Cost of adding an 'auto-fill' to pool

harrycApril 27, 2007

Does anyone know approx. cost for adding an auto-fill to new pool? We are trying to get all our ducks in a row before tomorrow.


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Autofill with anti-syphon valve runs about $150 retail plus installation labor. This might run another $150 depending on the length of the pipe run.
I didn't know anyone built pools without an auto-fill anymore.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2007 at 1:32PM
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Our pool builder suggests no auto-fill feature. His rationale is that if the pool is automatically filling up, we would never be aware in the event we ever had a leak.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2007 at 4:18PM
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I am instead just going to run a plain 3/4" pvc under the deck and have it right next to the stairs and have it conected to my hose bib. This way at least I dont drag a house, just turn a valve. My pb had the same thought on not having one.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2007 at 4:28PM
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My PB tried the same line on me-
I had them plumb in a "shut off valve" in the water line leading to the auto-fil.
That way, I can shut the autofil off to see if there is a leak.
(Besides, your water bill would go way out of whack if you had a leak big enough to use that much water).
Put it in-you will not regret it.
If you don't put it in, you will kick yourself everytime you need to pull the hose out to add water.
Another thing to remember that the autofil will keep the water level up so the skimmer will not suck in air, possibly damaging the pump.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2007 at 5:41PM
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Hi, Steve.

I decided not to put in an auto-fill. Instead, I'm adding a valve to a relay on the automation. This way I can turn the valve on for XX number of minutes whenever I want, plus during times when there's a consisten loss from evaporation I can program the valve to run XX minutes each day. This way I don't have to worry about an autofill getting stuck.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2007 at 7:22PM
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Kevin -

You're concerned about an autofill valve (basically a toilet valve) getting stuck, but you're adding a relay and valve to manually control the pool level. Sounds like overkill; in 23 years of pool ownership I've replaced "ZERO" autofill valves but I've had to replace 9 electric valves for my sprinkler system. I wouldn't want to constantly guess on the run time for that, what happens when you go on vacation?


    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 12:42AM
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Hi, Steve.

I've had just the opposite experience. In the nineteen years I've lived in my current home, I've had to replace all the toilet valves more than once and never had to replace a sprinkler valve.

If I was away, I'd be less concerned about a valve failing to add water to the pool than I would about a runaway fill valve. When I go on vacation, the weekly pool service can monitor the level. I'm also going to have a manual ball valve that can be used to add water if needed.

This is something that should be able to be easily handled by automation. There's no reason why the pool automation companies couldn't add the ability to enter your pool info (like area, perimeter, and gallons) and let you be able to program something like "Add two inches of water". That's an easy enough calculation for automation to do.

I agree that I definitely don't want to leave a hose around the pool or have to drag one out to fill it.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 7:23AM
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WOW! Hard to believe an auto-fill would create this big of a discussion.
I've had pools without an auto fill. It is a significant improvement with low maintenance and a low failure rate. It is real convenience. It's low tech but effective.
Many moons ago, when I had no auto-fill I used a pvc line plumbed under the deck. On numerous occasions I would forget the water was running and end up with a water level that was very high. This is a large waste of water.
I've been using auto-fills on every pool I've built since about 1984. The failure rate has been minimal. That's about 6000 auto-fills give or take plus hundreds of remodels.
This is a no brainer. Put the auto-fill in. You can always turn it off if there is a problem or a leak. It's actually very easy to know if the pool with an auto-fill is leaking because the float in the auto-fill will hiss continuously as it slowly adds water to the pool.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 11:38AM
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The reason your Pool Builder didn't want to put in auto fill is that he would have to hire a real plumber
with a plumbers license to install it. Auto fill must have a vacuum breaker installed at the connection
to the water system. As for the leveling valve, most use a float valve($2.95) or some use a toilet valve at $7.99.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 1:04PM
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Nicely put Cliff. I have never built a pool without an auto fill. I have built pools for other Contractor without them. I like my pools better ;D

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 9:26PM
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We are in the planning stages of our pool now and our PB installs a "Y" connector at the hose bib and plumbs a line into the side of the pool. Not the convenience of auto-fill, but no hassle of dragging a hose out.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 8:57PM
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I have never, nor would I ever, built a pool without an autofill.
Builders who sell against autofills are usually not very good builders and the lines they give like "it'll stick on and flood your yard" or "you'll never know if your pool is leaking" are complete Kuhsheisse.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 10:52PM
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For some background, the Builders cost of the auto level is ~ $80 + plumber's cost. I had on installed for the convienence factor and wouldn't build another pool without one! My goal was to build a pool that took little of my time to maintain and this is one chore you can leave off the list. Coupled with the saltwater system and automated controls, I add a cup of acid every few weeks, throw the pool sweep in the pool for a couple of hours on the weekend and spend the rest of the time enjoying the pool!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 10:03PM
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My gunite was just poured a week ago then I came across the autofill concept discussed here. So my question is am I out of luck in trying to add an autofill now? What are my options now if any? TIA


