Simple Pool and Spa Repair from Harvey at All Parts Pool and Spa

Tech Tips and Repair how-to for pool and spa owners

How to Adjust Alkalinity for the Effect of Cyanuric Acid

Before adjusting pH or sanitizer in your pool, you need to adjust the total alkalinity to carbonate alkalinity. Sanitizers like Dichlor and Trichlor release cyanuric acid (CA) which is a weak buffer. Cyanuric acid may also be added directly as a stabilizer. Total alkalinity needs to be adjusted for cyanuric acid so that you can calculate the correct amount of the chemicals needed to adjust carbonate alkalinity to the ideal amounts.

To determine the carbonate alkalinity the first thing to do is measure the pH, the total alkalinity (TA) and the cyanuric acid concentration. If CA is greater than 90 ppm, dilute the pool water with regular (untreated) water before correction factor found in the following table to get the carbonate alkalinity using the formula: TA – (CA x correction factor) = carbonate alkalinity.

For a pH = 7.2, TA = 120 and CA = 100, use the formula to get 93 ppm of carbonate alkalinity:
120 – (100 x 0.27) = 120 – 27 = 93 ppm carbonate alkalinity

Now adjust your other pool readings (pH and sanitizer) for a safe and balanced pool.

Table for Cyanuric Acid Correction Factor:
pH factor
7.0 0.23
7.2 0.27
7.4 0.31
7.6 0.33
7.8 0.35
8.0 0.36

Cartridge filters, spa filters, pool filters

WHY SHOULD YOU CHANGES YOUR CARTRIDGES

Filters are used to remove insoluble matter from your pool or spa. Cartridge filters are one of the types of filters used. Over time the accumulation of dirt on the filter cartridge results in the slow-down of the turnover rate making it unacceptable for keeping the pool water safe. The cartridge can be removed and cleaned to remove most of the dirt. Over a period of time the little bit of dirt not removed with each cleaning clogs the pores of the filter and the cartridge needs to be replaced.
If you have not replaced your cartridges in your pool in the past year or in your spa in the past 3-6 months, you should get yourself some new cartridges. Use the numbers from the old cartridge or measure the size of the old cartridge to find the one you need.

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July 19, 2017 at 8:23 pm Comments (0)

More bubbles for a spa

Air blowers are used to make lots of bubbles in your hot tub. They not only take air into the spa lines but they force it out of the jets to make the bubbly movement that most people associate with hot tubs. Without a blower you can have some bubbles and you still have water movement, but if you want real action add a blower to your spa.

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July 19, 2017 at 8:19 pm Comments (0)

Basic balancing of hot tub water

When balancing your spa water the goal is to end with invisible water. When the water is still it should be so crystal clear that you will have to touch the water to make sure it’s actually there! If you have good source water, (We will address bad source water at another time.) all you need to do in order to get inviting sparkly water that’s safe for you and your other bathers and which will increase your spa’s longevity, is to correctly balance 3 basic measurements; sanitizer (ideally chlorine), pH and total alkalinity (TA).
Chlorine, the most common and one of the best sanitizers, should be kept between 1-3ppm. Too little chlorine in your hot tub results in an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. This bacterial growth can cloud the water, or at the very least, give it a horrible smell. If you were to bathe in this water, any openings you have in your body would allow entry to the bacteria, which is never good. Too high chlorine in the spa can be abrasive to headrests or the inside of your spa cover; it can also stain your clothing or attack and damage your jewelry.
PH is the measurement of the level of acidity and alkalinity in your water. Your pH should be kept between 7.2-7.8, with 7.5 being perfect. Too low pH means your water will be acidic. Some very acidic liquids are stomach acid, lemon juice and vinegar. Low pH levels in your spa makes for acidic water, this can cause your eyes to sting can make your chlorine disappear and it is really bad for your spa equipment. Acidic water eats away at the metal and plastic of your spa equipment, weakening them and shortening their life span. Too high pH means your water will be alkaline. Some very alkaline liquids are oven cleaner, household bleach and ammonia. Again, this causes your eyes to sting and it makes your chlorine ineffective. Alkaline water affects your spa equipment differently from acidic water. High pH levels can leave calcium deposits, causing a buildup in your heating elements and pipes meaning decreased circulation and function.
Total Alkalinity (TA) is the last of the three and ties in directly with the pH levels. TA acts as a steadying factor for your pH. The levels of your TA should be 80-120ppm. If your TA isn’t correct, your pH will never be either. If your TA is too low, your pH can change drastically in a short time. If TA is too high, your pH will be too. If you don’t get your TA correct, you’ll waste a lot of money on pH chemicals when all you need to do is correct the TA levels to provide a nice solid base for your pH.
So, in conclusion, keep your chlorine between 1-3ppm, your pH between 7.2-7.8 and your Total Alkalinity (TA) between 80-120ppm. Your guests and your spa will thank you for it!

