Pentair System - Spa jets are only active when system is calling for heat; turn off when target temp is reached

Stowol

Bronze Supporter
Dec 7, 2020
9
Palm Springs, CA
Looking for help with our Pentair EasyTouch controller for the spa jet programming. Recently, the pump has been shutting off when the spa water reaches the target temperature (101F). The pump (and spa jets) resume when the system calls for heat, and then shuts down again. Previously, the spa jets would run continuously, whether the heater was running or not.
  • The configuration is a jetted spa with a spillway into the pool.
  • The system has a single gas heater and one variable speed pump to heat both the pool and spa (no blower).
  • When the spa mode is activated, the spillway shuts off and the spa water is heated up to the target temp (101F) normally.
  • The spa is set for on-demand use only via the IS4 control with an egg-timer.
  • The main pool heats up normally to the target temp of 85F, and is functioning normally.
How do we get the spa jets to continuously run while in spa mode? I'm sure there are details needed to help troubleshoot, which I'll gladly provide. Thank you in advance!
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,244
Bedford, TX
Scott,

The problem is that you have no pump speed for the Spa.. So what is happening is that when in the Spa mode, your pump is not running, unless the heater is on. Once you get up to the heater's set point the pump will shut off.. The only reason the pump is running in the spa mode at all is because of the "Either heater" circuit.

Just add a Spa speed like you have a Pool speed..

Not sure who set up your speeds, but they look very odd to me. The whole point of having a VS pump is to run as slow as possible. Obviously the Spa needs a high speed so that you can get that jet action, but for the Pool mode, I would suggest that you set it between 1200 and 1600 RPM.. Is there a reason to run so fast in the pool mode???

You should also set up a speed for your Spillway circuit.. With it set to 3450 you must have a title wave of water coming over your spillway and into your pool.

What is the "High Speed" circuit for?

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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Stowol

Bronze Supporter
Dec 7, 2020
9
Palm Springs, CA
Jim,

Success! That fixed it. Thank you!!!

Regarding your questions about the pump speeds, they are indeed a mystery. Based on your observations, it's apparent to us now that installer of the Pentair EasyTouch was really only focused on getting the system functioning, but not programmed/configured optimally. So I appreciate your guidance regarding the appropriate flow settings and will make those adjustments. That will definitely save some money no doubt.

The "High Speed" circuit was set up based on another recommendation in a thread on TFP to run a brief daily schedule to skim the pool. I'm not sure if it's configured properly, or if you have any guidance to do so differently, or just delete it.

Related to the pump speed for the spa, does Pentair's system allow the configuration of a separate pump speed for the pool when the heater is on, and a separate pump speed for the spa when heat is being called? For background, we were advised to have the pump speed set to the highest to heat up a cold pool and spa faster (in the winter, the pool heat is off, and the connected spa can take up to an hour to heat up). This advice may be incorrect, but I can only find threads on this topic that are focused on operating efficiency/cost savings--not how to quickly heat a cold pool or spa so it can be used without a long wait. (I'm a new member, so if it's more appropriate to create a new question thread for this, I will do that.)

Thank you again. I greatly appreciate your time, advice and expertise. I have a ton of gratitude.

Scott
 

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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,244
Bedford, TX
Scott,

Pump speed has a little to do with how well your skimmers work, but not all that much... People that are used to single speed pumps want to see a bunch of water movement when they look in a skimmer.. This is not really required as the key to good skimming is an operating weir door and patience..

I have two skimmer and run my pump mostly at 1200 RPM. At that speed, there is "almost" no water movement when you look in my skimmers, but they still capture all the floating debris just fine. No skimmer is going to reach out into the middle of the pool and suck things in, that is just how they work.. The water in the pool should very slowly swirl in circle, like a very slow motion flushing toilet bowl.. This will eventually bring debris in front of the skimmers. The weir door causes the surface water to flow into the skimmers taking all the floating junk with it.

