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Thread: Stumped - this couldn't be, could it?

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    Stumped - this couldn't be, could it?

    So, I'm helping out a friend (note, his wife just fired his PB a week ago and ripped him a new one - the pool was a mess)...

    In the last week, his Jacuzzi "stopped working". The spa jets have come to a trickle, and the blowers don't send air to the jets anymore... but all of the equipment is working.



    I've verified the pump is working (it's a 3HP WhisperFlow), yet very little water makes it to the jacuzzi. I've checked valves A, B, C and D on the drawing, and they are all working and in the right position. I've closed C and left D open (as well as the opposite of that) with almost no change in flow to the Jacuzzi. Water coming from A into the pump has no problem (I surprised myself because the pump is below the jacuzzi, water came out of the pump from A's direction - with a vengance, but very little from the B direction).

    I find it highly unlikely that both lines C and D are plugged west of the C and D valves (or more accurately, west of the two blowers as air from them is not making it to the spa either), but can come to no other conclusion - and find it very coincidental that it happened within the last week or so.

    Any ideas?
    ~45Kg Pool with attached Spa, NSP-72 DE, Minmax 400 Heater, Tahoe Blue Pebbletech, Jandy SWG via Aqualink RS-8, The Pool Cleaner (black)
    Pumps: X3 Hybrid Pump (switches to SPA), 2HP Spa (additional, when SPA is on), and a 1HP For Waterfall
    8, 4x12 Solar Panels on the roof of the pool-house (~12' up)
    CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK: "I'M SORRY. I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF HOW AWESOME I AM" (Thanks to TFP!)

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Stumped - this couldn't be, could it?

    Pressure reading? Either the pump isn't moving much water or it's going someplace else.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    stev32k's Avatar
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    Re: Stumped - this couldn't be, could it?

    I would be looking for wet areas in the ground. Sounds like something has come loose or broken apart.

    P.S. I'm assuming the spa is located outdoors. If so it's possible it has sunk into the ground just enough to break the piping and none of the air & water are reaching the tub. If that is the case I would expect a large wet area somewhere around the break. One way to check would be to get a metal rod and start poking the ground starting at the tub and working back to the pump.
    20' x 40' IG with vinyl liner volume approx. 35,000 gal.1.5 H.P. main pump, Polaris 280 cleaner W/ 3/4 H.P. booster pump
    Hayward sand filter, 3.14 sq ft, 62 gpm. Stenner 45 MPH10 chlorine feed pump. 1 micron final filter bags (home made and very effective)

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    Re: Stumped - this couldn't be, could it?

    But both pipes broken? This pool's been there almost 10 years and I'm sure the spa didn't settle anymore in the last week any more than it did the first year.

    Mostly everything is under concrete between the spa and the pad. And there is some flow (albeit, very low), just not anything near what a 3HP pump should be sending. And, because there is some flow - if the pipes were broken, wouldn't we see some dirt entering the spa when we turn it on?

    Thursday, I'm going to cap off all of the jets but one, and hook a pump to the "out" side in the spa, take the lid off of the pump, and see what I can push backwards from the spa, to the pump.

    Note: because this is not on the filter (it's just spa circulation, filter is on a completely different circuit) there are no pressure gauges. However, I know the pump is working because there's a spigiot on the pump/pressure side on the pad, and when I hook up a hose, I get equivalent flow out of it that I do with the adjacent 3HP pump that goes to the water fall.
    ~45Kg Pool with attached Spa, NSP-72 DE, Minmax 400 Heater, Tahoe Blue Pebbletech, Jandy SWG via Aqualink RS-8, The Pool Cleaner (black)
    Pumps: X3 Hybrid Pump (switches to SPA), 2HP Spa (additional, when SPA is on), and a 1HP For Waterfall
    8, 4x12 Solar Panels on the roof of the pool-house (~12' up)
    CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK: "I'M SORRY. I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF HOW AWESOME I AM" (Thanks to TFP!)

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    Re: Stumped - this couldn't be, could it?

    Quote Originally Posted by taekwondodo
    And, because there is some flow - if the pipes were broken, wouldn't we see some dirt entering the spa when we turn it on?
    I don't know about that, but for sure you should be seeing the water level going down.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Stumped - this couldn't be, could it?

    Quote Originally Posted by taekwondodo
    Note: because this is not on the filter (it's just spa circulation, filter is on a completely different circuit) there are no pressure gauges. However, I know the pump is working because there's a spigiot on the pump/pressure side on the pad, and when I hook up a hose, I get equivalent flow out of it that I do with the adjacent 3HP pump that goes to the water fall.
    You can't really use the flow from the spigot as a gauge of how well the pump is working. It's is a very small opening compared to the capacity of the pump.

    A pressure guage in a PVC T would be a cheap addition and invaluable in diagnosing the problem.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    stev32k's Avatar
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    Re: Stumped - this couldn't be, could it?

