Automatic Pool Water Leveler, Anyone Built One?

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In the summer I probably lose 150 gallons a day or so to evaporation with the level falling about 1/4" per day. If it falls below the skimmer level the pump will such air because the bottom drain is no longer functional. The problem is when I go out of town for work or on vacation and no one monitors the pool level.
Yesterday I replaced the manual fill valve with a 24VAC valve and hooked it to my sprinkler controller so I can add water automatically, but there is no feedback as to the water level. I'm trying different daily fill times to find one that maintains the water level relatively constant, but it's inexact and depends on the weather.
I want to construct some sort of level detector that will cut off the automatic fill valve if the level gets too high, or I could disconnect the timer and hook the level detector relay directly to the valve.
I was thinking of this:
"http://www.ingramproducts.com/Pumps_Level_Controls-24_VAC_Multi_function_Moisture_Sensing_Relay.html "
and this:
"http://www.ingramproducts.com/Pumps_Level_Controls-Custom_Sensor_Assemblies_for_Liquid_Level_Control_1.html "
In the winter and spring I often have the opposite problem, the pool overflows from rain, and I'd like to also do something that opens the pump's drain valve diverter and removes water until the level falls to the proper level.
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wrote:

I made mine with a garden variety Flow Master toilet valve, hooked to the overflow pipe. The only trick is getting it set to the right level when you design it.
http://gfretwell.com/electrical/pool%20filler.jpg
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My daughter has a Flowmaster toilet valve mounted in the well for the skimmer, not in the pool itself and completely out of the way. Easily adjusted by sliding the small float up an adjustment rod. Elgy
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On Jul 16, 4:16 pm, "ELGY" <lgpetersatcomcastdotnet> wrote:

My suggestion is to use a float and a garden hose timer, which are used for lawn sprinklers. Have it come on in the middle of the night (non-activity time) The timer would allow water into the hose only during the allotted time and the float would fill the pool as needed. The timers are usually around $10-15.
Robin
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On Fri, 16 Jul 2010 15:16:27 -0700, ELGY wrote:

That skimmer 1-foot diameter well seems to be the ONLY place where the water level of the pool can be monitored without intruding into the pool itself.
But how do you get water INTO the pool from the skimmer?
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The skimmer well is connected to the pool by an always open channel. The water level in the well is always the same as the pool.
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On Sat, 17 Jul 2010 07:55:57 -0700, "ELGY" <lgpetersatcomcastdotnet> wrote:

Don't they plumb in an overflow on pools up there? That is a pipe below the water line that goes out into the yard somewhere and you adjust the water level by the height of the pipe emerging above grade. You can put your "well" on that pipe and use it for the fill and the overflow. BTW there will be another pipe out in the yard that will have water in it at the pool water level if you have a pool light but I won't go there ;-)
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On Sat, 17 Jul 2010 11:13:29 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I really want to try this ... but ...
I have an overflow that is a one-inch plastic pipe embedded in the pool tiles about an inch or two above the high water level.
I guess you're saying if the float sensor determines a low water level, you can run water (backward) into this pipe to refill the pool.
The main problem, I would think, is that the slope of this drainage pipe is sloping away from the pool.
It's an interesting idea to fill the pool from the drainage pipes. But how would you defeat the fact that this drainage pipe is sloping away from the pool?
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On Sat, 17 Jul 2010 08:57:40 -0700, Orak Listalavostok

Water pressure. Appropriate valves are an exercise for the student.
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On Sat, 17 Jul 2010 08:57:40 -0700, Orak Listalavostok

