Almost done with remodel and Spa has zero water flow

reelredfish

Active member
May 19, 2021
33
DFW
So our old spa had 4 returns and a very thin wall between the pool and spa. We had that wall removed and two more returns add then wall rebuilt. The plumbing at the pump for the spa was never touched and worked all the way up to the day the pool was drained. However now when I switch it into spa mode the pump stops running...not shuts off but like its hydro locked.

I have confirmed all the valves are correct. In fact I have also confirmed the drains in the spa are not the issue as for I can empty the spa into the pool. I have tried to take water from the pool at put into spa but that no longer works either. So it has been nailed down that for some reason no water will flow out of spa returns. I had snapped a cpl pictures before they shot the wall probably wont help much but trying to figure out what is going on here. PB has not responded in several days now to my concern.

I have removed wall returns and internal jets. Looked inside of each return with a snake camera and do not see any issues. So my thought is they did something wrong in this plumbing. Which is now under gunite, plaster, flagstone and cement decking.
 

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HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,773
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
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Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
When you have in spa mode, does the filter pressure build up or feel like you are deadheading the pump? I think that is what you are seeing when you say it acts as it is hydro locked. On my first read, it sounds like the return valve to the spa is not rotating. It may appear to rotate but is it really?
If you suck water from the spa and fill up the pool then that valve on the suction side is working. But if you cannot push water to the spa when the pool or the spa is on suction then that is the same valve that has to rotate on the return side. You need to verify it is open to the spa and closed to the pool. It may be stuck in open to the pool which is why you can empty the spa to the poo. You may need to disassemble the valve - hopefully it is a Jandy never-lube valve as that is easy to take the top off of it.

On the worst scenario, there could be a plugged pipe leading to the spa, most likely before it gets to the jet loop. When they broke down the old spa wall, did they find the main pipe and plug it to prevent dirt or whatever entering it? Could they have left a plug in it? Did they reconnect it properly? That would be really bad workmanship, so let's hope it is just the return valve that is not working.

Post a picture of your suction side and return side valves on the equipment pad.
 

reelredfish

Active member
May 19, 2021
33
DFW
For sure deadheading and the pressure does increase on filter but not by a lot maybe a few PSI. I have taken valve apart twice and no issues with valve which was brand new and working fine before they extended the spa circuit around in the new spa wall. They simply connected to the last return on the right side (pic 1) of the spa and extended that around to the last return on the left side (pic 2) of the spa with adding two returns in the middle or between those two connection points. They did not touch the spa return plumbing at the equipment only the suction side. I have tried everything that I can think of and it does not make any sense to me and I have a pretty solid understanding of all of this.
 

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Last edited:

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,773
Katy TX
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Liquid Chlorine
Thanks for pictures and feedback. What you say makes sense.
The picture denoted as #4 shows the return Jandy valve. The way it is positioned it is 80% (estimate) closed to the spa return.
When you took the Jandy valve apart, did you reassemble it in a full open position for the spa return (flow to pool return is blocked) and do not use the actuator on it. Then manually turn on the pump. This would confirm that the valve is in proper position and isolates the actuator from the system. That is the only possibility that I see as you state, you have a good understanding of how it should work.
 

ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
29,831
Northern NJ
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Salt Water Generator
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Remove the actuator on the return valve and open up and remove the diverter. Put a garden hose down the spa return line and turn on the water and see if you get water out the spa jets. If so then you have a plumbing problem before the spa return pipe. If not you have a clog in the spa return pipe.

Report back the results.
 

reelredfish

Active member
May 19, 2021
33
DFW
I did remove the actuator and have ensured nothing is wrong with valve. When in spa more it is fully open to spa. This was setup years ago to flor about 20% into spa when in pool mode to ensure a steady supply of water to spa when not in use.

I have tried everything but not been able to find any solution. I have blown air through the return line after taking the valve apart and cannot get any bubbles to come out at spa.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
29,831
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
I have blown air through the return line after taking the valve apart and cannot get any bubbles to come out at spa.

If you are confident you had a good seal and pressure on the line then it points to a blockage. You can try finding a plumber who can snake a fiber optic camera down the pipe and see what they find. Otherwise it is going to take invasive surgery to dig into the pipes.
 

reelredfish

Active member
May 19, 2021
33
DFW
Awaiting the PB to send the plumber who did the work back out to see what they can figure out. Not sure how a bunch of stuff would have gotten in the lines. The plumber cut those lose on a Saturday and plumbed in and reconnected to them at the same time.
 

reelredfish

Active member
May 19, 2021
33
DFW
Well PB came out yesterday and learned the same thing I had told him was true. Today the plumber who did the work showed up. Dug up a bunch of pipe cut out sections on pipe and still not clue why it does not work. So Saturday they will come and cut out a brand new section of concrete that oh by the way was just finished with Kool Coat today. Then dig down to where they can see the pipes at the spa where they connected and extended the loop around. Will see what they find or figure out this weekend. Sucks that they are having to rip back out work that was just completed but they have to make this right.
 
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HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,773
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Well PB came out yesterday and learned the same thing I had told him was true. Today the plumber who did the work showed up. Dug up a bunch of pipe cut out sections on pipe and still not clue why it does not work. So Saturday they will come and cut out a brand new section of concrete that oh by the way was just finished with Kool Coat today. Then dig down to where they can see the pipes at the spa where they connected and extended the loop around. Will see what they find or figure out this weekend. Sucks that they are having to rip back out work that was just completed but they have to make this right.
I am really surprised that they did not run a camera. Seems that would be logical step before tearing up decking.
 

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reelredfish

Active member
May 19, 2021
33
DFW
Well plumbers showed up on Saturday and worked all day removing a large section of new pool deck. What they figured out is that while the spa only had 4 jets and the plumbing never ran through the old thin wall to make a loop. The pool builder 20 years ago built a spa loop in the ground. So they created a double spa loop. Once this was determined they were able to correct it and spa now works..
 
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