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Thread: Auto fill large cost in Austin?

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    Auto fill large cost in Austin?

    Ok so I have signed my contract and in my contract I have a 3/4" fill line included. We haven't even dug the hole yet. After reading posts I think I want an auto fill. The problem is my builder is quoting some insanely large number (>$1200) and I looked at some of my other bids that had it as an option and they all quoted the same rough price. My designer is new to the area and he also said he was shocked by the price and said if I was outside the city limits of Austin my auto fill would be <$500 to add. He said the extra cost is that the city of Austin has all these plumbing requirements for this option and a master plumber would have to do the work and that is why there is so much extra cost. Any thoughts on this? Anyone else in Austin have this same issue?

    I am trying to decide if I can live without the auto fill or not. I really want it bad because I can imagine I would not like having to keep up on the water level over the summer (even though I know I'll be out there). What happens if I am in Europe on business? I am thinking all the extra tasks might be too complicated on my wife to keep track of.
    Pool is done! Only took 17 months! - Natural shape in-ground pool: 37x23, 505sq ft, 96ft perimeter, 7ft deep end, 18,950 gallons, tanning ledge, blue surf pebble sheen/luminous blue blend, Belgard coping, 910 sqft paver deck/walkways, retaining walls out the yinyang. Jandy SWG, 2 LED Color lights, VS 2HP Pump, 460sqft cartridge filter, PDA RS P8 controller. My build

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    gtemkin's Avatar
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    Re: Auto fill large cost in Austin?

    There are pros and cons with an autofill. The pros are clearly about convenience and possibly avoiding a dry pump startup due to extreme evaporation or splash out, but I wanted to throw a con or two in there from my perspective.

    As you've discovered. the main cost of the autofill is in the installation. Often, local codes will require installation of a Backflow Prevention Valve to prevent the unlikely possibility of contaminating your drinking water, because your pool will now be connected to your main house water supply. These are pricy valves, usually exceeding the cost of the autofill and some municipalities require periodic, costly testing to confirm they function correctly.

    The autofill might stick on overnight or when you're out of town. The autofill is just a toilet bowl float-valve attached to the side of your pool. However unlike a toilet bowl, if it starts leaking or gets stuck full on, the leaking water doesn't just go down the drain, it could overflow the pool and do real damage to you or your neighbors property. This scenario would be very unlikely, but it doesn't make for a restful night sleep in a European hotel.

    I had an autofill installed, but I now realize I didn't need to. I keep it shut off and just use a hose infrequently. I'm in an area of the country where evaporation isn't much of an issue and my kids are mostly out of the house so the pool doesn't get heavy use. Your location and usage may point to another conclusion. Whatever you do, I'd make sure to have a manual shutoff valve installed in the line feeding the autofill, so you can get a restful nights' sleep and and it also allows you to easily trouble shoot pool leaks or excess chemical/water usage.
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Re: Auto fill large cost in Austin?

    Thanks!

    I am aware of the extra backfill problems. If we tap the auto fill into the sprinkler lines that already have backflow prevention would this circumvent the need to worry about the house plumbing? I already have a sprinkler valve near the pool site that will probably have to be relocated AND already has water ran to it. In fact I think the sprinkler valve is closer than the hose bib they want to hook up to (hose bib is on my deck which is 12' above where my pool deck will be so the line should be shorter.

    Oh and I am guessing I'll have more fill requirements than you do since I am in Austin, TX and we have long spouts of no rain vs Seattle which seems to get more than average rainfall Yes some times of the year like right now we get plenty of rain and occasionally get more than enough rain but during the summer I'll have to be on top of filling the pool.
    Pool is done! Only took 17 months! - Natural shape in-ground pool: 37x23, 505sq ft, 96ft perimeter, 7ft deep end, 18,950 gallons, tanning ledge, blue surf pebble sheen/luminous blue blend, Belgard coping, 910 sqft paver deck/walkways, retaining walls out the yinyang. Jandy SWG, 2 LED Color lights, VS 2HP Pump, 460sqft cartridge filter, PDA RS P8 controller. My build

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    gtemkin's Avatar
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    Re: Auto fill large cost in Austin?

    Yes, I think your existing back flow valve might cover it. That all depends on the details of the code in your area but I'd push for it to be done that way. Sounds like that would be the better and least expensive option.
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Auto fill large cost in Austin?

