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Thread: Water feature issues

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    Water feature issues

    Brand new pool that's still curing and I've been experimenting with the water features. They consist of 2 sunshelf bubblers and a 4' sheer descent waterfall, plumbed to a Jandy 1.5HP FloPro pump (FHPM1.5). Each of the three features have their own dedicated valve and they're plumbed in a closed loop to a pump and 2 additional drains in the wall of the pool. The rest of the pool returns and spa are plumbed to a 2.7HP VSP.

    I'm only now realizing that this isn't the exact configuration that I was sold. I asked and have documented that I requested the ability to control the bubblers and waterfall. Either bubblers on, water fall on, both on, or both off. I was told by my sales guy that I'd need another actuator to control it from my Jandy RS8, so that went into the contract, but obviously not into the build (yet).

    What I'm finding though via manual manipulation of the valves is that when the waterfall is off, the bubblers shoot up way higher than I think they're supposed to...3 feet or more. That tells me that even with the additional actuator, and some plumbing changes to incorporate it, I have way too much pump for the job. Even when they're running with the waterfall it's a bit more active than I'd like. The bubblers sometimes get caught up in the standing waves and wobble dramatically until they eventually calm down and return to normal.

    I guess what I'm asking is if there is anything I can do with this current configuration to better control the flow to the features. Can I put a valve in that bleeds off some of the flow to somewhere else? Or, should I just make the PB put in an appropriate sized pump along with the actuator they forgot to include. Here's a pic of the plumbing and the pool with the features on.




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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Water feature issues

    46,

    There is no way, with a single speed pump that you will be able to turn on/off various water features and still maintain the same visual effect... Obviously when you turn off the wall, all the flow now have to go through the bubblers... The simplest thing would be to get a VS pump for the water features. Your automation would be set up with three speeds,, Bubblers, Waterfall, and Bubblers and Waterfall..

    The harder part is the valves.. if you truly want to control the bubblers independently from the Waterfall, it seems to me you will need three actuators, in the current plumbing configuration, or two actuators if the bubblers are re-plumbed with an additional Jandy valve feeding the two bubbler valves that are already there.

    Keep in mind the number of possible valves that your automation can control may be limited.. In my EasyTouch system, I can only have 4 valves total.. Your Jandy system may be different, but it is something to keep in mind...

    Great looking pool... I really like the decking..

    Thanks for posting,

    Jim R.

    - - - Updated - - -

    In the bigger picture, once the newness wears off and you realize that running your water features all the time will mean that you will have to a tanker truck of Muriatic Acid parked in front of your house so that you can control the pH level, it might not seem as much of a problem..
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

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    Re: Water feature issues

    The Jandy RS8 also has a limit of 4 actuated valves it can control. There are higher capacity Jandy control boards if you want to pursue Jim's suggestion for more actuators.

    We like having a VS pump for our sheer descents, and don't even have a secondary water feature with different flow needs. VS seems like a good idea in your case.
    18Kgal play pool+spillover spa, Tahoe Blue Quartzscape refurb June 2017, ~40'x15'
    1.5HP VS JeP, CCP420 cartridge filter, Sta-Rite 400HD, 1.0HP VS JeP for sheer descents
    Caretaker 5-port in-floor system, AP1400 SWCG, Aqualink: RS-8 Combo, iQ20, One-Touch
    K-1005, K-1515 FAS-DPD, K-1766, Taylor 9056 comparator, SpeedStir!

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    Re: Water feature issues

    Thanks. I currently have two actuated valves in the system that enable the spa mode with the main vsp. I'm thinking I could add one more actuator, along with replacing the 1.5HP pump with a VSP pump. The new actuated valve would be in a T between the waterfall and the one line feeding to the two bubbler valves. Would that work?

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Water feature issues

    46,

    You could, but then you could only control your bubblers... You could make the bubblers come on or off and the pump would control the flow... But, the bubblers could not be on without the waterfall being on.

    If this were my pool I'd want to be able to control the waterfall, and the bubblers independently, but whatever works for you, works for me..

