Instructables

Automatic Pool Water Filler

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Picture of Automatic Pool Water Filler
This device will automatically add water to your pool when it gets below a specified level. It does this all for under $15. By having a device fill the pool to a specific level, you can avoid wasting water by overfilling.
 
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Step 1: UPDATE: VERSION 2.1 Cross Section Added For Stability

Picture of UPDATE: VERSION 2.1 Cross Section Added For Stability
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After version 1.0 kept falling over in the water, I added a cross section for stability. I spray painted the PVC Black to help protect it from the sun. It also makes it look much more finished.

Step 2: Materials

Picture of Materials
You Will need
Materials:
(1) Toilet Tank Fill Valve
(1) 3/4" PVC Pipe (At least 2 feet)
(3) 3/4" PVC 90 degree Elbows
(1) 3/4" slip fit to 1/2" threaded reducer
(1) 1/2" threaded coupler
(1) hose threaded to 1/2" reducer (I would recommend using a brass fitting, as it is much more durable. The rotating part tends to pop off of the PVC ones.)
(1) AquaMend Underwater Repair Epoxy Stick
(1) Teflon Tape
(1) PVC Pipe Cement
(1) 3/4" PVC 4 Way Cross Section***
(2) 3/4" PVC End Cap***
Tools:
PVC Pipe cutter (or saw)
Groove lock pliers


***Please see UPDATED section for picture of 4 way pipe fitting and end caps

Step 5: Epoxy Toilet Valve Into 90 degree elbow

Take the AquaMend epoxy out of its tube and cut off approx. 1 inch. Knead it together until a uniform color is achieved. Mold it into a string, and tear it in half. Set one part aside, and roll the other out, using the tube as a rolling pin. Get it long enough to wrap all the way around the threads on the valve. Wrap it on the threads and insert it into the tube as far as it will go. Use the second part you set aside earlier to form a nice, graduated seal on the pipe. Smooth this out with your fingers. Allow to harden for 1 hour before continuing.
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bigmikelv1 month ago

i took a different approach. Its for my pond.

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whosdadog (author)  bigmikelv1 month ago

What kind of valve did you use? It looks like the water is going in through the top.

http://www.seasonspool.com/products/swimming-pool-tools/pool-leak-find-repair/pool-sentry-water-level-fill-control.asp

Im not sure of the name. My mom had a $100 pool filler contraption that broke. I dissected it and found that in it. I then Shattered it on the ground. I went to the local pool supply store and they actually had a replacement one. It works awesome but cost me $25. i was leaving on vacation that day and I needed to get it working ASAP or I would have gone to Home depot and just made one from a toilet float. water is going in through the top and the white cone helps keep the water from spraying out.

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diggler867 months ago
Just want to say thanks for the idea and share my video of mine

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YPJ7WmIkiA

jzimmer3 years ago
Awsome just made mine
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whosdadog (author)  jzimmer3 years ago
What kind of epoxy did you use?
Do you need to cover the hose? So the sun/heat and pressure does not make it spring a leak.
HogHunter1 year ago
I've been an Instructables fan for many years but I must say this is perhaps the best instructable I have seen. It is very economical, it includes lots of suggestions and it has upgrades. To top it all off, it will make me look like a superhero to my wife who maintains our pool and has left the water running too many times to count. We've had our pool for 22 years and I have never seen a solution so easy and efficient. While economy isn’t super important, I am unwilling to spend $30+ for the Hudson value as nice as it looks. I do believe I will build a bracket or some kind of method to secure the device to the wall of the pool. This isn’t so much for allowing it to be in while the l kids are in but to make sure it is properly mounted. I do agree with the post about using a hose intended to contain constant pressure, if and only if you intend to leave it in the pool all the time. As I do not intend to use it that way, I will not initially worry about that. We have several storage boxes around the pool and it would fit nicely in one of them while not in use.

Thanks so much for a great idea! If there was a way to nominate this for an award I would gladly do so.
haimiko1 year ago
My pool already has this built in by the skimmer, don't most pools have this already too?
d00mz haimiko1 year ago
Some do, some do not. for those that do not, it is very costly to add one after the fact.
d00mz1 year ago
This is awesome, just built mine as well. Testing it in the pool after it has dried overnight.
bg_askins2 years ago
fantastic! i'm going to use this with a rain barrel to keep my koi pond's water level up.
jsbfla2 years ago
Just finished mine - works slick. My Fluidmaster float was a loose fit in a 3/4" thread-slip adapter, so I just mixed up some JB Weld, coated the inside threads with it, and it tightened up perfectly. Thanks.
jzimmer3 years ago
no epoxy the float i got threads fit nice to a 3/4 coupler and as you can see i its an inturnal float so i was able to put it up against the poolside for less chanses to get broke
whosdadog (author)  jzimmer3 years ago
I have searched for hours trying to find that coupler. Is the float 3/4 or 7/8 thread? I have only ever seen 7/8 thread valves, and have never seen 7/8 couplers. Where did you buy it?
i got it from lowes not sure on the threads its made by korky . i just played around in the pvc area putting the whole thing together took it on pvc glued it and pressure tested it and vac tested and was hour long no air leaks
whosdadog (author)  jzimmer3 years ago
Ok thanks, I'll have to check Lowes. Do you know what the coupler was called?
ballcock is the name assigned to the toilet valve thread.... i found a ballcock x 1/2 reducing adapter at my local ace... fits perfect on the toilet valve... for some weird reason it threads perfect to a 1/2" threaded pvc coupler, but not to any other fitting. i had half the staff at ace stumped on that one. but it works!!! thanx for the design! its brilliant!
whosdadog (author)  flyznest2 years ago
Thanks!
jongscx3 years ago
Oh my god... this is amazing.

