spa empties itself into the pool

dstinson

Active member
Jun 17, 2016
30
Mesa/AZ
ok so i am totally annoyed about this. Long story... I had a new variable speed pump and salt cell installed and in doing so Leslie's raised the manifold (see pics below) for the cell. I didn't think much of this at the time but I noticed that when the pump is not on, the water from the spa will fill the pool. It's a slow drain, you can't tell right away but you can see from the (wet) water line that it is dropping. It will not drain the spa entirely, it drops it to the bench where you would normally sit and below the jets. To remediate this I turn the pump on a low setting at noon and raise the spa again for a few hours and turn off again. I thought the raised manifold was the culprit so i cut everything down yesterday in hopes that would solve my problem and sadly this is not the case. Maybe the 2 have nothing to do with each other ?? I took apart the one way jandy valve and it looks fine, it springs back and forth like it should. I dont know what else to do. I am all ears if anyone has any suggestions here.

thanks
 

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superuser

Well-known member
Nov 16, 2020
66
Spring, TX
My one-way valve looked fine too, until I actually wiped my finger across the flapper seal and I noticed it had ever so slightly split. Replaced the flapper and it's been fine since.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,935
Bedford, TX
d,

When the spa drains down to the level of the spa return jets, it is almost always the check valve that you pointed to in your pic.

To test this theory, fill the spa and then put the Return valve in the same position as in your pic. If the spa does not drain open the return valve a little and see if the spa drains.. If it does the check valve is bad.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
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Jul 7, 2014
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Bedford, TX
D,

The Return valve is the one on top of the four tall pipes..

The valves in front of your pump are Intake valves..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
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well it's in this position all the time and it's draining. I only turn that when I fire up the spa heater.

That valve handle looks like it may not be perfectly off. If the handle is not perfectly level and aligned with the pipe it will leak.
 

Jimrahbe

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Jul 7, 2014
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Bedford, TX
D,

Was the check valve always in that one pipe?

Tell me what the 4 pipes are for...

From right to left, I assume the one on the right with the little red ball valve is for your waterfall.. The next one, with the SWCG cell tube, is for your pool returns. The next one is the return water coming from the filter.. and the next one (far left) goes to the spa..

When you are in the pool mode and not using your spa, does water spillover from the spa and into the pool? If so, how does water get into your spa?

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

dstinson

Active member
Jun 17, 2016
30
Mesa/AZ
ok so little red ball valve is for the airiater (which i never use) and next to that is the salt cell and next to that I dont know and last is the spa. and yes when pool is on with pop ups, water will spill over into pool (that is normal) from the spa popups. I installed a new check valve today (thanks to amazon) and that didn't solve the problem. I installed it in the direction that i am holding it with the check valve on top and i believe it was always in that pipe. I also ordered another jandy lid and that will be here tomorrow. I am also not opposed to installing another one way valve if that would solve this problem. I have to turn 2 jandy valves to use my spa, what is another.

thanks for the continued efforts here.
 

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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
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Jul 7, 2014
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Bedford, TX
D,

The reason we all thought it was the check valve is because in most spas, the extra water that causes the spillover, has to come down through the check valve. When the check valve is bad, it will allow water to flow up and back into the pool.. But your system appears to be different... Sounds like your spillover is being caused by what you are calling "pop-ups"... Not sure if these are just returns or if they are part of an in-floor cleaning system.. :scratch:

Either way, if you have proven it is not the check valve, then something else has to be allowing the water to flow from the spa and back into the pool. At this point I have no idea what that could be.. :(

Show us some pics of your "pop-up" system.. I assume it has its own pump(s) or control system.. Often, an In-Floor cleaning system will have a check valve near the control head.

If the water drops down in the spa and stops, then it has to be whatever is at the level where it stops..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

dstinson

Active member
Jun 17, 2016
30
Mesa/AZ
thanks Jim, the check valve would have been a nice fix. However, when I took it off not much water came out which led me to believe water is not making its way up there at all. Yes my 'pop-ups' are my in floor cleaning system. I have attached an old one here for reference. The only other check valve that i have is in the original pic (above) but closer to the pump. I only have 2. The only other thing I can think of is that i have a jandy valve in the wrong position but everything (other than the spa lowering) appears to be working fine.

thanks for the assistance
 

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Jimrahbe

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Jul 7, 2014
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Bedford, TX
D,

Do you have a dome shaped device that selects which heads pop and up when? I admit that I do not know much about IFC Systems, but I have see several of these "domes" that seem to have 6 to 8 pipes coming up into the dome.. In some cases I have seen a check valve, below the dome, in one of the pipes going to the spa..

