Just moved into new house with pool

Alwayshad1

Active member
Oct 11, 2020
27
North central Florida
Hello everyone. We have always had a pool and I have always done all the cleaning, testing, etc. with no real problems. However, we just moved into our new home and am a little perplexed. The pool was built around 1989 and has a spa as well as a waterfall. Has not been maintained the best. So, I will be submitting some pics later that maybe you guys can explain a few things for me but for now one question. He has two pumps and two filters on this set up and the valves and piping all connected. One filter for the pool and waterfall is a diatomaceous earth type and the one for the spa is a cartridge paper type. Is this normal? Should two different type filters be on the same system? I took the cartridge one out to replace it and it was full of what I assume is diatomaceous earth granules. I have never owned one of those type filters so I will need to read up on it. But will I be safe installing the new cartridge filter and running the whole system together again? Thanks in advance for any help.
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
1,378
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Welcome to TFP.
Pictures will help immensely. Is the spa on a separate circulating system? Does it have its own pump as well? So when you are in spa mode is the pump and cartridge filter dedicated to that circulating system? It will depend on how the valves are set up before the pumps and after the filters to really understand how it is plumbed, thus pictures at all angles will be very helpful.
Be sure to buy your test kit. Test Kits Compared and read up on ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry & Recommended Levels for TFP methodology.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,852
Bedford, TX
1,

There are cartridge style DE filters.. Not saying that is what you have, but something to keep in mind.

I can't see where it would make any difference if your system had two different types of filters. Why would you think it would??

We can't really help unless we see several pics of your equipment pad. Does sound like you have something unusual.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Alwayshad1

Active member
Oct 11, 2020
27
North central Florida
Welcome to TFP.
Pictures will help immensely. Is the spa on a separate circulating system? Does it have its own pump as well? So when you are in spa mode is the pump and cartridge filter dedicated to that circulating system? It will depend on how the valves are set up before the pumps and after the filters to really understand how it is plumbed, thus pictures at all angles will be very helpful.
Be sure to buy your test kit. Test Kits Compared and read up on ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry & Recommended Levels for TFP methodology.
Good evening,
So the pump and diatomaceous filter is on the left. They both control the pool and waterfall. The valve on the far left controls the waterfall. The pump and cartridge filter on the right controls the spa. The valve on the far right is for the spa. That is all I can figure out right now. All my previous pools were just pool alone, one pump and filter, and pretty simple. This thing has me confused. When I had everything going, or so I thought, water would overflow out of the spa onto the deck. I ordered a cartridge filter and spa pump is off until I get it. I will try to get some more pics tomorrow.
 

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Alwayshad1

Active member
Oct 11, 2020
27
North central Florida
1,

There are cartridge style DE filters.. Not saying that is what you have, but something to keep in mind.

I can't see where it would make any difference if your system had two different types of filters. Why would you think it would??

We can't really help unless we see several pics of your equipment pad. Does sound like you have something unusual.

Thanks,

Jim R.
Good evening,

I will try to get more pics tomorrow. It is definetly a paper cartridge type filter. Normally I just hose them clean and replace. This thing had a lot of what looked like tiny white granular particles pouring out of it after it had dried. I just thought that would not be good for the filter. I have never had a diatomaceous filter set up so not very knowledgeable about them. Is it safe to combine different filter types, sand-diatomaceous earth-cartridge...all recirculating the same water thru them at the same time?
 

Alwayshad1

Active member
Oct 11, 2020
27
North central Florida
Good evening,

I will try to get more pics tomorrow. It is definetly a paper cartridge type filter. Normally I just hose them clean and replace. This thing had a lot of what looked like tiny white granular particles pouring out of it after it had dried. I just thought that would not be good for the filter. I have never had a diatomaceous filter set up so not very knowledgeable about them. Is it safe to combine different filter types, sand-diatomaceous earth-cartridge...all recirculating the same water thru them at the same time?
Ok here’s another one for you...is this a spa heater? The breaker in the garage says “spa heater” and it has been switched off. Don’t know why and until I know what’s what I don’t want to be playing with electricity. If it is a heater, where are the temp controls? Also next to the spa is a small round piece that sits into the deck that looks like it was a switch at one time, as it pushes in and out and there is a loose wire protruding up from the hole where this piece sits. Any ideas?
 

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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,852
Bedford, TX
1,

The picture of the silver "can" is an air blower that adds bubbles to your spa jets.

I don't see where the Pool and Spa are tied together.. It looks like they are both separate systems.

Maybe the valve on the ground in the very middle of your 1st pic may do something to tie the two system together, but it is not obvious to me. Do you have any idea what the valve does? I suggest that you turn it 90 degrees and point the off to one of the two pipes and see what no longer works. My guess is that it runs your little bubbler/fountain.

