SPA Overflowing in Bypass mode

SD Pool Owner

New member
Aug 2, 2020
4
San Diego
Hi all. I’m currently having an issue that I can’t figure out. We’ve been having to run our spa and pool separately for quite some time. When we purchased the house the previous owner said her pool person could not figure out why the spa was overflowing every time it was in bypass mode. I’ve had a couple guys look at it as well and no one can figure it out. Our goal is to get the spa properly flowing into the pool when the system is in bypass mode so we can turn on the pool pump and circulate the water from the pool into the spa and then back from spa into the pool, creating one nice continuous loop connecting both bodies of water. The spa doesn’t have a waterfall feature that goes into the pool, but it does have two drain lines that appear to be about 2 inches in diameter or less that run from the top upper cubby cutout of the SPA and down to the pool about 2-3ft below the pool surface. I know that these two areas are connected because there’s great water flow/suction from the pool to the spa on these lines when I use the sweeper hose on the pool side sucking water from the spa. Also the spa is about a foot or so above the pool so gravity should help feed the water but nothing mechanical circulates this that could have broke. Nonetheless every time I try to use bypass mode the water comes from the pool and fills up the spa and the spa overflows....there’s no water returning from the spa to the pool.

So because of this we have to chemically treat the two separate and it’s impossible. Here are some pics of the equip/pipes. Any ideas/advice would be awesome!
 

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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,396
Bedford, TX
SD,

What do you mean "bypass mode"... What is it that you are bypassing??

Show us a couple more pics of your equipment pad from different angles.

Are you using your automation (EasyTouch or IntelliTouch) to control this bypass or is this something you do manually?

Make them bigger pics if you can...

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,396
Bedford, TX
SD,

Just to be clear.. When you say, "...could not figure out why the spa was overflowing every time it was in bypass mode." Are you saying the spa would actually fill up and over flow the coping?

The basic theory of operation is that when you want the Spa water to "flow into the pool" through the pipes, you need to be in the Pool mode.

In the Pool mode, the pump sucks water from the Pool and returns most of the water to the pool, but when the make up valve is open, some of the pool water goes into the spa.. Since the Spa drain is closed, the extra water will fill the Spa, until the water flows into the overflow pipes and back to the pool. In your pic, it appears to me that the make up valve is closed.. I am assuming it is the pipe with the blue ball valve.

What happens when you open that blue ball valve???

If the Spa actually overflows the coping, then you must have the Return valve set to send all the water to the Spa and at the same time have the Intake valve set to suck water from the pool.

Here is the way the valves should work..

In the Pool mode, the Intake valve to the IntelliFlo sucks water from the pool and sends it through the filter and heater and back through the Return valve to the Pool.. (No overflow)

In the Spa mode, the Intake valve to the IntelliFlo sucks water from the Spa and sendsit through the filter and heater and back through the Return valve to the Spa.. (No overflow)

In the Manual spillover mode, the Intake valve to the IntelliFlo sucks water from the Pool and sends it through the filter and heater and back through the Return valve to the Pool.. But, just before the Return valve is plumbing that allows some of that water to go to the Spa through the blue Make-up valve.. This extra water will cause the water in the Spa to flow back into the pool.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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proavia

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Feb 6, 2015
1,990
Chandler AZ
Those 2 pipes between the spa and pool are equalizer lines. When the pump isn't running, they will keep the water level between the spa and pool at an equal level. If more water is being pumped into the spa than the pipes are able to equalize (by returning to the pool), the spa water level will rise.

I think the OP's "bypass" reference is actually a type of spillover mode. But the spa doesn't have a spill way - only the 2 pipes connecting the spa to the pool that were mentioned. So if you suction water from the pool and return ALL the water to the spa, the 2 pipes won't be able to handle the entire high flow rate and the spa will overflow. To prevent this, the valve with the blue handle in the lower center of the picture can NOT be fully opened. When you suction water from the pool, you can only return SOME of it to the spa - you can only open the blue handled valve enough to keep the spa water level the same as before opening that handle. If you open the valve too much the spa will eventually overflow - as the 2 pipes can't keep up with the high flow rate.

In the grand scheme of things, you only need a little flow to the spa to keep the water circulating between the spa and pool so the chemicals stay balanced between the two bodies of water. With the pump on high speed, open the blue handled valve a little and monitor if the spa water level increases. If it doesn't open the valve a bit more. If it does close the valve a bit. It may take some experimentation to find the ideal position of that valve to prevent the water level in the spa from rising when the pump is running at max speed.
 

SD Pool Owner

New member
Aug 2, 2020
4
San Diego
Hi All

update and more pics...

@Jimrahbe - yes, the SPA would overflow the coping. During manual spillover/bypass I had the Intelliflo on pool mode. The blue valve is the manual spillover/bypass valve I am referring to and it was fully open when spa was overflowing coping.

@provavia - thank you for the idea! I haven’t tried that and thought that manual spillover/bypass valve needed to be fully open or closed. I will try halfway and adjust from there!

Nick
 

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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,396
Bedford, TX
SD,

Let's look at this logically.. If the water overflows the coping, then obviously you are putting more water into the spa than can escape via the two pipes.. So.. how can water get into the Spa when in the pool mode?? It has to come through the blue make up valve or through the Return valve if not working, or not set to the fully closed position when in the pool mode. As Allen points out, the faster you run the pump the more water that gets moved.. Either way, there can only be a couple of things that can cause the issue...

Right now, when in the pool mode, with the blue valve shut off, do you have water flowing from the spa into the pool via the 2 pipes? You should not.. and if you do it can only be because of a problem with the Return valve...

Keep in mind that in the Pool mode and the blue valve shut off, no water should be going into the spa..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

SD Pool Owner

New member
Aug 2, 2020
4
San Diego
2500 RPM for both spa/pool when running

No water is transferring/draining between spa/pool when in spa mode (or pool mode as mentioned)

I can see the flapper open/close when moving the blue valve handle so the flapper appears to moving properly (valve body is clear/see through)

I also thought maybe 2500 RPM was too high but older barracuda “hooping” sweeper doesn’t work that well at lower speed unless I divert all suction to sweeper and then if I do so the skimmer doesn’t get suction for surface debris

Wouldn’t the drain lines drain water at the same speed as the pump?
 

Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
709
Orlando
Wouldn’t the drain lines drain water at the same speed as the pump?
No, definitely not. The pump forces water into the pipes whereas the drain lines are just gravity fed. Making things even worse is the fact that it would appear that the spa and the pool are at the same level (or very close to it) so there isn’t even any gravity to feed those lines. Water will flow through them to keep the pool and spa at the same level, but it will be a very very slow flow rate.

Unfortunately, I don’t believe that your system will function in the way that you want it to.
 
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