Spa Draining down

daddyslim6

Member
Aug 12, 2020
15
Dallas Ga
Moved from here.
Good morning all....New pool owner here - not trying to hijack your post @n4trombl but I’m having the same issue and was hoping you guys could give me some guidance. Spa has been draining every time pump is off below the return jet. Also when it‘s In normal pool mode without spillover on, the return jet to the spa is sucking water out till it gets below the return then it obviously cant pull anymore water out of spa. I touch the spa return and it sucks my hand onto it and you can here it trying to suck water back in the return. Don’t really think it’s supposed to do that right? I thought if it needed to pull water from the spa it would do so from the drains at the bottom of the spa but what do I know. I’m new to all of this.

Just has someone install 3 check valves this week and thought that would solve the problem but it hasn’t. Something isn’t right apparently. We have also tried to get into the spa twice this week but it never fills up. Jets are on but doesn't fill up so I figured it would fill up with the water from the jets but it doesn’t. The pool return was turned off and no moving water in the pool Water was still.

So far this has been a messand hopefully you guys can help me figure it out since my pb has started other projects and we haven’t seen him in a few weeks. HELP and thanks in advance. @Jimrahbe @Robtown @jimmythegreek
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,814
Bedford, TX
Slim,

Show us several pics of your equipment pad from different angles.. We need to see how things are plumbed.

A pic of the spa would also help..

Use the icon just to the left of the little camera...

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

daddyslim6

Member
Aug 12, 2020
15
Dallas Ga
@Jimrahbe i apologize for posting on the other guys posts. I’m a newb and wasn’t sure best way to post a message. I’ve been following this site for about 7 months now and have learned a ton. Thank you all for your insight.

So a few things from the pics. If its in pool mode and spillover is on, spa fills up fine of course. As soon as we turn pump off or spa on water level in spa drops below the return as you can see from pic. Last night we tried to get in hot tub but it was low so I turned spillover while it was in spa mode hoping it would fill up. It never did. We basically had to sit on the floor to get it to cover our shoulders. We did close the pool valve halfway (as pictured) hoping it would help. Even with spillway on in spa mode and pool valve closed slightly (with no movement in pool) it never filled up.

You will also notice our skimmers are off, we are also dealing w a water leak somewhere. We lose about 3” a week. Got to figure out that too. Our PB said it’s no big deal (of course) but that doesn’t settle very well w us.

Thank you all in advance for your help!
 

daddyslim6

Member
Aug 12, 2020
15
Dallas Ga
Also, when it is in spa mode, do we need to close the pool return valve since we don’t have an actuator on it? Or do we even need to mess with it? We would like to use our spa tonight if possible!
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,814
Bedford, TX
Slim,

Let's look at your automated valves and see if they are working as they should..

In your pics, the automated valve on the left is your "Return" valve.. The automated valve on the right is your "Intake" valve... The automated valve is the middle I assume is being used to turn the spillover on and off.. Which is very odd and not how most pools are set up... :scratch:

In the pics it appears the system is set up in the Pool mode.. Which means that both the Return and Intake valve are set so that the Spa drain is shut off and the Spa jets are shut off.

I need you to change from the Pool Mode and put the system into the Spa mode.. When you do, both the Return valve and the Intake valve should rotate 180 degrees.. Do that and tell me if both valves move correctly..

If they do, then put the system back into the Pool Mode and the valves should rotate back to where they are in the pics..

Do you have ScreenLogic???

What do you have to do to move the middle valve?

Let me know the results of the test.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,814
Bedford, TX
Slim,

The only way to "fill up" as spa is by allowing it to overflow and into the pool.. Since your middle valve is shut off, that will just never happen. I am not sure if this is a design issue, a programming issue or maybe a valve problem..

My plan is to run a couple of tests and maybe we can figure it out.

Jim R.
 

daddyslim6

Member
Aug 12, 2020
15
Dallas Ga
Slim,

The only way to "fill up" as spa is by allowing it to overflow and into the pool.. Since your middle valve is shut off, that will just never happen. I am not sure if this is a design issue, a programming issue or maybe a valve problem..

My plan is to run a couple of tests and maybe we can figure it out.

Jim R.

yessssssir you’re right when I turn it to spa mode the left and right valves rotate 180 degrees and both point to the left. The middle valve stays put and closed (spillover). Of course the way they plumbed and hooked up our pool and spillover valve would be very odd because that seems par for the course in our household. :rolleyes::rolleyes: Why can’t we have a seamless build or remodel?

The spa was just now full full because I had the spillover on earlier so it will hopefully stay full when we use it tonight. So I guess I figured that part out. Just need to fill up spa with spillover on before I turn it on. But really shouldn’t have to do that each time....it shouldn’t drop.

