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Thread: after replaster, poor flow to spa

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    after replaster, poor flow to spa

    I recently had my pool replastered and since filling and starting the system up again the flow from my attached spa has been really poor.

    By poor I mean that before the the draining/replaster the fountain in my spa had a good 3-4 ft of vertical height and it created a lot of fountain noise and splash. Now the fountain only has about a foot of height, and more or less dribbles. Also the water that cascades over the side of the spa and into the pool has only about a quarter of the flow as before.

    I figured this was all due to dirty cartridges in my filter from the plaster dust, but I just cleaned my cartridges today and it seemed to have a very minimal positive effect on the flow, if any.

    Anyone have any ideas?

    -- Edward

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    16000 gal, kidney, gunite, cartridge filters
    16,600 gal, kidney, gunite, cartridge system

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: after replaster, poor flow to spa

    Is the pressure in the filter higher or lower now than before? If higher now, I would suspect the cartridges even though they may look clean sometimes plaster can get lodged in the pleats.

    If pressure is lower now than befpre, then I might suspect that chunks of plaster may be lodged in the suction lines somewhere which can sometimes happen with plaster.
    Mark
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    Re: after replaster, poor flow to spa

    The pressure is the same. But it was not high before I cleaned them either, so I suspect the pressure gauge isn't entirely accurate as the cartridges were very dirty.

    For what it's worth, I did do a very thorough job cleaning the cartridges, so I'm fairly certain there is no plaster lodged in the pleats.

    But your other possibility, on the chunks of plaster lodged in the suction lines might be it.

    I did find a 1 inch square chunk in out of my pool jets, so maybe there are more? How would a I go about solving if so?
    16,600 gal, kidney, gunite, cartridge system

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    Re: after replaster, poor flow to spa

    Also check to see if all the valves are set the same way they were before you re plastered. Some plasterers will close all the valves to keep any water from dribbling out of the lines during refill. That may cause streaking of the plaster before fill water hit it.
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    Re: after replaster, poor flow to spa

    Thanks on the valve tip. Everything is set as it was before.

    Though not sure if this is a clue or not (and this very well may be a dumb thing to do) but if I rapidly open/close, open/close, open the valve to the spa/fountain, the flow is better (e.g, lots more cascade over spa wall, fountain goes up to about 2.5 feet) and this condition will last for about 30 secs then everything goes back to weak flow again.

    If this is a blockage in the suction line, is fixing it something that the plaster outfit should do, i.e., their responsibility to fix?
    16,600 gal, kidney, gunite, cartridge system

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: after replaster, poor flow to spa

    Sounds like a blockage to me. If there's a way, you could try forcing water out the suction to see if it would dislodge. You can try contacting the plasterer (is that even a word???) and they might send someone out to check it. I wouldn't hold my breath though.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: after replaster, poor flow to spa

    This may turn out to be a lot easier to solve than I'd originally expected.

    I was just inspecting the transparent fountain head under good sunlight, and it appears that there is at least one, if not two, plaster chunks wedged up in there.

    I'm assuming removing the fountain head is just a matter of unscrewing the whole piece? (BTW I'm only a total noob when it comes to the pool hardware. I've become pretty good with the chemistry aspect, but otherwise not so much.)
    16,600 gal, kidney, gunite, cartridge system

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    Re: after replaster, poor flow to spa

    Quote Originally Posted by ecossette
    This may turn out to be a lot easier to solve than I'd originally expected.

    I was just inspecting the transparent fountain head under good sunlight, and it appears that there is at least one, if not two, plaster chunks wedged up in there.

    I'm assuming removing the fountain head is just a matter of unscrewing the whole piece? (BTW I'm only a total noob when it comes to the pool hardware. I've become pretty good with the chemistry aspect, but otherwise not so much.)
    That would definitely coincide with the symptoms you get with the open/close/open of the valves. I would put money on that!
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    Re: after replaster, poor flow to spa

    I think one blockage is leading to another blockage.

    I removed the plaster pieces from the fountain head, and there were a handful. Then ran the pool with no fountain head, to attempt to force any remaining pieces out.

    When I put the head back on things were much better, but still only about half as good in terms of flow as before the draining/replaster.

    Then a couple hours later, I noticed my pump was making a lot of noise and my overall system pressure had dropped to 5 where it normally runs at 10. Also I noticed a pretty good size air bubble in the pump basket.

    From reading other posts I suspected clogged impeller blades, so I cleaned those out. There were about 4 small acorns in the impellers.

    But when I put it all back together, it was the same. Low flow to spa. Pump noisy. Low pressure entire system.

    NOTE: If I close the valve that goes to the spa fountain, the overall system pressure returns to normal. This must be a big clue, but I'm too inexperienced with the plumbing aspect to make sense of it.
    16,600 gal, kidney, gunite, cartridge system

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    Re: after replaster, poor flow to spa

    When you close the valve, you are lowering the demand on the pump to supply water elsewhere. Thats probably why the pressure comes back. Close a different valve and see it you get the same result. You may have plaster in the suction line (as previously posted). Check for a obstr. in the suction line now.

    Inform the plaster co. or PB that contracted. A good PB/plasterer will follow up on this, especially if there is mention of a lawyer getting involved.
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    Re: after replaster, poor flow to spa

    How do I check for a blockage in the suction line?

    I was going to use a drain king to blow water the opposite way through the suction lines from the pump basket opening, but then I remembered I have the backflow prevention valves installed on every line.

    Meanwhile, plaster guy doesn't think they did anything, of course. And when I described conditions to him, he said doesn't make sense. But he is coming out to take a look today.

    I'm totally bummed. I had to have the plaster redone because it was at that point where I couldn't put it off any longer. But if having it done means my pool now sucks (i.e, pump too loud, no fountain, spa) then what's the point?

    Very discouraged.
    16,600 gal, kidney, gunite, cartridge system

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    Re: after replaster, poor flow to spa

    Esossette,

    I had the same experience after a plaster job and discovered that a sponge had not been removed from one of the intakes. I wasnt even aware that they had left a sponge until I was emptying the basket in my main pump and low and behold there was a sponge in the basket. I believe when I was checking as to why the pressure was low I kicked my pump up to speed 4 thus causing enough suction to pull the sponge from wherever it was at into the pump basket. Just a thought. I hope you figure out your dilema.
    13,500 gallon free form Pebble Tec pool- 2 skimmers
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