Help with possible pool overflowing issues, long distance!

cba6777

Member
Sep 19, 2014
22
Dove Canyon, CA
Hi there,
{sorry this is so long!}
I've posted in the past before, regarding possibly putting in a pool in our home in CA, and that's probably scrapped for now, but still have our inground spa...

I'm hoping that someone can help me with an issue we are having with our house in South Florida. Our house is vacant right now (trying to get a new tenant) and I have a pool guy and use a property manager from a real estate company. It seems that lately, even with no rain, the pool has been increasing water, to the point of overflowing, and there's water flooded all over the place:

- Pool guy thinks it's a broken sprinkler. Says there is no automatic or manual fill valve on the pool.
- Lawn guy checked sprinkler, thinks part of problem is where gutter downspouts are positioned.
- Water company definitely shows major increase in water usage. (2000 gallons, then 6,000, then 15,000 over the past few months with the house empty)
- Property manager and my real estate agent do not want to mess with turning off the water valve outside the house, since it's rusted and they are afraid of breaking it
- Plumber can't arrive until Monday, pool guy can't go back until next week

Here is my thought, but the pool guy said he's pretty sure this is not the case:

- Here in CA, our inground spa has a manual fill valve, a round valve that fills the spa if you open the valve, right next to the garden hose bib; it is not located near the pool equipment.
- Through my research on a new pool, discovered there is such a thing as an automatic fill valve
- In all the years we lived in our house in FL, 2005-2013, we had a pool guy, and occasionally my husband would have to drain the pool using the waste hose at the pool equipment. We cannot recall ever having to fill the pool manually, whether by turning a valve or adding water from the garden hose
- One time here in CA, I was wondering why our spa was starting to take on water, when there was no rain. Pool guy said there was some play in the round valve to fill the spa, and it was not entirely closed, therefore was slowly trickling in water.

I am thinking what is happening in FL is similar to my discovery in CA, that if the valve is not fully closed, it will slowly add water.

I asked the property manager to take some pictures of the pool equipment, and I am hoping someone here can identify if there is, indeed, a manual fill valve. Unfortunately she did not get an overall pic, but took some closer ones of where she thinks there might be a valve that is the culprit. The pics here are what she sent me, including a pic that shows the coping is wet, but the surrounding pavers are not, which has to mean it's coming from the pool, not something else overflowing into the pool.

One other thing: The pool guy mentioned something about having one or two of those round skimmer type covers, and I forget what he said they mean, in terms of whether there is a fill valve. Now that I saw the pics, it shows two covers, near the pool planter area.

Unfortunately, I do not have the specs for the pool or the pool equipment. I can probably get pics taken that show model numbers.











If anyone would kindly let me know if they think any of these levers can add water to the pool, it would be so greatly appreciated!

Thank you!!
Cindy
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Hi Cindy. Well, I've looked at all the pics, and I'm just not seeing how any of those could add new water to your pool. I see the valves labeled quite well with "skimmer, main drain, spa jets, spa MD, vacuum, and waste", but I didn't see anything that would indicate a fill or new water source line. I would think any autofill valve would be located off to the side somewhere if you had one. Those kind of work like a plunger set-up, and the low-level indicator (might look like a small tube or pipe) might be in your skimmer or at the waterline around your pool somewhere. I don't understand how a sprinkler leak would add to the pool water unless someone could actually see the water going into the pool. It's got me curious as well. Maybe someone else here who owns an autofill-type pool can chime-in with a comment or two.
 

Divin Dave

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 2, 2013
5,681
Longview, Texas
Hi Cindy,
Unless rain filled up the pool, (unlikely since it's covered), then the problem is going to be the autofill.
As padeader mentions, inside one of the plactic covers near the pool edge, is an autofill mechanism.

The autofill basically works like a toilet tank float. It keeps additng water until the float raises high enough to cut off the flow of water.

