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Thread: The "Autofill" and the busted vacuum breaker

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    matj6876's Avatar
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    The "Autofill" and the busted vacuum breaker

    Hi Folks

    I became a TFP convert on the first pool I owned. I moved away from that house 4 years ago and haven't have a pool until recently moving again.
    The place we have just moved into has a great pool! It's big, all be it a little older, we're enjoying it as a family and it's brought me back to TFP again! I have done a bunch of work on the pool chemistry over the last couple of months and the pool is looking TFP good. It's very swimmable! That said I am hoping you can help me out on this little niggle that's been bugging me since we moved in.

    The pool does not have an auto-fill. It does have a bit of 3/4" PVC pipe that runs from one of the skimmers to one of the outdoor faucets so you can hook up a hose and fill the pool. Thinking I was being smart I figured I would make my own auto-fill by adding a standard hardware store irrigation timer in line and running it for 17 minutes every other day. It mostly works. Here's the problem. The outdoor faucet has an Arrowhead 3/4-in Brass Female In-Line Vacuum Relief Breaker Valve on it. This funky little thingamabob costs $20 a pop and has a printed warning on it saying it should not be pressurized for more than 12 hours at a time. I have now found out why; After a while.... it basically blows up. Typically it is when the irrigation timer shuts off, maybe on day one, maybe on day 14..... the vacuum breaker just blows and water goes everywhere.

    I'm now on my 3rd vacuum breaker in 45 days and obviously this is not a long term solution!

    "No problem" I think to myself, I will just put a ProPlumber 3/4-In Brass Female In-Line Vacuum Breaker in line AFTER the timer (I get that I need to have a vacuum breaker) .... but alas... the outdoor faucet has a 3/4" fine thread and everything else has a standard 3/4" hosepipe thread. The only connector I have been able to find that has a 3/4" fine female thread on one end and a 3/4 male hosepipe thread on the other is ... you guessed it.... the infernal Arrowhead 3/4-in Brass Female In-Line Vacuum Relief Breaker Valve!!!

    I feel like I am so close... I have it fixed in my mind that if somebody can help me find the right connector, this will all be good. That said, I also acknowledge that I have become so fixated on this small bit of plumbing hardware that there may be some other way of solving the problem.

    I don't want to change the outdoor faucet on the house... beyond that, anything's in play.
    So, TFP folks, don't fail me now. Can you share your thoughts on:
    • Is there a better way to do this than I am proposing?
    • Is there a reason why I should NOT do this?
    • Does anyone know where I can get a connector that is NOT a vacuum breaker that has 3/4" female fine thread on one end and 3/4" male hosepipe thread on the other?


    Picture attached below to try and add some clarity to my ramblings.

    Thanks in advance for any assistance!

    Cheers

    MattJ

    Water Timer Vacuum Breaker.jpg
    My Pool: 27K gal IG plaster, Pentair FNS Plus DE Filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWCG, Polaris 280 Cleaner

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: The "Autofill" and the busted vacuum breaker

    Would this work?
    TFP Moderator
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    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    n240sxguy's Avatar
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    Re: The "Autofill" and the busted vacuum breaker

    The most simple way may be a small piece of tubing or an old hose with the correct fitting on each end. That would at least get you through until you can locate the correct part. I know it's possible. I'm not sure if it's possible in one step.
    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    matj6876's Avatar
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    Re: The "Autofill" and the busted vacuum breaker

    Thanks all

    @ zea3 - nope That's got the course thread on both ends. I have a few of these in my growing collection of "bits" that I have accumulated in trying to sort this out.

    @ n240sxguy - worth a try! I'll look out for a fine thread to hose fitting.
    My Pool: 27K gal IG plaster, Pentair FNS Plus DE Filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWCG, Polaris 280 Cleaner

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    n240sxguy's Avatar
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    Re: The "Autofill" and the busted vacuum breaker

    KY ingenuity will always come through for you.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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