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Author Topic: Need Idea for Pool Water Level Sensor  (Read 9820 times)

mrgifford7

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Need Idea for Pool Water Level Sensor
« on: April 23, 2011, 10:40:23 PM »

Basically what the subject line says.  I'm trying to figure out how to monitor the water level in my pool.

A little more info:  The Pump/Salt-Chlorine Generator are hooked to an appliance x10 switch.  The general rule is that a pool should run at least 12 hours a day.  This will be taken care of by a macro running 3 hours, 4 times a day.  However, due to a potential leak in the pool and evaporation, there's a chance the pool won't be full enough to run the pump through the skimmer so I'd like a way to set a flag so that the pump won't turn on unless there's enough water.
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lodtrack

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Re: Need Idea for Pool Water Level Sensor
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2011, 06:58:15 AM »

A DS10 door switch sensor can be retrofitted to accept a float switch in lieu of the magnetic sensors it comes with. You will need AHP though as it is a security module and will need the software to see the signal to use as a trigger in a macro.
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Knightrider

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Re: Need Idea for Pool Water Level Sensor
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2011, 09:40:23 AM »

A DS10 door switch sensor can be retrofitted to accept a float switch in lieu of the magnetic sensors it comes with. You will need AHP though as it is a security module and will need the software to see the signal to use as a trigger in a macro.

or a powerflash can be used and a macro can be set to check the status of said powerflash.

I thought about this post last night, and didn't post as there's a mechanical aspect of this scenario I can't work out:

I have kids and a pool.  When the kids get in and start splashing around, water gets shoved back into the skimmer, even when the level is below it.

1st question:  Is it an above ground pool with only a skimmer intake?  I have my pump set to take in 50% from the skimmer and 50% from the bottom.


Second question:
Can you perform some simple plumbing modifications near the pump to house a self contained float control?  You then would be monitoring the water level available to the pump and not the level of the pool at the skimmer.
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Knightrider

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Re: Need Idea for Pool Water Level Sensor
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2011, 09:45:15 AM »

BTW, I use active home pro and some modified hardware to fill the pool for 1/2 hour 3 days a week.  By setting the flow amount manually, it does a fairly good job keeping the level correct.  Tweeking is always involved, but I still go out almost every day and check the chemical balance of the pool.

I doubt my method of filling the pool is any way near code, but it works.
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dave w

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Re: Need Idea for Pool Water Level Sensor
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2011, 10:12:19 AM »

An X10 motion sensor (MS16A etc) can also be modified to respond to a contact closure from the float switch if you do not have the "OnAlert" plug-in for the DS10A. For the MS1X mod, the "dawn-dusk" Cds cell is removed and the float with series 10K resistor is wired in its place. The primary address for the motion sensor works as normal. The secondary address, usually used for light/dark detection is now the output from the float switch. The following site outlines the mod.
http://www.idobartana.com/hakb/index.htm
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mrgifford7

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Re: Need Idea for Pool Water Level Sensor
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2011, 10:40:38 AM »

To answer some questions, it is an in-ground pool with 50% going from bottom drain and 50% from the skimmer.  Unfortunately. after adding the salt water system and a gas heater, there is not a whole lot of extra room for plumbing.  Also just to answer a couple of other questions,  I have AHP, XTBIIR, and the 32 bit Rf device (Sorry the name has completely left me) 

I have been wondering if the Reed switches would be able to stand up to water and the chemicals.  Because all I can think of would be to submerge it, and when the water level us no longer shorting out the leads, then trigger the flag.
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dave w

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Re: Need Idea for Pool Water Level Sensor
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2011, 02:26:14 PM »

I have been wondering if the Reed switches would be able to stand up to water and the chemicals.  Because all I can think of would be to submerge it, and when the water level us no longer shorting out the leads, then trigger the flag.
Don't think that will work, or at least the only "reed switch" I know of requires a magnetic field to activate them. You will probably need some type of water level detection switch: http://www.securitystoreusa.com/United-Security-Products-WLS-WATER-LEVEL-SENSOR-p/504959.htm
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Knightrider

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Re: Need Idea for Pool Water Level Sensor
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2011, 03:28:45 PM »

The salt content (don't know, my pool isn't a salt water system) might corrode components worse than chlorine.  I was thinking some kind of diaphram on the intake with a plunger on the dry side of it connected to the switch.
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tploy

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Re: Need Idea for Pool Water Level Sensor
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2013, 01:16:35 PM »

This is just a thought regarding this subject and doesn't involve electronic solutions.
It does work quite well for above ground pools but would require much modification to work with in-ground pools.
What I did was drive a 2x2 post in the ground tightly against the side of the pool and mounted a humidifier float valve with the float resting on the water in the pool and fed it with a 1/4" plastic water tube fed from a water supply source. as the water evaporates or is splashed out the valve opens and fills the pool when the desired level is achieved the float closes the valve so it doesn't overfill. I never have to worry about not having enough or too much water in the pool this way.
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dave w

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Re: Need Idea for Pool Water Level Sensor
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2013, 02:30:26 PM »

This is just a thought regarding this subject and doesn't involve electronic solutions.
Heretic!
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beelocks

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Re: Need Idea for Pool Water Level Sensor
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2013, 08:09:01 PM »

This is just a thought regarding this subject and doesn't involve electronic solutions.
Heretic!

Although simple is good, over-engineered is much more fun.

Might I suggest that the float is connected to a modified DS10a which will send a security signal to an always-on computer to decode to a standard X10 house/unit code that is sent to a universal module that opens and closes a relay connected to a washing machine valve that in turn supplies water to the pool.

One should also consider that this could be further complicated by use of another similar set-up that will drain the pool if the water level is risen too high by excessive rain.

With a little inventive plumbing and a timed macro or two combined with a pump or three, it should be possible to deliver a small sample of pool water to your kitchen sink to monitor chemical levels AND automatically refill the pool to the optimum level.

There are, I believe, computer controlled chemical analyzers whereby you could (probably) have your sample checked (at your kitchen sink) and have the chemical levels adjusted automagically.

KISS has absolutely no place at my house. Heath Robinson (or Rube Goldberg) aint got nothing on me  rofl
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dave w

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Re: Need Idea for Pool Water Level Sensor
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2013, 03:03:43 PM »

"bees" is now firmly on top of my admiration pedistel. I suspect he holds a rather high management position in one of the scientific braches of the US government.
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beelocks

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Re: Need Idea for Pool Water Level Sensor
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2013, 10:39:47 PM »

"bees" is now firmly on top of my admiration pedistel. I suspect he holds a rather high management position in one of the scientific braches of the US government.

I applied, but they don't let damn foreigners in to those kind of easy jobs :)
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rjp

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Re: Need Idea for Pool Water Level Sensor
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2016, 07:58:53 PM »

Actually you can buy a mechanical float valve with an inground enclosure made for  pool filling.  Simple and as reliable as an evaporative cooler's float valve and plumbs into a water supply.
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