Preferred Hydrotherapy jets for new pool / spa build?

tomas21

Active member
Jan 24, 2020
35
Southern California
Based on all the manufactures out there, what hydrotherapy spa jets are preferred for new pool / spa builds and also what setup did you all use to allow for calm water flow through it, churning the water, or fast flow through the nozzles?

Coming from a Bullfrog A7 with the jetpaks was amazing but would like to know what spa jets for new pool/spa build folks recommend that are close to hydrotherapy / adjustable?

I would like to ensure we have all those options.

This is our current draft equipment list
  • Pool Pump -- Pentair Intelliflo VSF or IntellifloXF VSF
  • Spa Pump -- Pentair Intelliflo VSF or IntellifloXF VSF
  • Filter -- Pentair DE Quad 100 sqft with NO backwash installed
  • Heater -- Pentair ETI400 or Hybrid or Mastertemp 400 BTU
  • Controller -- Pentair IntelliCenter i10PS
  • Valves -- Jandy "no lube" Valves with Pentair IntelliValve Actuators
  • Check Valves -- Jandy check valves
  • Chlorination System -- Pentair IntelliChlor (IC-60)
  • Dosing System -- Pentair IntelliPH
  • Lighting -- Halco Lighthing ColorSplash line (12v or 120V) or Pentair MicroBrites
 
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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
48,048
Tallahassee, FL
Most people just put in the spa jets the PB gives them. If they do anything "specail" it would be thos jetpaks BUT the last time I went to find them to show someone they did not list them any more. Instead they had other jets. I have not seen anyone that has them yet so can't speak of how well they work yet.
 

tomas21

Active member
Jan 24, 2020
35
Southern California
Most people just put in the spa jets the PB gives them. If they do anything "specail" it would be thos jetpaks BUT the last time I went to find them to show someone they did not list them any more. Instead they had other jets. I have not seen anyone that has them yet so can't speak of how well they work yet.
Thanks... didn't know if there were any good spa jets out there to consider
 

ajw22

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I just have regular eyeballs in my spa. The jet action comes from having a dedicated spa pump and air blower.

These spa jets look interesting....

 

tomas21

Active member
Jan 24, 2020
35
Southern California
I just have regular eyeballs in my spa. The jet action comes from having a dedicated spa pump and air blower.

These spa jets look interesting....


Thanks.. can you recommend an air blower if we are going with an IntellifloXF VSF for the spa?
 

ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
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Are you doing an Owner Build or using a Pool Builder?

Air blowers are a commodity. They all do the same thing. Jandy, Zodiac, Hayward, Air Supply all do the same thing, blow air. Air Supply blower claims to be quieter.

You don’t want the blower to be oversized. The blower needs to be sized for your spa jet design.
 

mrcarcrazy

TFP Guide
Jan 21, 2014
1,066
Tx coast
My previous spa had an air blower in the floor it was great to create that spa feeling. But didn’t do much for relaxation.

It also had Venturi jets for your back. I had them in pairs in 2/4 locations and singles in the other two.
New pool has some sort of newer spa jet. I’ll try to get more info. As I’m rather ignorant.
 

tomas21

Active member
Jan 24, 2020
35
Southern California
My previous spa had an air blower in the floor it was great to create that spa feeling. But didn’t do much for relaxation.

It also had Venturi jets for your back. I had them in pairs in 2/4 locations and singles in the other two.
New pool has some sort of newer spa jet. I’ll try to get more info. As I’m rather ignorant.
Thanks.. @ajw22 - we have a PB and I'm doing my homework as we finalize design, specs, and equipment breakdown between pool and spa components.
 
Last edited:

tomas21

Active member
Jan 24, 2020
35
Southern California
My previous spa had an air blower in the floor it was great to create that spa feeling. But didn’t do much for relaxation.

It also had Venturi jets for your back. I had them in pairs in 2/4 locations and singles in the other two.
New pool has some sort of newer spa jet. I’ll try to get more info. As I’m rather ignorant.

Let me know what you find out on your spa jets
 

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mrcarcrazy

TFP Guide
Jan 21, 2014
1,066
Tx coast
Let me know what you find out on your spa jets
He’s installing these Hayward spinning jets. Says they are thirsty so you need a decent pump if you’re running many of them.
 

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tomas21

Active member
Jan 24, 2020
35
Southern California
Hi @ajw22 ... Do you have any pics of your spa design & plumbing as what you have recently described is something I want to make sure my pool builder considers when he builds our spa since you put it so succinctly in this post?