    I believe I would get a sewer snake and try to run it from each nozzle in the tub back to the pump. There could be scale build-up or maybe someone has intentionally put something in the lines or nozzles. Also I assume the "CV" downstream from the blowers is a check valve and check valves are bad about getting jammed open or closed. With some types, especially spring loaded, a small amount of grit or scale will prevent them from functioning. It's not a big job to cut one out just to see if it's still working or not.
    20' x 40' IG with vinyl liner volume approx. 35,000 gal.1.5 H.P. main pump, Polaris 280 cleaner W/ 3/4 H.P. booster pump
    Hayward sand filter, 3.14 sq ft, 62 gpm. Stenner 45 MPH10 chlorine feed pump. 1 micron final filter bags (home made and very effective)

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    Re: Stumped - this couldn't be, could it?

    You can buy a spigot mounted pressure gauge at Lowes/Home Depot for a few bucks. Then you can open the spigot and measure the pressure in the return line. That way you don't have to permanently install anything.


    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    Quote Originally Posted by taekwondodo
    Note: because this is not on the filter (it's just spa circulation, filter is on a completely different circuit) there are no pressure gauges. However, I know the pump is working because there's a spigiot on the pump/pressure side on the pad, and when I hook up a hose, I get equivalent flow out of it that I do with the adjacent 3HP pump that goes to the water fall.
    You can't really use the flow from the spigot as a gauge of how well the pump is working. It's is a very small opening compared to the capacity of the pump.

    A pressure guage in a PVC T would be a cheap addition and invaluable in diagnosing the problem.
    My Pool
    15k Gal Gunite Pool w/8 ft Spa w/Spillover
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    Legend Sweep, Pentair Gas Heater
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Stumped - this couldn't be, could it?

    You can also put a pressure gauge on the pressure side drain plug.

    Another possibility includes something stuck in the impeller although the flow rush out the suction port indicates a pressure side blockage. Are there any other check valves not shown in the picture? Some of the cheaper flapper types will fail closed. Also, have you taken apart valve B, if you can, to see if anything has come loose or stuck in there.
    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

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    Re: Stumped - this couldn't be, could it?

    I've had a few problems like this in the past and it was due to a broken, or partialy broken impeller.

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    Re: Stumped - this couldn't be, could it?

    I did take apart the swing valve (B) and everything appeared normal.

    The CVs are only at the blowers, C and D are just standard PVC 2" swing-valves.

    I do have a pressure-gauge with a female hose-bib I can slap on there - what pressure reading should I be getting?

    Also, because the air from the blowers isn't making it into the pipes and to the spa, in inclined to think that there is blockage somewhere in both pipes - but checking the pump first will be easier than trying to blow stuff back. If I do have to work that way, a standard 1" PCV cap should be able to cap all the jets but the one I want to push the water back from... yes?
    ~45Kg Pool with attached Spa, NSP-72 DE, Minmax 400 Heater, Tahoe Blue Pebbletech, Jandy SWG via Aqualink RS-8, The Pool Cleaner (black)
    Pumps: X3 Hybrid Pump (switches to SPA), 2HP Spa (additional, when SPA is on), and a 1HP For Waterfall
    8, 4x12 Solar Panels on the roof of the pool-house (~12' up)
    CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK: "I'M SORRY. I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF HOW AWESOME I AM" (Thanks to TFP!)

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Stumped - this couldn't be, could it?

    If you don't mind getting wet, you could remove all of the jets and nozzles to see if you can't blow out what ever is stuck in the pipe. It does seem odd though that both lines would clog at exactly the same time. Was there any construction work done between the blowers and tub?
    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

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Stumped - this couldn't be, could it?

    The only thing I can think of, is his wife fired their PB and Gave him a RYNO (Ripped Ya a New One).
    ~45Kg Pool with attached Spa, NSP-72 DE, Minmax 400 Heater, Tahoe Blue Pebbletech, Jandy SWG via Aqualink RS-8, The Pool Cleaner (black)
    Pumps: X3 Hybrid Pump (switches to SPA), 2HP Spa (additional, when SPA is on), and a 1HP For Waterfall
    8, 4x12 Solar Panels on the roof of the pool-house (~12' up)
    CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK: "I'M SORRY. I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF HOW AWESOME I AM" (Thanks to TFP!)

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Stumped - this couldn't be, could it?

    problem resolved - a local pool guy said to check that water hadn't gotten into the blower lines, so we blew those out all the way to the spa and it worked.

    I don't see how this fixed the pump problem, but it did...
    ~45Kg Pool with attached Spa, NSP-72 DE, Minmax 400 Heater, Tahoe Blue Pebbletech, Jandy SWG via Aqualink RS-8, The Pool Cleaner (black)
    Pumps: X3 Hybrid Pump (switches to SPA), 2HP Spa (additional, when SPA is on), and a 1HP For Waterfall
    8, 4x12 Solar Panels on the roof of the pool-house (~12' up)
    CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK: "I'M SORRY. I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF HOW AWESOME I AM" (Thanks to TFP!)

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