South Florida Pool & Outdoor Living - STARTUP PHASE

grumpiebk

Well-known member
Jun 22, 2016
901
FL
South Florida Pool & Outdoor Living - STARTUP PHASE

One more thing for the bubblers, have your guy come out with you and tweak settings. I rather suspect it is going to be a combination of valve flow and pump speed changes to get exactly what you want. I would suggest you set two settings in your easy touch for your preferred bubblers: (1) old faithful geyser and (2) gentle kids playing.
Thanks Kevin! I actually played around with the bubblers a bit today. When turning off the spa spillover we definitely get old faithful!



And then from the ball valves I was able to dial them into the desired play height:



Since the bubblers are on ball valves, I unfortunately can't set those through automation, but that's ok. It's an easy manual adjustment once or twice a week on the weekend. One thing I did notice was that there was not an actuator on our pool/spa valve. Shouldn't there be since I have automation? Why would my bubblers (on/off, not height adjustment) have an actuator but not my spa spillover? I suppose it's an easy fix for the PB, but C'mon! Really?



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grumpiebk

Well-known member
Jun 22, 2016
901
FL
LOVE it! Have the kids seen them going yet??? I can just hear the shrieks of delight! "Do it again Daddy!"

What fun this is!

Kim:kim:
My poor 3 year old is DYING to go in! He keeps saying "do the chemicals still smell, daddy?" My response continues to be "just a few more days!" I hope he doesn't call me out on this a week or two from now!


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Jimrahbe

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Jul 7, 2014
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Re: South Florida Pool & Outdoor Living - STARTUP PHASE

...One thing I did notice was that there was not an actuator on our pool/spa valve. Shouldn't there be since I have automation? Why would my bubblers (on/off, not height adjustment) have an actuator but not my spa spillover? I suppose it's an easy fix for the PB, but C'mon! Really?
Your Intake valve and your Return valve should both have actuators so that you can switch between the Pool mode and Spa mode. The EasyTouch has the ability to control only four valves. Two of the four are dedicated to the Intake and Return valves and can be used for nothing else. The remaining two valve connections are user programmable.

Glad you got the height you wanted on your bubblers..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

bdavis466

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Aug 4, 2014
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San Clemente, CA
It looks like the way your equipment is plumbed your spillway will always be on unless you shut off the spa return line manually. The actuator is in the correct place since it will direct flow between the pool and spa jets.
 

grumpiebk

Well-known member
Jun 22, 2016
901
FL
Brian, is that "normal"? Ideally wouldnt we want water circulation from the jets in the spa without the spillover? I certainly don't want the spillover on all of the time but also don't think we want the spa sitting still.

Even as is, wouldn't we want an electronic actuator controlling the valve between the pool and spa returns?


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Jimrahbe

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Re: South Florida Pool & Outdoor Living - STARTUP PHASE

Grumpie (Brian),

In my opinion your "Return" Automated valve should be on the valve body that is labeled "Spa Return".. This would allow all the water to go the Spa Return in one position and all the water to go to either your Pool Return and or Bubblers (Fountains) when in the other position.

Underneath the Spa Return valve appears to me to be another automated valve.. Do you have any idea what it is for or can you post a better picture of that whole valve area???

Jim R.

- - - Updated - - -

Grumpie (Brian),

In my opinion your "Return" Automated valve should be on the valve body that is labeled "Spa Return".. This would allow all the water to go the Spa Return in one position and all the water to go to either your Pool Return and or Bubblers (Fountains) when in the other position.

Underneath the Spa Return valve appears to me to be another automated valve.. Do you have any idea what it is for or can you post a better picture of that whole valve area???

Jim R.
 

bdavis466

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Aug 4, 2014
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San Clemente, CA
It looks to me like you have a spa return line and a spa jet line. It's that correct?

With your spillway on as it is now, is there air coming out of the returns?
 

grumpiebk

Well-known member
Jun 22, 2016
901
FL
Here are some better pics of current setup:





From ground level at "spa return":


From side ground level under "spa return":


Maybe I am confusing things because I am likely not using the correct terminology. The "valve", or the manual handle in front of the "spa return", splits water between the pool returns and spa (flow via the channel drain in the floor of the spa). Unless it is all the way in the off position, our spa spillover is on. My initial question was, shouldn't this valve have an electronic actuator so I can control from my automation system?

Brian's post had me wondering something else. If I turn the spa spillway off (via that manual valve), does the spa sit idle? Should it? I still haven't figured out how to turn the spa jets on yet. Brian to your question about a spa jet valve, candidly I don't know. Would that maybe be the valve underneath the spa return pvc?

Lastly, when I have the spa spillway off, the flow to the pool returns is extremely high. Adjusting the pump speed down will address this, right?

Since I haven't been walked through working all of the equipment, I am probably jumping the gun on all of these questions. I am just excited to use and learn everything!


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bdavis466

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Aug 4, 2014
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San Clemente, CA
Re: South Florida Pool & Outdoor Living - STARTUP PHASE

That plumbing layout is funky... Maybe a little too much :cheers: the night before.

I think the mysterious automated valve on the bottom is your spa jets. On the Easytouch, press the V (Valves button) so the mode changes from pool to spa. See if that valve rotates.

