Is my water on the level??

Kneedeep47

Member
Aug 11, 2017
10
Santa Rosa Beach, FL
I have an in-ground pool and a heated in-ground 7-foot diameter spa. When built, the construction crew recessed the spa into the pool deck, so that the apron of the spa sits at the same level as the pool deck. The spa is connected to the swimming pool via a "channel/trough" (for want of a better term...) that sits about four inches lower than the pool deck. I also have a skimmer channel that sits at the same water level as the spa channel. (See pic) My spa/pool have a single Pentair pump, with its flow determined by automatic valves.

I've noticed when I use the spa/heater, the water level raises slightly in the spa due to the pump flow and spa jets. (Expected, I'm assuming....). Unfortunately, when the water level in the spa increases, much of the heated spa water then flows through the channel into the pool--and that causes lower spa water temp, and waste of hot water into the pool.

I don't have a design where the spa waterfalls water into the pool, acting like a "one-way channel" to flow from the spa into the pool. In my case, the channel permits the hot and cold water to intermix, when the spa is in use.

If I attempt to better manage flow between the spa and pool by lowering the water levels, the pool water becomes too low to effectively use the skimmer.

Do I have some sort of design flaw in my system? Should I try to raise the channel between the spa and pool to help stop the flow of heated water from the spa?
 

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jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
3,523
Morris Cnty NJ
Can you post good pics of the plumbing amd valves at the pad. How far below the tile is water level in spa when sitting still like in the pic? Does the water level rise significantly when bodies enter the spa and add volume or is it the actual flow of water? You would check this with spa off and still water
 

Kneedeep47

Member
Aug 11, 2017
10
Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Might be hard to tell from the three pics (above) due to reflections, but I took the above photos with pump off and no wind disturbance. The water level sits about 1/8" above the spillover channel. The water level is also about 1/8" above the bottom of the skimmer channel. (As such, if I drain some water out of the pool/spa so that water level is just below the bottom of the spillover channel--it will also be below the level of the skimmer channel, making the skimmer useless.) I will measure the water level with pump on, spa on, when the water gets a little warmer, but from past experience (and some experimenting) the spa level goes up about 1/4" and that forces spa water to spill through the channel into the pool when the spa is being used (makes the spa cooler, and the pool warmer.....not desired...!)

I don't think it's a factor, but the pool equipment (pump, filter, heater, valves) sit about 30" higher than the pool/spa level. Since the pump is running when I'm heating the spa, I don't believe I have any "drain back" from the equipment into the pool/spa. The one-way check valves are in good shape, and working properly.

Pics of the pool equipment attached.

P.S. I'm starting to think I will need to raise the floor of the spa-pool spillway to give me at least a minimal buffer between the spa and pool.
 

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jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
3,523
Morris Cnty NJ
Yeah you are going to have to if its that close. I'd bet that was a whoops by builder. I did work on a pool years ago that has something similar they used a piece of tempered glass for a blocker. They cut a groove in tile with diamond blade and inserted glass then caulked it in real nice. Easy hassle free fix and it worked. Make sure glass is LEVEL
 

RDspaguy

In The Industry
Mar 21, 2020
1,212
Cabool, Mo
Each time the valves turn you will exchange some water, and jet activity will cause waves that may cause more spillover. But if you get a continuous overflow out of the spa it is probably a valve issue on the suction side of the pump pulling in some pool water. I would check that first. Maybe a valve seal or actuator stop.
 
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