    The price of 1200 is absurd. Even 500 is pushing it. That's just unreasonable.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Auto fill large cost in Austin?

    I just bought and installed one for my koi pond . 100.00 for the unit . The new kind ,Has a toilet ballcock type float assemble

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    Re: Auto fill large cost in Austin?

    From what I understand now is the <500 cost is due to having to run fill lines, tap into existing plumbing, and provide a drain line. These he thought were included in the $500. Turns out I already have the fill line/manual valve/drain lines in my contract so the price should be less than $500. The problem is the City of Austin and all the extra requirements and inspections that come along with having an automatic fill. He said the manual fill is fine but the extra cost is from having to deal with the City. I would have thought the pool builder is out of their mind but I have 2 other quotes with an auto fill as an option and both are quoting >=$1200 for the option. I asked him to give me a cost given I have already the fill and drain lines in my contract.

    What I do know is the CoA is a pain in the rear! I wanted a gas line for a grill in the future since now is the time but the cost is pushing 3k. The reason for this is the extra junk that the CoA puts on the builder when they go to get a permit. For example I was told that if you add an external gas line the inspection people actually inspect the entire house. My house is 11 years old so who knows what they'll want fixed INSIDE of the house even though the gas line would be tapped off of the meter outside and the addition would never go inside the house.
    Pool is done! Only took 17 months! - Natural shape in-ground pool: 37x23, 505sq ft, 96ft perimeter, 7ft deep end, 18,950 gallons, tanning ledge, blue surf pebble sheen/luminous blue blend, Belgard coping, 910 sqft paver deck/walkways, retaining walls out the yinyang. Jandy SWG, 2 LED Color lights, VS 2HP Pump, 460sqft cartridge filter, PDA RS P8 controller. My build

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Auto fill large cost in Austin?

    It cost me about $500 to have one retrofitted in which is more work that doing it during the build. I happened to have a water line running by the pool (for the life of me know I can not remember what it was originally for ... I think it used to be a manual line to water some Oleanders that do NOT need water to grow faster). Anyway it was supplied after a backflow device at the house, but the installer added another one near the pool that has a shut-off valve built in too.

    I just can not fathom what would cost $1200.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Auto fill large cost in Austin?

    Ok more info. For auto fill the City of Austin requires a separate permit process. You must hire a separate residential master plumber to do the work. It requires a brass vaccuum assisted backflow preventer (the one on my landscape sprinkler system isn't enough). It then requires a separate inspection independent of the plumbing inspection for the pool.

    Basically here is what I was told:
    $300 for the backflow device
    $250 extra for permit

    Plus the price for the master plumber and dealing with the city. BLAH
    Pool is done! Only took 17 months! - Natural shape in-ground pool: 37x23, 505sq ft, 96ft perimeter, 7ft deep end, 18,950 gallons, tanning ledge, blue surf pebble sheen/luminous blue blend, Belgard coping, 910 sqft paver deck/walkways, retaining walls out the yinyang. Jandy SWG, 2 LED Color lights, VS 2HP Pump, 460sqft cartridge filter, PDA RS P8 controller. My build

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Auto fill large cost in Austin?

    Crazy. Clearly the only sane solution is to move outside of the Austin city limits
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Auto fill large cost in Austin?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Crazy. Clearly the only sane solution is to move outside of the Austin city limits
    There are pros and cons of living here most definitely. The CoA permit department is one of them. Google Fiber coming is a pro. Plus our strong housing market is a pro. I just like to complain from time to time. I'll end up paying for the cost because I would really be ticked at myself if I didn't have it thought of in the pool construction now and had to use some afterthought design later.
    Pool is done! Only took 17 months! - Natural shape in-ground pool: 37x23, 505sq ft, 96ft perimeter, 7ft deep end, 18,950 gallons, tanning ledge, blue surf pebble sheen/luminous blue blend, Belgard coping, 910 sqft paver deck/walkways, retaining walls out the yinyang. Jandy SWG, 2 LED Color lights, VS 2HP Pump, 460sqft cartridge filter, PDA RS P8 controller. My build

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    skylar18's Avatar
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    Re: Auto fill large cost in Austin?