How long does this take to fill a pool? I'm assuming the flow rate is much less than just an open hose.
whosdadog (author)  jongscx3 years ago
It would take days to fill a pool with it, if not a week. Sometime we forget to turn ours on after we shut t off to swim, and after a few days the water level will drop by 5 or so inches. It takes maybe 5 or 6 hours to refill that 5 inches or so. It is by no means fast. But it does it's job.
Freyberger3 years ago
Great idea. I have made one for an above ground pool and it works like a charm!!
hdhilli3 years ago
I just finished my version which works just great. I used a slip/threaded PVC fitting between the elbow and toilet fixture. This saved me because I used too much epoxy and has to drill out the opening. Replacement of the fixture will also be easier...just epoxy a new one on a new fitting and screw it into the existing assembly.
Zipdaddy3 years ago
Wow...This falls under the "Why didn't I think of that?" category for a lot of us!! I'll be making one for sure. FYI HINT....Use electrical PVC....It's UV resistant.
incognito533 years ago
I've thought about doing something similar to this for a while.. How bad of an idea would it be to tap the suction pipe going into the pump and connect thru a valve to the water supply? Reason why is, I really don't want any extra pipes going to the side of the pool
steveo625c63 years ago
I am truly surprised this hasn't been thought of till now, I mean if something as simple as a toilet has an auto fill, why can't your personal pool have one? Haha...Great instructable man!
Mudbud4 years ago
what if people were splashing and jumping into the pool? it would make the water level unstable therefore turning the thing on and off for filling. Im not trying to be rude im just thinking about it before I make one.
whosdadog (author)  Mudbud4 years ago
I take mine out and turn it upside down. The gavity keeps it off. Or you could, you know turn the water off.
KJenkinsAF4 years ago
Dude, I'm rushing out to the plumbing store to do this RIGHT NOW...GREAT idea.
I think the answer is a different float valve. I just found this online today. http://www.hudsonvalve.com/products.html It should make the entire assembly much smaller too.
whosdadog (author)  My name is not Steve4 years ago
That's a great valve, and I think it would work perfectly. However, it also costs 2x as much as the entire assembly as of now. It would definitely make it a lot simpler, but would raise the cost to about $35+shipping (for the valve). The benefit of purchasing all of the parts at HD is that there is no shipping. Thanks though, and I'll definitely look into similar valves. It sure is more elegant, and I think that it warrants greater research. Great find!
I found a good price. $23 for high temp. plus $5 shipping. http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=23234&catid=569
whosdadog (author)  My name is not Steve4 years ago
Yeah, I'm not sure if I would need high temp. I think that may be temperature of the liquid, but it could be environmental too i suppose.
Hello gents. This is similar to the idea I've been planning. My idea is essentially the same but offers the toilet filler protection. Encase the unit in a pvc pipe wide enough to contain the toilet filler. Use an end cap and drill a hole in the cap for the filler. Mount the filler just as you would in a toilet tank. Drill another hole or two in the cap (pipe too?) so water can get in. In my pool there is a small diameter pvc pipe near the surface and connected underground to to a house spigot. I'll get the appropriate connectors for that and figure out another way to to secure the unit. I'll probably just use an elbow on top and another length of wide pvc filled with a bag of rocks much like the store bought units. I'll put "feet" on it to keep it from rolling.
whosdadog (author)  My name is not Steve4 years ago
Yeah, I've thought about enclosing it before, but I don't see any real benefit to it. I've had the original outside for over a year and it has no problems. I am trying to figure out a better way to mount it though, that would allow me to use a braided hose rather than epoxy.
Regarding your need for a mount without epoxy, how about a second hose coupler for a 3/4 inch hose. Use as short a piece of hose as you need to fit it over the threads of the filler (not positive it will fit) and hose clamp it. The short piece should be rigid enough so the filler will still stand upright. I found a store in NV that makes custom hoses. The plumbing supply store just told me about them. Alas, there are no 7/8 brass fittings anywhere. :(
whosdadog (author)  My name is not Steve4 years ago
I see what you are saying, and that may work. I'm not sure about the 3/4 fitting the 7/8, but I suppose having it tighter would make it more watertight.
I just read that copper pipe is not good in swimming pools, but how about this? Use a short piece of copper pipe and appropriate fitting for the filler and a copper to pvc coupler on the other end. Could this assembly be painted or coated with something to protect it from the pool water? Just brain storming here. :-) I don't know if there's a copper fitting for the filler base.
whosdadog (author)  My name is not Steve4 years ago
Yeah, I think there is, but using copper would raise the price of the filler considerably. When I switched from a PVC hose fitting to a copper one, (PVC one kept popping off) it added $5 to the price. And that was just one piece. As for why it's not good in pools, I have no idea why.
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