Besides figuring out the hydro jets options, we are planing to have a 7x9 spa built attached to our pool with a spillover and I strongly want to consider all the plumbing options you have with yours.

"You should declare a halt to construction until you get your issues sorted out. Now you can make changes to the plumbing to get what you want. Once the gunite is shot you will be locked in.
What you want is best done with two pumps. A main pool/spa pump that has two returns to the spa. And a dedicated spa pump for your 6 spa jets with the air blower connected to the spa jets.
Then you can have a calm spa soaking experience, or turn on the spa jets, or have the blower bubbling the spa, or have the spa jets and blower on. All controlled by a spa side small control panel.
This is the setup I have in my spa."


Our current planned spa setup..
  • 7x9 – allows us to do full inside square to sit all the way around - ~1178 gallons
1603133002467.png
  • Raised spa – 18”
  • Seating design
    • Angle the spa interior wall slightly, so that you don't sit straight-up (Angled benches)
    • Split level benches
    • Facing South - 20” depth for kids (spill over wall into pool)
    • Facing East, West, and North – 22-23” depth for adults
  • Jets Design
    • Multiple jets per seat in some areas (total 12?)
  • Pump
    • Install the IntelliFloXF VSF 022056 for the spa jet pump
    • At 70' the XF can put out 140gpm...Not sure if that is enough to support 12 jets.
  • Plumbing
    • 12+ hydrotherapy? jets
    • Ensure using least 2.5” plumbing for the spa jet manifold
    • Ensure 3” plumbing for the intake so that we do not restrict the “power” of the pump.
    • Spa has two returns below the seating shelf
    • They are connected with the pool returns on the same pump and flow when the pool flows??
    • They can also be isolated with motorized Pentair actuators on Jandy valves so that the pool flow is off and all flow is through the spa alone.
    • When spa heat is on no spill over?
    • When pool heat on spa spill over?
  • Blower
    • No Blower (Alternative approach) - The contractor may plumb in a venturi stand pipe at the pad, so we get plenty of BUBBLES without the need for a blower?
  • Lightning
    • Single Pentair microbright

Spill over operations?
  • Pool mode... Water is sucked from the Pool, through your filtration system, and then returned to your Pool.
  • Spa mode... Water is sucked from the Spa, through your filtration system, and then returned to your Spa.
  • Spillover mode... Water is sucked from the Pool, through your filtration system, and then returned to your Spa. This causes the water to overflow into the pool.
 

Robtown

Bronze Supporter
Jul 16, 2020
111
The Woodlands, TX
We went with JetArrays as on PB had it on display (not plumbed) and said we could operate 6 in a spa.



We are in the middle of our build and I just started a thread so can’t give you feedback yet, but the PB we ended up selecting had never used them before and CMP has not provided any good information. It was quite the challenge to have them installed after rebar and with our rolled beam spa but we finally got it sorted out between the plumbers, steel crew, Gunite, and PB for plumbing.

we’ll use a IntellifloXF to try to get 150 GPM to the spa on a dedicated pump for the 6JetArrays at about 25GPM each.The website and instructs have GPM rates listed as needing 10-20GPM, more than 18 GPM, and as little as 25GPM. So hopefully this is enough flow. We then have 6 normal returns that will be plumbed to the Pool/Spa pump for filter, chemicals, and heat. We put in a long channel drain with 3 x 2.5” connections which can flow over 300GPM for Suction and 3” return to the JetArrays.
 

ajw22

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TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
23,893
Northern NJ
Pool Size
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Hi @ajw22 ... Do you have any pics of your spa design & plumbing as what you have recently described is something I want to make sure my pool builder considers when he builds our spa since you put it so succinctly in this post?

Besides figuring out the hydro jets options, we are planing to have a 7x9 spa built attached to our pool with a spillover and I strongly want to consider all the plumbing options you have with yours.

"You should declare a halt to construction until you get your issues sorted out. Now you can make changes to the plumbing to get what you want. Once the gunite is shot you will be locked in.
What you want is best done with two pumps. A main pool/spa pump that has two returns to the spa. And a dedicated spa pump for your 6 spa jets with the air blower connected to the spa jets.
Then you can have a calm spa soaking experience, or turn on the spa jets, or have the blower bubbling the spa, or have the spa jets and blower on. All controlled by a spa side small control panel.
This is the setup I have in my spa."


