Air leak

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vespaio
Pool Newbie
Pool Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun 26 Jun, 2011 13:04
My Pool: 16,000 gallon play pool, Pebble-Tek
Location: Phoenix

Air leak

Postby vespaio » Sun 26 Jun, 2011 13:23

Hi, I have a 16,000 gallon play pool that has an elevated spa attached. The pump pulls water from the pool and returns it to the spa, which returns it back to the pool over a waterfall.

The water level in the spa is about 1.5 feet above the water in the pool. Each year the level in the spa drops below the return lines until I take the valves apart and re silicone the stems and o-rings. This year lubricating the o-rings worked only for two days. I can prevent the water in the spa from dropping after I turn the pump off by closing the valve to the spa jets. There are no bubbles in the water return to the pool or spa, and was only a very minimal water leak from under the strainer cover when I turned off the pump. Now when I turn off the pump water shoots out in all directions from under the cover.

I have ordered a new o-ring and cover for the strainer, but since the air leak was present even when the cover did not leak, could this be the cause of the falling water level in the spa, or are there other possibilities? I have re greased all the valves and think they are all ok.

Thanks, Ray


ChuckGeo
Swimming Pool Wizard
Swimming Pool Wizard
Posts: 97
Joined: Fri 16 Jan, 2009 16:31
Location: Atlanta, GA.

Air leak

Postby ChuckGeo » Wed 29 Jun, 2011 14:52

In elevated spas there is usually a check valve in the spa return line that prevents water from draining back to the pool when the pump turns off. It sounds like your check valve isn't working properly, i.e. not shutting off completely when the pump shuts off. Hopefully, the check valve is above ground where you can get to it, if it's a Jandy check valve (clear lid with 8 screws securing it) replacing the internals should solve the problem. If it's any other type of check valve you'll have to replace the entire valve, preferrably with a Jandy.
As far as the water squirting out at the pump lid when you turn off the pump, this usually indicates a bad pump lid o-ring, the o-ring out of place or a lack of lubrication on the o-ring. When you install your new o-ring be sure to lubricate it with waterproof pool lube.
Chuck
Owner, Superior Pool Services
25 years leak detection experience
vespaio
Pool Newbie
Pool Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun 26 Jun, 2011 13:04
My Pool: 16,000 gallon play pool, Pebble-Tek
Location: Phoenix

Air leak

Postby vespaio » Wed 29 Jun, 2011 15:17

Hi Chuck,

Thanks for your reply. I'm not an expert but was arriving at your diagnosis because over the last two days, the water level in the spa has fluctuated erratically. I have two return lines to the spa, one goes to the heater and the other, I presume, goes directly to the spa. If I close the Jandy valve leading directly to the spa after I turn off the pump, the water level does not fall. If I close off the line leading to the heater, it does.

I have been closing the valve daily to prevent the water level from dropping, and then reopening it at night. However last night, the water level did not drop after I reopened the valve. This morning, after the pool pump shut off, I left the valve open and the water level dropped. I later refilled the spa and left the valve open, but this time the water level has not dropped. The check valves are closed cylinders (SLO?? brand). It looks like they can be unscrewed, but they have been painted over several times.

I replaced the strainer o-ring and the squirting has practically ceased. The water level in the strainer does not drop when the spa level falls.

Should I just try to remove the check valve in the line that I've been blocking off? Can these be rebuilt, or do I need to install a new valve?

Thanks, Ray
ChuckGeo
Swimming Pool Wizard
Swimming Pool Wizard
Posts: 97
Joined: Fri 16 Jan, 2009 16:31
Location: Atlanta, GA.

Air leak

Postby ChuckGeo » Thu 30 Jun, 2011 05:38

I'd recommend a new check valve. Parts availability for old check valves is non existant.
Chuck

Owner, Superior Pool Services

25 years leak detection experience
vespaio
Pool Newbie
Pool Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun 26 Jun, 2011 13:04
My Pool: 16,000 gallon play pool, Pebble-Tek
Location: Phoenix

Air leak

Postby vespaio » Thu 30 Jun, 2011 14:31

Hi, Am trying to order one now. Looks like the check valve itself is almost non-existent. It's impossible to read the spring size on the valve. Is there much difference between the 1/2 and 2 pound spring?

Thanks, Ray
ChuckGeo
Swimming Pool Wizard
Swimming Pool Wizard
Posts: 97
Joined: Fri 16 Jan, 2009 16:31
Location: Atlanta, GA.

Air leak

Postby ChuckGeo » Thu 30 Jun, 2011 16:31

About 1 1/2 pounds, ha ha. A little pool man humor, but seriously, I'd select the 2 pound spring, it will seal closed tighter.
Good luck.
Chuck

Owner, Superior Pool Services

25 years leak detection experience
vespaio
Pool Newbie
Pool Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun 26 Jun, 2011 13:04
My Pool: 16,000 gallon play pool, Pebble-Tek
Location: Phoenix

Air leak

Postby vespaio » Thu 30 Jun, 2011 17:51

I knew I should have worded that phrase differently. It's very difficult to locate that particular valve. I might have found the 1/2 pound version, but not sure. Tomorrow I'm going to try to unscrew the valve (the baked on paint is not friendly) and see if there is anything stuck in it. Then off to see what's available. No way of knowing whether the valve is 1/2 or 2 lbs since the tacked on label is gone.

Thanks again,

Ray
vespaio
Pool Newbie
Pool Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun 26 Jun, 2011 13:04
My Pool: 16,000 gallon play pool, Pebble-Tek
Location: Phoenix

Air leak

Postby vespaio » Sat 02 Jul, 2011 13:09

Hi Chuck,

The problem was the check valve. When I removed it I found a small piece of plastic that had broken off the filter element in the valve. It was not blocking the valve itself, but was likely doing so intermittently. It had also damaged the o-ring, since when I filled the valve with water and set it on a counter, it started leaking right away.

New valve has resolved the problem. Thanks again for an accurate diagnosis.

One more question. Removing and replacing the screws in other Jandy valve housings has worn the threads so some of the screws no longer hold. Is there some way of rebuilding the threads? Replacing the valve would mean replacing half of the plumbing since the valves are glued directly to each other.

Thanks, Ray
ChuckGeo
Swimming Pool Wizard
Swimming Pool Wizard
Posts: 97
Joined: Fri 16 Jan, 2009 16:31
Location: Atlanta, GA.

Air leak

Postby ChuckGeo » Sat 02 Jul, 2011 14:10

Take one of the screws down to the hardware store and find a self tapping stainless steel screw just a little larger than the original. Or, find some ss screws that hold the faceplate to a Hayward liner skimmer, if memory serves, they'll work perfect.
Chuck

Owner, Superior Pool Services

25 years leak detection experience
vespaio
Pool Newbie
Pool Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun 26 Jun, 2011 13:04
My Pool: 16,000 gallon play pool, Pebble-Tek
Location: Phoenix

Air leak

Postby vespaio » Sun 03 Jul, 2011 08:49

Thanks. I was thinking of a more difficult solution that likely would not have worked.

Ray

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