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Thread: Thinking of installing auto fill device

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    Thinking of installing auto fill device

    I have a new above ground pool I just had built. At my last house, I had an in ground pool, and on the edge of it I installed a $70 device that uses a float valve to control my garden hose and fill the pool to the proper level when it got low.

    I've read here, and I agree, that a drawback is that if can mask water leaks, though in the case of an above ground pool, I'd think I could see a leak if there were one.

    Nevertheless, the real reason I got it wasn't to auto fill when needed, but to prevent overfilling when I forget to turn off the hose. So basically I only turn on the hose when I think the pool needs water, then I check back an hour or three later to see if it's time to turn off the hose and if it slips my mind until the next morning (which doesn't happen often, but has more than once to my supreme annoyance of filling the pool to overflowing and wasting water), then no harm done; it stopped flowing at the proper time.

    Anyway, I still have the device and I'm thinking of installing it by clamping it to the top of my pool wall. My other problem is that my pool is more than 90 feet from the closest hose bib. I hate dragging that much hose that far, back and forth. And I don't want to leave that much hose across my yard all the time. (For one thing, it would interfere with lawn mowing.) At my last house, my hose bib was just a few feet away, and was on my patio, so I never had to deal with leaving a hose in the grass.

    My idea is to dig a more than 90 foot long trench, and bury a PVC pipe in it, and on the hose bib side, have a threaded adapter and maybe a short hose that can connect to my faucet when I want to fill the pool. This also would allow me to use the faucet for general yard work when needed.

    On the pool side I'm think of having the PVC emerge from the ground, go up the pool wall, and have another threaded adapter so that I can screw it into the float valve device (no hose needed). Maybe I should install a union there to make it easy to connect and disconnect the device when needed.

    I guess I don't have specific questions, but I just thought I'd pass these ideas by this forum, as I just kind of conceived of these ideas on my own, as I've not read anything on the subject, nor do I know anybody who's done it. I also have never dug a trench like this, and don't know his hard it will be.

    But I've seen my sprinkler system installer guy dig a trench, and it didn't look all that hard, but he had a special skinny shovel that made it easier to dig a skinny trench, so I'm thinking of buying such a shovel. I suspect the price of the shovel will be a lot less than hiring somebody to dig the trench.

    Anyway, if there's an easier way to accomplish my general mission, I would welcome any other ideas on the subject, but maybe my idea is already the simplest.
    18 foot diameter, 52" tall above ground Cornelius pool, with vinyl liner, and resin wall caps.
    Roughly 7600 gallons
    Blue Wave "Sandman" Sand filter/pump, model NE6150. Pump is 1 HP
    Intex SWG, model # 54601E

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of installing auto fill device

    It isn't all that much more work to install a standard builtin autofill, which will last longer and be less obtrusive.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Thinking of installing auto fill device

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    It isn't all that much more work to install a standard builtin autofill, which will last longer and be less obtrusive.
    Where would such a device get its water from? I'm guessing maybe the same water that supplies the house? If so, that sounds more complicated to me, as that line is in my front yard, which is as far away from my pool as any point on my property is. (The line approaches from southeast corner of my property, and my pool is on the northwest corner.) So I'd think I'd need a very long trench to do that.
    18 foot diameter, 52" tall above ground Cornelius pool, with vinyl liner, and resin wall caps.
    Roughly 7600 gallons
    Blue Wave "Sandman" Sand filter/pump, model NE6150. Pump is 1 HP
    Intex SWG, model # 54601E

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    Azmp1's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of installing auto fill device

    The $70 device you currently use, what is it? Would you mind posting a link to the product?
    19200gl rectangular gunite/diamondbrite perl pool || Coverpools auto cover || Jandy variable speed 2hp e-pump & Polaris PB4-60 booster pump || Polaris 3900 sport cleaner || Jandy CV filter || Jandy AqualinkRS8 w/Aqualink touch || Jandy iAqualink2.0 || Jandy Watercolors LED || Jandy AquaPure 1400 SWCG || Hayward auto chlorinator (backup) || Raypak 117k BTU heat pump

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of installing auto fill device

    A couple good ideas in this thread: http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...-line-on-AGAIN

    And digging a 90' trench.... whew... I'd rent a ditch witch.

