Can't figure out how to work the Spa and pool valves


New member
Feb 25, 2016
Woodland hills, ca
Hello all,
I tried to heat our pool for the first time a few days ago and probably messed everything up moving all of the valves. Prior to my blind manipulation of the valves the pump would turn on automatically from 9pm to 3am and I could hear the waterfall from the spa poor into the pool. Now, the waterfall does not turn on (don't even know how to turn it on) and I don't see any movement in the water (not even from the automatic cleaner my husband bought). I'm not sure how the valves work despite countless hours of reading blogs and watching youtube videos. Please help.



Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
FL panhandle
Welcome to TFP!

To start off, everything on the left is the suction side feeding water from the pool to the pump. The right is the return side sending water from the filter back to the pool.

If you look closely at the valve it says "off" on opposite side of the handle. So, the pipe that "off" is pointing to will send no water to the pump on the suction side and will send no water to the pool on the return side. For example, on the valve directly above the pump, the handle is pointed to the right so all of the water flow from the pipes on the left is off and water is only moving to the pump from the pipe on the right. If you turn that valve so the handle is pointing down then water feed from left and right. If you turn the handle to the left them water will feed from the left pipe and close off the right pipe.

Your plumbing will most likely have a suction line from the spa, from the skimmer(s) and from the bottom drain, if you have one. The return side will have a line that feeds the pool returns (jets in the pool), a line that feeds spa jets, a line that sends pool water to the spa for the overflow to the pool.

Another pic of the plumbing from farther back and with more light would be helpful.

Pool Clown

In The Industry
Sep 5, 2008
Silicon Valley, CA
Im not there at your house to confirm this but...

It looks like your pump is currently taking water from the spa. And then sending it all back to the spa (spa mode). That would explain no action in the pool. A closer picture of the valves/plumbing to the right side of the red valve would help.

Blue arrow is the suction Pool/Spa valve.
Red arrow is the return Spa/Pool valve.

Here is my "guess" of the plumbing.
Valve to the left of the blue valve is a diverter between skimmer and main drain, or two points of draw from the pool.
Handle on valve indicates which port is open, so it would appear that you are drawing water from the spa. Pool suction closed.

Red valve appears to be the return side. Handle is pointing to the left indicating spa side, pool side closed. Green (check valve) looks like it is the spa by-pass and tees into the line that i think is the spa return. If you were to turn the red valve CCW 180 degrees, with filter pump on, and i'm correct (haha), the spa should begin to drain. Or, if you were to turn both blue and red handles so they are pointing away from each other, the pool should return to normal operation. Now i cannot see if there is a diverter valve that controls flow through the green valve. Sometimes there is, sometimes not. A valve to control water through that green valve would adjust amount of water that spills over spa into pool.