Hayward filter - 39 PSI

Dilbydog

Silver Supporter
Jan 14, 2018
59
Las Vegas, NV
You can let it run without the guts in. It will just allow all zones to get flow at the same time.

Try to make sure that nothing gets in the open holes where the pop ups are missing.

I would keep an eye on the cup screen to see if it's continuing to clog. Maybe just leave it out for now.

I would switch the actuator switch back like it was.
One last question, hopefully, the Caretaker pop ups in the spa have been removed, but there’s no flow. There was a bit initially (some bubbles) but nothing now. I did notice that when I took the Caretaker Head unit apart, four of the five “discharge” pipes drained, but one stayed full. Any correlation? Any ideas on how to get flow to the spa pop ups.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
19,427
Possibly. Not really sure how everything is plumbed. It really doesn't make sense for the Caretaker to go to the spa because then you can't put the system on pool only.

The caretaker would cause the spa to overflow unless that's what they wanted or there's a way to shut it off.

The check valve near the Caretaker valve probably goes to the spa, maybe that has an issue.

Maybe the spa Caretaker lines are tied into the spa returns. I'm not sure.

They don't seem to be getting flow now, so maybe they are clogged or not plumbed into the distributor valve.

It would probably help to dig up around the Caretaker valve to see what that shows.
 

Dodger

Silver Supporter
Sep 17, 2017
642
Silicon Valley, CA
Possibly. Not really sure how everything is plumbed. It really doesn't make sense for the Caretaker to go to the spa because then you can't put the system on pool only.

The caretaker would cause the spa to overflow unless that's what they wanted or there's a way to shut it off.

The check valve near the Caretaker valve probably goes to the spa, maybe that has an issue.

Maybe the Caretaker lines are tied into the spa returns. I'm not sure.
That is how mine is plumbed. With in-floor line open, it feeds the spa pop-ups every 5th rotation and they cause the spa water to spill over into the pool.

One way my plumbing is different is that I have a (manual) bypass from the entire Caretaker system and can send to Pool wall returns only.

I was also wondering about the check valve next to the Caretaker valve and what it connects to.


As far as clearing out the spa pop-up lines, I am not knowledgeable on mechanical snaking or blowing out lines. My first-line approach would be to get the Caretaker rebuilt and operating. When it rotates to the spa pop-ups, I'd have one pop-up removed and hope that the line pressure would force out the clog. Let it cycle through that spa position several times then replace that pop-up and remove the next one. Keep an eye on the Caretaker pressure gauge during this process.


BTW, how many spa pop-ups do you have, Dilby?
 
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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
19,427
If the spa caretaker line is clogged, the valve would get stuck on that line because the timing mechanism needs water flow to operate. It's consistent with what we were seeing.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
19,427
It's interesting that the spa caretakers seemed to be getting action earlier. Maybe the line is 99% clogged and only with full force was it working at all.

Maybe someone opened the check valve and put the flapper in backwards.

It would probably be worthwhile to open the check valve to see if it's ok.

Probably need to lower the water in the spa or the line might flood when open.

If the check valve goes to the spa line, opening the check valve could allow you to see if the line is clogged between the Caretaker valve and the check valve or between the check valve and the spa.
 

Dodger

Silver Supporter
Sep 17, 2017
642
Silicon Valley, CA
How about this: While the Caretaker valve housing is empty, put all your pool pop-ups back in and take one or more spa pop-ups out. This may force a little more pressure to the spa pop-ups than they are currently getting with pool pop-ups removed. If those spa lines are too clogged, then the pressure should relieve to the pool-side pop-ups. They still won't go up all the way, because the pressure is being divided between 4 zones.


Another way to say this is that it's easy to see that the spa pop-ups won't have noticeable flow with pool pop-ups removed (and Caretaker valve empty.)
 

Dilbydog

Silver Supporter
Jan 14, 2018
59
Las Vegas, NV
If the actuator is on pool, try moving the switch to change the valve.
Ok, I selected the Spa valve on the remote and the system promptly pumped the contents of the spa into the pool.

- - - Updated - - -

That is how mine is plumbed. With in-floor line open, it feeds the spa pop-ups every 5th rotation and they cause the spa water to spill over into the pool.

One way my plumbing is different is that I have a (manual) bypass from the entire Caretaker system and can send to Pool wall returns only.

I was also wondering about the check valve next to the Caretaker valve and what it connects to.


As far as clearing out the spa pop-up lines, I am not knowledgeable on mechanical snaking or blowing out lines. My first-line approach would be to get the Caretaker rebuilt and operating. When it rotates to the spa pop-ups, I'd have one pop-up removed and hope that the line pressure would force out the clog. Let it cycle through that spa position several times then replace that pop-up and remove the next one. Keep an eye on the Caretaker pressure gauge during this process.


BTW, how many spa pop-ups do you have, Dilby?
We have 6 pop ups in the spa. The spa also spills over into the pool when the spa jets are running.

