Why auto-fills for pools spas and water features fail and what you can do about it

February 11th, 2019 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Why auto-fills for pools spas and water features fail and what you can do about it”

Swimming Pools, Spas and Water features lose water every day

The statistics say that all pools spas and water features will leak in their lifetime. When I began learning about leaks over a decade ago I noticed that at least 40% of the swimming pool leaks we were called to remedy were a result of a failed automatic water makeup system for the swimming pool. All of these systems were float type auto-fills located at the poolside and occupying a hole in the deck. There were some that failed due to the connection at the base of the container in the deck. This was unfortunate as this was a very difficult repair to make. Swimming pools that were manually filled did not have these problems. The problem was that they were so inconsistently filled that they often suffered from plaster damage due to frequent water chemistry imbalances. I saw so many of these instances that after inventing a rapid leak detector for swimming pools I decided I was going to solve the auto-fill failure problem.

Failure Mechanisms of Float Type Auto-fill systems

The failure modes of float type auto-fill systems primarily relate to the energy imparted to swimming pools and water containers that are subject to outdoor environments, frequent water movement and/or human activity. The absolute worst of these systems are the float type valves designed for toilet bowls. Toilet bowls do not slosh around much. Swimming pools do. The toilet bowl filler was designed for infrequent movement. The typical pool surface is in constant motion. This movement accelerates the mean times between failure of these types of fill valves. The second most frequent failure observed is the hollow float on the end of a stick type. This float type valve if set up property and isolated from wave action seems to be a bit more durable, however, the constant pounding of the float rubber parts with the water pressure streaming in between waves means these also need constant maintenance. Depending on the location and the construction they can also be fragile. The rule of thumb is if you have a float type autofill system then check it on a weekly basis for drips and failures. Once they start dripping it is time to get it replaced. The overflow on these systems typically are located next to the inlet and so leaks are not usually noticed until the water bill starts increasing. These are the worst leaks for a leak detection company to find.

A Better Float Type Fill Valve

In my observation of thousands of leaks and leaking swimming pools, spas and water features I have found one float type fill system that seems to be very durable. This is the Jobe Valve. It operates on a hydrodynamic principle so that the soft rubber seals are not actuated constantly as the float pressure is modulated by the surface wave action. Although this is one of the absolute best options for some installations it did not solve the problem of what to do about swimming pools, spas and water features that did not have water service. This is why I set out to invent a solution that could be applied to any water feature, swimming pool or spa system. The LevelSmart™ wireless auto-fill is a no moving part, long range wireless sensor enabled system that allows you to fill your swimming pool without adding plumbing and without deck destruction.

 

The Next Generation Solution for maintaining water in Swimming Pools, Spas and Water Features The LevelSmart™ Wireless and Online pool water management system.

The LevelSmart™ wireless auto-fill system fills your pool, spa or water feature for years without maintenance. It has no moving parts to fail in the swimming pool. The electronic sensor lasts for years sensing the pool level and reporting that information to the valve controller located at the pool equipment pad.  The plumbing is already there to the swimming pool so simply install the water valve into the filter return. The water to the pool is controlled by the LevelSmart Valve controller. No deck destruction or pool wall drilling is required. If you have a float type auto-fill and want to upgrade simply remove the float valve and install the solenoid valve to control the water supply to the poolside auto-fill. This will eliminate the constant float valve failure and eliminate water loss events due to these failures.

 

New LevelSmart™ App works with LevelSmart Online

LevelSmart Online reports data to the cloud where the LevelSmart online app can provide historical data graphs of your water levels. Leak alerts can be set up to let you know when your water level drops to more than 0.75″ below your set level. The LevelSmart sensor is programmable and you can easily change the water level with the wave of a magnet to activate the reset of the sensor. This feature means you can set the level and change the water level as many times as you wish to get it and keep it just right. This same magnet switch can be used to test the function of the valve. These features are paramount for peace of mind your water levels are being maintained at precision levels.

 

Precision water level maintenance with rapid diagnostics and leak detection

As a pool pro you want to be sure all of your pool systems are working 100% for your clients. Its your pool, they just swim in it. You want to be sure your systems are working perfectly and LevelSmart helps make sure your pool water is perfect all the time, every time. The green light on the Valve Controller lets you know the sensor has been reporting regularly. A red light means there is something wrong with the sensor. You can use the magnet to set a rapid test mode to test the valve actuation and be sure water flow is as expected. It only takes 5 seconds to all of these things because this is not the only pool on your route. The online versions allow you to access all of your pools through one app. The LevelSmart App lets you check on all of your pools, Water temperature, leak alerts and level reporting in inches are standard features.

Solving Water Problems: Its what we do. One pool at a time.

We worked hard for years to perfect the LevelSmart system to solve a problem we observed that was rampant and prevalent in the pool industry and other industries. The amount of water loss due to float type valve failures is not a small number. It is preventable. There exists alternatives to the float type autofill valve and I hope you consider them before you decide to install one of them on your pool, spa or water feature.

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