    I reread your post and just want to be clear... 3-way valves are not really 3-way when an actuator is used... Manually you can move a 3-way valve so that all the water goes out the left port or the right port, or you can put it in the middle and have the water go out each port... So manually, with one valve you could select bubblers or waterfall or both the bubblers and the waterfall.

    But... with an actuator it is either (left port on and right port off) "or" (left port off and right port on) there is no "and" position..

    Thanks,

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

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    Re: Water feature issues

    Or, you could more generally say that an actuator only has TWO positions. The 2 positions may be full-on one way (bubblers) and full-on the other way (waterfall). OR, you can adjust the cam inside so that one of the 2 actuator positions is an in-between that feeds BOTH waterfall and bubblers. But that means you give up one of the full-on positions.

    In the end, with one actuator there, you have to choose 2 out of the 3 things you want for automation (waterfall only, bubblers only, both) and then manually toggle to the third option. I would leave the least likely of the 3 positions for manual control.
    18Kgal play pool+spillover spa, Tahoe Blue Quartzscape refurb June 2017, ~40'x15'
    1.5HP VS JeP, CCP420 cartridge filter, Sta-Rite 400HD, 1.0HP VS JeP for sheer descents
    Caretaker 5-port in-floor system, AP1400 SWCG, Aqualink: RS-8 Combo, iQ20, One-Touch
    K-1005, K-1515 FAS-DPD, K-1766, Taylor 9056 comparator, SpeedStir!

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    Re: Water feature issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Dodger View Post
    Or, you could more generally say that an actuator only has TWO positions.
    Ah. That's what I was missing. Thanks for the clarification. I guess what the PB sold me won't even do what I want.

    A related question...why do you suppose the PB ran two lines with two valves to the bubblers instead of just putting in one line with a pressure loop at the bubblers? I can't see any time where I would just want to run one bubbler and without the pressure loop the two valves need to be tweaked to equalize the height of the bubblers.

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Water feature issues

    Quote Originally Posted by foursix View Post
    Ah. That's what I was missing. Thanks for the clarification. I guess what the PB sold me won't even do what I want.

    A related question...why do you suppose the PB ran two lines with two valves to the bubblers instead of just putting in one line with a pressure loop at the bubblers? I can't see any time where I would just want to run one bubbler and without the pressure loop the two valves need to be tweaked to equalize the height of the bubblers.
    46,

    Having valves on the bubbler lines is a pretty normal way to plumb them.. It allows you to make them the same height.. or not...

    Going back to my first post.. you can have what you want, but it will take one new valve and two actuators.. One actuator on the new valve controlling the flow to the bubblers and one on the valve that now controls the waterfall.. Plus a new VS pump..

    Unless your Pool Builder is going to do this for free, I would live with what you have for a year. This will allow you to evaluate whether you really need/want the additional control.

    Thanks,

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

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    Re: Water feature issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimrahbe View Post
    46,

    Having valves on the bubbler lines is a pretty normal way to plumb them.. It allows you to make them the same height.. or not...

    Going back to my first post.. you can have what you want, but it will take one new valve and two actuators.. One actuator on the new valve controlling the flow to the bubblers and one on the valve that now controls the waterfall.. Plus a new VS pump..

    Unless your Pool Builder is going to do this for free, I would live with what you have for a year. This will allow you to evaluate whether you really need/want the additional control.

    Thanks,

    Jim R.
    Jim, thanks for the insight and I hear you on the "shiny" factor and acid demand. I plan on only using the water features sparingly, when I'm around the pool. As it is now, it's either silent or a raging torrent, and I'd like to be able to tone it down without turning it off. My PB does owe me some consideration:

    1. They added an additional actuator to my contract when I requested independent control and never delivered it. As it turns out, one isn't going to do it.
    2. They actually spec'd the water feature pump at 2.0HP and gave me a 1.5HP. Granted a 2HP pump would make the situation worse but it is what they committed to.

    I don't see how they have a way out of at least attempting a solution at this point, other than the fact that they're fully paid.

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Water feature issues

    46,

    Now is certainly the time if the pool builder is going to be involved..

    Since they are already paid, this will be a good test of their integrity...

