Spa draining when pump shuts off for the day

JK2171

Member
Oct 30, 2019
8
Estero, FL
I am hoping someone here can help me with a problem I have been having for several months now. When my system shuts off for the day, the spa slowly drains down, stopping right above the top of the jets. It takes several hours to do this, as the pump will shut off around 5, and I won't notice it until the next morning. When the timer turns the pump on again the next day my spa fills up, and I have the nice waterfall overflow into my pool.

I have had three pool companies come out to try and tell me what is wrong, and that they can fix it. To that end I have had my check valve completely replaced, and all of my other valves replaced as well. Same problem persists. Another company came out and said my glass block front was leaking. He drained the spa, and epoxied the inside of it....same problem still persists. I am pulling my hair out because the system had been working great since we bought the house (Feb 2019). Then in July this issue started, and I can't seem to find a reputable person to diagnose the problem, and help me fix it. I'm hoping the group here can.

Couple of things...1. I do not have an auto-fill feature on my pool. 2. The water level remains consistent each day. 3. There may be an occasional day where the spa has NOT drained. This has happened 2-3 times in the last six months. I'm happy to upload pictures, etc to help the group understand what I'm experiencing. This is my first pool, and I have no clue!!
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
12,984
Northern NJ
Welcome to TFP.

While the spa draining to the pool may be an annoyance it does not cause any real problem. Anytime you are going to use the spa you will turn on the pump and it will fill to the proper level.

One of these days you will fix something else and find and fix the spa problem. I would not spend a lot of money trying to chase down the fix right now.

Post some pics of your equipment pad and spa and let us see if we can spot anything. I would like to see what type of check valves you have.

Also, please create your signature with details of your pool. It helps us help you better.
 

homegameroom

Bronze Supporter
Sep 23, 2015
219
Sunrise,FL
I had a similar problem. It turned out to be that one of the hinges on one of the check valves was broken, so it would not seal properly and the spa would drain out. It looked fine from the top, so it wasn't obvious until i physically took the cover off and inspected it. It was a VERY cheap and easy fix!

I don't see any check valves in your equipment pictures - i assume there is one or 2 of them somewhere...... I am also assuming when the spa drains that it drains to the level of the pool (and the spa is slightly higher than the pool)....
 

JK2171

Member
Oct 30, 2019
8
Estero, FL
I had a similar problem. It turned out to be that one of the hinges on one of the check valves was broken, so it would not seal properly and the spa would drain out. It looked fine from the top, so it wasn't obvious until i physically took the cover off and inspected it. It was a VERY cheap and easy fix!

I don't see any check valves in your equipment pictures - i assume there is one or 2 of them somewhere...... I am also assuming when the spa drains that it drains to the level of the pool (and the spa is slightly higher than the pool)....
Yes,, it drains just to the top of the jets which is roughly (hard to tell) the level of the pool. The check valve was totally replaced about 4 months ago, and I just had another company look it over two weeks ago. They said it was working properly.
 

homegameroom

Bronze Supporter
Sep 23, 2015
219
Sunrise,FL
I see one other check valve in your plumbing. The best way to check them is to remove the cover and inspect the flap that should close everything off. Just remove the screws on the top; the flap should also be removed and completely checked, as it could have a crack or the seal might have been damaged by something. The parts for these should be readily available and not too expensive. be sure to re-lubricate the seals and the O-ring on the top of the cover before putting everything back together with something specifically made for swimming pool plumbing.

It should not be too difficult to do, but feel free to have someone else do it if you are not comfortable working on it. Look for the manufacturer name and/or part number that is molded onto the top of the clear cover to find parts.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
12,984
Northern NJ
I was told that is for gasses the pool heater generates??
That makes no sense. It is not connected in any special way to your pool heater.

See the pic below. The red arrows show the normal water flow through your pool return or spa return.

The blue arrow shows the way your spa would drain to your pool. The green arrows show another path something can drain back into your pool. Your check valve is in the green path.

Does your spa spillover always run when in POOL mode?

We need to understand what the pipe with the ??? does.

Draing spa.jpg
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
15,806
Bedford, TX
JK,

You say that you have had all the valves replaced, but the only valve that looks new is the square check valve... :scratch:

Here are a couple of tests you can do and report back to us..

Put the system in the spa mode and shut off the pump and see what happens. This means to both black valves (Intake and Return) need to be rotated 180 degrees from where they are in the pics.

Then with the system in the pool mode and the spa full and overflowing into the pool, turn off the red ball valve in Allen's picture marked as "???" The spa should no longer spillover into the pool.

Run those two tests and see if the spa no longer drains.. You would not normally run this way, it is just a test.

The spa can only drain back to the pool through either the jet lines or the floor drain lines. The above tests may allow us to tell which..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

JK2171

Member
Oct 30, 2019
8
Estero, FL
That makes no sense. It is not connected in any special way to your pool heater.

See the pic below. The red arrows show the normal water flow through your pool return or spa return.

The blue arrow shows the way your spa would drain to your pool. The green arrows show another path something can drain back into your pool. Your check valve is in the green path.

Does your spa spillover always run when in POOL mode?

We need to understand what the pipe with the ??? does.

View attachment 125519
This diagram is very helpful. The pipe that has the ??? on it in the diagram does not have a label on it. If I turn that handle so it's more horizontal than vertical the spillover from the waterfall reduces.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
15,806
Bedford, TX
JK,

The Square check valve and the red ball valve with the ??? are part of what is called a "make up line"... Its whole purpose to to allow your spa to spillover into the pool when in the Pool Mode. The whole point of the square check valve is to prevent the water from going the other way, which allows the spa to drain back into the pool.

The two tests that I provided above should tell us if the problem is the new check valve or not.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

C.Johnson

In The Industry
May 14, 2019
27
Tulsa, OK
If the check valve indicated is functioning correctly, the only other possibility I can see is that the return diverter valve is letting water through to the pool. Is the spa or pool above the equipment pad at all? If not, its an easy thing to disassemble that valve and check the diverter seal.
 

jb

Active member
Jul 2, 2011
32
North Texas
I think you may have a problem with the other check valve, the one closer to the heater. Rather than calling another repair man you can buy a new one and harvest the guts. It is a 20 minute job. But deinately try jimrahbes trouble shooting suggestions. Trouble shooting is cheaper than parts which is cheaper than repair men :)