When I first set up my system I used a pool speed of 1200 and then a Skim low speed of 1500 and a Skim high speed of 2000. I no longer use the Skim high except when we want to create a lazy river effect when we are using our floats.. I still have the Skim Low speed of 1500 come on a couple of times a day for about an hour, but just because I am too lazy to change it.. I really doubt it makes much difference, if any difference at all.

There are three heater circuits.. Pool Heater, Spa Heater and Either heater... You can set a speed for each one.. Although I am not sure why?? Keep in mind that the system will always use the highest speed it is given.. So, if you set your Spa to run at 3000 and set spa heater to run at 2900, the pump will always run at 3000.. If you set the spa heater to run at 3400, then the spa will run at 3000 when the heater is off, and 3400 when the Spa heater is on.

The Pool heater circuit will be active when in the Pool mode and the heater is on..
The Spa heater circuit will be active when in the Spa mode and the heater is on.

I suggest you change the speeds so that your pool and spa work the way you want..

And.. please keep in mind that the idea that you have to "turnover" x amount of pool water per day is a myth.

Why does your signature say your IntelliPro pump is a Hayward pump???

Curious to know if your spa continuously spills over into your pool when you are in the pool mode???

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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Stowol

Bronze Supporter
Dec 7, 2020
9
Palm Springs, CA
Hi Jim,

Thanks again for your insights. You've given me invaluable advice because I've been stuck trying to figure it out.

For the signature line, I noticed that not all of the equipment is Pentair (it's a new home and first pool). The controller (EasyTouch), heater and filter are Pentair. The pump labels are "Hayward IntelliPro VS-3050" manufactured by Hayward. The installer said to leave the existing pump because it was newer and takes commands from the Pentair controller. But everything else was in bad shape, and was replaced with Pentair.

Yes, the spa continuously spills over into the pool while in pool mode. I've been planning to look into the configuration more to have the spillway not run continuously, or set that up on a schedule, if possible. The spill water impact into the pool seems to interfere with the circular skimming; e.g., I can watch a leaf on the surface get pushed 3/4 of the way around the pool, but get stuck in the spillway and not get the final push to the skimmer basket.

Thanks again for your time.

Scott
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
34,664
Laughlin, NV
An Intellipro VS-3050 pump is manufactured by Pentair. Can you show us a picture of the label that shows it is a Hayward?

You can set up a Spillover function in your ET and schedule it to run. You will need to turn off the make up line to the spa.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
22,113
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
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Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
For background, we were advised to have the pump speed set to the highest to heat up a cold pool and spa faster (in the winter, the pool heat is off, and the connected spa can take up to an hour to heat up). This advice may be incorrect, but I can only find threads on this topic that are focused on operating efficiency/cost savings--not how to quickly heat a cold pool or spa so it can be used without a long wait.
As long as the flow is adequate for the heater the pump speed and flow does not change how quickly the pool or spa will heat. Running the pump faster with higher flow will not give you faster heating.

The heater puts out a fixed amount of BTUs that heat the pool. The same amount of BTUs for heat gets into the water regardless of pump speed. What you will find is the return water temperature at a low flow is hotter then the wtaer temperature at high flow. As the low flow water spends more time in the heater and absorbs more BTUs of heat to carry to the pool. Then the heated water mixes with the pool or spa water and the BTU heat is spread across the water.

Too low of a flow can cause the high temperature HLS safety to trip and the heater to shutdown. Water flow around 2000 - 2200 rpm seems to be a good sweet spot for a NG heater. My heater runs fine at 1800 RPM.
 
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Stowol

Bronze Supporter
Dec 7, 2020
9
Palm Springs, CA
An Intellipro VS-3050 pump is manufactured by Pentair. Can you show us a picture of the label that shows it is a Hayward?

You can set up a Spillover function in your ET and schedule it to run. You will need to turn off the make up line to the spa.
Hi Marty,
Here is a pic showing the Hayward inscribe on the pump housing and label. Perhaps a Pentair Control Assembly was replaced at one time on the Hayward pump?
 

