Auto-Fill Plumbing - Avoiding stagnant water and other Q's

cavediver

LifeTime Supporter
May 5, 2011
19
Hi There,

I am considering purchasing the Levolor K1100 auto fill system, and have questions regarding the installation. From reading the manual I understand that there are two basic install methods:
1.)Using a static standpipe into which a sensor sits vertically, or
2.)Using a “remote” sensor mounted onto the inside of a skimmer.

I am leaning towards the second option because I feel that having a static pipe without much water flow and exposure to fresh sanitizer is going to potentially become a “breeding ground” for undesirable things. In my installation the pipe would be 20-25’ long over to the equipment pad, and I would expect nearly zero water flow in the pipe except for some wave action...

If the second method is used, how does the sensor typically get into the skimmer? Do you run a separate conduit into the skimmer body and then seal it somehow? How would one seal this fitting? Also, how is the sensor bonded to meet electrical code as it becomes a metallic object within the water zone?

Maybe I would be better off with a "typical" auto-fill system? I've read on a couple of posts that you can connect the auto-fill unit to an unused skimmer port - How much does the water level in a skimmer change when the pump is actually drawing from it (I know there are many variables - but imagine 2 skimmers on an 18x36 with a 1.5hp pump). Would the water level in the skimmer drop by say 1/2"? Then the Autofill would try and compensate for this... I guess this might be OK, because when the pump cycles off, the level will rise slightly higher than it originally was (~1/2") - and this shouldn't be an issue - right??

Again, would there would be very little "flow" in this pipe that connects the autofill to the skimmer, although it could be much shorter (AKA a breeding ground for algae and bacteria)?

Thanks for your input...

Thanks - John
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,238
Tucson, AZ
Re: Auto-Fill Plumbing - Avoiding stagnant water and other Q

I have just had the typical auto-fills. In the first pool it was added with the pool and was only 1 foot from the pool. In my current pool, I added it when resurfacing (drilled a new hole in the pool) and had to extend the pipe just past the concrete deck, so it is about 5 feet from the pool ... why would it be run all the way back to the pad?

I do see you point though as the water in the auto-fill bucket does not really move and wonder what should be done to avoid anything growing in there ... since there is 0 FC in that bucket.
 

cavediver

LifeTime Supporter
May 5, 2011
19
Re: Auto-Fill Plumbing - Avoiding stagnant water and other Q

The "run back to the pad" would be required only if the K1100 was used as in method #1. They have a sensor that sits in a vertical piece of pipe that is equalized with the pool level. You wouldn't want this pipe sticking up though the deck - So I assume it would run back to the pad, or somewhere inconspicuous...

How difficult could it be while under construction to tap off of a return line going to the pool, and add a 1/4" line which feeds into the auto-fill bucket? Or something along those lines with a valve that could throttle back flow to prevent splashing in the bucket... This could present fresh chlorine to the autofill.... Hmmmm....

Anyone see any issues with this?
Am I wasting my time on a "non-issue" in the bigger picture?
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,238
Tucson, AZ
Re: Auto-Fill Plumbing - Avoiding stagnant water and other Q

I would just have them add a hole in the pool to a typical auto-fill bucket. They just use a float valve like in evap coolers or toilets. But, that is all I have ever see or used.

I do not know the advantages of the electronic setups. And have not heard of tying the auto-fill into the skimmer bucket.

AH. I had to re-read your idea about the return line ... that is an interesting thought to get some chlorine in the bucket. Of course I wonder if you could just put a 1" tablet (or less) into the autofill if the algae became a problem.

There are likely more important things to worry about when planning an entire pool ;)
 

TonyP3rd

Member
Feb 2, 2012
6
Re: Auto-Fill Plumbing - Avoiding stagnant water and other Q

I recommend against adding chlorine to the auto-fill chamber. I tried it and it disintegrated the toilet-type valve. My chamber also acts as an overflow so it gets flushed (unavoidable pun) pretty frequently with the amount of rain we get in south Louisiana. Just my $.02.
 

phonedave

Well-known member
May 30, 2012
742
Montville NJ
Re: Auto-Fill Plumbing - Avoiding stagnant water and other Q

My gut feeling is that if you put in a standpipe, and covered the end that is open to the air with a filter (I am thinking cut a plug out of some open cell foam - like a small engine air cleaner. Then you would be ok just pulling out the plug and dumping a cup or two of bleach down there every so often. The water in the pipe is going to have no sunlight on it, and as you said is not going to mix with the pool, so it should hold its FC level for quite some time.

-dave