Auto fill water source

factotum44

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Nov 15, 2021
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Jonesboro, AR
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I just had a pool built with an autofill and builder left it up to me to find a plumber to hook it up to potable water supply. Unfortunately, called 4-5 area plumbers and no one wants the job, despite explaining it’s just a waterline to a hose bib with a backflow preventer/pressure vacuum breaker and I could trench the hole for them or have pool builder do it. I called larger pool companies and none want the job and didn’t want to pass on their pool plumber contacts.
.
My question is: Can I DIY this? Concept looks simple enough and if it leaks, it’s outside the house, so damage would be minimal. My only concern is staying in code and using the correct materials. I have utility lines marked and I would need to cross over or under gas line to my house. Not sure rules on that. Pics attached. I need to run line from capped pvc pipe to the hose bib, on other side of gas meter.
My goal is to get this done, repair irrigation system, and then add bermuda sod. Located in North Arkansas with plan to close in November.
Thank you for any advice you can provide.
 

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JoyfulNoise

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You can do the job with just a backflow preventer, a PRV (pressure reducer) may not be required by code.

I do suggest getting an Apollo brand all brass anti-siphon (back flow preventer) valve. Apollo is top shelf.

3/4” or 1/2” sch40 PVC from the valve to the auto fill. I would use 3/4”
 
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pjt

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repair irrigation system
Consider integrating your pool fill with your irrigation system. You can control your pool fill line as a zone of your irrigation controller. If you don't want to DIY, I'm sure you can find a landscaper or sprinkler specialist that could do the work.
 
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factotum44

Member
Nov 15, 2021
23
Jonesboro, AR
Pool Size
23800
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Consider integrating your pool fill with your irrigation system. You can control your pool fill line as a zone of your irrigation controller. If you don't want to DIY, I'm sure you can find a landscaper or sprinkler specialist that could do the work.
That was my initial idea, but others on the forum mentioned it would likely be against code since lawn chemicals could enter the pool water supply that way. I wouldn’t want to risk that.
 

Toxophilite

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If the PB installed auto-fill can and pool equalizer line at pool, leaving only the final run, would you not just need final supply run and backflow prevention to that stub out? What did they do at the other end of the stub?
 

factotum44

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Nov 15, 2021
23
Jonesboro, AR
Pool Size
23800
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Vinyl
Chlorine
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SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
If the PB installed auto-fill can and pool equalizer line at pool, leaving only the final run, would you not just need final supply run and backflow prevention to that stub out? What did they do at the other end of the stub?
Yes, I only need to supply the final run from hose bib to the stub with backflow preventer. Stub is capped and sticking straight up out of the ground. Pool has a separate overflow drain. autofill overflow was capped. I think I will put a backflow preventer on the vertical stub end and run a buried pvc pipe and then connect to the hose bib with a T-piece/splitter valve to allow garden hose hook-up in future. I'm a novice in all this, but willing to try digging a trench, measure/cut/glue pvc pipe. Only thing I haven't done before is solder copper pipe and install the autofill valve assembly. I'll need to cross over or under a gas line and fiber optic line to get to the hose bib, so I need to check on building code for that. I'd rather pay someone to do this, but so far, no takers.
 

factotum44

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Nov 15, 2021
23
Jonesboro, AR
Pool Size
23800
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Chlorine
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
That's the purpose of backflow prevention devices.
From my understanding, based on what others on the forum have posted, If I hooked into irrigation system, it would be after the irrigation system's backflow preventer (prevents backflow to city water line or water supply to house). From there, water from sprinkler heads, possibly contaminated with lawn chems, could mix with water in irrigation lines and enter my pool water. A backflow preventer between irrigation system and pool would only prevent pool water from backflowing and mixing with irrigation system water, which isn't needed. Running line from hose bib to autofill with backflow preventer would be cheapest and code-compliant---I think, could be wrong.
Are you suggesting that I can somehow connect this line to the irrigation controller with an electronically controlled valve? What would be the advantage of this? I don't have a wi-fi-enabled irrigation controller. I figure I could just leave hose bib on during entire swim season and let backflow preventer and autofill do it's thing. At end of season, turn off hosebib, blow out autofill lines, plug up equilizer pipe entry, and all the other pool winterizing steps and irrigation system winterizing steps.
 

pjt

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Jan 7, 2012
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The Woodlands, TX
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If I hooked into irrigation system, it would be after the irrigation system's backflow preventer
Do you have the ability to tap into the water supply upstream of the backflow device? That's what I was envisioning.

Are you suggesting that I can somehow connect this line to the irrigation controller with an electronically controlled valve?
Yes. I have this setup in my pool.

What would be the advantage of this?
Complete control of your pool fill line. In addition to being simple, reliable, and inexpensive, you can leverage forecast weather and take advantage of rainfall.

I don't have a wi-fi-enabled irrigation controller.
You would want a Rachio or similar controller for this setup.
 