Our current planned spa setup..
  • 7x9 – allows us to do full inside square to sit all the way around - ~1178 gallons
View attachment 166301
  • Raised spa – 18”
  • Seating design
    • Angle the spa interior wall slightly, so that you don't sit straight-up (Angled benches)
    • Split level benches
    • Facing South - 20” depth for kids (spill over wall into pool)
    • Facing East, West, and North – 22-23” depth for adults
  • Jets Design
    • Multiple jets per seat in some areas (total 12?)
  • Pump
    • Install the IntelliFloXF VSF 022056 for the spa jet pump
    • At 70' the XF can put out 140gpm...Not sure if that is enough to support 12 jets.
  • Plumbing
    • 12+ hydrotherapy? jets
    • Ensure using least 2.5” plumbing for the spa jet manifold
    • Ensure 3” plumbing for the intake so that we do not restrict the “power” of the pump.
    • Spa has two returns below the seating shelf
    • They are connected with the pool returns on the same pump and flow when the pool flows??
    • They can also be isolated with motorized Pentair actuators on Jandy valves so that the pool flow is off and all flow is through the spa alone.
    • When spa heat is on no spill over?
    • When pool heat on spa spill over?
  • Blower
    • No Blower (Alternative approach) - The contractor may plumb in a venturi stand pipe at the pad, so we get plenty of BUBBLES without the need for a blower?
  • Lightning
    • Single Pentair microbright

Spill over operations?
  • Pool mode... Water is sucked from the Pool, through your filtration system, and then returned to your Pool.
  • Spa mode... Water is sucked from the Spa, through your filtration system, and then returned to your Spa.
  • Spillover mode... Water is sucked from the Pool, through your filtration system, and then returned to your Spa. This causes the water to overflow into the pool.

I think you are on the right track. I did not build my pool/spa but it was well thought out by one of the top builders in the area. My spa is 8' x 8'. Below is an annotated picture of the spa.

Some thoughts on your design:

  • Where will you have the steps? My steps provide additional height seating areas. Sometimes someone wants to get up and out of most of the water to cool off, other times someone may want to sit nipple deep, and other times they may want to sit neck deep. The different seating levels are not just for adults versus children.
  • You are assuming everyone will be sitting in the spa. We use the spa a lot after exercise and stretch out to have multiple jets hit our arms and/or legs and let the jets and air massage the sore and stiff areas.
  • I am not sure there is a real benefit to two jets per seat versus one. To me the strngth of the jet flow is more important then number of jets.
  • I don't have any special hydrotherapy jets. Just standard Hayward 3/4" eyeballs.
  • I think three seating areas with two jets each is tight on an 8' run. Unless the folks are small or know each other VERY well.
  • The heater heats the water wherever it is flowing to - Pool or Spa or Pool and Spa with spillover on.
  • Your spillover should be able to be independently controlled depending on what automation controller you get
  • I prefer the power of an air blower to relying on whatever level bubbles come out of a venturi. With an air blower I can get air only out of the jets with the jet pump off. Or get air and water out of the jets with jet pump and blower on
  • One light is fine for a spa. Most of the time we don't put the pool/spa light on and just have light int he area from the house. We like sitting in the spa and looking at the night sky and stars.

 

tomas21

Active member
Jan 24, 2020
35
Southern California
Thank you @ajw22 see my comments in blue
I think you are on the right track. I did not build my pool/spa but it was well thought out by one of the top builders in the area. My spa is 8' x 8'. Below is an annotated picture of the spa.

Some thoughts on your design:

