New pool owner...questions about heating

jakedwilson

New member
May 27, 2020
3
Arizona
Hey all,

I’ve tried researching and looking for answers but I haven’t been able to. I have a two part question about suction, as well as heating. I’ve never owned a pool before so all of this is completely new to me.

I have a shared pool/spa where the spa spills over into the pool. I currently have the suction set 100% to the pool and the spa return 100%. This is what was recommended to me when I first bought our place by a couple of pool maintenance folks. At this setting the pressure on the filter shows around 20. If I want to heat the pool I change the valve from spa to pool and it seems to work fine.

The problem (and question) arises when I attempt to heat the spa. Since I usually leave the return to spa on 100%, normally I should just change the suction from pool to spa, right? If I do that my pressure goes down to 0 and there’s barely any water coming into the pump. In addition, my heater lights will show “service system” which doesn’t occur when heating the pool. I’ve tried backwashing and it doesn’t change anything. I’m using a brand new 4 speed variable pump, but this issue was also occurring prior to pump replacement. Any idea why this is happening?

Second part of question...

Am I able to leave the pool suction valve to 100% and the spa return valve to 100% and heat the spa, which then spills over to the pool? When I do this the heater seems to work fine, but am I just sucking cold water in from the pool and putting it in the spa? Or will that water in the spa eventually get up to temp (100 degrees or so) and just spill over into the pool while the spa remains at temp?

Included pics of current set up. Pool suction valve open to 100% and spa return open at 100%.

Thanks for your help.
 

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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
37,092
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Welcome to the forum!
On the spa suction, I see a cap. I suspect that is a check valve. That may be stuck closed and thus would inhibit water flow from the spa to the pump. See if you can remove that cap (carefully) and check it.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry.
 
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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,877
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Welcome to TFP and the joys of pool ownership.

It sounds like you have a blockage in your spa suction. As Marty points out it could be a broken check valve in the line.

Rather then run your return at 100% spa and having all the water spillover to the pool I would cock the valve so that you get 80%-90% of the water through the pool returns and just a small spillover flow through the spa. That gives you better pool circulation and less pH rise through aeration from the spillover activity.

You are going to find it difficult to heat your spa and much more expensive when the water is spilling over to your pool. You need to get the spa suction operating properly so you can isolate the spa and just heat the spa when you want.
 
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jakedwilson

New member
May 27, 2020
3
Arizona
Welcome to the forum!
On the spa suction, I see a cap. I suspect that is a check valve. That may be stuck closed and thus would inhibit water flow from the spa to the pump. See if you can remove that cap (carefully) and check it.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry.
I removed that cap just now. Looks like there’s just a spring and below the spring is a plastic round piece the same diameter of the pipe. When I remove both it looks clear and water just slowly comes out. Didn’t try turning the valve or anything with the pump on. Thanks for the quick response.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
37,092
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
OK. That sounds like an Ortega type check valve.
With the spring and plastic round piece removed, put the cap back on and see if the suction from the spa is improved.
 
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jakedwilson

New member
May 27, 2020
3
Arizona
Welcome to TFP and the joys of pool ownership.

It sounds like you have a blockage in your spa suction. As Marty points out it could be a broken check valve in the line.

Rather then run your return at 100% spa and having all the water spillover to the pool I would cock the valve so that you get 80%-90% of the water through the pool returns and just a small spillover flow through the spa. That gives you better pool circulation and less pH rise through aeration from the spillover activity.

You are going to find it difficult to heat your spa and much more expensive when the water is spilling over to your pool. You need to get the spa suction operating properly so you can isolate the spa and just heat the spa when you want.
Okay, thanks. I’ll try changing the return valve to that. I seem to recall a pool maintenance person doing that when we first bought the property but it started draining the spa. I could be wrong...that was quite a while ago.

I noticed the Jandy valve on the return let’s you turn it either all the way to the pool, in between, or all the way to the spa. It doesn’t allow you to just rotate it clockwise or counterclockwise continuously, but the valve on the suction does just that. Is that normal or could that indicate the valve is broken?

Thanks again
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,877
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
I noticed the Jandy valve on the return let’s you turn it either all the way to the pool, in between, or all the way to the spa. It doesn’t allow you to just rotate it clockwise or counterclockwise continuously, but the valve on the suction does just that. Is that normal or could that indicate the valve is broken?

There is a screw in the center of the Jandy handle. Remove the screw and you can pull off the handle. You will then see what stops on the bottom of the handle and the top of the valve that are preventing you from turning the handle the way you want. It is adjustable.

If you can't figure it out post pics of what you find.
 
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