Weak Jets and Water Overflow

s3lasinc

Member
Nov 26, 2020
11
Santa Ana, CA
Happy Thanksgiving all!

Just read through tons of results from using the SEARCH prior to writing my post. 1st post here and unfortunately it's for guidance on my new spa. Found some photos before plaster. I'm hoping it's not a poor build. I had to let go my PB due to last of quality on some other stuff hence I am here doing my own research.

Issue:
1. Weak jets
2. Water spill over with blower on

I'd like to achieve:
1. Increase jet flow a stronger therapeutic feeling when jets are on and
2) control air blower where when on, it contains water in the spa and not overflow.
A. I've read here you can release some air by adding a 3 way to release some air. Is this a good option?
B. Or should I downgrade to a 1-1.5HP blower?

Equipment:
-Built in 13x9 above ground spa with 12 jets. 2 seats with 3 jets per seat, 2 seats with 2 jets per seat, 2 seats with 1 jet per seat
-Pentair Intelliflo 3HP variable speed pump
-Pump Set to:
1)SPA 2380 RPM (this speed used to turn water on schedule)
2) SPA High 3450 RPM
-Pentair Heater and Filter
-Jandy SPB220 240V Peak HP. 2.0

Thank you much in advance. Any guidance greatly appreciated!!! SPA 2.jpgSPA 1.JPGJandy.jpgSpa 3.jpg
 

ajw22

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You have found that splitting 3HP of water flow across 12 jets gives weak flow. You should have been setup with one or two dedicated pumps for the jets. The way you are plumbed now there is no easy way to retrofit that.

I would get some rubber plugs and plug up jets one by one and see how the jet pressure improves to what you like. You may need to shutdown some of the jets most of the time. I am sure you don’t have 6 people in your spa all the time. If there are only one or two of you in the spa then plug up the other jets to improve pressure.

Your air blower is too strong for your spas design. You can replace the blower with a 1 HP unit. Or vent some air with a valve. Venting air can get noisy and you may need to put a muffler on it depending on where the blower is located.

@mas985 ideas on the jet pressure?
 

s3lasinc

Member
Nov 26, 2020
11
Santa Ana, CA
@ajw22 I appreciate your input! "You have found that splitting 3HP of water flow across 12 jets gives weak flow. You should have been setup with one or two dedicated pumps for the jets. The way you are plumbed now there is no easy way to retrofit that." I'm not sure what to expect as this is my first SPA. I'm going from what i've experienced community pool/spa. My PB failed on some landscape related items after the spa was completed as part of my proposal hence I'm question if my spa could've been plumbed better. Stupid question, is a 3HP pump like the one I have sufficient for the amount of jets I have? Apologize for the ignorance as i'm trying to educate myself as fast as i can for the long term.

As for the blower, my pool equipment is on the side of my house between my house and a property wall. The side where it's at is 5x15 with 6ft property wall and I would imagine there would be quote a bit of noise if I were to use a 3 way as i've researched. Is there any performance difference between a 1 vs 1.5HP blower? Otherwise i'll look into getting a 1HP blower as suggested.
 

ajw22

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@ajw22 Stupid question, is a 3HP pump like the one I have sufficient for the amount of jets I have? Apologize for the ignorance as i'm trying to educate myself as fast as i can for the long term.

Your spa is poorly designed from both an air and water perspective. You are asking the 3 HP pump to do a lot in pushing water through a filter and heater and then have enough pressure left to be split 12 ways for your jets. If you only had 4 to 6 jets then the jet water pressure would be adequate for you.

A better design is to have two water flows in a spa with your number of jets. Have one pump circulate water thought he spa for the filter and heater and chlorination. Have a separate water intake in the spa that feeds a dedicated spa jet pump and pumps water directly to the jets without the restrictions of the filter and heater. Even then I might have suggested you put in two spa jet pumps, each servicing 6 jets for really good pressure at the jets.

3 HP is about the max you can get from a 240V 20 amp pool pump. To get more pump HP it takes larger electrical service.

As for the blower, my pool equipment is on the side of my house between my house and a property wall. The side where it's at is 5x15 with 6ft property wall and I would imagine there would be quote a bit of noise if I were to use a 3 way as i've researched. Is there any performance difference between a 1 vs 1.5HP blower? Otherwise i'll look into getting a 1HP blower as suggested.

I would try a 1 HP blower. You don't need to go overboard with the air bubbles. I have a 1 HP blower for 8 spa jets and it agitates the water very well. I also have a dedicated 2 HP spa jet pump for my 8 jets.
 

s3lasinc

Member
Nov 26, 2020
11
Santa Ana, CA
@ajw22 Thanks for all the insight! Prior to me letting the original PB go, he was going to add a 2nd pump. I never got that pump as it let the original PB go. The new PB that wrapped up my project added the 2HP blower and said it would be sufficient.

