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I am experiencing a problem with an air-lock in an in-ground spa gravity feed 6? main drain. If have repeatedly forced through water to clear the air-lock and also tried sucking out the air-lock. Pushing water from the collector tank to the spa main drain seems to have the most successful results and for a period of approximately 1 week I seem to have trouble free operation. After that, the air-lock seems to re-occur. I believe that I screwed up when plumbing the main drain as I followed engineering instructions to fit a 90 degree elbow at 18? below the spa beam which has basically created a high point in the gravity line. I fully understand that if I can clear the air-lock, this will not be a problem. At no time does the water fall below this high-point. The main drain pipe is about 180ft in length so I am aware that there could have been a lot of air trapped, but after 6 months of trying to clear this air, I am becoming very confused and frustrated. I do not believe that I am losing any water in the pool or spa. Here are my questions: 1) If I did have a slight break in the spa main drain line, is it at all possible that it might result in sucking in air rather than losing water? Silly question, but I am at that point! 2) The water is sanitized by an Intellichlor salt chlorine generator. Is it possible that any part of this chemical process might create a gas which would cause my air-lock to re-occur? 3) Are there any other know reasons that might explain this reoccurring problem?

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  • steve58641 May 02, 2010


    Please confirm that what you said is true for a gavity feed system.

    The pump is not directly connected to the main drain. I would have thought that any air in the water returned to the spa would float to the surface of the spa and dissipate, as can be seen visually.

    Incase it helps, I have already tried changing the pump. I changed it from a 1/5HP to a 2.5HP pump about a month ago as part of my troubleshooting.




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There could be a few things preventing your jets from pumping water. If you just drained your hot tub, it is common to have an air lock in the plumbing and you must bleed the air out of the lines. Look for tiny bleed screws on the end of the pump. Open these bleed screws to allow air out. Always do this with the power off and be ready to close them quickly because water will spray out with the air. If you have a bleed screw on top of your filter, be sure to bleed air from there too. After bleeding, try turning the power on again and see if the jets work. You may have to bleed the lines several times before the jets fully function, but you should see an improvement each time. As long as you get the majority of air out of the lines and the jets start flowing again, the remainder of air will work its' way out.
If you didn't just drain your tub and you don't think you have an air lock, try the following:
1) Is the high speed pump working? If yes, skip to step 2. If no, check the voltage at the pump. If there is voltage, your pump is faulty and needs to be replaced. If there is no voltage, test back to the power source for open circuits or switches.
2) Is there good water flow out of some of the jets? If yes, skip to step 3.
If you don't have good water flow, try the following:
- Take apart the pump wet end and look for obstructions or a broken impeller.
- Make sure your filter is not clogged and is clean. If in doubt, try running your spa without the filter and see if there is an improvement.
- Check for closed or broken knife valves (gate valves).
- Make sure the water level is not too low and the floating weir on the skimmer is not stuck.
3) If you have good water flow out of some of the jets, look for jets that may be closed. Many jets can be adjusted for pressure and can be turned off at the jet. Also look for loose or worn out jet seals and check the nozzles for obstructions.

Posted on May 03, 2010

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Yes it is possible that air is getting into the line, in very small amounts at a time but it likely is not your plumbing work rather, air bubbles that are in the water caused by the pump, Check all of your seals for leaks and if necessary fix the highpoint and see if that solves your problem, if not you will need to look elsewhere

Posted on May 02, 2010

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