Next question is why does the spa drain when the pump is off if we had check valves just installed? I’ll wake up every morning and the spa is low. It appears to me that when the pump is off, it drains and if the spa water level is normal and the pump is on it pulls from the spa from the return valve.

You guys are awesome by the way. Thank you for your expertise.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,814
Bedford, TX
Slim,

The next test is to leave the system in the Spa mode, with the spa full, the make-up valve closed, and then shut off the pump and see if the spa drains.

I see no need to have the make-up valve automated... What are you trying to accomplish?

In your spa pic, I see a pipe right at the water level line.. I "assume" this is where the water enters the spa when the Make-up valve is open... Is this true?

If the make-up valve is open and you shut off the pump, the water will always drain out the make-up pipe and back into the pool That line needs a check valve.

Do you have ScreenLogic or not???

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Robtown

Bronze Supporter
Jul 16, 2020
98
The Woodlands, TX
yessssssir you’re right when I turn it to spa mode the left and right valves rotate 180 degrees and both point to the left. The middle valve stays put and closed (spillover). Of course the way they plumbed and hooked up our pool and spillover valve would be very odd because that seems par for the course in our household. :rolleyes::rolleyes: Why can’t we have a seamless build or remodel?

The spa was just now full full because I had the spillover on earlier so it will hopefully stay full when we use it tonight. So I guess I figured that part out. Just need to fill up spa with spillover on before I turn it on. But really shouldn’t have to do that each time....it shouldn’t drop.

Next question is why does the spa drain when the pump is off if we had check valves just installed? I’ll wake up every morning and the spa is low. It appears to me that when the pump is off, it drains and if the spa water level is normal and the pump is on it pulls from the spa from the return valve.

You guys are awesome by the way. Thank you for your expertise.

Based on all of the info as I see it. The problem is the spa make up. The return between the pool and the bubblers. There is no check valve on that pipe. When the pump turns off the water flows from that return in the spa back to the equipment pad and through the pool return back to the pool.

It appears you have an actuator on that valve, but how is it activated? It essentially needs to be open when the pump is one and closed when the pump is off. I’m. Im not sure how you would configure that with your automation.
 

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Robtown

Bronze Supporter
Jul 16, 2020
98
The Woodlands, TX
Slim,

The next test is to leave the system in the Spa mode, with the spa full, the make-up valve closed, and then shut off the pump and see if the spa drains.

I see no need to have the make-up valve automated... What are you trying to accomplish?

In your spa pic, I see a pipe right at the water level line.. I "assume" this is where the water enters the spa when the Make-up valve is open... Is this true?

If the make-up valve is open and you shut off the pump, the water will always drain out the make-up pipe and back into the pool That line needs a check valve.

Do you have ScreenLogic or not???

Thanks,

Jim R.

Looks like Jim beat me to it. I’m not sure why you would automate that valve. Remove the actuator and add a check valve, then manually adjust the valve based on how much flow you want in that return when in Pool mode... none, to a lot. It depends how you configure your spa mode to run so the water in the spa gets exchanged every so often.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,814
Bedford, TX
Slim,

My suggest would be to shut off the make-up line and never use it.. Then set up the "Spillway" function inside the EasyTouch.. the Spillway mode will automatically switch the Intake valve to suck water from the pool, and the Return valve so that it sends all the water to the spa.. You also setup a pump speed that runs the spillover at the volume you want.. Then you schedule the spillway to run once or twice a day to keep the spa water fresh.. You can also run it on demand, if you want to show off.. :mrgreen:

What do you do now to turn on the Make-up (middle automated valve)... Do you push a button or an icon on your phone or what??? Or is it just scheduled to run on its own???

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

daddyslim6

Member
Aug 12, 2020
15
Dallas Ga
Slim,

My suggest would be to shut off the make-up line and never use it.. Then set up the "Spillway" function inside the EasyTouch.. the Spillway mode will automatically switch the Intake valve to suck water from the pool, and the Return valve so that it sends all the water to the spa.. You also setup a pump speed that runs the spillover at the volume you want.. Then you schedule the spillway to run once or twice a day to keep the spa water fresh.. You can also run it on demand, if you want to show off.. :mrgreen:

What do you do now to turn on the Make-up (middle automated valve)... Do you push a button or an icon on your phone or what??? Or is it just scheduled to run on its own???

Thanks,

Jim R.

Thanks @Jimrahbe and @Robtown for all your help. Yes we have the ET8 and that spillover valve Is set in a timer for a couple hours a day. I have no idea what I’m doing so the electrician said we needed a actuator on there to turn it on/off when the spa comes on. However I noticed when the spa is on, the valve is closed and when it’s in pool mode the actuator is still closed until the ”spillover” schedule on my ET8 activates.