I'll replace the current Jandy 240v 2HP blower I have with a new Jandy 240v 1HP blower. Base on what you see, would I still be able to add that 2nd pump or what can i do to make my spa efficient?
 

ajw22

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Your spa is not plumbed for a second suction intake and pump. No easy way to retrofit it without very invasive breaking of the walls.

Try plugging some jets like I described in my first post.
 

mas985

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Any chance you could post a link to the original high resolution photos? It looks like there are two suction lines per MD and there may be two return lines as well. They may have just combined them at the pad. A picture of the pad plumbing would help too.
 

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mas985

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It looks to me like they had plumbed the spa for two pumps (i.e. two loops) but did not include the second pump. The two pipes next to the j-box appear to be the second set destined for a second pump both suction and return. The blower looks like it feeds two air pipes as well.

Also the spa plumbing picture looks like it confirms two loops but without additional pictures, I can't say for sure.
 

ajw22

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Very interesting observation by Mark and interesting plumbing. I annotated your pump setup with what Mark observed. It looks like you have two suctions and returns on your spa jet side and two pipes into your blower.

I annotated your pictures to show the water flow.

It will take some PVC cutting to explore it further. If you want to explore it we discuss further. But it sure looks like you were setup for the jets split between two pumps.

Your air pump also has two pipes it feeds. If you are getting a 1HP blower I would change the blower piping so your existing blower feeds one pipe and the new blower feeds the other. Once you turn on each blower you will see which jets are on which loop.

S31.jpeg

s32.jpeg
 

s3lasinc

Member
Nov 26, 2020
11
Santa Ana, CA
@mas985 @ajw22 thank you both for expertise taking the time and providing input. It really gives me a second set of eyes and ears on my next steps. I will keep this thread posted on the outcome as I hope it may help someone down the road.
 

mas985

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If you downsize the blower, I would not run the 2 HP on a single air line. That would blow a lot of water out of the spa and the two sets of jets would be uneven. The 1 HP for both lines should be sufficient. You might try just running the jets without a blower. It isn't always needed.
 

ajw22

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My thinking was plumbing the 1HP blower to one air line will identify how the jets were divided. Then he can get a second 1HP air blower. Or run both lines on one blower. It is just some PVC work to figure out the jet design using the blower lines.
 

mas985

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If it were me, I would first remove the current blower and see if the jets will still draw in air.

If not, then the 1 HP blower might be a good choice. But two 1 HP blowers will have more air flow than a single 2 HP and cause more of an issue. In fact, for most blowers, the max SCFM doesn't change much with HP but the sealed pressure does (i.e. used to clear lines). If there is too much air flow with a 2 HP, a single 1 HP will only be slightly better. If the jets are about 20" deep, the 2HP would generate 104 SCFM and the 1HP would generate about 90 SCFM (~180 SCFM for 2x1HP).

Air Supply Blowers
1606523648345.png
 

s3lasinc

Member
Nov 26, 2020
11
Santa Ana, CA
1. Quick update. Changing the blower from 2HP to 1HP was night a day. Good call.
2. Finally got in the water and realized all the jets were not working all at once. Started plugging some jets with hands and feet, and water/pressure would distribute to jets that were not working. Pressure would get better as advised above.

I'll send photo of the new plumbing.
 
Last edited:

s3lasinc

Member
Nov 26, 2020
11
Santa Ana, CA
@mas985 @ajw22 New plumbing photos.

Now, I've now added a 2nd Pentair variable speed pump. Question, is, the installer set the 2nd pump up as an AUX in my Spa Hi Mode. By doing this, if I am in High Spa which operates the jets and turn on AUX/2nd Pump turns on everything is full blast. I feel like doing this way, my variable speed pump is a waste as it's always going to go at 1 speed. Is this the best way to do it?
 

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mas985

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2. Finally got in the water and realized all the jets were not working all at once. Started plugging some jets with hands and feet, and water/pressure would distribute to jets that were not working. Pressure would get better as advised above.
The new blower may not have enough flow/pressure to fully clear the lines. Try letting run for awhile and see if the lines clear on their own. If not, then venting the 2HP may be the only solution.

Now, I've now added a 2nd Pentair variable speed pump. Question, is, the installer set the 2nd pump up as an AUX in my Spa Hi Mode. By doing this, if I am in High Spa which operates the jets and turn on AUX/2nd Pump turns on everything is full blast. I feel like doing this way, my variable speed pump is a waste as it's always going to go at 1 speed. Is this the best way to do it?
No it isn't. The circulation pump does not need to be at full speed. You should be able to program a different speed for each pump when in spa mode.
 

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