At what level does the water in your spa stop draining down? What plumbing is just above where the water stops?

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

dstinson

Active member
Jun 17, 2016
30
Mesa/AZ
yea i do have that 'dome' it's called a polaris caretaker, or at least that is the company that makes it. I have had to replace that once or twice too in my life. I just went and looked at it again and no check valve. Right now the spa water is 9-10 inches below normal level (I just went out and measured), I will say the return lines (i think that is what you called them) are about that same height from the ground (9-10 inches). I only have 1 check valve left, i could pull that one out and replace with the one i just took out ?? Or maybe a bad Jandy valve, i ordered that too, will be here tomorrow.

thanks
 

mmardini

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Jul 21, 2020
149
Palm Springs, ca
Pool Size
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Something similar happened to us when we bought our house. When the pump was running everything was fine. When the pump turned off all the water from the spa would drain into the pool. We hired multiple companies to come out and they all said check valve and that didn’t solve it. So we hired a company to repipe
All our equipment and that still didn’t help! So the manager of that company came out and took off the skimmer in The spa and there was a pipe he had never seen before that led into the spa. He capped that pipe and we haven’t had an issue since!. Wish we didn’t spend the money to repipe everything but at least the problem was solved! You may want to check that out
 

Turbo1Ton

Gold Supporter
Dec 26, 2019
502
NE Oklahoma
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I have a check valve on the zone from my IFCS to the spa. If that were leaking I could see how that would allow water to drain back from the spa into the pool. If you have a check valve near your Caretaker valve, I would try changing that one out to see if that fixes it.

Maybe a picture of the caretaker and that other check would shed some light on the situation?

--Jeff
 

dstinson

Active member
Jun 17, 2016
30
Mesa/AZ
Something similar happened to us when we bought our house. When the pump was running everything was fine. When the pump turned off all the water from the spa would drain into the pool. We hired multiple companies to come out and they all said check valve and that didn’t solve it. So we hired a company to repipe
All our equipment and that still didn’t help! So the manager of that company came out and took off the skimmer in The spa and there was a pipe he had never seen before that led into the spa. He capped that pipe and we haven’t had an issue since!. Wish we didn’t spend the money to repipe everything but at least the problem was solved! You may want to check that out
wow, that's crazy. I put the pool in though, this is a new problem, or at least this didn't happen until my salt cell and new variable speed pump was installed. I will get some pics tomorrow in the light.
 

Turbo1Ton

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Dec 26, 2019
502
NE Oklahoma
Pool Size
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Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
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Which pipe, in your first picture, does the filter feed into? The dummy salt cell, or the branch of the 3 way valve? I'm hoping the filter goes directly into the dummy cell, then through the 3 way valve. Otherwise you will have flow going vertically down through your salt cell which is a no no as the flow switch can falsely prove if mounted in a vertical down flow orientation.

--Jeff
 

Summoner12

Well-known member
Nov 16, 2015
82
Riverside, CA
i don't have a spa... but i had an issue where my return blew bubbles.... this was caused from a cracked pipe in the IFCS. I had a leaking jandy valve and cracked pipe. the cracked pipe let the water drain out of the pipes above pool level.... this exposed the jandy valve to air, if the pump was on a slow speed the valve would draw a vacuum and pull air: bubbles at return pipe. You could also have an issue where the bypass valve for the IFCS isn't working right and letting water back flow. Getting to this valve is likely not easy, and once removed you'll need a new one, depending on it's plumbing.

Take your caretaker dome apart and inspect the valves. They go bad over time and will let water through, could be cross flowing through the caretaker... I don't know how you're system is plumbed.. but I would bet that might have something to do with it.

You can look at my post history to find my recent troubles with the cracked pipe and how i fixed it.
 

dstinson

Active member
Jun 17, 2016
30
Mesa/AZ
well the plot thickens. I took the check valve that i pulled out yesterday and placed in the (only) other spot i had a check valve. Low and behold (see pics below) the actual flapper was gone ?? I have no clue where it went or if it ever had one. You can tell from the pic, it originally had one cause it has the plastic tabs for the spring. So I filled up the spa again and will watch it. I also took pics of the ICFS, i have the guts that go inside that so that will be my next target where i explore and replace parts.
 

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