Elevated Spa/Dry Prime

KDpoolguy

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2017
593
Palm Desert, CA
My issue is when I use the elevated spa, and am done and shutting off the SPA selection on the EasyTouch it resets the supply & return valves to POOL settings immediately. When I have a subsequent prime/pump on schedule, I have a dry pump. If I’m not outside the pump shuts off showing a dry pump safety disconnect. Often I also get backflow out of the skimmer—so Water overflows out of the skimmer all onto the deck.

I’m fairly certain the elevated spa has something to do with this, and if I run the pump and manually reverse the return valve to get water from the spa to prime the pump, then hit the Jandy valve actuator switch mid-way back to pool, with filter valve open, I can get back on track. It’s frustrating with the valve actuators I can’t have manual control to adjust the Jandy valves. We’re having a house sitter soon, and I’d like for them to use the spa, but don’t have faith that this will cause same issue and emergent phone calls.

When running the spa, I do find I have air in the system (air visible in pump sight glass and foggy water) even after trying to release from filter valve. I have a small leak at heater, but it doesn’t affect when I’m running the POOL.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
15,063
Bedford, TX
Kevin,

Not sure that I completely understand the problem, but you should not shut off the Spa mode, but rather turn on the Pool mode...

Try that and tell me what happens..

Jim R.
 

KDpoolguy

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2017
593
Palm Desert, CA
Hi Jim, Trying that now. Air seems to be creeping into the Pool lines while in Spa mode.

So if I shut the Spa mode off, the pump spools down, and the valves immediately turn to where’d they’d need to be for Pool settings. I hear the air bubbles in the lines at the pad (in the return/intake lines).

I tried turning Spa off and then waiting 30 minutes, so maybe the air would find it’s way out, then turning pool back on and no luck, same issue. It’s strange, water shoots out of skimmer—perhaps air bubbles?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
15,063
Bedford, TX
Kevin,

I suspect that you have your system set up to turn off the pump while the valves move? Why?

I am still not sure you understand or maybe that I just don't understand... But if you want to switch from the Pool mode to the Spa mode, you just select Spa.. It will then shut off the pool mode and go into the spa mode.. When done with the spa, then you just select Pool mode and it will switch back.. If you just select spa it will shut off spa but not necessarily turn on the pool which can just shut the pump off...

Are you using the 'V' button on the panel or ScreenLogic icons??

Jim R.
 

KDpoolguy

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2017
593
Palm Desert, CA
I suspect that you have your system set up to turn off the pump while the valves move? Why?
Not sure? Yes, pumps turn off while valves move. How might I remedy?

Btw: I’ve got the ScreenLogic2, but it was used and the green 4-wire green wire that goes from the protocol adapter to the wireless receiver is lost. I could jury rig one, I can’t find it separately. Know anyone on the forums who might know?

Are you using the 'V' button on the panel or ScreenLogic icons??
Well, both. If I’m outside I hit the ‘V’, or inside I have the wired controller (4 Preset) and just hit the SPA button.

I’ve messed with it some more. Even if I do go from Spa to Pool, it shuts down the pump, then maybe 30 seconds passes and it’ll throttle up for Prime speed and that’s when it chokes.
Am I making sense? 😃 I never know. I’m hoping SL2 will make the prior settings that this was originally set to, to make sense and amend appropriately.

Thx.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
15,063
Bedford, TX
the green 4-wire green wire that goes from the protocol adapter to the wireless receiver is lost
There is nothing special about the cable...

I am trying to understand your "dry pump" problem... The only way for water in the spa to get to the skimmer is for the Intake valve to be inbetween the spa and pool position with the pump off... Seems to me this would happen if the pump is told to shut off before turning the valves... I am not sure why that would cause the pump to not prime... :scratch:

One of the things I'd want to do is make sure that both the Intake and Return valves rotated 180 degrees when changing between the pool and spa mode.. Every time.. sometimes the actuators can be intermittent. The other thing I'd want to double check is that the valves are never moving where the pump is dead headed.. This means the little gate, inside the valve, can never shut the water coming into the pump completely off... In theory, as the valve moves between the Pool mode and Spa mode, the amount of water coming into the pump will be the same.. It will be all pool or all spa or a mixture of pool and spa water... If the valve is set up wrong, it can shut the water off all together, which is not a good thing.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

