Advice needed on New Spa added to upgraded pool


Bronze Supporter
Feb 13, 2017
South Africa
I am building in a spa bath with overflow into the pool. I started my discussion in the under construction forum ( ) but did not get too much comment so was directed over here. Hopefully I am in the right place now !

I have found a website

There are some interesting ideas here with the tow kick and recessed suction outlets. I would like to employ these design ideas. Any comments welcome.

I would be plastering the spa. Do you think it would be difficult with the toe kick ?

Some other questions I have :

  1. Don't think I would need 2 separate suction lines to the pump as in the last picture above (A and C) or is 1 enough ? I will be running 8 jets on the return line. I also saw somewhere where they used these 3 port channel outlets as a jet bypass return to the spa - where the 2 "A"s in the second pic join for the return from the pump (so C's and B's will be suction and A's bypass return). Also any comments on this ? Would it be necessary to have a separate jet bypass return to the spa or better to have a variable speed pump on low speed returning through the jets ( Less plumbing = Less potential for problems )
  2. 1 pump or 2 pumps. As can be seen from this screen shot from below, the equipment is on one end of the pool while the solar collector plumbing is on the other end all together. Approximately 80 feet apart and because the room sits below the pool the bottom of the solar collectors would be approximately 6 foot above the pool pump. Not sure if my 1HP pump would pump from the spa to the pump, all that way back to the collectors, through the collectors, and back to the spa. It would essentially be the spa that I am looking to heat. That is a total run of 215 feet including a 6 foot rise but excluding the collectors ! The other idea would be to have a dedicated pump for the solar collectors as I have it drawn now. I presume a small pump would do the job but this then begs the question should I not have a dedicated pump on this end of the area for the spa heating AND to power the jets. Possibly a bigger HP pump to run the proposed 8 jets ? In this case I would still run a return from the main pump and filter to the spa with a waterfall back into the pool for filtration of the spa water. I hope I have made this as clear as possible. I have also a link to the pump specs if that helps:
  3. I am running a 2.5" suction and return. Is that good enough for a 1.5HP proposed pump pushing to 8 jets or must I go to 3" or 2 2.5" returns ?
  4. When I found this forum one of the first threads I read was! Pretty much what I am doing and was thinking building out of cement blocks would be frowned upon but it looks solid and finish is good. Is there a problem building like this ?
  5. I live in Africa and the assortment of pool and spa equipment is very sparse. My wife is travelling to Chicago next week and I was thinking of ordering the channel outlets, jets, Jandy valves and air control to be delivered to her. The problem is the assortment in the USA is HUGE !! How do I know what to get in terms of jets and air control ? I do not want the latest greatest but just good tried and tested equipment. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance !



TFP Expert
Apr 19, 2013
Sacramento, CA
The build you reference is problematic. In the US drains must be separated and be dual drains and covered by specified covers so that a person cannot be held underwater. The build you reference does not have dual drains.

Someone who understand flow rates should be along soon.


TFP Guide
Apr 12, 2016
Tucson, AZ
I'll add that you should carefully consider how to clean out the space between the spa wall and the steps. If leaves or other debris gets in there (or, forbid, you have an algae breakout), being able to get something into that space to get it cleaned out is important.


Bronze Supporter
Feb 13, 2017
South Africa
Thanks for the comments. That design is actually a US design and is 2 32" opposing channel outlets with 3 ports per channel. Thought it may be overkill though.

Triptyx - I hear you. Did not think about cleaning and algae. Would be a problem. Think I will do away with the 2 drains and maybe put in 1 channel drain with 2 ports on the floor.

Anyone got any ideas on what jets to use !!