    Water features sure look better on paper than they are in real life... No one, including me, ever thinks about the noise, the pH issues, or the scale/stain that some of them leave behind...

    I hope it turns out ok,

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

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    Re: Water feature issues

    It looks like you can do what you want since each water feature has its own valve control. What is the issue when manually setting it all?

    If you want it to work automatically, you might be able to use the smart JVA which allows settings on the valve actuators other than stop to stop. You need to have the OneTouch control panel to initially set the system up to recognize these ($500+). I think it would then be possible to have a control button programmed like if you want everything on then set JVA1 to 80%, JVA2 to 50%, JVA3 to 25%, etc. Most of the sales guys are unaware of the existence of the SmartJVAs.

    Search results for: 'SMARTJVA'
    29k Gallon Free Form Gunite Pool, 3 floor returns, 2 wall returns, 1 vacuum pressure port, 2 skimmers, Main drain, Jandy 2.7HP VSP, Jandy JXI400N Gas Heater, Jandy CV340 Cartridge Filter, FusionSoft 1400 SWG, 2 Watercolors LED, iAqualink with PDA, Sheer Waterfall, Rock Waterfall, 9' Deep End w/Diving Board, SunDeck, Polaris 9650iQ, TF-100 - Pool Build - 2017 - Google Photos

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    Re: Water feature issues

    PoolGate,

    I wasn't aware of the SmartJVA either! Since I already have a OneTouch, this might be a future toy to play with. If I can just think of some configuration I want to apply it to.
    18Kgal play pool+spillover spa, Tahoe Blue Quartzscape refurb June 2017, ~40'x15'
    1.5HP VS JeP, CCP420 cartridge filter, Sta-Rite 400HD, 1.0HP VS JeP for sheer descents
    Caretaker 5-port in-floor system, AP1400 SWCG, Aqualink: RS-8 Combo, iQ20, One-Touch
    K-1005, K-1515 FAS-DPD, K-1766, Taylor 9056 comparator, SpeedStir!

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Water feature issues

    I believe the Smart JVA only allows the valve to be in two positions... it is either off or whatever position you have it set for... you can set it in 5 degree increments.

    The great advantage is that you can change the position you want electrically, rather than having to open the actuator and mechanically adjust stops...

    I think it is pretty neat, but it does not appear that you can have it be Off, then 50% and then full On...

    Thanks,

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

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    Re: Water feature issues

    Ah, okay Jim. I misunderstood. I guess that makes sense given that the physical part of the actuator stops is not changed. Thanks for the clarification!
    18Kgal play pool+spillover spa, Tahoe Blue Quartzscape refurb June 2017, ~40'x15'
    1.5HP VS JeP, CCP420 cartridge filter, Sta-Rite 400HD, 1.0HP VS JeP for sheer descents
    Caretaker 5-port in-floor system, AP1400 SWCG, Aqualink: RS-8 Combo, iQ20, One-Touch
    K-1005, K-1515 FAS-DPD, K-1766, Taylor 9056 comparator, SpeedStir!

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    Re: Water feature issues

    I think the smart JVA may work based on the info on this page Jandy® Pro Series Smart JVA by Zodiac® - Pool Spa Marketing

    Thanks PoolGate.

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    Re: Water feature issues

    For the record, I put one of these in my system. It is very easy to install. However, I cannot use it since I do not have a OneTouch display. I got so much conflicting information on this product that I figured I'd take a chance and order it anyway and hope I could program it with my iAqualink interface. But it did not work because I had no way to initially tell the system where the SmartJVA was located (It did recognize that the board was installed, however). Frustrating! I have been looking for a cheap used OneTouch and also my local pool store said they could probably bring one over just to program it. I do not think you need the OneTouch once the system is setup. It will not program via the PDA or the web Interface. I can change the percent now as it does appear in my configuration, it is just not assigned to any physical JVA so it doesn't do anything.