    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Thinking of installing auto fill device

    Quote Originally Posted by Azmp1 View Post
    The $70 device you currently use, what is it? Would you mind posting a link to the product?
    I'm having trouble finding the exact link, as I've had it for years, but here's a very similar device that I think works just like mine, and is about $65:

    http://www.amazon.com/Rola-Chem-M-30...350504&sr=8-1&
    18 foot diameter, 52" tall above ground Cornelius pool, with vinyl liner, and resin wall caps.
    Roughly 7600 gallons
    Blue Wave "Sandman" Sand filter/pump, model NE6150. Pump is 1 HP
    Intex SWG, model # 54601E

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    Re: Thinking of installing auto fill device

    Just please be safe about doing stuff like this and have utilities located. In AZ its called blue stake and #811. Last thing you need is an employee from a utility company (me) showing up trying to restore service to the run you knocked out. You would think that stuff will be deep but long ago depending who put the stuff in the ground could be only 1'-1.5 shallow.
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    A couple good ideas in this thread: http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...-line-on-AGAIN

    And digging a 90' trench.... whew... I'd rent a ditch witch.

    13k IG pebble pool w/waterfall, 1hp whisperflow pump, pentair ccp320 cartridge filter
    Circupool SI45+ swg
    TF100 +speed stir Taylor 1766 salt test

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    Re: Thinking of installing auto fill device

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    A couple good ideas in this thread: http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...-line-on-AGAIN

    And digging a 90' trench.... whew... I'd rent a ditch witch.
    In fact, the place where I want to put the autofill might make the trench more like 100 feet long, to be honest. I might be afraid that that ditch witch will damage my yard more than I'd like, and according to this guy, he seems to think digging a trench this long by hand might be managable. I admit having a power device to do it sounds tempting.

    I did find a trenching shovel for $26.98 (haven't bought it yet) from Lowes. http://www.lowes.com/pd_96564-302-15..._#BVRRWidgetID

    The reviews of this shovel look excellent, and it's specifically made to dig shallow and sideways, which is what I want. One guy in the reviews said he's about to dig a 150 foot trench with it, in fact. I'm inclined to get the tool and try it out to see how easy it is to use, and if the reviewers who all talk about the ease of digging with it are right.

    I hope I don't hit anything in the process though. I do have a sprinkler system, but every single head on the perimeter of my yard, so maybe if make the trench some distance away from the perimeter, I'll be okay. There's also a power line that's buried only 6 inches deep that powers my pool equipment, but I know where that's buried, so I can be on the lookout for that.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Iciee View Post
    Just please be safe about doing stuff like this and have utilities located. In AZ its called blue stake and #811. Last thing you need is an employee from a utility company (me) showing up trying to restore service to the run you knocked out. You would think that stuff will be deep but long ago depending who put the stuff in the ground could be only 1'-1.5 shallow.
    Good point. I think I should call my municipality (I live in a municipal utility district just outside Austin, Texas), and ask them if they can tell me where the various buried items are, so that I can avoid them.
    18 foot diameter, 52" tall above ground Cornelius pool, with vinyl liner, and resin wall caps.
    Roughly 7600 gallons
    Blue Wave "Sandman" Sand filter/pump, model NE6150. Pump is 1 HP
    Intex SWG, model # 54601E

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    Re: Thinking of installing auto fill device

    if its anything like az they send out an employee and he sprays the ground in the path that the utility takes. Like a bunch of dashes in various colors identifying each utility. Here I think its free to have done and if you hit something that was not marked you are not liable Best of luck
    13k IG pebble pool w/waterfall, 1hp whisperflow pump, pentair ccp320 cartridge filter
    Circupool SI45+ swg
    TF100 +speed stir Taylor 1766 salt test

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    Re: Thinking of installing auto fill device

    Didn't see your post about the shovel. I use one if those at work. I would use a pick to trench and then that shovel to remove the dirt from the trench.