I just turned on spa mode and the jets and everything came on, the spillover valve stayed closed. I wanted to see what would happen when I turned on spillover while it was in spa mode so I turned on the spillover. Valve opened by the actuator and I went to go check spa and the “return” where the spa fills up was sucking my hand onto the valve like it was trying to drain water out. I thought that pipe was for return water to the spa only. Guessing that “return” valve in the spa is what is sucking the water out when the pump is off.
 

daddyslim6

Member
Aug 12, 2020
15
Dallas Ga
I believe the electrician said that the actuator was needed for the spillover so that it would turn on/off when it was in spa mode and wouldn’t spill over into the pool and would keep the water in the spa hot instead of Spilling over and heating the pool water. However it never turns on/off during spa mode or pool mode unless the spillover timer kicks in.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,814
Bedford, TX
Slim,

In pools without an automation system you needed what is called a make-up valve in order to have the spa overflow into the pool when in the pool mode.. The make up valve allowed you to adjust the amount of spillover..

When a pool has an automation system, this can be done using the automation, but a lot of pool builders still install the make-up valve, because that is how they have always done it..

Your EasyTouch has a mode/function that is called "Spillway" and here is how it all works..

In the Pool mode, the Intake valve sucks water from the pool and sends it through the pump and filter and then to the Return valve which returns all the water to the pool.

In the Spa mode, the Intake valve sucks water from the Spa and sends it through the pump and filter and then to the Return valve which returns all the water to the Spa.

In the Spillway mode, the Intake valve sucks water from the pool and sends it through the pump and filter and then to the return valve which returns all the water to the Spa. Since water going into the spa can't get out, it just overflows into the pool.

The Spillway mode makes the Make-up valve obsolete and not required. All EasyTouch systems have the spillway function, but it has to be set up..

I keep asking, but you keep ignoring me... :mrgreen: .. Do you have ScreenLogic? Do you control your EasyTouch with your phone or PC, or do you use a Pentair remote?

The guys that plumbed your system did not do you any favors, and adding the (middle) automated valve just made it more complicated.. :(

Sounds to me like your present plumbing configuration is what is causing the problem.. How old it your pool?

If you are interested in fixing the problem, please answer my questions..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

daddyslim6

Member
Aug 12, 2020
15
Dallas Ga
I apologize, I keep thinking the ET8 and Screenlogic are the same thing. Im learning all this terminology. Yes I have the Screenlogic but they just hooked up my ET8 and they had an issue getting my Screenlogic to connect to WiFi so they ordered another control board. It should be hooked up next week hopefull. So currently I’m controlling it from the ET8 and the settings the electrician ser it for.

if I’m not mistaken, my VSP pump comes on from 8a-5p and spillover (Aux 4) comes on from 3p-5p? My aux 2 & 3 are my pool lights and bubbler lights.

Oh and pool is a new build. Only had water in it for about 50 days now. And we are losing about 3“ of water a week due to a leak somewhere. So that will be the next thing I need some assistance with! One thing at a time though right?

So should I ask to removed the actuator on the spillover valve and put a check back? My spa is currently full, pump is off and I’ll see if it drops in the morning. I’m guessing it will.

Thank you again for your help and patience! I’m such a newb to all this!
 

Robtown

Bronze Supporter
Jul 16, 2020
98
The Woodlands, TX
That single spa return on the “pool” side of the return actuator/valve is the problem. When is spa mode, or when the pump is off, there is no pressure pushing water out of the spa make up return. Gravity will force the water to back flow through that return and back into the pool.

The solution would be to put a check valve on that line which would solve the problem. Then you could decide how you would want to set up that valve and if you want it to be actuated.

I have a makeup fill on my spa but rather than plumbed to a dedicated single spa return, I had it routed looped into my normal spa return loop. I don’t have this automated, just manually.

for the most part, I keep this closed then have my automation set to run in spillover mode to exchange the water in the spa twice a day. However in spillway mode, the spa spillway is quite loud and moves a lot of water.

sometimes I want just a little sound trickling down the spa spillway for a light ambience sound as the pool pump currently runs about 8 hours a day. For these situations, I can go manually move the make-up valve to let this occur (of course this could also be done with the 3-way valve by allowing a little into the spa return but Pentair valves only have 2 positions and I prefer not to put it into service mode (note this is an Intellivalve).

There are a lot of options to decide how you could utilize your setup but the key would be to have a check valve then you can decide to operate that Make up valve any way you wanted.
 
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