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Thread: Huge Issue with Custom Spa

  1. Back To Top    #1
    launboy's Avatar
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    Huge Issue with Custom Spa

    Some of you may have seen my little Spa Build thread. Basically a portable spa, half in ground. The two pumps and air blower are about 35' away in the "doghouse". The pipes are wrapped in Refectix and buried. It's been cold here, and only getting colder.

    Here's the issue. We started heating Saturday. Water temp was 40. By Tuesday mid day the water was 95*. This is using the Spa Packs electric element on the 120v setting. Today I went out there to check and the heater wasn't on, even though it was supposed to be. The PSI was 0 and no, or hardly any water was flowing. Somehow my pump wont pump water and I don't get why. I don't think the pipes are frozen because it pumps a little water, but not enough for the flow switch on the heater to kick on. It doesn't register on the PSI gauge, but when I took it out water squirted about 8" out of the hole, not much force. The other pump won't even prime.

    The water level in the tub is just above the inlet of both pumps. I unscrewed both unions on the pumps and some air came out, then water. The Spa pack pump seemed to pump water for a min after that, even enough for the heater flow switch to kick on for a second. then it went back to hardly any flow.

    I ran the Big pump yesterday and it pumped water fine the whole time, but it was pulling in air intermittently, or maybe it was cavitating because I could hear it, but I didn't see many if any bubbles coming out. Today when I cleaned the filter there was a lot of dirt(soil) in it, and a pile of it in the well of the filter. I'm not sure where it got it. I don't seem to be losing any water.

    HELP!!!!!!!! What could be going on? It was working so well before yesterday.

    Sorry for the long post but I wanted to give details. I don't want it to freeze so I need to get this fixed ASAP

    Thanks,
    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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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Huge Issue with Custom Spa

    If it was working well at first and then died off the most likely cause would probably be debris, either gumming up your filter or your impeller. Is the heater in-line with the filter you described? Or is that the other pump?

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    launboy's Avatar
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    Re: Huge Issue with Custom Spa

    Debris is what I was thinking too. I wanted to snake the Suction for then but couldn't find the snake.

    For clarity, the plumbing goes something like this...

    Hottub (drain grated)=====........ ====Valve==Spa Pack/Heater===========
    Hottub (built in Cart Filter) +====+...................................................... ....+=======(to Hottub)
    ............................................. ====Valve==Jet Pump==Check Valve======

    If that makes any sense ^^^.

    I got the Jet Pump to prime today, but because it hasn't been able to move water in two days the pipe outside the box before it goes underground is frozen. If I can unfreeze that pipe and get water moving through there I can push water backward through the other pump and clear anything stuck in there. I need a warm day!

    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)

  4. Back To Top    #4
    launboy's Avatar
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    Re: Huge Issue with Custom Spa



    I am a SUPER happy camper today!

    It was warm, 35*F(well compared to the part few days) so I took the opportunity to fix the hottub. Lucky me I used Union Valves which saved my butt. I disconnected one and was able to use the Steam Cleaner wand to melt the ice. That allowed the jet pump to pump water. It forced water backward through the other pump and bit of pipe. A whole lot of leaves came out the jets and now everything is working great! The pumps are pumping correctly and the tub is back on its way to heating.

    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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    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Rafael, CA USA
    Posts
    12,085

    Re: Huge Issue with Custom Spa

    Congratulations. Sounds like spishex and your hunch were both right about the debris.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  6. Back To Top    #6
    launboy's Avatar
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    Re: Huge Issue with Custom Spa

    Yup, still not sure how they got in there. I'm thinking either I have a tear in my cartridge or it wasn't screwed in right and allowed the leaves(small leaves) through.

    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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