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July 8, 2017 at 12:04 pm Comments (0)

Diagnosing and repairing a sta-rite pool and spa heater using a systematic approach – segment two

We will continue our systematic approach to diagnosing a pool heater by looking at what to do when the light in the control pad on the top of your Sta-Rite pool and spa heater that is labeled “service heater” is lit. (We will proceed with the assumption that you know everything from segment one.) This time you will need to remove the sides from the heater before disconnecting power to the heater so that you can read the codes on the board attached to the topside. After removing the sides, you will see the big topside that is still connected to the heater. Below the topside is a metal panel that keeps the topside in place. Under this panel there are two locking pins (cotter pins). Carefully remove the two pins and store them somewhere safe until reassembly. Gently remove the top and turn it upside down. You will see a light lit on the board you are looking at when you turn the topside over. The light will be next to a code that is written on the board.
The first code that you’ll see on the left side of the board will be PS. This is the code for the pressure switch. We covered the pressure switch in segment one. If this light is lit go back to segment one and review that segment. If necessary follow the instructions to replace the pressure switch.
The next code you’ll see on the board is HLS. If you have a controller on the system you will need to bypass it at this time. You will need to carefully disconnect the power from the heater. After you are sure that the power is disconnected, you will need to find and open the high-voltage cabinet. This cabinet is a metal box in the middle of the heater. If you are looking at the cabinet, there is usually a screw on the top right side. Loosen the screw and the door will swing down toward you. You need to be extremely careful when working in this box and only do so when you are sure that the power to the heater is OFF.
You will need to bypass the firewall safety interface. To do this you will need a short wire with stab-tab connectors. If you have a controller and it was properly installed the wire may have been left in the box by the tech who installed the controller. If not you will need to make this jumper wire. At this point look in your owner’s manual to locate the two proper pins to connect to. If you have a controller or are using a fireman’s switch this is where your control should be connected. If you have a controller and it is not connected here, it could be the source of your problems and either have a certified tech correct the problem or correct it yourself.
You must be careful not to put the jumper wire on the power terminals or you will destroy your heater by burning up the electronic system. Use your manual to locate where the fireman’s switch is supposed to be attached and carefully attach your jumper between these terminals. If you now turn on the power and the heater works without any problems, your problem lies in the controller or the wiring going to the controller. You will need to trouble shoot this system.
If you still have the same problem with your heater. (“service heater” light comes on), leave the jumper in place and verify that the pump is on and that you have good water flow. Make sure again with your meter that the pressure switch is not cycling. It should read as a dead short. (See segment one) With good water flow verified and the “service heater” light on, your problem could be one of the thermo-regulators in the safety system.
Since we started this with the indicator light on the board lit next to HLS, the first thing we are going to check are the wires going to the high limit switch. The high limit switch is located near the bottom on the left side of the water manifold as you face it. To see it you need to remove the side cover on the water manifold. The screw that holds the cover is on the top of it. You need to make sure that the orange wires going to the switch are intact, attached and not corroded. If the wiring is good, use your multi-meter to check that the high limit switch reads as a dead short. If it reads open and the water is not above 104 F, replace the high limit switch. If this does not fix your problem you may have a bad control board and it will need to be replaced. Testing the control board is a very involved process and will be dealt with in a later segment.
This is the end of segment two and has taken you through part of the safety circuit in the heater and 2 of the indicator lights on the board. We will continue on with our systematic diagnose of problems on the Sta-Rite pool and spa heater in the next segment.
I have been involved with repairs, equipment replacement, and the design and execution of customized systems. I am certified and trained by several large manufacturers such as Hayward, Pentair, Goldline and Sta-Rite. I am an expert in handling warranty service for pool and spa equipment including pumps, filters, heat pumps, lighting and alternative sanitation.

