Water Level Sensors

JFad

Silver Supporter
May 30, 2018
6
Carefree, AZ
I got to believe that this is possible, but figuring out the best path is becoming a head scratcher. My pool has a negative edge with a seven-foot drop. The pool has a fill valve at the bottom of the trough with the simple float to turn the water on/off. When the float valve broke water went over the trough wall and down the hillside. In addition, I have had a couple of bad leaks since buying the house (anyone want to buy an in-ground pool?). I have put the refill on a smart valve timer so that it has plenty of time to fill during the heat of the summer but not run for days on end. Up until now the timer has worked fine, the pool gets its water at night based on evaporation and my water bill is not frightful. Until...

Well, as luck would have it, I got still another leak and the trough ran dry. Fortunately, I caught it before damaging the pump but it raised the issue of a wi-fi sensor that would let me know if the trough was getting low - in time to protect the pump and find out what was going on this time...

My pool company is not in favor of the automatic pool fillers (nothing solid, just says that they create as many problems as they solve) so I was thinking about another direction... a low-level detector similar to a sump pump or water storage tank. Most that I have seen/read about are 110 power and I don't have a receptacle anywhere near the trough (which is down a cliff). Ideally it would send alerts/texts or tie into something to alert me - therefore wi-fi. If it had a high-water-level range limit as well as the low-level I would also be interested as it could keep the trough from over-flowing if the water supply valve float broke again - the pool has evil intentions...

The info that I was able to find on this site related to salt systems or products that didn't seem to be available anymore... so apologies if this has been asked and answered repeatedly. Thoughts appreciated by any that have gone down this rabbit hole!
 

JJ_Tex

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
2,199
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Wow, sounds like you have a lot going on with the pool. Is the problem that you cannot see the trough from the house, therefore if it overfills or goes dry you cannot easily see it?

If so, could you put a batter powered wifi camera (like an Arlo) that allows you to better see the area? Its not as automated as you are asking above, but would cover you for whatever you pool throws at you next.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
22,295
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
How technical are you? I can think of ways to hack what you need. May need to use a water sensor with a battery operated Raspberry PI.

There are commercial sensors that may be able to be adapted for your needs...

 

JFad

Silver Supporter
May 30, 2018
6
Carefree, AZ
could you put a batter powered wifi camera (like an Arlo) that allows you to better see
JJ Tex - yes I tried putting an Arlo out there, but when well watched the pool does not mis-behave. It gains my trust and I slack off my supervision and it turns and bites me. It is a very vindictive pool! When I bought the house the pool had been neglected by absentee snowbirds - no complaints as it resulted in a discounted purchase price. Now I must unwind the neglect and give it the attention it demands... money and time.

How technical are you?
AJW - Reasonable. Like many I can eventually club technology into behaving given direction. My daughter's background is cyber-security so I have her as a resource - and she has a Pi available. This may make a fun father/daughter project!

On the tank level sensor - your idea is obviously more robust than anything that I could envision - but I noticed on the spec sheet - the shallowest - if that is a word - is 2'. My trough is only about 16" and fills to about 12"...
so I am not sure that I could get a water level reading. I was initially looking at a Sump Sensor. but this required 120v and had a 90db alarm (just the thing to impress neighbors!). I also saw this - which just looks cool but probably isn't robust enough.

Thanks for the thoughts JJ/AJW
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
22,295
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
That sensor was just an example of what is available. There are many sensors available in the IOT (Internet Of Things) world. Especially if the sensors connect to a Raspberry Pi.

I think @MyAZPool may be fooling around with etape sensors.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
22,295
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Here is a thread discussing etapes used by @jonpcar

 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,769
Arizona
Pool Size
20500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
I'm not fooling around with eTape Sensors.
I have no way to sense the amount of how much water is in my pool except for my "slowly-loosing-calibration" eyeballs.
I'm using beta software that will tell me how much liquid is in my acid tank but I have to input the starting amount and then it just keeps track of how much it doses and then subtracts the amount. And then I have a meter/totalizer that tells me what the flow rate is of the refill line.
That's all I got with ref to anything related to this..
It appears that I am woefully lacking in this area... :p
r.
 

JFad

Silver Supporter
May 30, 2018
6
Carefree, AZ
Oh my!!! This is going to be interesting! If I can get it to work it will be fun... otherwise, to quote the great philosopher, "Here's another nice mess you've gotten me into!" - Oliver Hardy of Laurel and Hardy.

I read the Hackster post that was part of @jonpcar 's response to My New Automation System , Pool Fill Control and will by studying it, repeatedly. This is what I was hoping for - now to learn!
 
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jonpcar

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2016
560
Gilbert, AZ
Oh my!!! This is going to be interesting! If I can get it to work it will be fun... otherwise, to quote the great philosopher, "Here's another nice mess you've gotten me into!" - Oliver Hardy of Laurel and Hardy.

I read the Hackster post that was part of @jonpcar 's response to My New Automation System , Pool Fill Control and will by studying it, repeatedly. This is what I was hoping for - now to learn!

jfad, I have been successfully using the Milone eTapes to measure/monitor my chlorine tank levels for the last year and a half...it is very accurate. However, Milone’s eTape could not successfully survive operation inside my muriatic acid tank. There is a fair amount of understanding and programming to include an eTape in any particular solution.

If you try this path, I would recommend a couple things: (1) get the chemical Milone eTape version (better seal), even though water measurement shouldnt require it (2) definitely still use the float valve for fill, it is easy...then use the eTape (or any other solution you come up with) as a monitoring device to signal a problem (3) before ordering an eTape, figure out how you are going to mount it and protect in your trough (4) you probably would want to use a 12” eTape version, possibly 6”.

I have some posts in my automation build (see my signature) about the Milone eTapes...I think the eTapes are pretty cool, but they do require some background to integrate.
 
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