KDpoolguy

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2017
593
Palm Desert, CA
I am trying to understand your "dry pump" problem... The only way for water in the spa to get to the skimmer is for the Intake valve to be inbetween the spa and pool position with the pump off... Seems to me this would happen if the pump is told to shut off before turning the valves... I am not sure why that would cause the pump to not prime... :scratch:
@Jimrahbe and fellow TFPers,
I’m back at this now. Perhaps now that I have the Screenlogic I can understand a remedy setting?
I recreated this again, and used my iPhone app to shut off the Spa so that I could be right next to the skimmer. As soon as I shut off the SPA, both the intake & return valves immediately start their 180 turn (back to POOL settings), and the pump throttles down->off. At this time, Water literally shoots out of the skimmer, (well, more of a strong burble) knocking the skimmer cap clear off!
If I then run the pump again, it’s a dry pump, so I take manual control of the intake valve to bring it midway btw pool/spa and slowly return it back to Pool setting and all is fine.
  • Should the pump remain on for a time during the 180 valve spin return to POOL settings?
  • Is there a delay setting to do this?
I understand what you mean about dead-heading, and thankfully it isn’t set up incorrectly so the valve ‘gate’ isn’t set up to block off water.

This entire problem must be due to having an elevated spa, and the intake valve is a full 22” below the return valve, causing some sort of vacuum or something...yes?

It’s maddening, as I don’t want anyone but me using the spa. The old owners put this EasyTouch in around Christmas time so I doubt they discovered this or worked out the kinks.
 
Last edited:

KDpoolguy

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2017
593
Palm Desert, CA
Was able to do 4 different examples, and though not all caused water to shoot out of the skimmer, running pump during valve turn still caused the dry prime.
Here’s my best understanding is (somehow) Air is being pushed through the pool intake/from skimmer, then when the pump runs again, it can’t suck out enough of the air until the pump’s dry prime protections shut it off.

I’m mindlessly stumped.
 

KDpoolguy

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2017
593
Palm Desert, CA
Thanks to the Screenlogic remote access on the iPhone app, I've been able to at least tackle this by being physically right next to the valves. I found today that there is a small dribble of water coming out from the intake Jandy valve's handle area. The actuator is sitting on top of the valve, so it is a bit hard to see, but it's spitting out water during the spin. Could this issue be because of a small air leak at the valve? Still stumped as to how much air is getting into the intake from the skimmer while in SPA mode. I've ordered new o-ring gaskets.

" off with valve turn "
I've tried this selection on the computer config screen, and selected this ON and OFF now multiple times. The system is only following these guidelines (for example: pump on during valve turn) when SPA is selected ON, but when turning the SPA OFF, it turns the pump off, valves begin their spin, pause of a few seconds and is then in POOL mode--meaning the pump comes back on (Prime, then Pool speed settings), even though I never select POOL mode.

  • Off with valve turn unchecked--so pumps should be ON during valve spin
    • SPA ON: pump comes on, valves begin to turn
    • SPA OFF: valves turn and pump turns off
      • 10 seconds later, POOL mode comes on, Prime failure due to too much air in system
      • I never selected POOL mode to come on?!?!
  • Off with valve turn check marked--so pumps should remain OFF during valve spin
    • SPA ON: valves turn, once valves have completed their spin, the pump turns on
    • SPA OFF: valves turn and pump turns off
      • 10 seconds later, POOL mode comes on, Prime failure due to too much air in system
      • I never selected POOL mode to come on?!?!
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
15,063
Bedford, TX
Kevin,

I am not sure I fully understand the problem... but suggest you try this..

Instead of shutting off the Spa mode, just select the Pool mode and see what happens.. Seems to me that if you are in the Spa mode and select the Pool mode, that the valves should just turn and the pump should never shut off...

