Spa Draining when pool filter is on — question on refilling

corporate_zombie

LifeTime Supporter
Oct 29, 2014
52
Humble, TX
Long-time lurker here, this is always my first stop when something is not going right with my pool!

So, it appears that I may have an issue with one of my actuators, based on my research within the forum. I have already ordered limiting switches and will replace those when they get here tomorrow. I am hopeful that it will fix whatever is going on with my pool. As mentioned in the title, when my pool is running it is completely draining my spa. I thought it was a return issue, but now I think that it is the other actuator, because when I started up the pool to assess, the spa suction side actuator is moving and the jets are returning water, but it is being drained faster than it can refill. When I turn the pool off, the level stays the same. I do not think the other actuator was moving, but I do not want to turn the pool back on as there is minimal water in the spa right now. I would have to refill it first, right?

My spa light has been out for awhile, and the builders did not leave me enough wiring to pull it up to the step, so it is a big pain to change the light. Now that the spa is empty, it would be perfect timing, but of course, nothing seems to be easy. It is a weird light bulb that I am having difficulty finding. Can I leave the spa empty for a day or two, or is that not advisable? I know you should not leave a pool empty, but not sure if the same rules apply to the spa? The lightbulb will be here Wednesday — so it would be 3.5 days without water. As an alternate, I could fill the spa with the hose, then prior to replacing the limiting switches, turn on the pool to quickly drain the spa, replace the light, then the switches, cross my fingers and hope all my issues are resolved! It would be easier to just leave it empty if that is an okay option, but I do not want to do damage to my pool or equipment.

I guess the other benefit to filling the spa with the hose would be that I could try to figure out if it is that actuator limiting switch — by using the toggle switch. I was just planning on replacing both the limiting switches, it came in a two-pack. If that isn’t my problem, I am not sure what the issue is, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it, I guess.

Thank you for any insight/help you can offer.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
21,156
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Post pics of your equipment and suction and return valves.
  • In POOL mode suction comes from the pool and returns to the pool.
  • In SPA mode suction comes from the spa and returns to the spa
  • In SPILLOVER mode suction comes from the pool and returns to the spa.
Those are the normal positions of your actuator valves for your pool modes.

What you are describing is your suction actuator/valve is pulling from your spa and returns are going to your pool or pool and spa. That cannot provide enough water to your spa to keep up with the spa suction.

The suction actuator has a 3 position toggle switch ON1 - OFF - ON2. Check the switch is ON and change it to the other ON position and see if the actuator turns. You want to get suction set to pool and return set to SPA and you will refill your spa.

If the suction actuator does not move with the toggle switch then remove the handle, remove the 4 screws that hold the actuator on the valve, remove the actuator, and put the handle on the valve, and move the valve manually.
 
Last edited:

corporate_zombie

LifeTime Supporter
Oct 29, 2014
52
Humble, TX
Thank you for your response Allen — quick question. To do all of that, should I refill the spa with the hose first? I’m going out to take pictures now of my equipment and valve.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
21,156
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Your ET manual is at --> https://www.pentair.com/content/dam...ytouch-control-system-8-and-4-users-guide.pdf

You use the Valves function in SERVICE mode to Fill or Drain the spa anytime you need to. That automatically rotates the valves as needed.

You can fill the spa from hose if you want. Or use this as an opportunity to learn how the fill and drain functions work and use the capabilities of your ET if your actuators turn correctly.

Pentair EasyTouch Valves control.png
 

corporate_zombie

LifeTime Supporter
Oct 29, 2014
52
Humble, TX
Here are my pictures. The third picture is the actuator that I suspect is not working. I didn’t see it turning when I was trying to troubleshoot my problem. Also for full disclosure, I did take the handle and top off to see the numbers on the limiting switches. When I put the handle back on, this is the way it seemed to fit, bit if you asked me to swear on it, I am not 100% that is the way it was. Lesson learned always take photos, as my memory sucks.
 

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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
21,156
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Your pics as posted show your suction coming from the spa and return to the pool. That combination does not work.

If the suction actuator does not turn using the toggle switch then remove the actuator, replace the handle and turn the handle 180 degrees so the handle is over skimmer and not spa. That gets suction back to the pool. Then you can use the Valve function on your ET to change the return valve to spa fill mode and refill the spa, then put the valve back in pool mode.

Repair the actuator or replace it and reinstall it on the suction valve.

 

corporate_zombie

LifeTime Supporter
Oct 29, 2014
52
Humble, TX
Thank you — I think I understand that enough to attempt it! Last question— is there any issue if I left the spa without water until Wednesday? I am wanting to replace the bulb and it would make it easier without the water in it...but I also do not want to sacrifice the integrity of my pool in anyway.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
21,156
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
No problem leaving the spa empty for a few days. Your temps are forecasted to be less then 80F.
 

corporate_zombie

LifeTime Supporter
Oct 29, 2014
52
Humble, TX
Just wanted to close this out, in case anyone starts searching for a solution —the problem was the actuator limit switch, and it was super easy to fix. What was not so easy, was the spa light bulb. I hope I really get “2000 hours” like the box said, because I do not want to do it again...ever...Regardless, pool is back up and running!
Thanks!!