    13k IG pebble pool w/waterfall, 1hp whisperflow pump, pentair ccp320 cartridge filter
    Circupool SI45+ swg
    TF100 +speed stir Taylor 1766 salt test

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    Azmp1's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of installing auto fill device

    Thank you for the link and please listen to the folks and rent a trencher. It doesn't matter how great the shovel is, if your ground is anything like mine (or even like the one in the video) you will kill yourself by digging a trench that long by hand. I've had to do a lot of trenching by hand over the past year to repair my irrigation system killed by the pool build and it was not fun. And the trenchers actually do a pretty neat job, probably even neater then you could do by hand. There are smaller models you can rent from Home Depot that can do nice narrow 18x3 trench. I'm planning the solar project and will definitely be renting a trencher.


    19200gl rectangular gunite/diamondbrite perl pool || Coverpools auto cover || Jandy variable speed 2hp e-pump & Polaris PB4-60 booster pump || Polaris 3900 sport cleaner || Jandy CV filter || Jandy AqualinkRS8 w/Aqualink touch || Jandy iAqualink2.0 || Jandy Watercolors LED || Jandy AquaPure 1400 SWCG || Hayward auto chlorinator (backup) || Raypak 117k BTU heat pump

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    Azmp1's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of installing auto fill device

    Also take a look at this, not sure where you can get this from, but it's a pretty awesome little trencher!
    http://youtu.be/2IoirFMQREs


    19200gl rectangular gunite/diamondbrite perl pool || Coverpools auto cover || Jandy variable speed 2hp e-pump & Polaris PB4-60 booster pump || Polaris 3900 sport cleaner || Jandy CV filter || Jandy AqualinkRS8 w/Aqualink touch || Jandy iAqualink2.0 || Jandy Watercolors LED || Jandy AquaPure 1400 SWCG || Hayward auto chlorinator (backup) || Raypak 117k BTU heat pump

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of installing auto fill device

    Quote Originally Posted by Iciee View Post
    Just please be safe about doing stuff like this and have utilities located. In AZ its called blue stake and #811. Last thing you need is an employee from a utility company (me) showing up trying to restore service to the run you knocked out. You would think that stuff will be deep but long ago depending who put the stuff in the ground could be only 1'-1.5 shallow.
    Great reminder! Thanks

    If you do dig the trench, add one or two "spare" pipes with pull strings inside them. Who knows what you may want to add sometime in the future. This is especially true if you are pouring a concrete patio/driveway. An empty 4" pipe or two under the concrete allows you to add lots of stuff later.

    I have just had several large yard projects completed with the new to us house (fence, landscaping, new sewer line) and in our area it is hit or miss on how well the utilities will be marked.

    Electric - They were great! Marked very well with paint and flags from the street all the way to the house.

    Water - They mark their water main along the street, but nothing in your yard. You have to "guess" at the route across the yard from he meter location to the point it enters the house.

    Cable TV - They marked nothing at all

    Telephone - They marked nothing at all

    Remember to consider other things that might be buried out there that are all your responsibility. Irrigation, landscape lighting and septic tanks are a few that might come to mind.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Thinking of installing auto fill device

    When I redid the sprinklers in my back yard, I found it was cheaper to hire a guy that owned several trenchers on a trailer than it was to rent a trencher from one of the rental places. The trencher guy I used attached one of his business cards to each roll of sprinkler wire at the irrigation store. I'd check with an irrigation store in your area and see if they have any reccomendations. I also found that the 4 inch wide trench shovels that are sold at big box stores don't work very well to clean out 4 inch wide trenches, the irrigation store had a 3 wide shovel that worked a lot better.
    8.5k gallon IG pebble sheen play pool with Intellitouch control, Intellifo VF, IC 20, Rainbow tab feeder (not currently in use), Pentaire mystery cartridge filter with labels faded to the point I have no idea on the model, Intellibrite 5g LED light, Hayward Navigator. Adding IntelliPh and Crestron control next.

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