    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 7:16PM
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Hello Ron168, You should still be able to add an autofill. Granted they may have to take one of your open holes for the fill area, but I would think its still possible. But if all of your open ports are already dedicated then you may be out of luck.
You're going to wish you had one.
Good Luck.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 11:42PM
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Get the autofill. You won't regret it. Also don't forget the other part of the picture - an overflow drain.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 5:21AM
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If you just gunited your pool it's not to late to add an auto-fill. Chip a hole in the gunite and add the pipe and canister next to the pool. You won't regret it.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 10:07AM
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Is it possible to add an auto-fill to a vinyl-liner pool after the liner is installed? I'm doing a self-build. The water level is a few inches below the skimmer right now and the backfill is half-way up the steel walls. (I'm working on the plumbing.)

If not, I thought about plumbing one of the two skimmer overflow lines as a fill. Or I could connect it to the pool slide. I could plumb this with a backflow preventer and a valve connected to a countdown timer to let it run a few hours when the pool needed topped off. Any thoughts?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 10:40AM
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We did not have an autofill installed, it was offered, but we passed. We do have a line installed with a valve on it to fill manually, no hose involved. We also have a line that drains pool in case of overflow.

We have never regretted the choice. We have never let pool get low, on vacation we have someone come to house and fill if needed. It has been three seasons with no problems. We set the kitchen timer so we never forget, but if we do we have the overfill line.

Our neighbor had pool built by same builder at same time as us and he has auto fill, loves it, is glad he did it.

To each their own I guess. But if the price is that little and you are not sure, just get it so you will not regret it.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 8:05PM
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Are you telling me there is hope?
Would I have to drill the hole (what do you mean by chip?)?
What autofill product would you recommend?
I have looked at the Letro autofil which looks simple to install.


    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 11:23PM
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You can core or drill a hole for the 1 1/2" pipe. I used the word "chip" because I usually just use a chipping hammer to make the hole in a raw gunite shell.
I use a product called "Water Level Control" by MP Industries, Inc. It's a simple canister with a float assembly and lid. It plumbs with 1/2" or 3/4" pipe. Use a shut off valve and anti-syphon valve.
Letro is fine too. Make sure it is installed straight and plumb. Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2007 at 9:31AM
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Our builder recommended against a auto-fill. What a mistake. Can one now be added without damaging the plaster?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 8:28PM
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Lesson to all.. we don't have auto fill and last night my wife turned on water and forgot. 9 hours later and probably 5-10,000 gallons later... the cost of adding an auto fill seems like chump change compared to the 2-3 thousand dollar fine I will get for going over LA water limits.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 10:50AM
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Our pool builder did not offer, and when I asked, said they didn't think it was necessary. I sort of forgot about it, and now it is a year later and our pool has been used all summer.

I am in Northern New England. Every time our pool gets low (water close to the bottom of the skimmer), we get a rain (and almost always get too full). Basically, so far, this summer, our pool has totally regulated itself on its own through the weather.

This may not be true for every year (and I think it was silly that we didn't have it installed originally), but this issue is localized to areas that don't get much rain in the summer.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 12:18PM
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I also just had the PVC pipe put in the deck and connected to the faucet with a "Y".

On Saturdays, I throw in the auto-vac,turn on the water, mow the grass, jump in the pool, check the chemicals and then shut off the water. No big deal.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 5:30PM
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I don't even offer the auto leveler as an option on new pools, it's automatic. I add one on renovations too, when it isn't too tough to do. I can't believe anyone would choose not to have one.

Seems kind of like ordering a new car with no windshield wipers.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 9:05PM
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I don't have windshield wipers either, I use Rain X

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 10:31AM
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I just fix pools.


    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 5:58PM
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There is now a cost effective solution for adding this feature to an existing pool. Although it would be better if autofill were installed with the pool.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 10:34PM
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We just recently added an in ground pool and found out that our auto fill line wasn't connected to a water source. The pool company tells us we are responsible to hook up the water to the auto fill line but charged us $1200 in the pool contract. I was under the impression that since they charged us to install the auto fill line they hook up that true? Any information would be so helpful.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2014 at 1:37PM
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In my opinion cost for adding an auto-fill to new pool
is around $150 to $200.

Here is a link that might be useful: Swim Right Pool

    Bookmark   December 23, 2014 at 6:06PM
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