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Thread: Inground spa/jets/blower

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    Inground spa/jets/blower

    Brand new to the forum just today. I'm thoroughly impressed by the knowledge here...I've been poking around for a couple weeks now, and have realized a lot of my mistakes/missed opportunities. This is my second season of being a pool owner, and have enjoyed 99% of it. Thanks for everything everyone does here.

    Inground Heldor spa (circa 1990?) had been disconnected completely from a support system for probably 10 years. Found just 2 pipes sticking out of the ground. Hot tub guy came out, chopped off all of the exposed plumbing to the pool (needed replacement anyway), and plumbed it in altogether, to take advantage of the good gas heat. Now, I have 6 valves (3 suction, 3 return). Has been great, and enjoyable for the past 2 weeks. Couple issues, though.

    I lose about .5-1" of water daily. Tub is set in concrete, so I can't see any water leakage. No puddling in yard either.

    Air intake port (top of tub) fills up w/water. Obviously, no air is entering to allow air adjustment.

    Pool guy seems to think I have leaky jets. So, would A) leaky jets cause the tub to lose this much water, B) leaky jets cause the air intake to fill up, and C) at some point burn up my blower? The blower is the same vintage Mariah 120v, and actually surprised it worked when we fired it up. The good thing is is that the jets have the 2 pinholes in them, which I'm assuming means a tool will allow it to be unthreaded, and retro-fitted.

    I have no documentation as to why this tub was chopped off. All I know is that the previous owners replaced all of the equipment during their stay, and did not use the tub often. I also do not know if a common support system set-up was used or not.

    Greg
    Kansas City, MO
    13500 gallon Foxx vinyl sport pool--inground (1988)
    Cristal-Flo sand filter
    Ray-Pak 406A digital
    1.5 HP single speed
    400 gallon Heldor inground spa, octagon

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    launboy's Avatar
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    Re: Inground spa/jets/blower

    Do all your jets have about the same pressure? How much force does the water coming out have? Are you talking about the venturi air opening(the one filling with water)? On my tub if you hold your finger over any one of the jets and completely block it off the venturi air pipe will fill with water.

    Adam
    18' x 42" Intex Easyset Pool, with 16' x 52" deep end in the middle. Approx. 5500 Gal.
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1 HP, 100# Jacuzzi Brand Sand Filter(Piped underground so it looks nice) 8)
    3 - 2' x 20' Solar Pool Heater Panels(roof mounted)
    Goin' on 9 summers...NOBODY thought it would last this long.
    Buried Portable Spa sharing pumps and water with pool (Almost complete project)

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    Re: Inground spa/jets/blower

    How about a photo? Is the plumbing above or below spa water level?

    Lee
    IG 24k plaster with overflow spa. Goldline PS-8 SWG. Tristar 0.75 HP filter pump, Polaris 280, large cartridge filter, 400k BTU NG Max-E-Therm HD, SR Smith Turbo Twister, Life Saver pool fence, ORP managed.

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    Re: Inground spa/jets/blower

    Hey guys---the pressure is the same all the way around, on all 4 jets. Before I get to what it does if I plug a jet, I'll explain the layout, and then get a pic. Should have time tomorrow.

    The tub is about 4 feet above the pool, seperated by a retaining wall. Plumbing should run downhill at a slope. Lots of gravity working there, hoping the pump isn't getting strained.

    Anyway, if I plug a jet, sometimes the intake will fill with water, sometimes not. The majority of the time, it will just overflow with water when the pump is running. The latter is probably more of a concern, my guess.

    I'm also assuming that I have a check valve in some spot, no Hartford loop, since the blower is just about 5 feet away.

    I'll do my best to get a picture in a few stages (pump running, pump off, blower on).

    Greg
    Kansas City, MO
    13500 gallon Foxx vinyl sport pool--inground (1988)
    Cristal-Flo sand filter
    Ray-Pak 406A digital
    1.5 HP single speed
    400 gallon Heldor inground spa, octagon

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    Re: Inground spa/jets/blower

    Promised pictures. Took pictures of 3 different scenarios---pump off, pump on, and pump and blower on.

    As I mentioned in my original post, this tub sat unused for probably ten years. It collected rain water, but never filled over the jets. It sat unused during our first year here, and the beginning of this summer. If its assumed that the jets are leaking, would it be because the gaskets have dried out enough to cause leaking? Let me know what you think....


