how much it's going to kill my wallet? The pool is aprox 12' x 21', shallow end being aprox 4' deep, deep end being aprox 6'.
    This entire thread is very impressive. Breaking down all your components to help you figure things out was very cool by the people on this forum.

    I think I can help you with the water level issue because I have a very similiar setup.
    What you need to do is keep the suction of the pool "cracked" just a slight bit. So you will be in spa mode, but if you were not in the spa for a while, water would trickle from the spa into the pool.

    95% of the water will be from the spa suction, but that little "crack" in the suction valve that allows a tiny bit of suction from the pool will allow for any displacement of your body weight which is lowering your level. It will be a slow enough amount of water that the temperature of the spa doesn't change. The only disadvantage is that sometimes the water coming out of the jets will feel a little cooler since there is a tad bit of pool water mixed in. But it is still worth it to keep the spa filled and hot.

    You will need to play with the valves to get the perfect amount of crackage for yourself
    Good luck!
    18x38 Inground Liner (25k gal) Paver surround, multi-speed pump, DE Filter, Raised spill over spa, TF-100

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