Pool Fill Dedicated Zone


#1

So I may be in a unique situation.
Our pool build project finished yesterday.
During the build they set it up so that I could use my sprinkler system to fill the pool.
I have a dedicated zone to fill the pool. It has a float in it, kind of like a toilet. If the zone is on, nothing comes out. If the water drops past a certain point, the float opens the valve, and if the zone is on, it will start filling the pool.

I am looking for a way with my rachio to have this on most of the time.
At first I set it up to run every hour, for about 55 minutes.
This way, during this 300 degree weather here in Dallas, if our water level drops, and the float drops, our pool will fill at any given hour.

But setup this way, I would get a notification on my phone every hour.

Is there a way to turn off or limit a schedule notification? Do you think there is a better way to schedule this zone?

Just looking for some different opinions.


#2

Sounds like you wish your pool zone to be active when ever normal irrigation is not.

You can do this with a cheap SPDT or DPDT relay. Something like this (link) or this (link).

Configuration can be something like this:

Whereas the valve will be normally ON (when ever the master valve is NOT active) and will turn off when ever master valve goes on. You don’t have to physically have the master valve in your system, just enabled in software. If you do have a physical master valve or irrigation pump, than this relay would be essentially connected in parallel.

One downside to this system is that you would not be able to turn off this zone easily if something goes wrong with your fill valve. I recommend you include a regular light switch or something similar in series with the pool valve in order to be able to physically turn this off if needed.

I only recommend this because I could not think of a way to setup a schedule which would not give you a ton of notifications.

Cheers,
Gene


#3

@gene are the valve solenoids (pool valve) rated for continual use? I didn’t think they could be on for days at a time.


#4

I didn’t think of the aspect @DLane is talking about. I guess you could setup IFTTT script to turn on the zone if the temperature goes above a certain point and setup the schedule to run around noon otherwise.


#5

After trying to find any sort of lifetime rating for the solenoids… no luck.

Personally I’ve got a feeling that the mechanical parts of the valves will wear out faster than the solenoid. Mainly you wish to make sure that the solenoid doesn’t get too hot after it reaches “steady state”. This really depends on how much over 24VAC the power supply is when the solenoid is active.

Try running it for an hour. If after that time the solenoid on the valve is not much hotter than ambient, you should be OK with running it indefinitely. Turning it ON & OFF each hour will definitely damage the valve faster than leaving it on most of the time.


#6

@lardo5150 - fellow Dallasite enjoying the “warm” weather. Has to get over 110 for it to be “hot”!

Why don’t you create a daily flex schedule with 100% or higher crop coefficient with Garden type vegetation, sand and shallow root zone. Then dial it in so that it Rachio will run just a little longer than needed to refill the pool. This would run at most once a day and not instantaneous when the float opened.

How much water is being evaporated now (in inches of pool water) and how many minutes does it take to fill the pool up that much. I would think now is a worse case scenario.


#7

Interesting, I did not think of the valves and such.

Right now, I have it set to run at 9pm each night for 4 hours. Was thinking of reducing that to 3 as the pool was where it needed to be this morning, and go from there.