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July 8, 2017 at 12:01 pm Comments (0)

Diagnosing and repairing a sta-rite pool and spa heater using a systematic approach – segment one

If the light in the control pad on the top of your Sta-Rite pool and spa heater that is labeled “service system” is lit, the following should be done in order to diagnose why your Sta-Rite heater is not working. A systematic approach will help to narrow down the problem and possibly solve it without having to call for a repair person. There are numerous things that can go wrong, but many of the problems are simply fixed with the use of a few basic tools. For this first segment you will only need a screw driver or a 5/16 nut driver and a basic multi-meter. Additional segments will go into other aspects of the systematic problem solving.
Before starting any diagnosis there are a few things that need to be checked. These items are the first two things to check on any gas heater. This is a gas heater, so first is the gas to the heater turned on and do you have enough gas in the tank. Next is the electric to the heater on. Make sure all of the breakers and/or switches in the circuit to the heater are on. (By the way this last item should be the first thing you check on any piece of pool or spa equipment that is not working.)
Now start with the basics. Without proper water flow the heater will not work.
1. Is the pool pump running? Not running, NO water flow.
2. Does the filter on the system need to be cleaned? Again, if the water flow is compromised, the heater will not work. On a sand filter this is usually accomplished with a simple back wash to remove dirt and debris. A DE filter may be helped with a back wash or may need a more thorough cleaning. A cartridge filter may need to have the cartridge removed and cleaned thoroughly or replaced if it is old and cleaning does not increase the water flow.
3. Are all the valves in the system in the correct positions? Maybe the flow to the heater has been turned off. And again the result is NO heat. Or some of the flow maybe by-passed away from the heater or restricted and the heater does not have enough flow to work.
4. The last item under water flow would be a bad water pressure switch. To get to the water pressure switch and be able to test it, you need to first remove the 2 piece outer shell from the heater. You will need to remove the four screws holding the sides together. The screws can be removed with a regular screwdriver or a 5/16 nut driver or socket wrench. The pressure switch is then found on the top right side of the water manifold as you face it. With your electric meter on ohms, the pressure switch should read as a dead short. The meter will read 0 or will beep. This is the same result you will get if you set your meter to ohms and touch the 2 leads on the meter together. If it reads open you have a problem. Open is a meter reading of nothing or a meter that reads like you have a meter which is on and switched to ohms and the leads are not touching anything. If you have verified that you have good water flow; your pressure switch is probably bad. You will need to get a new pressure switch and install it. If you get anything on your meter other than a dead short (closed) or a solid open, you have a problem. Anything in between means you could have a switch going bad or dirty contacts. Make sure you have good contacts. Clean the contacts and try your readings again.
To replace the pressure switch if it needs to be done. First turn off the pool pump. Then turn off the power to the heater. Remove the wires from the switch and unscrew the switch by turning it counterclockwise. Screw the new pressure switch in clockwise, being careful to put it in straight. It is plastic and has fine threads and can be damaged easily. Then connect the wires. I would recommend that if you have the ability that you put new connectors on the wires, but if they are clean and intact it is not an absolute necessity. Turn on the pool pump and then turn on the power. You can now close up the heater with its four screws and in a little while enjoy your heated pool.
This segment has only dealt with one of the most common reasons that a pool and spa heater does not work and heat your pool or spa. Come back for the continuing steps to go further.
I have been involved with repairs, equipment replacement, and the design and execution of customized systems. I am certified and trained by several large manufacturers such as Hayward, Pentair, Goldline and Sta-Rite. I am an expert in handling warranty service for pool and spa equipment including pumps, filters, heat pumps, lighting and alternative sanitation.
We have seen a need for a centralized location for all homeowners to get the products and information they need to make simple repairs and replacements for their pool and spa equipment. We have opened this website to fulfill that need and offer assistance to our customers in making the best choices to enrich their lives.
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July 7, 2017 at 9:21 pm Comments (0)