    If you do get it, I suggest also getting an extension cable or longer cable for the connection that attaches power to the JVA module. The location you will need to use in the Jandy box to mount the SmartJVA board is far away from the power adapter. At least in mine that is how it was. I got it in with what I had but the cable is stretched to the limit. With a longer cable, I could have put it in the low voltage raceway along the left side which has plenty of space for it. Instead, I had to put it where the RS-485 communications cable breakout board is located.
    29k Gallon Free Form Gunite Pool, 3 floor returns, 2 wall returns, 1 vacuum pressure port, 2 skimmers, Main drain, Jandy 2.7HP VSP, Jandy JXI400N Gas Heater, Jandy CV340 Cartridge Filter, FusionSoft 1400 SWG, 2 Watercolors LED, iAqualink with PDA, Sheer Waterfall, Rock Waterfall, 9' Deep End w/Diving Board, SunDeck, Polaris 9650iQ, TF-100 - Pool Build - 2017 - Google Photos

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    Re: Water feature issues

    Thanks PoolGate. Your experience installing the SmartJVA is very helpful for planning. I'm thinking of putting one in on my Intake side, to pull 5% from my spa in Pool Mode and balance/negate the spillover caused by my in-floor cleaner. The main downside would be that the spa would slowly drain if/when I close the in-floor cleaning valve. So, still thinking about it....

    But the SmartJVA takes away the tedious part of this project, which would have been manually and iteratively adjusting the actuator cam inside the box.

    Anyway, I also wanted to reconfirm Jim's point (I think) that the SmartJVA actuator still only controls 2 positions. So it can control the balance of flow between foursix's waterfall and bubblers - a useful function to set and tweak by automation - but the SmartJVA's second position would be either "bubbler only" or "waterfall only". So he would need at least one more actuated valve to get that third option, as Jim described originally.
    18Kgal play pool+spillover spa, Tahoe Blue Quartzscape refurb June 2017, ~40'x15'
    1.5HP VS JeP, CCP420 cartridge filter, Sta-Rite 400HD, 1.0HP VS JeP for sheer descents
    Caretaker 5-port in-floor system, AP1400 SWCG, Aqualink: RS-8 Combo, iQ20, One-Touch
    K-1005, K-1515 FAS-DPD, K-1766, Taylor 9056 comparator, SpeedStir!

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    Re: Water feature issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Dodger View Post
    Anyway, I also wanted to reconfirm Jim's point (I think) that the SmartJVA actuator still only controls 2 positions. So it can control the balance of flow between foursix's waterfall and bubblers - a useful function to set and tweak by automation - but the SmartJVA's second position would be either "bubbler only" or "waterfall only". So he would need at least one more actuated valve to get that third option, as Jim described originally.
    Although there seems like very little documentation out there, I have done some reading and I'm pretty sure that's not the case. From their patent application located here https://patents.google.com/patent/US20140060656:

    Need thus exists for multi-position actuators of low cost and less complexity than current offerings. Such actuators may be obtained by coupling a JVA to an electronic controller able to measure transit time of the JVA from the first position to the second position. If the first and second positions are selected to be maximum (“hard limit”) travel boundaries of the cams, transit time may be calibrated to the change in position between the boundaries. Hence, the controller may stop the JVA at any position between the boundaries by measuring the elapsed travel time and signaling cessation of movement at the appropriate time.

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    Re: Water feature issues

    foursix, I like your style. Researching the patent! Are you an IP attorney? (You don't have to answer that.)


    Ultimately, it would be great if you could report back when you give the SmartJVA a try. I am intrigued by your water feature dilemma and how to best solve it.
    18Kgal play pool+spillover spa, Tahoe Blue Quartzscape refurb June 2017, ~40'x15'
    1.5HP VS JeP, CCP420 cartridge filter, Sta-Rite 400HD, 1.0HP VS JeP for sheer descents
    Caretaker 5-port in-floor system, AP1400 SWCG, Aqualink: RS-8 Combo, iQ20, One-Touch
    K-1005, K-1515 FAS-DPD, K-1766, Taylor 9056 comparator, SpeedStir!

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    Re: Water feature issues

    Ha! No, not an attorney. I found the link in another TFP post how does iaqualink seasonal adjust work? How about Smart JVA's?

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