    I feel your pain. My build was in Austin and if you read my thread below 80% of it was fighting with my City of Austin Inspectors. I added a direct tap to my water supply to fill the pool. I did not want an autofill because I wanted to control when the water went into the pool and heard to many stories of them running amok. I had everything already plumbed to do that, just didn't have it connected. I was having enough trouble getting my pool done because of inspection issues and I didn't want to add any others.

    After I got my final inspection I decided to hook up my direct fill line to the pool. The City requires a certain RPZ valve to connect to it. The cost of that valve itself can be between 300-500 dollars. The city requires a permit and they do come out to physically inspect it. With my already run system just not connected it cost me 685 dollars to add the valve, get it connected and the permits.

    Then to add insult to injury, you get a nice letter a year after the initial inspection telling you that you have to get the RPZ valve inspected each year by a certified company that test them. That is another 50-100 dollars a year, depending on what they find and if they need to fix the valve at all.

    The cost was worth it. I love just turning a knob and the pool fills. No more hoses.
    43 x 19 Gunite Pool w/ spa and fire pit, 19,000 gallons, Pebble Sheen Aqua Blue finish, Jandy 2 HP VS E-pump, Jandy 580 sq ft Cartridge Filter, Jandy LXI 400k Heater, Jandy Aquapure 1400 SWCG, 4 Jandy LED color lights, Aqualink PDA and Iaqualink, Polaris 280 with Booster Pump. Polaris 9550 Robot Cleaner. 1 HP Silencer Air Blower for Spa http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...NAL-INSPECTION

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    Re: Auto fill large cost in Austin?

    My auto fill cost $250 installed. It is just like the picture above similair a toilet bowl ball and chain. I do enjoy the convienence of turning it on and not having to drag a hose out.
    Completed 38'X21' IG Free form pool approx 18.5K gallons, sports pool w/spa and tanning shelf 3.5-5.5 ft. Jandy Cartridge Filter, Jandy stealth pumps, Jandy LXi Heater, I aqualink, Inline chlorinator. Click to see My Pool Build

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    Re: Auto fill large cost in Austin?

    Quote Originally Posted by skylar18 View Post
    I feel your pain. My build was in Austin and if you read my thread below 80% of it was fighting with my City of Austin Inspectors. I added a direct tap to my water supply to fill the pool. I did not want an autofill because I wanted to control when the water went into the pool and heard to many stories of them running amok. I had everything already plumbed to do that, just didn't have it connected. I was having enough trouble getting my pool done because of inspection issues and I didn't want to add any others.

    After I got my final inspection I decided to hook up my direct fill line to the pool. The City requires a certain RPZ valve to connect to it. The cost of that valve itself can be between 300-500 dollars. The city requires a permit and they do come out to physically inspect it. With my already run system just not connected it cost me 685 dollars to add the valve, get it connected and the permits.

    Then to add insult to injury, you get a nice letter a year after the initial inspection telling you that you have to get the RPZ valve inspected each year by a certified company that test them. That is another 50-100 dollars a year, depending on what they find and if they need to fix the valve at all.

    The cost was worth it. I love just turning a knob and the pool fills. No more hoses.
    Thanks I have heard of horror stories too with the auto fill. Basically my thought is to install it and have a shutoff before it in the plumbing so I can turn on the water and have it fill and automatically stop. That way if I accidentally forget to shut it off or need to go on vacation we don't have to stress about the pool dropping too low. I am reading your build thread. The funny thing is my pool builder warned me about the inspections and I was thinking of putting in a gas line for my BBQ and they quoted me some insane price because of the city coming in to inspect my entire 12 year old home. Geeze. Oh and I have a BGE as well and I love it.

    Quote Originally Posted by rodog123 View Post
    My auto fill cost $250 installed. It is just like the picture above similair a toilet bowl ball and chain. I do enjoy the convienence of turning it on and not having to drag a hose out.
    Must be nice! I wish I could get one for that. Thanks City of Austin.
    Pool is done! Only took 17 months! - Natural shape in-ground pool: 37x23, 505sq ft, 96ft perimeter, 7ft deep end, 18,950 gallons, tanning ledge, blue surf pebble sheen/luminous blue blend, Belgard coping, 910 sqft paver deck/walkways, retaining walls out the yinyang. Jandy SWG, 2 LED Color lights, VS 2HP Pump, 460sqft cartridge filter, PDA RS P8 controller. My build

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