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Toxophilite

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From my understanding, based on what others on the forum have posted, If I hooked into irrigation system, it would be after the irrigation system's backflow preventer (prevents backflow to city water line or water supply to house). From there, water from sprinkler heads, possibly contaminated with lawn chems, could mix with water in irrigation lines and enter my pool water. A backflow preventer between irrigation system and pool would only prevent pool water from backflowing and mixing with irrigation system water, which isn't needed. Running line from hose bib to autofill with backflow preventer would be cheapest and code-compliant---I think, could be wrong.
Are you suggesting that I can somehow connect this line to the irrigation controller with an electronically controlled valve? What would be the advantage of this? I don't have a wi-fi-enabled irrigation controller. I figure I could just leave hose bib on during entire swim season and let backflow preventer and autofill do it's thing. At end of season, turn off hosebib, blow out autofill lines, plug up equilizer pipe entry, and all the other pool winterizing steps and irrigation system winterizing steps.
If you have the auto-fill can, you don't need anything from your irrigation system. You just need a constant-on water supply. You have a float valve in the can that will open and close on water level, and the can's water level is same as pool's via the equalizer line to pool.
 

factotum44

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Nov 15, 2021
23
Jonesboro, AR
Pool Size
23800
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Chlorine
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I dug a trench last weekend, but it thunderstormed overnight and it’s too wet/muddy right now to install the waterline. We also had an overnight freeze the last two nights. Hope it dries out enough that I can get to it this weekend. I pumped out as much water as I could.

I plan on putting backflow preventer around the first corner in the picture so it’s tucked out of the way. Any advantage to putting it closer to the pool?
 

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Last edited:

JoyfulNoise

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Nice trenching work. Did you dig that by hand?

Around my neck of the woods, hand trenching through the caliche for that kind of run would be impossible. We have to rent gas powered trenchers to go any deeper than a few inches and any length more than 5ft … or buy a keg of beer and invite over a dozen friends to do it in shifts.
 

factotum44

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Nov 15, 2021
23
Jonesboro, AR
Pool Size
23800
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Nice trenching work. Did you dig that by hand?

Around my neck of the woods, hand trenching through the caliche for that kind of run would be impossible. We have to rent gas powered trenchers to go any deeper than a few inches and any length more than 5ft … or buy a keg of beer and invite over a dozen friends to do it in shifts.
I hand dug near the gas line and fiber optic line crossings and used an 18in gas trencher for the rest. Trench depth varies btwn 8-16 in due to rocks in the soil. Even going slow, trencher had trouble loosening and removing rock in some places. Hard clay otherwise. Took me 7 hrs of work for that part.
 

factotum44

Member
Nov 15, 2021
23
Jonesboro, AR
Pool Size
23800
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Do you have the ability to tap into the water supply upstream of the backflow device? That's what I was envisioning.


Yes. I have this setup in my pool.


Complete control of your pool fill line. In addition to being simple, reliable, and inexpensive, you can leverage forecast weather and take advantage of rainfall.


You would want a Rachio or similar controller for this setup.
My irrigation guy says he can upgrade my orbit controller to a wifi-enabled version and hook a valve to the autofill line to control it. He mentioned setting the autofill line as the last zone and have it open the valve for an hour. I could also change the schedule or turn it on manually from my phone. How do you run yours?
 

Toxophilite

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My irrigation guy says he can upgrade my orbit controller to a wifi-enabled version and hook a valve to the autofill line to control it. He mentioned setting the autofill line as the last zone and have it open the valve for an hour. I could also change the schedule or turn it on manually from my phone. How do you run yours?
Why would you need that if you have float assembly and can at pool, which I believe you did mention was there. If so, it controls when you need and don't need water, and you just need constant water supply to it.
 

pjt

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factotum44

Member
Nov 15, 2021
23
Jonesboro, AR
Pool Size
23800
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Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Why would you need that if you have float assembly and can at pool, which I believe you did mention was there. If so, it controls when you need and don't need water, and you just need constant water supply to it.
extra layer of control in case the float gets stuck and keeps filling pool, flooding the yard. ability to shut off autofill remotely.
 

factotum44

Member
Nov 15, 2021
23
Jonesboro, AR
Pool Size
23800
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Have you considered upgrading to a Rachio instead? I'm very impressed with their product.


Do you have a simple pipe to the pool or are you supplying water to an auto-fill device (float, etc.)?


I control my fill line using the app on my phone.
I’ll have a fluidmaster float valve controlling the autofill.

I have 12 zones total (13 with autofill). Rachio only goes up to 8 as far as I’m aware. Also worried about compatibility between brands. My controllers and heads are all orbit.
 

Toxophilite

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extra layer of control in case the float gets stuck and keeps filling pool, flooding the yard. ability to shut off autofill remotely.
You might consider that the auto-fill is a slow, constant, leveler. It adds water very slowly, sometimes in summer runs most all day to keep up with evaporation. I'm not sure max run time setting on irrigation controller, or duty cycle of solenoid on control valve, but I think you would find it non-issue to just have an on/off valve in line if you wanted. That's how they are all set up.
 

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