Spa Plumbing

rfcmagic

Active member
Mar 22, 2018
25
Las Vegas Nevada
Good afternoon everyone from my favorite forum. I have been using this forum for a while now, and it has saved me a lot of money. Rather than paying someone out here to inform me and advice me on my situation, I rather ask the experts of TFP. I would like to start off with a little background. Two years ago I bought a house with a pool that that was obviously neglected. Pool lights weren't working ,valves were broken, equipment pad was a mess. Fortunately for me I have been able to fix many of my issues with the help of this forum.

Now, this is where the fun start. Based on how the plumbing was set up when I bought the house, it was apparent that when the previous owner had an issue with the equipment, rather than fixing the problem, they just removed the problem. What I mean by this is that when the pool heater gave its last breath, rather than replacing it, they just got rid of it and blocked off all plumbing connections that were for the heater. I have since added a new heater and plumbed everything to how I suspected it to have been plumbed before. The pool also seems to have had a second pump that was specific for the spa jets at some point, i could be wrong.

I have provided some before pictures of my equipment pad, and some of how it currently is. In both pictures you can see two pipes that seem to have been capped off, well one wasn't capped off, but the valve was shut off. The 2" pipe that is capped off is for the spa jets, the pipe that is 1.5" seems to come from the deep end of the pool. My pool has two drains at the deep end. I previously thought that the two drains were connected through some sort of T, but I am starting to think they they are not. The spa also has two drains but the 1.5" pipe does not seem to come from there. I would like to note that the skimmer has two holes as well, but one seems to be capped off. I tried to use a cobra bladder to pinpoint where the 1.5" plumbing was coming from, but had no luck. I figured that if it was from the spa, the spa water level would rise, but that was not the case. That is what makes me suspect that the 1.5" pipe is from the deep end of the pool

Now here are my questions. Does anyone know how to figure out where that 1.5" plumbing is coming from? Also, if it is from the deep end of the pool, why would it be connected to the spa for the jets, would it not cool down the spa? Finally, why did they use 1.5" plumbing rather than 2" like the rest of the plumbing. Any help would be greatly appreciated, I just don't want to install a pump, and be wrong.
 

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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,667
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
My pool has two drains at the deep end. I previously thought that the two drains were connected through some sort of T, but I am starting to think they they are not.

The two drains in the deep end are T'd together to create a VGBA compliant drain that cannot trap a swimmer with it's suction. Read Safety Drains VGBA - Further Reading

If you have a separate spa jet pump then you will have a suction intake for the that pump in the spa. You will also have a suction intake from the spa to the main pool pump for when in SPA mode.

What is the black pump for and what is the white pump for?

Where do all the pipes with ball valves coming off the black pump go to?

To fully understand your plumbing we need a complete view of the pipe flow and valves that we can follow it from suction to return. I can't connect everything from the pics you posted.

Also post pics of the spa that shows the suction intakes and the returns and jets.
 
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jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
3,515
Morris Cnty NJ
You can use food dye in the pipe and blow air backwards to the pool. You will see colored bubbles appear from somewhere. It's hard to follow what's going on with the pics you posted. But basically the pool and spa can be there own loop independent of one and other and then on overflow you can fill spa from pool and have it flow back into pool.
 
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rfcmagic

Active member
Mar 22, 2018
25
Las Vegas Nevada
The two drains in the deep end are T'd together to create a VGBA compliant drain that cannot trap a swimmer with it's suction. Read Safety Drains VGBA - Further Reading

If you have a separate spa jet pump then you will have a suction intake for the that pump in the spa. You will also have a suction intake from the spa to the main pool pump for when in SPA mode.

What is the black pump for and what is the white pump for?

Where do all the pipes with ball valves coming off the black pump go to?

To fully understand your plumbing we need a complete view of the pipe flow and valves that we can follow it from suction to return. I can't connect everything from the pics you posted.

Also post pics of the spa that shows the suction intakes and the returns and jets.
I did read about that, but what made me think that they weren't T'd is that one of them was clogged and the other wasn't. That made me suspect it could have something to do with the one that has the little black valve that is sawed off. The picture with black pump is just a before picture of the set up. It feeds the same valves that the white pump does.
The two drains in the deep end are T'd together to create a VGBA compliant drain that cannot trap a swimmer with it's suction. Read Safety Drains VGBA - Further Reading

If you have a separate spa jet pump then you will have a suction intake for the that pump in the spa. You will also have a suction intake from the spa to the main pool pump for when in SPA mode.

What is the black pump for and what is the white pump for?

Where do all the pipes with ball valves coming off the black pump go to?

To fully understand your plumbing we need a complete view of the pipe flow and valves that we can follow it from suction to return. I can't connect everything from the pics you posted.

Also post pics of the spa that shows the suction intakes and the returns and jets.
Sorry about the horrible pictures, I will get better pictures tomorrow once the sun is out. The picture with the black pump is all the old stuff at the equipment pad . I had the pump replaced, and had the white pump installed. I had a heater installed as well. I will take better pictures tomorrow of the whole set up, with arrows and labels indicating the flow of water. I appreciate your help.
 

rfcmagic

Active member
Mar 22, 2018
25
Las Vegas Nevada
You can use food dye in the pipe and blow air backwards to the pool. You will see colored bubbles appear from somewhere. It's hard to follow what's going on with the pics you posted. But basically the pool and spa can be there own loop independent of one and other and then on overflow you can fill spa from pool and have it flow back into pool.
I figured that they are in a loop, but i just haven't been able to confirm it. Im also curious why that's the only valve that is using 1.5" pvc. Ill try using food dye and see where that goes. What should i use to blow air?
 

rfcmagic

Active member
Mar 22, 2018
25
Las Vegas Nevada
Here are some pictures.
 

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rfcmagic

Active member
Mar 22, 2018
25
Las Vegas Nevada
And this picture is of the equipment pad. The red arrows indicate the suction side. Blue arrows indicate pressure side.
 

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rfcmagic

Active member
Mar 22, 2018
25
Las Vegas Nevada
The two drains in the deep end are T'd together to create a VGBA compliant drain that cannot trap a swimmer with it's suction. Read Safety Drains VGBA - Further Reading

Where do all the pipes with ball valves coming off the black pump go to?

To fully understand your plumbing we need a complete view of the pipe flow and valves that we can follow it from suction to return. I can't connect everything from the pics you posted.

Also post pics of the spa that shows the suction intakes and the returns and jets.

Hi, I added some pictures. Please let me know if it helps or if you need more information. I will be happy to provide it.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
3,515
Morris Cnty NJ
Need to be able to see all that puping by the heater and filter. Cant rly tell what's going where. Is that a bypass to the heater or a T to seperate feeds? In the pad pic every valve is open. What valve does what that you know for sure? Like in the pic draw a # on each one then list what you know for sure they do and what the mystery
 
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rfcmagic

Active member
Mar 22, 2018
25
Las Vegas Nevada
Need to be able to see all that puping by the heater and filter. Cant rly tell what's going where. Is that a bypass to the heater or a T to seperate feeds? In the pad pic every valve is open. What valve does what that you know for sure? Like in the pic draw a # on each one then list what you know for sure they do and what the mystery
Okay perfect, ill take more pictures tomorrow, and number the valves. Thank you for your help I appreciate it.
 
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