That does not solve your air in the system problem, but if you have water leaking out, you are going to have air leaking in.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

KDpoolguy

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2017
593
Palm Desert, CA
Instead of shutting off the Spa mode, just select the Pool mode and see what happens.. Seems to me that if you are in the Spa mode and select the Pool mode, that the valves should just turn and the pump should never shut off...
I’ll try this being next to the pad and report back. The issue I have is my 4-button indoor remote only has the SPA button (other 3 buttons are for Jets, Pool & Spa lights). So when I’m done with the spa, I can just shut it off. I wonder if I should change one of these circuits to POOL?
 

KDpoolguy

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2017
593
Palm Desert, CA
@Jimrahbe
Jim, this is a more effective transition (SPA—> POOL) as the pump remains on. Unfortunately, there is such a serious air-in-line situation that (after all this investigation) nothing can be helped until this part is resolved.:cautious:
Do you think that much air can come from a small leak at the intake valve? I mean we’re litlerally talking about the entire Skimmer to Valve line being full of air. How does hat happen?!
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
15,063
Bedford, TX
Kevin,

I suggest that we focus on just the air leak.. Other than using the pool/spa, let's not pay any attention to what happens when we switch the valves..

Put the system in the pool mode and bleed off any air in the filter.. Turn the manual valves so that you are sucking only from the skimmer... then see how the pump works at some middle range RPM, like maybe 1800 or so... Leave it in that position while you look for any suction side air leak.

I used to troubleshoot for a living (back in the stone-age) but trying to troubleshoot more than one problem at a time never works well.

Another thing to do is forget whatever you have done, or think you have done, and start over. Just pretend you have never seen the system before and take nothing for granted.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

KDpoolguy

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2017
593
Palm Desert, CA
Today I got the new Jandy valve gaskets and took them apart and also put a small amount of lube on the ‘Neverlube’ seals. Did 2 rotations where I selected from SPA directly to POOL mode and had success! There was not much of any air seen in the pump sight-glass during the motorized spin. Before, it was a mess and blew the skimmer cap off and just sucked all air until the pump stopped. I find it hard to believe just yet that there was so much of an air leak at the valves to cause this Venturi effect, but maybe someone has similar stories.
 

KDpoolguy

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2017
593
Palm Desert, CA
@Jimrahbe how are you?
Still having success here Jim. It’s hard to test simply because it’s bad spa weather having hit our warm streak here after a very temperate June thru mid-July. I test it occasionally and am not able to replicate the problem. I go directly from SPA to POOL, to keep the pump on—through my POOL setting is 1200 rpm. I’ve also tried just turning SPA off and waiting 5 minutes and turning POOL on, and I get some air out of the returns, but no explosive skimmer anymore.

I did notice (during the time of the problem) that I had the intake from the pool cleaner suction port slightly open also. I replaced all 3 ‘older’ Jandy 3-way valve gaskets. Never thought so much air could be sucked in through them if the gaskets were rotting, but maybe this was the fix after all.

Also, a couple things since we have similar equipment. I did add the 2-way valve to the spa makeup bypass, upstream from the check valve, and want to now add control with a valve actuator to this valve—so I can have filtering into spa/spillway and pool simultaneously. Is Valve A & B my option? I see Valve A is designed for only a solar system, so is my option relegated to Valve B? Or does it matter? I’m eyeballing an inexpensive Intermatic PE24VA Valve actuator I found cheap.

Also, one last thing I promise. :unsure:
My Pentair VS pump is squealing on startup and off. I’ve read there’s a port that I can WD40 lube to possibly address this?

-Kevin
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
15,063
Bedford, TX
Kevin,

Working backwards... I have not heard of any port... Could be I suppose, I just think with sealed bearings, it does not make any sense.. I think I read about pump shaft seals making noise.
@JamesW might have some input..

If you are not using solar, then you can use either valve A or B, it does not matter.

You will have to make up a new Feature Circuit and then assign it to the valve you want to move.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,766
The shaft seal can sometimes chirp due to friction between the two rotating sides.

There's no port to grease anything.

Maybe there's a new seal material that is squealing more than normal since it seems like there are more reports.

You can replace the seal if you want to try it to see if it helps.