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Home maintenance

Why Did My Spa Drain

By August 29, 2022No Comments
A spa and pool combination.

Owning a home comes with a lot of responsibility, maintenance, and projects. Any time you purchase a home with extra amenities like a swimming pool and spa, you add more expenses to your budget. In the beginning, it is a great feeling to have a swimming pool and spa to enjoy and cool off during the hot months.

As time goes on, you have to prepare for the possibility of needing repairs on your pool equipment. If you notice that your water levels are changing, it is likely a result of a failed part. Why did my spa drain? Typically, this occurs due to a failed check valve, actuator valve, air leak, or diverter.

Let’s take a look below at the possible reasons for your spa to drain back into your pool.

Is My Spa Leaking

The likelihood that your pool spa is leaking is probably very small. If your spa is draining when the pool pump is off, you likely need new valves or diverters. Typically, when the spa is set to pool mode the spa is set to spill over and into your pool. So, determining if you leak is not that easy. Keep in mind that as the water level in the pool drops, this could be an indication of a spa leak. Always remember to conduct pool maintenance and check your pump and filter.

A spa will drain if the valves are malfunctioning or opened in the wrong areas.
Make sure that your valves are placed in the correct off/on position.

What Causes This

Believe it or not, the spa that is connected to your pool will equalize its water level when the pool pump shuts off. This does not mean you leak. However, if the spa drains down, you likely have some equipment malfunctioning. Let’s take a look below at which equipment pieces could contribute to this issue:

  • Check valves – a check valve is installed to prevent water from backflowing into the pool once the system is shut off. If the check valve gets stuck or fails, then gravity will pull the water from the spa and push it back into the pool. When your system turns on again, it will refill the spa.
  • Spa return line check valves – in some cases, a spa will have check return valves attached to their return lines. Over time, the chlorinated water will eat away at any metal parts in your system. This will cause your check valves to break down and fail. Unscrew those threaded check return valves from the return lines and replace them with new ones. Check your return pipes and spa suction side for leaks.
  • Diverter valve – controls the direction of the water flow. If the rubber gaskets go bad on this valve, water can escape back into the line and flow back into the pool. This will cause the spa to drain down. Simply change the valve diverter assembly and your problem is fixed.
  • Actuator valve – actuator valves are motorized valves that rotate to close off certain ports in the plumbing. If the valve gets stuck in the on position, water will drain from that line. If that line happens to be the spa line, water would drain back into the pool. Simply unplug the malfunctioning actuator valve from the control panel and unscrew it from the diverter valve. Replace with new parts and the draining of the spa will be fixed.
  • Air leak – air suction leaks or air pressure leaks in the plumbing will release air out of the system when the system is shut off. This can cause water to drain back into the pool. Be sure to read up on ways to troubleshoot this issue or call on a professional swimming pool repair technician.

How Can I Fix It

If you are experiencing spa draining due to equipment malfunctioning, you will simply replace the equipment. Being a homeowner that has the tools and is good with gluing pipe, you could purchase the replacement part and repair it yourself.

However, it is always best to call on a professional swimming pool service technician to have this repair job completed. Save yourself time and the headache of possibly cutting out the wrong part and making a repair mistake.

Other Recommended Maintenance

Now that you have figured out what is going on with your spa draining. It is a good idea to get a swimming pool inspection. Be sure to read up on what that entails. Knowing ahead of time will save you a lot of confusion and most of the time answer your questions before meeting with the inspection team.

Next, consider having your swimming pool checked for leaks. There could be an instance where you replace broken valves and the pool still appears to be leaking. Read up on some of the best ways to test a swimming pool leak. This can save you time and money before paying a swimming pool service technician.

Lastly, get a home inspection completed. In some cases, your local home inspection team will offer a swimming pool inspection as part of the home inspection. Be sure to ask them what additional services are offered when they come out to conduct the home inspection.

The jacuzzi spa drains just below the spill line when turned off.
A jacuzzi spa with no spillover.

When Do I Call A Professional

Whenever you experience issues with your swimming pool equipment, it is best to call on a swimming pool technician. Most homeowners do not have the time or patience to troubleshoot and repair their swimming pool equipment. If you aren’t sure who to call, reach out to your local home inspection team to have a swimming pool inspection. Also, they can recommend a reputable swimming pool service technician.


Being a homeowner can be a challenge at times. The last thing anyone wants is to spend more money on broken or failed equipment. At any rate, having to call out your swimming pool service technician to make equipment repairs could become a nuisance. Before you go and throw money away on a service call, reach out to your local home inspection team.

They can inspect your pool equipment and report back to you the needed repairs. Also, they can refer a reputable and trustworthy professional swimming pool service technician. Avalon Home Inspections will check your pool spa during a home inspection in Atlanta, GA.

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