I don't see any heater in your pics. It would be bigger than your DE filter. It would be hard to miss.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Alwayshad1

Active member
Oct 11, 2020
27
North central Florida
1,

The picture of the silver "can" is an air blower that adds bubbles to your spa jets.

I don't see where the Pool and Spa are tied together.. It looks like they are both separate systems.

Maybe the valve on the ground in the very middle of your 1st pic may do something to tie the two system together, but it is not obvious to me. Do you have any idea what the valve does? I suggest that you turn it 90 degrees and point the off to one of the two pipes and see what no longer works. My guess is that it runs your little bubbler/fountain.

I don't see any heater in your pics. It would be bigger than your DE filter. It would be hard to miss.

Thanks,

Jim R.
Everything I researched on the web says every spa should have a heater. Plus the fuse panel has a breaker marked spa / heater but it is switched off from previous owner. It looks like it was written a long time ago though. Is is possible a heater was disconnected and removed? Any way to know for sure? Also when I did run the spa you could barely feel anything coming out of the jets, that’s mainly why I am replacing the filter...thought that might be the reason.
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
1,378
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I agree with @Jimrahbe as it shows to be 2 separate circulation systems and they do not seem to be linked together. It does show that there are 2 suction inlets to the spa pump and there are 2 returns from the spa. There are grass around these in the picture so hard to see. Can you determine what the 2 suctions are and where would the 2 returns go for the spa?

While a spa would be nice with a heater, it is not mandatory. It could be the heater was to the right of the spa filter and it would be plumbed in after the filter. It could have been removed if it broke down and filter outlet was simply replumbed directly to the spa returns as shown in the picture.

My assumption would be as is with @Jimrahbe that the pipe on the ground running from left to right (from the pool filter) is most likely to the water feature and if you turn that valve in the middle of the picture it should turn off the water feature. Let us know if that is what happens.

Can you take a picture of the pool and spa to show us as well.
 

tstex

Silver Supporter
Aug 28, 2012
1,888
Houston, TX
A,

If your pool and spa are on two diff systems, the type of filtering device is not an issue. From a maintenance perspective, I would wish to standardize to reach better economies to scale, unless there is a compelling reason to do otherwise. As of now, I do not see one.

As of now, there is no heater. What is of greatest importance is what do you and your family want from your pool and spa and how often, meaning winter options too. Since youre in NC FL, you do not have harsh winters, therefore, a heater could be run in late fall, winter and early spring, thus expanding the time and capabilities of your pool/spa systems. Once you know what it is you wish to do, then you can examine your current systems and look at options to get you where you would like to be...
 

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Alwayshad1

Active member
Oct 11, 2020
27
North central Florida
I agree with @Jimrahbe as it shows to be 2 separate circulation systems and they do not seem to be linked together. It does show that there are 2 suction inlets to the spa pump and there are 2 returns from the spa. There are grass around these in the picture so hard to see. Can you determine what the 2 suctions are and where would the 2 returns go for the spa?

While a spa would be nice with a heater, it is not mandatory. It could be the heater was to the right of the spa filter and it would be plumbed in after the filter. It could have been removed if it broke down and filter outlet was simply replumbed directly to the spa returns as shown in the picture.

My assumption would be as is with @Jimrahbe that the pipe on the ground running from left to right (from the pool filter) is most likely to the water feature and if you turn that valve in the middle of the picture it should turn off the water feature. Let us know if that is what happens.

Can you take a picture of the pool and spa to show us as well.
Thanks everyone. Okay to start is a pic of the old breaker label on the box inside garage. As you can see one of the switches for pool/heater had been turned off. The previous owner was 80 years old in bad health and did not use the pool much I assume. The spa has a small round push button next to it n the deck you can see in picture. If you pull that out, there is an old loose wire coming up from the hole it was in not connected to anything. There is also a self filling float system that looks as though it had been disabled. On the piping...The long pipe with the valve in the middle does connect both systems from what I see and then looks to be capped off at one end. The pump and filter on left that controls pool and waterfall looks to be fairly newer with digital controls. I have tinkered around with this system when we first moved in and got frustrated! I’m a simple guy...I just want to be able to use the pool, have the waterfall working, and be able to sit in the spa and feel those bubbly jets or whatever it is without the water from it overflowing onto the deck. I guess the key is figuring out where all those valves need to be at the same time. The best I can figure out so far it seems like the valve closest to the new diatomaceous filter ( on the left) controls the waterfall and the one on the far right with the cartridge filter controls the spa. Hope this helps...Where do you think these valves need to go?
 

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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,852
Bedford, TX
A,

If we look at this logically, the spa cannot overflow unless more water is coming in than going out.. So, the question is, where does the extra water come from?

