Aqualink not turning JVA's - bad relays?

ckhorne

Member
Mar 26, 2020
9
Atlanta, GA
I just posted my intro post- summary is that I'm a newbie to pools and I just purchased a house with a pool that has a lot of needed maintenance. I'm guessing the Aqualink system was installed years ago (judging by the faded paint).

I have 3-way valves with JVA's installed in what I think is a pretty standard way - on my main intake and return, so that I can turn on my spa. When I moved in, neither did anything when I changed to spa mode. The intake JVA would turn if I manually flipped the switch, so I ordered a replacement JVA and installed on the return. Except the switch would make anything work.

After resetting the aqualink, trying Auto and Service modes, checking the 3amp fuse, trying through the phone app, I finally pulled out my voltmeter. I looked up the specs, and the black wire was common, and the other two are 24VAC depending on direction. However, at the panel, my intake JVA port was reading ~16VAC on one leg and would only read 0 on the other leg. The return JVA would only show 0 (or floating) on either leg, for any mode. I can hear the relays click as I change modes, but the voltages never show 24VAC on any of the legs.

I finally decided to try one of the two unused JVA ports (cleaner and solar). I focused on the cleaner one, and was able to test it and confirm it works as expected. So I plugged in the intake JVA into it, and pushed the cleaner button, and the JVA worked as expected in both directions. Same when I plugged in the return JVA.

So... my guess is that I have two bad relays on the board, but I'm open to other suggestions (and options). I seriously doubt that replacing relays is a good option here... what else can I look at?
 

ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
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Northern NJ
Just to make sure I understand, do both actuators cycle both ways with their manual switches when plugged into their normal ports?
 

ckhorne

Member
Mar 26, 2020
9
Atlanta, GA
No - neither JVA's turn when plugged into their normal ports. Even when reversed. On the intake, if I manually move the valve one way, then I can get it to cycle back to the original position, but it won't move using the motor again unless I reset by hand (not using the switch, but unscrewing the top screw and moving the handle manually).

They do both work, however, if I plug them one at a time into the cleaner JVA port and cycle it, so I'm pretty sure the issue isn't with the JVA's themselves.
 

PoolGate

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Jun 7, 2017
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Damascus, MD
What relays are you talking about? The large ones in the electrical box above the circuit breakers? JVAs are frequently hooked up to the relays in the box but they are not used with JVAs. I suspect you have a programming issue where your ports are not lined up. If your JVAs work manually but not with Aqualink, it is almost certainly a programming error.

1585250426404.png
1585250621510.png
 

ckhorne

Member
Mar 26, 2020
9
Atlanta, GA
I'm talking about the little relays on the PCB almost directly behind the port - not the large relays used for driving large loads. I noticed them when I was checking the fuse, and they're referenced on page 29 of the Jandy Aqualink Troubleshooting Manual

When I say that they operate manually, I mean like with my hand, using the valve. In other words, the valves turn as they should. They do not turn by themselves using the microswitches when plugged into the intake or return JVA ports. They do work properly when plugged into the cleaner JVA port (as a validation test only).

I'm certainly open to a programming issue- the whole aqualink controller is terribly arcane. However, I would assume that the JVA's are always sent to one limit or another - shouldn't I be seeing 24VAC on one leg or another at any given time on the JVA port, programming issue or not?
 

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ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
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Northern NJ
It sure sounds like somehow those two JVA ports have died.

You seem to be technically knowledgeable and I would dig into the board and try and trace where the voltage feeds the connector on the board. If you don't figure out how to repair the board you will need to replace it.
 

PoolGate

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Jun 7, 2017
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Damascus, MD
Per that picture you posted, only the return and the intake port are assigned. The cleaner port is not. You need to assign the other 2 to aux ports. Your "cleaner" port is not assigned. So if it is working, it is actually either the intake or the return port. This is the programming I am referring to. And I am fairly certain that the aux ports are hardwired to the JVA so you might have to do some trial and error to figure out which one should be plugged into which port.
 

ckhorne

Member
Mar 26, 2020
9
Atlanta, GA
I understand what you're saying, except when I do plug a JVA into the cleaner port and push the Cleaner button, it turns the JVA one way. When I push the Cleaner button again, it goes back. The Cleaner is not otherwise used in my system. This is the same thing with the Solar button and port (and I get the same behavior) - I'm only using them to test to make sure the JVA's are working correctly.

I assumed that the Intake/Return/Cleaner/Solar functions are hardwired to the JVA ports labelled with the same thing, and that the other AUX can be assigned as needed. In fact, I can't "unassign" any of those 4 functions from the assigned port. Is this not correct? Are there other 3-wire JVA ports on my aqualink that I can use for Aux? I don't see any. I can try to take a picture in a bit of the ports that I'm referring to.
 

ckhorne

Member
Mar 26, 2020
9
Atlanta, GA
It sure sounds like somehow those two JVA ports have died.