Safe-n-clean pool clarifier

One of the ways to insure that your pool or spa is crystal clear is to use a clarifier to clump very small contaminating particles, including bacteria. By clumping them together you make it easier to remove them through normal filtration. Traditionally crystalline powders have been used that are difficult to distribute evenly throughout the water and to mix completely. Safe-N-Clean Pool Clarifier is a concentrated gel tablet that will effectively assist all filters to remove harmful bacteria, viral species, microscopic particles and odor causing oils that accumulate in your pool during general use. It is nontoxic, biodegradable and eco-friendly. One treatment will work for 30 days.

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July 6, 2017 at 11:52 am Comments (0)

Pool and Spa Cartridge filters

Filters are used to remove insoluble matter from your pool or spa. Cartridge filters are one of the types of filters used. Over time the accumulation of dirt on the filter cartridge results in the slow down of the turnover rate making it unacceptable for keeping the pool water safe. The cartridge can be removed and cleaned to remove most of the dirt. Over a period of time the little bit of dirt not removed with each cleaning clogs the pores of the filter and the cartridge needs to be replaced. Use the numbers from the old cartridge or measure the size of the old cartridge to find the one you need.

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July 6, 2017 at 11:49 am Comments (0)

Pool and Spa Pump motors

Motors for pumps come in more variety that most people are aware of. In choosing a motor for your pool or spa pump you need to know quite a bit of information. You need the know at least the voltage, the horse power, speed(s), and frame size.

On bracket mounted motors you can determine the frame size of the motor by measuring the distance between the thru bolts on the motor where it attaches to the wet end. If the distance is 3 5/8” it is a 48 frame. A 56 frame will measure 4 1/8” between the bolts.

In choosing a complete pump for your spa or pool you not only need to know all the information on the motor (i.e. voltage, horse power, etc.) but you need to know about the wet end of the pump. Minimum, you need to know the form (side or center discharge) and the plumbing size.

You can determine the size of the plumbing on a pump by measuring the O.D. of the wet end threads. With the pump unions removed measure the overall outside diameter of the threads.
If threads measure about 3”, the plumbing is 2.0”. 1 1/2” plumbing measures about 2 3/8” and 2 1/2” plumbing would be about 3 5/8”. Don’t forget to make sure all of the plumbing is the same size.

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July 5, 2017 at 8:52 am Comments (0)

Spa blowers

Spa blowers add air to the spa circulation resulting in bubbles in the water. It gives the water more action and provide a showy display. They come in different sizes for different applications.
We have air blowers, air blower parts and air injectors to fit most applications.
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July 5, 2017 at 8:48 am Comments (0)

Baptismal pools

Pools come in are many sizes and shapes. Many people think of a pool for swimming but pools have other uses too. An important use for some pools is for baptisms. Baptismal pools need maintenance and repairs the same any other pool. Parts wear out and pieces break. AllPartsPoolandSpa.com has parts for baptismal pools as well as total control systems.
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July 4, 2017 at 9:45 pm Comments (0)

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