When they rough in an overflow it is usually 12-15" below the water level and you adjust the height of the out flow pipe to determine water level.
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On Sat, 17 Jul 2010 11:13:29 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I just looked. In addition to the 1-inch diameter emergency overflow plastic pipe that is in the side of the pool about an inch or two above the water line, there IS a three-inch wide plastic pipe sticking up out of the grass ten or fifteen feet to the side of the pool.
This pipe drains out to the street but I don't see any water in it unless I water the grass too much.
It's intriguing what you intimate (that this pipe can be used as the well) but that still begs the question of how to get the water INTO the pool once the float valve senses the low pool level.
You can't have a hose (safely anyway) snaking across the pool deck; so how do you get water INTO the pool? Any ideas?
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On Sat, 17 Jul 2010 11:13:29 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Interesting. For my pool, I looked for that pipe. I found one that is about an inch in diameter, and it has a GFCI on it, and about three pipes sticking up out of the ground together.
I tested that GFCI with the pool lights on, and it tripped them off.
Is the suggestion to rig a float valve to that pipe sticking out of the ground? What are the other two pipes right next to it going into the GCFI?
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On Sat, 17 Jul 2010 09:11:35 -0700, Orak Listalavostok

A GFCI on a plastic pipe? There is something you're not telling us here.

It's a drain pipe from the pool lights?

Dunno. You tell us. ;-)
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On Sat, 17 Jul 2010 09:11:35 -0700, Orak Listalavostok

One goes to the pool light, one goes to the power and one goes to the grounding grid. The one that goes to the pool light (the "cord") has water in at the pool water level. The trick would be to tap into that pipe legally to sample the water level. Maybe a glue in saddle "T" but that is not really legal I suppose. I am not sure why tho.
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On Sat, 17 Jul 2010 07:55:57 -0700, ELGY wrote:

I agree. So you can put a valve in the skimmer; and that will turn on when the skimmer water well drops too low.
But then, how do you get EXTRA water (from a garden hose for example) into the skimmer?
The skimmer cover (from the top deck) is about a foot from the edge of the pool. Assume the garden hose connection is twenty feet away.
Is the proposal to snake a garden hose twenty feet across the lawn and concrete deck and then just dump it into the top of the skimmer with the top removed?
That's what confuses me. How do you get the water INTO the skimmer when most skimmers (that I know of) are built into the concrete deck of the pool.
There's no entrance (other than the top cover); but if you use the top cover, someone is gonna trip on the garden hose and break their neck.
Did I miss something?
You can't just pull the top cap off the skimmer and dump a garden hose down it as it will be snaking across the deck ... so how do you get water INTO the skimmer from an outside source?
I'd love to know ('cuz I'd implement it myself!).
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The fill valve is plumbed into the skimmer when the pool was built. It is controlled by the toilet fill valve. If you have no such plumbing it would be necessary to add it to use this method. When complete, the pool is kept filled with almost no need for extra effort and is easily adjusted if necessary within about a 5-6 inch spread.
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On Sat, 17 Jul 2010 18:36:36 -0700, "ELGY" <lgpetersatcomcastdotnet> wrote:

I plumbed the waste water from my RO into the pool and I have not had to add water since.
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On 17/07/10 6:59 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Now that's a really good idea! That water is just wasted now. My RO is in a location where that would be very practical for me to do that. But when I'm away from home for an extended period of time there is no waste RO water being generated.
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On Sun, 18 Jul 2010 21:50:28 -0700, Smitty Two

If I was losing 150 gallons a day I would be looking for a wet spot in the yard. That is a pool leak.
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On 19/07/10 8:24 AM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:
<snip>

No, no leak, in cool weather there are no losses at all. In very hot weather (July, August, September) I can lose 1/8" to 3/16" per day. The pool area is about 75000 square inches in area. A gallon of water is about 231 cubic inches.
75000 sq in * 0.250" /231 cu in/gallon = 81 gallons 75000 sq in * 0.375" /231 cu in/gallon = 122 gallons
Okay, closer to 100 gallons than 150 gallons.
At my late mom's house in Florida the pool never needed water added because in the summer there was enough rain to offset evaporation. In my area of California there is no rain in the summer, and little humidity so evaporation is much greater. I can reduce it a lot by putting on the pool cover but that gets the pool uncomfortably warm.
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