You seem to be technically knowledgeable and I would dig into the board and try and trace where the voltage feeds the connector on the board. If you don't figure out how to repair the board you will need to replace it.
That's my fear.... If I end up at that option, how would I go about figuring out which board to replace with?
 

ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
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Northern NJ
That's my fear.... If I end up at that option, how would I go about figuring out which board to replace with?
I think it is the main circuit board. Sit down before you see the cost...


For that cost you are more then half way towards buying a new Pentair IntelliCenter...

 

PoolGate

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Jun 7, 2017
4,687
Damascus, MD
I understand what you're saying, except when I do plug a JVA into the cleaner port and push the Cleaner button, it turns the JVA one way. When I push the Cleaner button again, it goes back. The Cleaner is not otherwise used in my system. This is the same thing with the Solar button and port (and I get the same behavior) - I'm only using them to test to make sure the JVA's are working correctly.

I assumed that the Intake/Return/Cleaner/Solar functions are hardwired to the JVA ports labelled with the same thing, and that the other AUX can be assigned as needed. In fact, I can't "unassign" any of those 4 functions from the assigned port. Is this not correct? Are there other 3-wire JVA ports on my aqualink that I can use for Aux? I don't see any. I can try to take a picture in a bit of the ports that I'm referring to.
Your intake and return don't show an aux port though. That's unusual to me since mine does.
 

ckhorne

Member
Mar 26, 2020
9
Atlanta, GA
I think it is the main circuit board. Sit down before you see the cost...
Gah... I was preparing myself for half that, and that would have still been a blow....

I may end up going through the pain of tracing PCB paths and, if it comes to it, desoldering and replacing the relays if I think that's it - it'd be worth the effort before I spent $1k for a new board.

But I have another idea first....

Your intake and return don't show an aux port though. That's unusual to me since mine does.
My guess is your aqualink is newer. The clean plastic / paint gave it away :), and you have different options than I do. I wish I could find better documentation that showed changes per version....
 

ckhorne

Member
Mar 26, 2020
9
Atlanta, GA
Oh nice - thanks for the reference!

I found a solution! I moved my two JVA's to the previously-unused Cleaner and Solar JVA ports.

Then I assigned the JVA's to AUX6, somewhat arbitrarily - partly because I couldn't find where they were being used for anything else, and partly because the main control board has an AUX6 button available:

2020-03-26_22-28-09.jpg

Next, I tested the configuration by turning on AUX6 and confirming that both JVAs would turn, and turning off AUX6 and confirming that they'd turn the opposite way. Then I adjusted the microswitch on the JVAs so with AUX6 was off, I was in pool mode (intake from pool / return mostly to pool) and vice versa when AUX6 was on.

Then I went back into the menu and labelled the AUX6 to "SPA FLOW" (since it controlled intake and return):

2020-03-26_22-28-26.jpg

Lastly, I found that I could turn AUX6 on and off from within the normal POOL and SPA modes, which is what I needed in the end anyway:

2020-03-26_22-37-31.jpg

And... it works as intended! It takes up two other JVA ports, but I don't need them anytime soon.

The only issue I have now is that enabling the built in SPA mode does seem to start the SPA Mode one-touch, but unchecking SPA mode doesn't seem to enable Pool mode like I expect (and thus the AUX6 don't flip back). Maybe I'm expecting the aqualink to be pretty dumb at this point and there's something else I need to do to flip between pool and spa onetouch modes?
 

PoolGate

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Jun 7, 2017
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Damascus, MD
Good call I was going to suggest this last night but I went to bed instead. And BTW your CPU/model is on a separate board (it is the expensive part) and if you ever were to replace the Aqualink you would re-use that with your new shell. You can get all those parts on ebay. However, I still think the whole thing was a programming error. You could also try calling Aqualink tech support they are actually quite helpful.
 

ckhorne

Member
Mar 26, 2020
9
Atlanta, GA
Good call I was going to suggest this last night but I went to bed instead. And BTW your CPU/model is on a separate board (it is the expensive part) and if you ever were to replace the Aqualink you would re-use that with your new shell. You can get all those parts on ebay. However, I still think the whole thing was a programming error. You could also try calling Aqualink tech support they are actually quite helpful.
Thanks for the heads up - based on what I had read elsewhere, I assumed the Aqualink people would have just said that I needed a "qualified technician" or something to come look at it.

If I chose to reset everything on the board and start from scratch, would it clear out any programming that may be causing an issue?
 

PoolGate

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Jun 7, 2017
4,687
Damascus, MD
Thanks for the heads up - based on what I had read elsewhere, I assumed the Aqualink people would have just said that I needed a "qualified technician" or something to come look at it.

If I chose to reset everything on the board and start from scratch, would it clear out any programming that may be causing an issue?
Yes I do believe it would. Copy down as much as possible though (print screen if you can) as it is hard to match back up I did a board replacement once.