From looking at your pics I only see one possible pipe that might do it.. Please turn off the center valve down in the dirt and tell us what happens.. Run the spa pump and tell us what happens. When you run the spa pump you should feel suction at the drain in the spa as will as the skimmer in the spa. Your jets should also have water coming out of them.

Where do you keep the spa water level? It should be in the middle of the spa skimmer.. Where is it now? It could just be the pic, but it appears the spa water is right up to under the coping. :scratch:

We can only guess... Try what we ask and then report back your results.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,852
Bedford, TX
I don't think this spa is designed to overflow as there isn't a wall to contain the spilled water back to the pool.


WF,

It is not, yet the OP has said it does.. Not like a spillover spa, it just floods over the coping. It could just be the OP has the water in the spa too high and getting in causes it to overflow. You would think the spa would have its own overflow port or pipe???

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
1,378
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Looking at the pool and spa pictures it is as I suspected. There needs to be 2 separate circulations systems because the spa does not appear to connect to the pool. Therefore it needs its own pump and filter (and heater which probably was removed). Jim mentioned a skimmer in the spa but I do not see it but it makes sense because there are 2 suction pipes to the spa - 1 would be the bottom spa drain and the other is the skimmer. The return pipe from the spa filter should be to the return jets. To prevent the spa from overflowing, the spa suction must be open (bottom drain and/or skimmer) and the return jet must be open. So it just circulates. You may need to put a rag or a lightweight towel on the bottom spa drain to see the suction action.

New subject for later discussion after the spa circulation is solved. It appears your water feature is isolated as well but it may just be the angle of the picture as it does not show it flowing into the pool.
 

Alwayshad1

Active member
Oct 11, 2020
27
North central Florida
Looking at the pool and spa pictures it is as I suspected. There needs to be 2 separate circulations systems because the spa does not appear to connect to the pool. Therefore it needs its own pump and filter (and heater which probably was removed). Jim mentioned a skimmer in the spa but I do not see it but it makes sense because there are 2 suction pipes to the spa - 1 would be the bottom spa drain and the other is the skimmer. The return pipe from the spa filter should be to the return jets. To prevent the spa from overflowing, the spa suction must be open (bottom drain and/or skimmer) and the return jet must be open. So it just circulates. You may need to put a rag or a lightweight towel on the bottom spa drain to see the suction action.

New subject for later discussion after the spa circulation is solved. It appears your water feature is isolated as well but it may just be the angle of the picture as it does not show it flowing into the pool.
You guys know your stuff. Got me looking forward to getting that new filter in and playing with those valves. The only time I felt anything coming out of the jets you could barely feel it. Thought it may get be badly clogged filter so that’s why I am replacing it. Seems like the real issue is going to be playing with those valves.
 

Alwayshad1

Active member
Oct 11, 2020
27
North central Florida
You guys know your stuff. Got me looking forward to getting that new filter in and playing with those valves. The only time I felt anything coming out of the jets you could barely feel it. Thought it may get be badly clogged filter so that’s why I am replacing it. Seems like the real issue is going to be playing with those valves.
Question though...if they are on two separate systems what would those tiny pieces of hard material be that poured out of the spa cartridge filter be. Is that diatomaceous earth particles? If so, how could they have gotten into it if they were on separate systems. Or what else could that have been. I could upload a picture of the stuff ias it’s still sitting in the back of my truck if that would help.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,852
Bedford, TX
A,

DE is not crystal-like.. Not sure what it was... Go ahead and show us a pic or two.... There is no telling what someone might have added to the spa..

Do you see any kind of overflow port in your spa? What prevents you from just adding water to the spa until it overflows the coping?

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Alwayshad1

Active member
Oct 11, 2020
27
North central Florida
A,

DE is not crystal-like.. Not sure what it was... Go ahead and show us a pic or two.... There is no telling what someone might have added to the spa..

Do you see any kind of overflow port in your spa? What prevents you from just adding water to the spa until it overflows the coping?

Thanks,

Jim R.
Good morning,
This is the stuff that came out of the cartridge filter. There is more than what is in the picture...kind of looks like different colored tiny crystals. Also for what it is worth I took some more pics of the spa. There is no skimmer in the spa only main drain which I will check suction for once it gets running again. I remember the first day I tinkered with the valves and both systems were running at the same time. If my memory serves me correct whenever the spas jets were working, although just barely, that was when it would overflow onto the decking. Just have to wait until filter comes in and start it up again I guess. From what you see in the pictures what position do you think the spa valve should be in..the valve on the far right once I put in the new filter? The way it is now is how I had to set it up so that no water was entering the spa filter housing and pump so I could remove the filter.
 

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