- - - Updated - - -

With automation, its usually preferred to filter the pool for the majority of the pump schedule and then run the spillway for 30-45 minutes per day. Your plumbing is set up as of you didn't have automation so you could send a small portion of the water to the spa add not have to manually turn a valve everyday.

- - - Updated - - -

Automating my spillway - Seeking Advice

Check out this thread for a similar situation
 

Jimrahbe

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Grumpie,

Looking at your first pic.. In between the pipe labeled "Spa Main Drain" and the pipe labeled "Spa Return" is a pipe going into the ground without any markings. Do you have any idea where that pipe goes.

It appears that the pipe going into the ground is currently shut off.

The word "cluster..." come to mind... :p

Once you turn your pump speed down, your pool returns will be fine.

Jim R.
 

grumpiebk

Well-known member
Jun 22, 2016
901
FL
South Florida Pool & Outdoor Living - STARTUP PHASE

I dug back through some old pics of the build and it does appear to be the spa jets. Not sure why it was done the way it was, but you may recall that the plumbing had to be relocated a couple of feet as it was located incorrectly at first. Perhaps this was a "bandaid". I will test the spa setting tomorrow and report back to confirm if it is fact the spa valve.




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bdavis466

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Aug 4, 2014
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San Clemente, CA
I'm sure it is the spa jets. You can use that actuator for your spillway and keep the spa return line closed so the spillway isn't running every time the pump is on.
 

Foosman

Bronze Supporter
Jul 21, 2016
361
Austin, TX
Re: South Florida Pool & Outdoor Living - STARTUP PHASE

Your plumbing is set up as of you didn't have automation so you could send a small portion of the water to the spa add not have to manually turn a valve everyday
My plumber wanted to do the same thing...include a spa makeup valve. They don't understand you can run multiple cycles with a cycle to filter the spa. Old habits die hard.
 

Jimrahbe

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Guys,

I do not have a Spa and admit that I am totally ignorant as to how they operate. Can someone explain the difference between Spa Return and Spa Jets?

I "assume" that a Spa return is about the same as a normal pool return.. not a lot of air or bubbles. And, Spa jets have more volume and lots of air and bubbles.

It appears, in this case anyway, to be two separate functions. I guess I thought they just added air to the regular returns. :confused:

Anyone have a quick primer on how this all works??

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

bdavis466

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Aug 4, 2014
5,529
San Clemente, CA
You are correct Jim. Most spas do just use the normal returns.

I believe his spa has a pool style return in addition to the jet return line. Plumbing a spa this way doesn't seem to be all that common anymore and is unnecessary with automation systems.
 

txnole

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 18, 2014
544
Amelia Island, FL
Re: South Florida Pool & Outdoor Living - STARTUP PHASE

With automation, its usually preferred to filter the pool for the majority of the pump schedule and then run the spillway for 30-45 minutes per day. Your plumbing is set up as of you didn't have automation so you could send a small portion of the water to the spa add not have to manually turn a valve everyday.
I found a nickel on the ground last night so I'll throw in two cents. :eek:

I disagree with Bdavis466 on the premise of "preferred". I think a large number of spillover pools are being designed as "always on" or "mostly on" spillovers for the aesthetics of the water flow. This carries its own set of needs, with incerased pH focus due to aeration being one of the greatest. I love the thinking spillover sounds, so chemistry management is a small price to pay for the always on spillover.
 

bdavis466

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Aug 4, 2014
5,529
San Clemente, CA
Preferred as in a water chemistry and circulation sense.

For aesthetics you might as well return 100% of the pool water to the spa and water features.

Regardless of your preference, the spa make up line (spa return) does not get used with automation systems unless an additional actuator is added. If this is done, programming the valve will be a little troubling since most automation systems are designed to use the pool/spa return valve to activate the spillway.
 

grumpiebk

Well-known member
Jun 22, 2016
901
FL
So Brian was right. The valve and actuator under the spa return pvc was for the spa jets and it turns on when in spa mode.

So while I can manually keep the spillover off and schedule the spa mode to run for short periods of time for circulation, I will still need to manually turn the spillover on/off when desired. I tried adjusting the pool/spa return valve to get circulation in both the pool and spa without the spillover, but even the slightest diversion of water to the spa kicks the spillover on (like a trickle). Is there any reason the PB couldn't automate the pool/spa return valve? Wouldn't that give me all of the control I need through automation?

On a positive note, I played around with the spa jets and Venturi dials and I am happy with the pressure and bubbles I can get from them. As you may recall a blower was something we considered early on but opted not to add.


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Jimrahbe

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Grumpie,

From the EasyTouch's point of view you need an "Intake" valve and a "Return" valve. Your Intake valve appears to be correct.

But I would think the Return valve would be the valve next to the label "Spa Return" This appears to me to be the valve that actually selects between the water going back to the Spa or Pool.

The valve at the bottom of the cluster, the one that turns out to be for the Jets.. I would think that valve would not be directly associated with the Intake or Return function, but rather only turn on when you selected a button or Icon for "Jets"

The valve that selects between the Pool Return and Bubblers/fountains would also only move when you select a button or Icon for bubblers.

What you currently have just does not seem right to me, but then again I am an admitted Spa plumbing novice.

Jim R.