Valve won't cycle in Spa Mode, will cycle in Pool Mode


New member
Nov 21, 2020
San Antonio, TX
I have a a pretty standard pool-spa valve set-up with with two Pentair 3-way valves. Pump suction side is either 100% pool or 100% Spa. It has a 12-yr old Pentair actuator that still works correctly in both pool and spa mode. The return side is approx. 75%pool/25%spa in pool mode and 100% spa in Spa Mode. It is driven by a 6-7 yr old Intermatic PE24VA Actuator. My control panel is a 12-yr old Pentair Intellitouch, with a wired indoor control panel.

If system is switched from pool mode to spa mode, the suction side valve moves, but the return side does not, resulting in the spa draining into the pool. In spa mode, the toggle switch on the return valve actuator will not cause the valve to move. In pool mode, the toggle switch on this valve does works. While in pool mode, if I switch the toggle from down to up, the return valve will rotate so that all water is routed to the spa. However, with the toggle up, if I then switch from pool to spa mode on the control panel, the valve will rotate back to the other position (normal pool mode position).

I have been able to use the spa by: 1) while in pool mode, flip the toggle switch up to rotate the return valve to spa mode position, 2) moving the toggle on the return valve to the middle/off position, 3) Set system to spa mode from the indoor control panel. With the return valve locked in spa mode, when switched to spa mode the suction valve rotates as it should and the propane heater fires. But it is a pain to have to do the manual steps, and no one else in the family dares attempt it.

After doing some research on this site, I thought it might be the micro switches in the actuator. So I ordered some microswitches (Omron SS-5GLT) and replaced them (taught my twin teen sons how to solder in the process). With new microswitches installed, the valve/actuator is acting the exact same way as before.

So... what could my issue be? Is it some sort of valve programming in the control panel itself? Is something else wrong with the actuator and I should just replace it? The Intertec one has lasted long enough that I'd probably go back with another one of that brand for $97 on Amazon... but don't want to replace it if that isn't the issue.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.


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

Sounds like a bad actuator to me.. What I suggest is that you swap the Intake and Return valve connectors inside the EasyTouch.. If the Return actuator still does not work, you will know the actuator is bad. If the Return actuator starts working, then you know the problem is in the EasyTouch.


Jim R.
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