Alternatives to overflow drain

cakelady_2010January 20, 2011

For those not familiar with our build, I have a link attached.

What are different options used to manage overflow without a drain besides water running off into the yard around the pool?

We will have a Pentair Easy Touch system with a wireless controller. One of the last areas of our pool that has not been completed is the plumbing run to connect the slide to the equipment pad. This may be an idea way off base...but was wondering if it would be an option to drain the pool a bit during a storm without going out there. Would it be possible to have a wireless valve actuator on this line to control a diverter valve that would then run water off the pool on the other side of our house where the equipment pad is? Since our pool build has been unexpectedly long and this area is not finished, this may be a benefit to us if it would work.

Here is a link that might be useful: our pool build

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Yes you can add a CVA to a dump line and automate it quite easily.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 1:46PM
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cakelady 2010....the electronic valve actuator idea sounds expensive to me.

If this we're our pool without an overflow or skimmer/overflow knockout, I would use one of the extra return lines that we have plumbed from the equipment pad to the pool.

I would cut the return line at the equipment pad so that it is at the same elevation as the lowest point on the pool coping where overflowing of the pool would start to occur...the overflow line.

Then place pea gravel around the vertical pipe sticking out of the ground at the equipment pad. If flooding of this area is of concern, then I would also dig a french drain to allow the pool runoff to exit the pad area without flooding or if possible run this drain line to somewhere on the property that can handle the runoff.

This will allow the excess water in the pool to overflow at the equipment pad automatically without any need for valves or electronics.

If the pad is below the overflow line, then the return pipe at the pad would have to be extended vertically so that it is above the water line.

If the pad is slightly above the overflow line, then this pipe will not have to extend vertically very much and will look better. The higher the pad, the lower the pipe extension out of the ground....hope this makes sense.

If the pad is significantly higher than the overflow line, then you will likely have to go underground to get the pipe cut at the proper elevation and then make provisions for the water to escape somewhere on the property that is lower than the overflow line....this will clearly not be as easy as above scenarios.

If you are concerned about debris getting into the vertical pipe that is open on the top, simply place a pvc cap fitting onto the top of the pipe and drill some big holes on the side of the cap to allow water to escape...don't glue the cap, hand tight is fine to make it easier to get into the pipe in the future.

This all assumes you have an extra return line going to the pool somewhere...which hopefully you may have if it was plumbed for a high side cleaner that will not be used or something else.

In our case, I had extra return lines ran for bypasses to control flow to water features if ever needed....turns out, I keep the bypasses closed and never use these extra lines.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 2:05PM
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Thank you for the good idea Trhought. Your pool is my very favorite! I've included the link from your last snowy winter. Amazing!

My returns are under our water level and I do not think we have an extra. I can't think of any way to make it flow automatically, my only option may be the CVA to use when we are here and cross our fingers when we are away we do not come home to washed out flower beds.

It now sounds like I was talked into the idea of leaving out the overflow drain and auto fill feature for other reasons that were not shared with us at the time. I have found a like to an auto fill that looks like it would work for me though it is expensive also :(

You mentioned a cutout in the skimmer. How would that work?

Here is a link that might be useful: Snow in the South!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 8:51AM
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cakelady...Thanks for the kind words about our pool.

Was hoping you would have an extra return or maybe even an extra suction line above the water level to make this simple overflow work.

Some skimmers have provision already for an overflow, such as an hole towards the top of the skimmer that pvc can be connected to before gunite and decking. This will allow the pool to overflow naturally when the water reached the level of the hole.

This may be another option for you if you are considering replacing your cracked skimmer.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 10:06PM
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Thank you all for your feedback! We are keeping the CVA option in the back of our minds. We will see what nature will bring with the Houston spring season's rains and go from there. We are not replacing the skimmer, the risk for additional damage is too great.

Given the choice again pre-build, I would pick the overflow. It can always be modified not to function if you are losing too much water with swimmers but hard to add post-build!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 7:20AM
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