  • Where will you have the steps? My steps provide additional height seating areas. Sometimes someone wants to get up and out of most of the water to cool off, other times someone may want to sit nipple deep, and other times they may want to sit neck deep. The different seating levels are not just for adults versus children.
    • At this point we don't have a step inside the spa.. but something to consider to add another variation of height
  • You are assuming everyone will be sitting in the spa. We use the spa a lot after exercise and stretch out to have multiple jets hit our arms and/or legs and let the jets and air massage the sore and stiff areas.
    • Good point
  • I am not sure there is a real benefit to two jets per seat versus one. To me the strngth of the jet flow is more important then number of jets.
    • This was an idea from our builder to have one mid and lower back but the choice is ours.. one per seat might be easier unless I know of 1 or 2 seats I will frequent that would be more custom for wife and i... rest of spots have single
    • I use my Bullfrog A7L weekly that is going away though I know nothing will compare.. : )
  • I don't have any special hydrotherapy jets. Just standard Hayward 3/4" eyeballs.
    • Not sold on any hydrotherapy jets since doesn't seem like many out there in use.. was just researching
  • I think three seating areas with two jets each is tight on an 8' run. Unless the folks are small or know each other VERY well.
  • The heater heats the water wherever it is flowing to - Pool or Spa or Pool and Spa with spillover on.
  • Your spillover should be able to be independently controlled depending on what automation controller you get
    • We are getting the Pentair IntelliCenter i10PS (Model: 521908-IC60) with Pentair IntelliValve Actuators so I assume we can control spillover and valves accordingly with it
  • I prefer the power of an air blower to relying on whatever level bubbles come out of a venturi. With an air blower I can get air only out of the jets with the jet pump off. Or get air and water out of the jets with jet pump and blower on
    • Interesting.. what air blower do you recommend... I wasn't sure the value of using one and how loud these would be though if we did add one it would be in back corner away from spa and house
    • I do like having another option to either do the jets via Pentair IntellifloXF VSF 3HP, an air blower, or both depending on desire (more options better)
  • One light is fine for a spa. Most of the time we don't put the pool/spa light on and just have light int he area from the house. We like sitting in the spa and looking at the night sky and stars.
    • Ya added one light in case we want all of it lit but most likely when in use would be off
  • I'm trying to understand your spa jet suction to whisperflow vs. spa suction and your spa returns connected to intelliflo vs pool/spa pump and heater..
    • Here are the pumps we plan to get
      • Pool Pump -- Pentair Intelliflo VSF Variable Speed and Variable Flow Pump (Model: 011056)
      • Spa Pump -- Pentair IntellifloXF VSF 3HP 230V Variable Speed and Variable Flow Pump (Model: 022056)
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
23,893
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
You mean:
  • Pool/Spa Pump -- Pentair Intelliflo VSF Variable Speed and Variable Flow Pump (Model: 011056)
  • Spa Jet Pump -- Pentair IntellifloXF VSF 3HP 230V Variable Speed and Variable Flow Pump (Model: 022056)
Those pumps are fine. My pool/spa was built 20 years go. I had SS pumps until this year when I changed my pool/spa pump to the 011056.

The Intellicenter will give you independent control of the spillover.

My equipment pad is 60 feet away and around a corner from the spa and I don't hear the blower. Jandy/Zodiac and Polaris have air blowers. These folks claim to have a very quiet air blower...

 

tomas21

Active member
Jan 24, 2020
35
Southern California
You mean:
  • Pool/Spa Pump -- Pentair Intelliflo VSF Variable Speed and Variable Flow Pump (Model: 011056)
  • Spa Jet Pump -- Pentair IntellifloXF VSF 3HP 230V Variable Speed and Variable Flow Pump (Model: 022056)
Those pumps are fine. My pool/spa was built 20 years go. I had SS pumps until this year when I changed my pool/spa pump to the 011056.

The Intellicenter will give you independent control of the spillover.

My equipment pad is 60 feet away and around a corner from the spa and I don't hear the blower. Jandy/Zodiac and Polaris have air blowers. These folks claim to have a very quiet air blower...

Ok I think I understand your plumbing setup..
Spa jet suction (two bottom red ones) pull water back to your dedicated spa pump and push back to the spa jets
Spa suction (two bottom blue ones) pull water back to your pool / spa pump, through heater and return heat to lower spa returns near legs/calves area

How do you have your blower plumbed?

Would plumbing look something like this?

1603173543827.png
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
23,893
Northern NJ
Pool Size
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Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
How do you have your blower plumbed?

In a spa with an air blower separate air and water lines are run in a loop to each jet. They are connected to a manifold for each jet that combines the air and the water behind the jet.


Look at the spa plumbing in this build...


You can see the air and water lines that both connect to each jet. If you look closely you can read the writing on the PVC marking AIR and WATER.

Would plumbing look something like this?

View attachment 166345

Yes, except no need for the Spa makeup valve and check valve when you have automation. Just run the spillover anytime you want to refresh the water in the spa.
 
Last edited:

tomas21

Active member
Jan 24, 2020
35
Southern California
Excellent.. I think I'm tracking now... just need to figure out what brand and HP blower to discuss with builder and ensuring this gets plumbed with the most options..
  • Spa with jets ( Spa Jet Pump -- Pentair IntellifloXF VSF 3HP 230V Variable Speed and Variable Flow Pump (Model: 022056)
  • Spa with air only out of jets (air blower)
  • Spa with jets & air (Spa Jet pump + air blower)
  • Heat spa only
  • Heat pool only
  • Spill over
 
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