Thinking about auto topping up the pool

iamnos

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2018
56
Kelowna, British Columbia
Opened the pool great this year thanks to TFP, and things are going fine, just finding it annoying to top of the pool a couple times a week.

I'm in the process of redoing all the irrigation since it was all ripped up to put the pool in, and it occurred to me that it would be very easy to run a line from one of the sprinkler valves into the pool plumbing. I could then set a schedule to run that valve for say an hour a couple times a week and adjust as necessary through the season/based on usage. Given that I'm going to using opensprinkler for the controller, means I can really easily adjust the schedule or run it a little extra as needed.

My only concern is, it would be possible then that if I hook up a line from the irrigation valve to the return line, the water could just as easily push back through the equipment (heater, sand filter, pump) and also fill through the skimmer and drain. Now, I don't really care if the water comes in via the returns or the drain, but I'm worried about that water going the wrong way through the equipment. I don't imagine it would hurt the heater or the pump (it would NOT be running while this happens), but could I potentially start pushing the sand into the pool?

Just a thought I'm playing with, appreciate any advice.

Edit:
And of course, seconds after posting, I think about it some more, and the answer of course is a check valve.
 
Last edited:

pjt

Gold Supporter
Jan 7, 2012
224
The Woodlands, TX
Pool Size
21000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Why don't you just run an irrigation line straight to the pool?
 

pjt

Gold Supporter
Jan 7, 2012
224
The Woodlands, TX
Pool Size
21000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Really don't want a line running across the pool deck, and since I'd probably fill during the night, I don't want it running on top of the solar cover which is usually dusty, often with pollen.
Any way of burying the pipe?
 

crimsondr

Well-known member
Jun 23, 2014
99
Toronto, ON, Canada
I already use an irrigation line to fill the pool. The water flow is much faster than a regular hose bib. I use the sprinkler controller as a timer for the fill. The hose from the irrigation is open ended and sits in the flower bed beside the pool. I put it in the pool when I need to fill. Usually run it for 10-15 minutes per week. I never thought of connecting it directly to the pool plumbing which seems like a great idea! But I'm a bit weary to do it since the plumbing is all very short spans above ground and there isn't much margin for error.
 

djdonte

Well-known member
Mar 25, 2019
326
Houston, TX
I have a built in fill line that's buried and I used my sprinkler system and WIFI controller to turn it on its really cool. The PB just put a valve to turn it on, but I used a sprinkler valve and one spare zone on my controller. It not an auto fill but I can control it on my phone so its good enough. As far as plumbing into a return line you need to use high quality full port non-restrictive check valves (Not HD ones). Pool grade flapper valves would be best. You would need to have these on the fill line and the return on the upstream side of the tee. Consider using a lateral or a wye instead of a tee.

I have found that the sprinkler valve chokes the flow quite a bit, so its only good for topping off. I built a bypass around the valve in case I ever needed to do a larger water change out, which I haven't had to since ditching tri-chlor pucks.
 

iamnos

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2018
56
Kelowna, British Columbia
I have a built in fill line that's buried and I used my sprinkler system and WIFI controller to turn it on its really cool. The PB just put a valve to turn it on, but I used a sprinkler valve and one spare zone on my controller. It not an auto fill but I can control it on my phone so its good enough. As far as plumbing into a return line you need to use high quality full port non-restrictive check valves (Not HD ones). Pool grade flapper valves would be best. You would need to have these on the fill line and the return on the upstream side of the tee. Consider using a lateral or a wye instead of a tee.

I have found that the sprinkler valve chokes the flow quite a bit, so its only good for topping off. I built a bypass around the valve in case I ever needed to do a larger water change out, which I haven't had to since ditching tri-chlor pucks.
Sounds very close to what I want to do, and thanks for the advice on valves. Yes, i was thinking I would need two to do it. This would be mostly for topping off, but I was thinking of putting a hose adapter on it as well, so I can fill from my full pressure line (about 120psi) in the spring, and thus run it through my solar heater. On a fill, it wouldn't add a huge amount of heat and might slow down the fill, but doesn't hurt to gain that heat up front when it doesn't cost anything.
 

hg901

Member
Apr 7, 2020
12
Memphis
I was thinking of doing the same thing, but I would just have one pop up rotor sprinkler aimed and locked in right at the pool. It wont be fast, but it will be invisible when not used, and the spray should easily clear the deck
 

tj__r

Well-known member
Jul 6, 2012
57
Way north of Chicago
hg901, that would also look pretty cool when operating. Rather than a timer, though, I'd run the valve from a float switch in the pool. Could pretty easily adapt a switch from a basement watchdog 12v sump pump.
 

djdonte

Well-known member
Mar 25, 2019
326
Houston, TX
How much water do you guys lose? Honestly I think an auto fill is overkill. This is my second house with a pool in hot Houston and unless I had a leak I never really have to fill much. Maybe a little bit once every week or two but only in the summer months. I can see my pool from my couch so I just pop my phone on and turn on the fill for 15min and I’m good for a while.
 

iamnos

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2018
56
Kelowna, British Columbia
Right now I'm losing close to an inch a day. This will only be our second season with it. Last summer I don't remember it losing this much, but it may just be the very cool night were having right now