- - - Updated - - -

How about this: While the Caretaker valve housing is empty, put all your pool pop-ups back in and take one or more spa pop-ups out. This may force a little more pressure to the spa pop-ups than they are currently getting with pool pop-ups removed. If those spa lines are too clogged, then the pressure should relieve to the pool-side pop-ups. They still won't go up all the way, because the pressure is being divided between 4 zones.


Another way to say this is that it's easy to see that the spa pop-ups won't have noticeable flow with pool pop-ups removed (and Caretaker valve empty.)
I actually cleared all the pool pop ups and reinstalled. I then went to the spa and pulled all the pop ups, there was no flow. At one point before I gutted the Caretaker housing, I was getting a stream of bubbles from the pop up at the lowest point in the spa.
 

Dilbydog

Silver Supporter
Jan 14, 2018
59
Las Vegas, NV

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
19,427
I think that I would open the check valve to see if the clog was between the Caretaker valve and the check valve or between the check valve and the spa.

You'll probably want to lower the water in the spa to below the check valve before opening because water will probably gush out.

Note that draining a pool or spa could potentially cause the shell to float or shift if the ground water is high enough. So, only do so if you're sure that it's safe. Consult a professional if any doubt.

Alternatively, you can leave the spa full to see if water flushes back on its own. However, it's difficult to get the lid back on with water flowing out.

Don't over pressurize the lines.

At this point, I would just start out establishing what lines go where and what's clogged.
 

Dilbydog

Silver Supporter
Jan 14, 2018
59
Las Vegas, NV
I think that I would open the check valve to see if the clog was between the Caretaker valve and the check valve or between the check valve and the spa.

You'll probably want to lower the water in the spa to below the check valve before opening because water will probably gush out.

Note that draining a pool or spa could potentially cause the shell to float or shift if the ground water is high enough. So, only do so if you're sure that it's safe. Consult a professional if any doubt.

Alternatively, you can leave the spa full to see if water flushes back on its own. However, it's difficult to get the lid back on with water flowing out.

Don't over pressurize the lines.

At this point, I would just start out establishing what lines go where and what's clogged.
Ill have to give that a shot next weekend. Suns down here, and I’m traveling for the remainder of the week. The check valve is above the top of the spa so backflow shouldn’t be an issue. Water table is at least 100’ below grade.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
29,787
Laughlin, NV
Be aware to monitor your FC based on the [FC/CYA][/FC/CYA]. You were heating the water just enough to keep the SWCG operating. It may not take long for the water to drop in temperature for the SWCG to stop and you may need to add bleach.

Can you add what test kit you are using to your signature?

Take care.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
19,427
Actually, we're not sure that the check valve goes to the Caretaker line. There should be one on the Caretaker line going to the spa and one going to the spa jets.

If it's going to the jets, you should be able to see the flapper go up when the returns are going to the spa.

There should be another check valve somewhere. It might be on the line below the Caretaker valve.

The clog might be as simple as the flapper coming loose in the check valve and being pushed against the outbound hole in the check valve.

When you get a chance, turn the actuator valve to spa return and look in the top of the check valve to see if you can see the flapper swing up.
 

Dilbydog

Silver Supporter
Jan 14, 2018
59
Las Vegas, NV
Be aware to monitor your FC based on the [FC/CYA][/FC/CYA]. You were heating the water just enough to keep the SWCG operating. It may not take long for the water to drop in temperature for the SWCG to stop and you may need to add bleach.

Can you add what test kit you are using to your signature?

Take care.
Just ordered a TFT-100 kit. Previous owner had some test strips, but told me he just took a sample to the Leslie’s around the corner, because they test for free (once a month).
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
29,787
Laughlin, NV
Just ordered a TFT-100 kit. Previous owner had some test strips, but told me he just took a sample to the Leslie’s around the corner, because they test for free (once a month).
Very good decision! I expect your fill water is the same as mine, Colorado River water. So when the time comes I can give you suggestions on how to manage it.

Take care
 

Dodger

Silver Supporter
Sep 17, 2017
642
Silicon Valley, CA
Dilby, in case the results are inconclusive with the visual siting of that flapper in your check valve, I thought I'd post a picture of my Caretaker plumbing as a reference. Mine was installed above ground, so you can get an idea of how the check valve is plumbed to the port that goes to the spa. In my case, I have an ancient Ortega check valve, but you can see how it goes off to the side and then through a couple more 90s before coming parallel to the other 4 Caretaker ports into the ground. The check valve location off to the side is similar to the location of your check valve in relation to one side of your Caretaker.

View attachment 72122
 

Dilbydog

Silver Supporter
Jan 14, 2018
59
Las Vegas, NV
Dodger,
Thank you for the visual. I've been looking at the photos of my system and believe I have identified the Caretaker and spa backflow preventers. I've attached a photo of my plumbing set up at pump/filter/heater location. I believe this is the backflow preventer for the spa, and if so then then the backflow preventer located near the Caretaker must be solely for the Caretaker system, correct?View attachment 72146