    Greg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Kansas City, MO
    13500 gallon Foxx vinyl sport pool--inground (1988)
    Cristal-Flo sand filter
    Ray-Pak 406A digital
    1.5 HP single speed
    400 gallon Heldor inground spa, octagon

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Inground spa/jets/blower

    If you have a leaking jet, it is unrelated to the water coming up through your air control. It is likely that the venturi in one of your jets has just worn down and is now just another pressurized line. However, you may be losing water through the air line. They're not as strong and not as well plumbed in as your water lines. You'll also lose water around the body of the air control as well (where it penetrates the shell).

    Do you have any way of accessing the back/underside of the tub? Some jets are removable from the inboard side, others have a compression nut on the back side of the tub. Since yours are notched it is likely that they will come out, but don't take them all the way out or the jet body may fall away shift behind the shell and become a PITA to get back in place. Just back the jet out a bit, remove any old gasket material, seal with silicone and tighten it back up.

    But first get the air line closed off up top so no water is coming out (there should be an o-ring on the adjustment cap) just to be sure that's not where you're losing water.

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    Re: Inground spa/jets/blower

    Cool. That's the kind of advice I was looking for.

    No way the tub can be accessed. It's sunk in the ground (not portable).

    Do you think that one leaking jet would be the cause of such a big water loss, or do you think that all of them may have the same problem? There's only four jets, so this won't be a big job.

    Since this is an inground tub, do you think that the chance of the air line moving is greater than that of a portable tub? Reason I ask is that if I have to remove them (or least back them out), I wouldn't mind retrofitting them with a more modern jet.

    Let me know what you think....

    Greg
    Kansas City, MO
    13500 gallon Foxx vinyl sport pool--inground (1988)
    Cristal-Flo sand filter
    Ray-Pak 406A digital
    1.5 HP single speed
    400 gallon Heldor inground spa, octagon

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Inground spa/jets/blower

    It's not the air line I'm worried about. It's the housing that the jet threads into. It depends on how the shell was backfilled. They might stay right where they are, but if they move it can turn into a real headache.

    Does the tub leak faster with the pump running or is there no difference? If it leaks regardless then I'd suspect the jets, but if it leaks faster with the pump on you're more likely dealing with a problem in the plumbing or a leak around the air control.

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    Re: Inground spa/jets/blower

    No leaking when pump is off. I filter it about 2-3 hours daily. That's when the water loss is occuring.

    Greg
    Kansas City, MO
    13500 gallon Foxx vinyl sport pool--inground (1988)
    Cristal-Flo sand filter
    Ray-Pak 406A digital
    1.5 HP single speed
    400 gallon Heldor inground spa, octagon

  10. Back To Top    #10
    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Inground spa/jets/blower

    Then don't worry about the jets. Removing the faces would only allow you to re-seal the shell penetrations and those would leak whether the pump was on or not. You've got a problem in the plumbing. The air line is still a culprit, so plug it up and see what happens.

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    Re: Inground spa/jets/blower

    Got it. Seems simple enough.

    I've heard about, and read up on, Stop-Leak. I spent 300 bucks to get this hot tub running, and would rather keep it cheap. Even though the majority of the plumbing is in the yard, there is plenty under concrete. Let me know if you've had any luck with this stuff. Probably won't hurt to try.

    Also, the air line screw-in plug on the intake has no gasket. I imagine I could find one of similar size, but would a replacement plug be somewhat generic?

    Greg
    Kansas City, MO
    13500 gallon Foxx vinyl sport pool--inground (1988)
    Cristal-Flo sand filter
    Ray-Pak 406A digital
    1.5 HP single speed
    400 gallon Heldor inground spa, octagon

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    Re: Inground spa/jets/blower

    spishex---explain to me how to 'plug up' the air line.

    Greg
    Kansas City, MO
    13500 gallon Foxx vinyl sport pool--inground (1988)
    Cristal-Flo sand filter
    Ray-Pak 406A digital
    1.5 HP single speed
    400 gallon Heldor inground spa, octagon

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    launboy's Avatar
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    Re: Inground spa/jets/blower

    Just screw down the cap tight on the air line so no water leaks out.
    At least I think that's what spishex is refering too.