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Stowol

Bronze Supporter
Dec 7, 2020
9
Palm Springs, CA
As long as the flow is adequate for the heater the pump speed and flow does not change how quickly the pool or spa will heat. Running the pump faster with higher flow will not give you faster heating.

The heater puts out a fixed amount of BTUs that heat the pool. The same amount of BTUs for heat gets into the water regardless of pump speed. What you will find is the return water temperature at a low flow is hotter then the wtaer temperature at high flow. As the low flow water spends more time in the heater and absorbs more BTUs of heat to carry to the pool. Then the heated water mixes with the pool or spa water and the BTU heat is spread across the water.

Too low of a flow can cause the high temperature HLS safety to trip and the heater to shutdown. Water flow around 2000 - 2200 rpm seems to be a good sweet spot for a NG heater. My heater runs fine at 1800 RPM.
Allen - thank you for the outstanding explanation! I've asked this question to countless local pool guys, and none could quite articulate it as well as you did. Makes total sense. Thanks again.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,244
Bedford, TX
Scott,

Show us several pics of your equipment pad and we can help you find the "Make-up" plumbing that controls your continuous spillover.

You already have the Spillway function set up.. All you would need to do to use it is to set a spillway speed on your pump page, and then schedule the spillway circuit to run once or twice a day for a half-hour or so..

Looks like someone added a Pentair motor to a Hayward pump..

Let's ask someone that would know for sure.. Calling @JamesW

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
22,113
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Hi Marty,
Here is a pic showing the Hayward inscribe on the pump housing and label. Perhaps a Pentair Control Assembly was replaced at one time on the Hayward pump?
Interesting Franken-pump. As JIm, asked, show us some pics of your equipment pad. You may have more interesting stuff.
 
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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
22,036
Looks like someone put an IntelliFlo motor and drive assembly on a Hayward Tristar pump, which is an unusual combination.

No telling how that came about.

In any case, it should work as long as the impeller is sized correctly.
 
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Stowol

Bronze Supporter
Dec 7, 2020
9
Palm Springs, CA
@Jimrahbe @ajw22 Attached are pics of equipment pad. In case it's helpful, there is also a pic of a valve by the spa (not motorized), and the general pool/spa layout.

Note: on the pad, the line that goes up/down the wall is passing through a Vulcan descaler (installed inside the gray box).
 

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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
22,113
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
The line circled in red is feeding your continous spillover. It looks like you have a check valve but no valve to turn it off.

9428A2B8-22B6-4FEF-9CD6-9DA7A7006D61.jpeg
 
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Jimrahbe

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Jul 7, 2014
20,244
Bedford, TX
Scott,

I agree with Allen... It might be possible to unscrew the clear check-valve and cap each line off.. That would shut off the overflow except when it was scheduled and/or whenever you wanted it to to run.

What does the valve behind the spa do?

I didn't even think that the Vulcan's knew anything about pools.. Is their descaler similar to their mind-meld????

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Stowol

Bronze Supporter
Dec 7, 2020
9
Palm Springs, CA
Scott,

I agree with Allen... It might be possible to unscrew the clear check-valve and cap each line off.. That would shut off the overflow except when it was scheduled and/or whenever you wanted it to to run.

What does the valve behind the spa do?

I didn't even think that the Vulcan's knew anything about pools.. Is their descaler similar to their mind-meld????

Thanks,

Jim R.
Thank you for the input. I'll explore capping each line.

The valve behind the spa is a mystery. It's not motorized, so we've yet to have a reason to fiddle with it. When I get more comfortable with pool equipment, I might have the confidence to adjust it to find out. But I'm still in the phase of assuming I'll break something. If only I could mind-meld withe the Vulcan descaler for answers, and the mystery to who decided to create the Hayward-Pentair Franken-pump.
 
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