Check Valve Positioning/Placement

n4trombl

Active member
Aug 9, 2020
43
Porter, TX
I have a quick question regarding the placement or positioning of a check valve specifically designed to keep my spa from losing water. I've attached a picture of the check valve in question, and while I know I've seen this setup before, and while my check valve is Pentair, I was reading in the Jandy Check Valve manual that they don't recommend a vertical install with flow going down (gravity can be your enemy in this case and potentially keep the flap from closing). That said, what I am noticing is during my daily run, I let my spillover activate for ~45mins and my spa is full. By the next day run time, my spa water has decreased to just above my plaster.

My question is do I need to consider different placement of my check valve? Or could it really just be either a bad check valve or something in the way? This is my first pool so learning curve but would an issue with check valve correspond to about a 3 inch drop in water level in about 11-12 hours? It's not so much water that I could really notice a difference in the pool, but my assumption is that is where the water is going to.

I've also added some additional pictures captured from today when I opened the check valve to inspect. As mentioned, it is brand new, and I sent these to my plumber as he stated that the check valve had to be in this position...he asked me to capture these and mentioned there could be some glue or something causing a not so perfectly tight seal, but wanted to have some other eyes and brains take a look while I wait for his response to my images.

Any thoughts or insights, or recommendations appreciated!

*Excuse the water draining while valve removed: The spa is full and I have a dedicated port in main drain that this pipe ties to (for returning water to spa for spillover). I didn't drain the spa just opened this quickly to get a few pictures.
 

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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,216
Bedford, TX
n4,

The check valve is in the correct location. It should allow water to flow down and to the spa and prevent water from flowing up and away from the spa..

When this valve leaks, the water in the spa will drain down to just below the jets that are connected to this same check valve.

To test, you should let the spa sit for two or three days and see where the water stops leaking down...

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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n4trombl

Active member
Aug 9, 2020
43
Porter, TX
Jim,

Thanks for the input. I can definitely disable the spillover function to prevent any new water getting added back to the spa.

However, I was keying in on your second statement with water draining down to just below the jets that are connected to the same check valve. Adding a bit of a wrinkle to this setup, the check valve that is in question actually is associated with a single 2" line that is directly tied to the 3rd port on my spa channel drain. So the jets that are in my spa actually follow a separate line in my setup. I've attached a picture of my full return side so you can see. The pipe on the far left is the one dedicated to my spa jets. The far right is the single dedicated return line to the main drain. So if my check valve is bad, would it be safe to assume that the spa would literally drain all the way down since the check valve is associated with the return line in the floor drain?

Regards,
Nick
 

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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
22,093
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Why do you need the spa makeup line?

You can use the Spillover function in the IntelliCenter when you want it.
 

n4trombl

Active member
Aug 9, 2020
43
Porter, TX
Why do you need the spa makeup line?

You can use the Spillover function in the IntelliCenter when you want it.
So good question Allen. I actually configured a feature circuit for Spillway mode but I don't quite think I have a full grasp on it as I noticed my spa suction side began to open in conjunction with my spa makeup line IntelliValve. Also not sure if my setup doesn't allow for the Spillover function to work as expected since I have a 3rd port on my spa channel drain that is a dedicated return for filling the spa and spilling over.
 

n4trombl

Active member
Aug 9, 2020
43
Porter, TX
Not to add more confusion but in looking at my attached return side image, I am also pondering even if my check valve was failing, when I am not using the makeup valve for spillover, the IntelliValve should be in it's HOME position which would mean it is closing off the top portion of that pipe (above IntelliValve)...which in my mind is technically a secondary barrier to keeping water from leaving spa and entering pool. Unless I am misunderstanding my setup.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
22,093
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
SPILLOVER mode should maintain suction from the POOL and return to the SPA. So when going from POOL mode to SPILLOVER mode the suction valve should not move and the return valve should rotate from POOL to SPA.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
22,093
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
If your POOL/SPA return valve is not 100% tight you could be losing water back flowing from the SPA return line back to the pool.

Most folks do not have a makeup line and the CV is on the SPA return line.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,216
Bedford, TX
N4,

I now remember your weird set up... :mrgreen:

The spillway function does not use the make-up line.. It turns the valves so that the Intake valve sucks water from the Pool and the Return valve sends all the water to the Spa... If your valves do not work that way, then something is wrong. It could be that your Intake and Return valves are connected backwards.. They would still work ok when switching between the pool and spa modes, but would not work in the spillway mode.

And yes, if your check valve is leaking then the water would drain down way below the jets..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

n4trombl

Active member
Aug 9, 2020
43
Porter, TX
Allen/Jim,

That makes sense and appreciate the detailed explanation. I may have not been paying attention to the return actuator but it absolutely could have been rotating as well which would make sense for the spillover mode. If I were to use it I would definitely want to make another pass to see if I happen to have my actuators crossed (would be a fail on the electrician's part) because I am 100% certain my Spa Suction began opening when spillover was activated.

In any regard, I am the weird setup guy and so thank you for confirming my suspicion with my check valve configuration and spa draining down. The only other mystery I was hung up on was given my setup, I would think my Pool/Spa actuator would help act as my second line of defense for preventing water going back into the pool (from spa) but as Allen mentioned if it isn't 100% tight then it would still make it's way. I could pop off the IntelliValve over there and replace with the handle, to see if its in the proper position...but I swore when installed it was aligned correctly to ensure 100% closure.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
22,093
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
To be clear, with your weird setup you have two paths for spa water to return back to the pool. Once back through the makeup line. The other path through the spa return line. You only have a CV on the makeup line and not the spa return line.
 

n4trombl

Active member
Aug 9, 2020
43
Porter, TX
Allen,

That is correct. In the image I posted of my return setup the very far left pipe going into the ground is associated to my spa return jets. The only thing controlling those jets is an actuator slightly to the right. No check valve here. The other method of water to the spa is to the very far right, via the spa makeup. That does have an actuator to allow it to pass through the pipe, through the check valve and back into the spa via the floor drain return.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,216
Bedford, TX
N4,

Both the Intake and Return valves will move 180 degrees at the same time.. If they are initially set up backwards, you would never know..

I suggest that you follow the cable from the Intake valve back to the IntelliCenter and ensure that it is plugged into the "Intake" connector.. If not, I would swap the Intake and Return connections inside the IntelliCenter. (Note.. if you have to swap cables, you will then have to change the little switch on both actuators from the current "on" position to the opposite "on" position..)

If you are already in the Pool mode, and turn on the Spillway Circuit, the only valve that should move is the "Return valve. It should move from sending all the water back to your Pool, to sending all the water back to your Spa.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

n4trombl

Active member
Aug 9, 2020
43
Porter, TX
Jim,

That makes perfect sense. And appreciate the explanation on the spillway feature. I guess I was for some reason thinking it was more complex than it really is. I’m willing to bet then my valves are switched as I am certain the suction side moved so that’s good clarity there.

But since I’ve got this makeup valve setup I guess I just need to figure out where that water is going to solve my spa water level dropping.

Thanks again (both you and Allen) for shedding light on the spillway mode though. Much appreciated.