    Adam
    18' x 42" Intex Easyset Pool, with 16' x 52" deep end in the middle. Approx. 5500 Gal.
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1 HP, 100# Jacuzzi Brand Sand Filter(Piped underground so it looks nice) 8)
    3 - 2' x 20' Solar Pool Heater Panels(roof mounted)
    Goin' on 9 summers...NOBODY thought it would last this long.
    Buried Portable Spa sharing pumps and water with pool (Almost complete project)

  14. Back To Top    #14
    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Inground spa/jets/blower

    If there's no gasket on the relief cap then you'll have to either:

    - Find a new o-ring for it. Does the cap have a part number molded into it anywhere?
    - Put teflon on the threads if they're solid up near the top.
    - Find a rubber plug that fits that hole.

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    Re: Inground spa/jets/blower

    I could probably do any of those options.

    Assuming that this method will rule out an air line leak.
    Kansas City, MO
    13500 gallon Foxx vinyl sport pool--inground (1988)
    Cristal-Flo sand filter
    Ray-Pak 406A digital
    1.5 HP single speed
    400 gallon Heldor inground spa, octagon

  16. Back To Top    #16
    launboy's Avatar
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    Re: Inground spa/jets/blower

    It doesn't so much rule out an air line leak as it does rule out the possibility that water is leaking between where the fitting and shell meet.

    Adam
    18' x 42" Intex Easyset Pool, with 16' x 52" deep end in the middle. Approx. 5500 Gal.
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1 HP, 100# Jacuzzi Brand Sand Filter(Piped underground so it looks nice) 8)
    3 - 2' x 20' Solar Pool Heater Panels(roof mounted)
    Goin' on 9 summers...NOBODY thought it would last this long.
    Buried Portable Spa sharing pumps and water with pool (Almost complete project)

  17. Back To Top    #17
    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Inground spa/jets/blower

    Quote Originally Posted by launboy
    It doesn't so much rule out an air line leak as it does rule out the possibility that water is leaking between where the fitting and shell meet.

    Adam
    Exactly. If the leak is in either the water or air lines then it will still lose water.

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Inground spa/jets/blower

    Can't find a replacement air line plug or gasket. Bought some thick rubber material at Lowes, will make a gasket tonight and slap it on. I'll do my normal 2-3 hour filter routing tonight, will let you know what happens. Water level raised last night to normal, no loss at lunch today.
    Kansas City, MO
    13500 gallon Foxx vinyl sport pool--inground (1988)
    Cristal-Flo sand filter
    Ray-Pak 406A digital
    1.5 HP single speed
    400 gallon Heldor inground spa, octagon

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Inground spa/jets/blower

    Update on this. I don't know if I'm losing my mind, or if something else is happening.

    Made a nice fat rubber gasket to fit the plug. Screwed it on, no water coming out of the air intake. Good news there.

    Watched the water level over the course of about 3 hours, my normal filtering time. If there was any water loss, it was negligible.

    Went out this morning to check level again (8 hours sitting idle), and noticed water loss. Maybe 1/2 inch or so. So, not sure if this is something new that has happened by sealing the intake, or if I just never really noticed it before.

    In terms of air. I have holes in the seats, all the way around. Is this the extent of my air line, or will the jets be aerated as well?

    Greg
    Kansas City, MO
    13500 gallon Foxx vinyl sport pool--inground (1988)
    Cristal-Flo sand filter
    Ray-Pak 406A digital
    1.5 HP single speed
    400 gallon Heldor inground spa, octagon

  20. Back To Top    #20
    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Inground spa/jets/blower

    Yeah, there are two different air lines. The first is the ring under your seats. That's meant to be under pressure since it's hooked into the blower.

    The second is the air line that hooks into the control that you just sealed. That is a "series of tubes" connected to each individual jet fitting. The fittings have venturis built in that pull air from those tubes, so the tubes should only ever be under vacuum pressure (or the pressure of the weight of the water when the system is off). Since you get water coming up through that adjustment knob, one of those venturis is worn out and water is entering the air tubing, putting it under pressure.

    Strange that the water loss has flip-flopped to being worse when the system is off. We'll just have to see if that remains true or if it was just a one-off weird occurrence.

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