Help me Understanding this plumbing setup?

Switched

Well-known member
Dec 25, 2019
62
Adelaide
I currently have a number of old plumbing pipes terminating in my pool pump area that aren't labelled or known and arent connected to anything. I know my pool is 1986 era - found the year marked on an old SPA blower.
I used a spa blower to blow down the old pipes to see where I saw bubbles to help me identify where each were connected. See below photo - this is what I found:

1) Wall jets. Its currently an open pipe in the pumphouse with nothing attached.
2) Seat Air Jets - currently connected to BLOWER UNIT 1. Working
3) SPA Suction going into Pump. (3 way valve here, 1 INPUT from SPA, 1 INPUT from Pool skimmer). Working.
4) Its currently an open pipe in the pumphouse with nothing attached.
5) SPA Return. Working
6) Floor Air Jets - currently connected to BLOWER UNIT 2. Working
7) Doesn’t appear to be connected. Yet to remove the cover as yet.
8) Unsure what this is


Can someone please advise of the following:
7 and 8: What are these for considering that the SPA suction and return is currently using ports 3 and 5?
1: Wall jets - this is normally water fed isnt it rather than air fed? If so, should it be fed via a pump that has high output (Eg a VSP setup). If so, then I need to buy a new VSP here. I only have single pump that is single speed today and as noted, there is nothing actually attached to this pipe in the pumphouse.
2 and 6: Assume these stay connected to the air blowers. Both blowers are 1200W. Should they share the same blower (maybe have a 3 way valve here)?
4: What on earth could this be for or what was it used for historically?

Pool season just opened - my plan is to start to buy what new valves,pipes and couplers I need to refresh the setup and tackle this in a few months time. Understanding the answers to teh questions will help me determine what kind of setup I will need to have with valves etc.

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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
21,902
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
A single pipe suction port like 3 is an entrapment hazard and not safe and was outlawed in the USA. See Safety Drains VGBA - Further Reading

It looks to me like 7 & 8 was the original suction ports and 4 was the return and both were abandoned for whatever reason.

They then core drilled new pipes into the spa with 3 & 5 for a replacement suction and return. The placement of 3 & 5 are too sloppy to have been put there during the original construction.

Wall jets can be plumbed with manifolds that are connected to air and water pipes and combine them behind the jets.

To make suction pipe 3 safe you need to install a Safety Vacuum Relief System (SVRS),,,

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Switched

Well-known member
Dec 25, 2019
62
Adelaide
Ok great thanks @ajw22. I also assumed that 3,4,5 were done after the original setup. Noted on the safety I’ll look into this.
So what it sounds like I should plumb my wall jets into at least the pump here. I gues I have a lot of air bubbles coming in on the floor and seat locations. Would there be any benefit to have the wall jets with both air and water?

what was interesting was I found two pipes in my pump area that when blowing air into came out of the same wall jets, but also interestingly blowing air down one pipe didn’t cause it to come out of the other pipe if that makes sense? Would there be an underground one way valve in this kind of setup? Is this normal?
I really don’t know what else to do to verify here, my aim is to terminate and cap any unused piping outside of the pump house so I can replumb the right pipes in a new location and refresh the pipes,plumbing and valves etc
 

Switched

Well-known member
Dec 25, 2019
62
Adelaide
Ok great thanks @ajw22. I also assumed that 3,4,5 were done after the original setup. Noted on the safety I’ll look into this.
So what it sounds like I should plumb my wall jets into at least the pump here. I gues I have a lot of air bubbles coming in on the floor and seat locations. Would there be any benefit to have the wall jets with both air and water?

what was interesting was I found two pipes in my pump area that when blowing air into came out of the same wall jets, but also interestingly blowing air down one pipe didn’t cause it to come out of the other pipe if that makes sense? Would there be an underground one way valve in this kind of setup? Is this normal?
I really don’t know what else to do to verify here, my aim is to terminate and cap any unused piping outside of the pump house so I can replumb the right pipes in a new location and refresh the pipes,plumbing and valves etc
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
21,902
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
So what it sounds like I should plumb my wall jets into at least the pump here. I gues I have a lot of air bubbles coming in on the floor and seat locations. Would there be any benefit to have the wall jets with both air and water?
Wall jets having combined air and water need to be constructed for that with separate air and water pipes at the jets and a manifold behind the jets that combined the two. There is no easy way to retro fit that.

what was interesting was I found two pipes in my pump area that when blowing air into came out of the same wall jets, but also interestingly blowing air down one pipe didn’t cause it to come out of the other pipe if that makes sense? Would there be an underground one way valve in this kind of setup? Is this normal?
There could be a check valve someplace. There is no end to pool builders creativity. And your pool loosk like it had a few creative folks working on it.

I really don’t know what else to do to verify here, my aim is to terminate and cap any unused piping outside of the pump house so I can replumb the right pipes in a new location and refresh the pipes,plumbing and valves etc
You have a puzzle to solve. It may take a while.
 
Last edited:

Switched

Well-known member
Dec 25, 2019
62
Adelaide
Thanks @ajw22. Being that I’ve found two pipes that feed the wall jets I think maybe one of these could be plumbed to the spa blower and one plumbed to the water pump? What do you think? Interestingly one of these pipes was on the side that is where my spa blowers are
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
21,902
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
That the spa blower that makes air come out of the small holes 2 & 6?

It sounds like your spa was plumbed very traditionally and for some reason the air, suction port, and return was all changed.

The two lines you found connected to the jets can be a water and air line. Either will come out the jets. But they are not connected to each other.

This type of manifold combines them behind the jet...

 

Switched

Well-known member
Dec 25, 2019
62
Adelaide
Thanks @ajw22. I have two blowers connected to 2 and another blower to 6. These are the two leftmost pipes in the pic, although one blower is missing when I moved it. The third pipe here is one that goes to the wall jets - suspect there was maybe another blower on it.. hard to know.
the 4th pipe I have no idea - seem to not carry water and pumping air into it I don’t have an exit point in the pool or spa. I put a hose down it and it filled up and drained. Have no idea on it.
 

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