pool spa not draining, I think?

morgenrr

New member
Feb 4, 2020
4
Houston, TX
Hello all,

So the wife was using the pool spa/hot tub today, and she called me over said that the water got hazy all of a sudden. It appeared to have scale or something floating in it, real small flaky stuff that you couldnt even grab. So ok, I turn off the pump and go over to take a look at the pumps around the corner.

As I start heading that way, a gush of water shoots out of my skimmer blowing off the lid and ejecting my basket. OK ...? When I get to the pump, the pump basket appears empty. OK? The same pump runs both the spa and the regular filter, with valves to switch flow back and forth. So I switch to pool mode and prime the system with a garden hose, seal it up and turn it on. After a few seconds, strong flow in, skimmer is drawing well and returns are great. Switch back to spa mode. As soon as the valves pass the point where the spa position is partially open, the system loses prime and cannot draw anything. Repeat this a couple of times. Same results.

The pool is 19 years old, I dont have any documentation on any updates to the plumbing. Best I can figure is that there is an obstruction of some type in the line somewhere between the floor drains on the spa and the pump but I have no idea how that would happen. Could it be a build up over the years of just dirt and debris getting into the line? But that doesnt explain the geyser. Maybe one of the valves is stuck even though the handles are moving? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks
Ross
 
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HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
676
Katy TX
This is very interesting. If a valve is partial open to both pool and spa suction lines, then their is communication but since it is suction lines (i.e. going to the pump), then how can it be blow back through it? With the pump off and you switch to spa (which you say pump loses prime), can you prime it with a hose, turn on pump and circulate in spa? This is the operation that was in process when your wife noticed the cloudiness (hazy). Did you notice a change in your filter pressure when circulating through the spa vs. the pool? I hope others jump in as this is a mind twister.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,178
Bedford, TX
Ross,

Normally when you get a lot of air in your filter, it can blow water backwards into the skimmer and result in what you are describing..

The first thing that I would check is the rotation of your automated Intake and Return valves.. Both of these valves should rotate at the same time, usually 180 degrees.

Make sure that when in the pool mode both valves are in the Pool mode positions.. and when in the Spa mode that both valves are in the spa mode positions.

You can also get a lot of air in your filter if the water level at the skimmer is way too low, or if your Weir door is stuck in the up position..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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morgenrr

New member
Feb 4, 2020
4
Houston, TX
Ross,

Normally when you get a lot of air in your filter, it can blow water backwards into the skimmer and result in what you are describing..

The first thing that I would check is the rotation of your automated Intake and Return valves.. Both of these valves should rotate at the same time, usually 180 degrees.

Make sure that when in the pool mode both valves are in the Pool mode positions.. and when in the Spa mode that both valves are in the spa mode positions.

You can also get a lot of air in your filter if the water level at the skimmer is way too low, or if your Weir door is stuck in the up position..

Thanks,

Jim R.
Thanks Jim,

The valves are moving to the proper positions, or at least the handles are. The automated system turns off the filter pump and moves both, then turns it back on.

Water level is not the problem we have had rain every couple of days here in Houston for the last couple of weeks and my pool has been lapping at the overflow drain for days. I will check on the weir door at lunch time today. Also I will check the pressure on the filter tank. I don't think it was abnormal but I didn't check it at the time so i cant be sure. I cleaned the filters about a month ago and installed a new gage.

Ross

Edit to add: so I went out and inspected a little more since it is now daytime. Spa appears to be running ok. PSI in the spa mode is 12psi, flow into the pump basket appears visually to be ok if not the same volume as the pool mode. Pool mode is same as always, good flow and 6 psi. My only theory is that maybe the intake diverter/source valve got stuck partially open or something. While they are both moving, one of them is moving faster than the other to the correct position. I will keep an eye on it and update this as necessary.
 
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