To fix this, someone needs to drain water from the pool, down to a level of about 1/2 way up the skimmer, and then adjust the float in the autofill.
 

cba6777

Member
Sep 19, 2014
22
Dove Canyon, CA
So just to verify what pabeader and Dave said.... when you say plastic covers, you mean those white round covers on the side of the pool by that planter?

Is this something that can be checked by just taking off the cover, or is it not visible until the water level goes down? Going to try to search around for what this might look like, so I can tell the property manager/real estate agent what to look for.

Thank you all for helping me with this!
 

cba6777

Member
Sep 19, 2014
22
Dove Canyon, CA
Ooh, I found out what this looks like (on this site of course!). I wasn't thinking to look for an auto fill valve since I was told several times that there is not one over there. However, I think my pool guy is off his rocker. Now that I know what to look for, hopefully I can get someone to run over there to take a look. I'll let you know what they find..

THANK YOU!!!
 

grottoguy

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 24, 2014
462
NJ
Some autofils are electronic and you won't find it in the skimmer. the water is filled from either a hose bib or a sprinkler. From there the water goes into the pool via a return or a separate line. Check to see if there is a line from an outside hose bib( I assume not because the PB would have seen that). But maybe the line runs underground from a sprinkler connection.
 

cba6777

Member
Sep 19, 2014
22
Dove Canyon, CA
Well, looky what my friend discovered we have: He's not a pool pro, but he does take care of his own pool...



He also took a pic of this:


He said the bottom lever was on and the top blue lever was off. Wasn't sure if it had anything to do with the situation.
 

COBrien

Well-known member
May 6, 2015
184
Chickasha, OK
If the pool is continuing to fill, that lower lever (the white one) must be the supply for the autofill. No idea what the blue lever would control...

Sounds like you need someone to turn off the supply to the autofill, clean all that crud out of the well for the autofill, then adjust or replace the float. I have no personal experience with autofills on pools, but I have replaced lots and lots of toilet tank valves. ;) Sometimes the mechanism gets "sticky" and will stay in the "low" position, even when the water level is correct. Sometimes, depending on age, the float itself will develop a leak and fill with water (partially or completely) and fail to, well, float, to the surface and shut the valve off.

It also sounds like it's time to find yourself another "pool guy," as this one doesn't seem to be very familiar with your equipment...
 

cba6777

Member
Sep 19, 2014
22
Dove Canyon, CA
So.... according to the plumber:

The pool fill valve was leaking. The shutoff valve to the fill valve was off by the main shutoff valve on the side of the house. The main shutoff and the pool's shutoff valve were replaced. They had to return to replace the pool fill valve and a vacuum relief valve that was broken. Cost us $440 do do all that.

The pool guy tried to tell me he does not "know my equipment by heart." Well, then don't tell me you are certain there is no auto fill valve when there really was one! Or lead me to believe you were at my house! He's done. Hired someone new, hopefully this one will work out.

Again, you guys are AWESOME for looking at the pics and helping me figure out what on earth happened! Thank you!
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
47,350
Tallahassee, FL
I am glad you found someone else. Anyone that would allow that water in the autofill to look like that.............needs to be gone!

First order of business for the new guy would be CLEANING! LOTS of bleach and elbow grease to get it right again.

Kim
 

COBrien

Well-known member
May 6, 2015
184
Chickasha, OK
Glad you got it figured out and found both a plumber and a new pool guy to take care of you.

$440 is a steep repair cost, but I look at it this way:

When left to their own devices, plumbing leaks never get better -- they get significantly worse. You'd have ended up with a much higher cost if you hadn't fixed it. Not to mention the added stress a "too-full" pool puts on your pump (i.e., water over the top of the skimmer).

Are you sure you don't need a second pool? :D
 

cba6777

Member
Sep 19, 2014
22
Dove Canyon, CA
....not to mention a higher water bill, and they had our pump running 13 hours a day! Unfortunately, had there been a renter in place these past couple of months, maybe they would have caught the issue sooner. Starting to think it might be easier to sell the house, and if we want to stay in the rental business, find one here in CA where I can check on it, in person, more often.