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Air control valve leaking on masterspas FS650 Freedom Spa


GHtokyo
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Water started leaking from the air control valve.  It leaks more or less depending on where I position the setting, but can't get it to go away completely.  I'm not even sure if water or just air is supposed to be in this area.  Nothing has changed except I unplugged the ozone, and pump #2 because I'm troubleshooting the GFCI intermittently blowing, but that seems unrelated.   If I don't care about air in the jets, is it ok to just cut the hose and cap it off?  New ones aren't that expensive, just don't know if that will fix my issue or not.

Here's a link to the replacement part:

https://www.spapartsdepot.com/master-spas-gg-industries-air-control-x241165-use-x252550-to-replace/

 

 

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IMG_20200410_184528 (Small).jpg

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The air control allows air into the venturi that is part of each jet. It is a vacuum line and should not have water in it. Replacing it will not fix the problem. The air line is being pressurized by water.

Which jets does that air control feed? Each jet is individually adjustable at the face. Are the jets all working? 

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After making sure all the jets are open if there is still a problem I would try new o rings top and bottom of valve. If that doesn't work I would focus on the rubber flap at the bottom of the valve with the little nipple on top. It has likely failed and not sealing properly (this is my guess). 

Options: Cut the 1" line and cap it off and stop the leak. You can always go back and cut the cap off and add a line coupler and a piece of 1" line and re-plumb in a new valve if you wanted to have air again. If you are ordering a new valve also buy a 1" line coupler and you will also need a bit of 1" line  as you will come up a bit short when you cut the old one out but you may have enough play in that line to re attach a new one if you cut right at the valve elbow. And a new 90 degree elbow. Glue as well

I am only judging 1" from the photo but plumbing line could be reducing to 3/4.

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Come on canadaguy. You know very well that is a suction line and a valve or valve o-rings will not solve the problem. There is no suction on the venturi, there is pressure. If there aren't some closed jets, then there are some bad o-rings on his jet internals, or significant scaling in the jets. 

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Well right now it immediately blows the GFCI, even if all pumps are unplugged, potentially because of the moisture.  I'm drying everything out and then I'll check the jets are working.  So if a jet is plugged, it might cause backup of the water into the air control valve?  The previous owner had 2 of the jets on that side removed. Would removing some jets fix the problem? I bought replacement jets to replace the ones that were removed at the end of last season, but I didn't notice any leaking then.

Greg

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He doesn't have originals, 2 missing when he bought the house. He replaced them last year.

But I agree, take out the new ones and see.

That type of jet is known for becoming brittle over time on the white stem on the back. If that stem breaks it can cause what is happening to your spa. Maybe that's why 2 were missing.

I would remove the jets and check them out. Bear in mind, some of them will come out in pieces. You know what they cost and how many you have. If cutting and capping the pipe seems like a good solution to you, now might be the time for that. Your call. But my money is on bad jet internals. That is about the only thing left, if you have verified that they are all on and the water level is not too high.

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15 minutes ago, RDspaguy said:

He doesn't have originals, 2 missing when he bought the house. He replaced them last year.

But I agree, take out the new ones and see.

That type of jet is known for becoming brittle over time on the white stem on the back. If that stem breaks it can cause what is happening to your spa. Maybe that's why 2 were missing.

I would remove the jets and check them out. Bear in mind, some of them will come out in pieces. You know what they cost and how many you have. If cutting and capping the pipe seems like a good solution to you, now might be the time for that. Your call. But my money is on bad jet internals. That is about the only thing left, if you have verified that they are all on and the water level is not too high.

Was thinking original jet from a different area in the spa...or just remove the new and try without

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It might have been leaking last year and I didn't notice.  I'll try this once I get it running.  The GFCI is still tripping immediately.  What is the best way to troubleshoot it, I've removed almost everything I can unplug.  Last is the heater.   I doubt its the GFCI itself, but I could try replacing that.  I haven't been able to find the rectangular kind online anywhere.  What should I search for?

Thanks for all the help.

IMG_20200411_185501 (Small).jpg

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Found this while searching someone else's problem. Nice summary, and it saves a bunch of typing.

On older spas, when there was a blockage at the jet (for instance an acorn) 
the water flow would hit the blockage and reverse direction. The water would 
flow out of the air venturi as it was the path of least resistance.
Remove the obstruction to re-establish water flow to the jet. This will also 
create the venturi effect and re-establish the air flow.
Another common scenario for older hot tubs was the gaskets used to 
separate water and air would fail. When this happens, the water would come 
out of the air venturi.
The repair calls for the gaskets to be replaced or new jets need to be installed.
 

With your style of jet, pieces of the jet itself may be the blockage.

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Its running again after disconnecting the heater.  GFCI doesn't blow anymore.  I plugged in the heater separately to a 120VAC, GFCI enabled cord, and no issue.  I measured resistance from each heater terminal to earth, and it's 3.1M ohms.  So I think I have an overactive GFCI, and I'll be replacing it with a 2Pole 50A Breaker with built in GFCI.  I think my heater is ok.

Let me know if there are any flaws in my logic, now back to troubleshooting the jets...stay tuned...lol

 

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I was measuring heater terminal to heater tube which is connected to the case and green wire.  3.1M Ohms.  So this means there will be some leakage current (240VAC / 3.1M) = .070mA  which I don't think should trip the GFCI.  But you're saying this is too high, and there probably worn insulation or scale built up, and I should replace the heater? 

Maybe its a waste, but I'll see what happens when the new GFCI gets here.

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Disconnect the heater. Does it still trip? No? Bad heater.

I know the math. I also know from fixing them for 25 years that ANY CONTINUITY TO GROUND IS A FAULT.

Scale will not cause this directly, though it can lead to the damage that will. You either have moisture getting into the element or corrosion at the terminal creating a path to ground. It happens to every immersed heater element sooner or later. Poor water maintenance can speed it up rapidly, but every element is on it's way to destruction as soon as you put it in the water.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Replaced the GFCI box with a GFCI breaker.  So far so good for a week or two.  I capped off the air valve using a PVC shutoff valve and no more leaking (when the valve is closed obviously).  So if I ever figure out why the jets are backing water up into the valve area, I can turn it back on and have air again, but for now, I'm pleased.  Thanks again for everyone's help.

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