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Thread: Auto fill with hard or softened water

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    Auto fill with hard or softened water

    Hi. I am in the process of installing an auto fill in my new/old pool. I can plumb the auto fill either with hard water (15 - 17.5 grains/gal; 250 - 300 ppm) or softened water (or I suppose I could even blend it). One thought was to initially fill with hard and get the calcium levels right, and autofill with the softened water thereafter holding the calcium level in the pool constant. I live in Phoenix so there will be significant evaporation. I am about to have the pool resurfaced, likely pebble shean and am considering a SWCG system (27K gal so thinking 40k sizing on SWCG). Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!
    Owner in Phoenix 16.5'X37', 27,000 gal pool; rennovation summer/fall 2015 to remove in ground sytem, resurfaced w/pebble sheen cool blue and update all equipment: Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo VS pump; Pentair 160332 Clean & Clear Plus 520 sf cartridge filter; Pentair Auto Fill; Pentair Intellichem, Pentair EasyTouch automation (including SWCG); ThePoolCleaner (suction side).

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Auto fill with hard or softened water

    You can plumb in a softener if it can keep up.
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    ozdiver's Avatar
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    Re: Auto fill with hard or softened water

    Plumb it to the Soft water.
    If you need to replace a larger amount of water (not the evaporation top up) then you can hit the bypass on the Softner while you fill.
    Since an AZ autofill works a little more consistently than most, you will reap the rewards of not jacking up your CH over time.
    40k gal freeform, IG pebblesheen, 9'x'6' raised spa, 2-1/2 hp Whisperflo, 520 sq/ft cartridge, Legend w/ booster, Intellibrite 5g in pool @ spa, Rainbow 320 Chlorinator(retired),
    Mastertemp 400k BTU, 3x3 hp Whisperflo Swimjets, 2x2 hp Whisperflow for 15ton moss rock waterfall, Intelitouch Controller, 850 sq/ft Travertine deck, Gas/Wood firepit,
    Autofill, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir

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    Re: Auto fill with hard or softened water

    I recently re plumbed mine so that it now has the auto fill connected to the water softener. The water here in AZ has high CH and the rapid evaporation makes it even worse. I was seeing CH levels over 1,000 after a couple years with out draining, so last time I drained it, I also changed the plumbing. It has helped, but doesn't eliminate the problem.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Auto fill with hard or softened water

    Quote Originally Posted by chiefwej View Post
    I recently re plumbed mine so that it now has the auto fill connected to the water softener. The water here in AZ has high CH and the rapid evaporation makes it even worse. I was seeing CH levels over 1,000 after a couple years with out draining, so last time I drained it, I also changed the plumbing. It has helped, but doesn't eliminate the problem.
    Well, I'm new to pools but am surprised that it continues to be a problem since no new CH is being added and evaporation is offset by softened water... how does it rise? Anyway, chiefwej, do you end up going through lots of salt in the softener (assuming you use a salt softener)... just something you live with...?
    Owner in Phoenix 16.5'X37', 27,000 gal pool; rennovation summer/fall 2015 to remove in ground sytem, resurfaced w/pebble sheen cool blue and update all equipment: Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo VS pump; Pentair 160332 Clean & Clear Plus 520 sf cartridge filter; Pentair Auto Fill; Pentair Intellichem, Pentair EasyTouch automation (including SWCG); ThePoolCleaner (suction side).

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    Re: Auto fill with hard or softened water

    It did increase my salt use for the softner, but not near as much as I had expected. The short answer is I don't know how the CH continues to rise. My guess is that the softner doesn't eliminate all calcium from the water.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    ozdiver's Avatar
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    Re: Auto fill with hard or softened water

    Chief, test the softened water. That will tell you if there is any residual CH after Softener does it's work.
    40k gal freeform, IG pebblesheen, 9'x'6' raised spa, 2-1/2 hp Whisperflo, 520 sq/ft cartridge, Legend w/ booster, Intellibrite 5g in pool @ spa, Rainbow 320 Chlorinator(retired),
    Mastertemp 400k BTU, 3x3 hp Whisperflo Swimjets, 2x2 hp Whisperflow for 15ton moss rock waterfall, Intelitouch Controller, 850 sq/ft Travertine deck, Gas/Wood firepit,
    Autofill, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Auto fill with hard or softened water

    Quote Originally Posted by chiefwej View Post
    It did increase my salt use for the softner, but not near as much as I had expected. The short answer is I don't know how the CH continues to rise. My guess is that the softner doesn't eliminate all calcium from the water.
    Ion exchange membranes reduce the amount of calcium in the water, they do not eliminate it. Also, the amount of calcium removed from the water is not constant but varies based on how close you are to a regeneration cycle.

    Other sources of calcium include the plaster surface itself if your CSI is too negative and any soft rock water features.

    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Auto fill with hard or softened water

    I did what you are proposing, tap to fill and softened to auto-fill. Calcium was 7-800 from the start. If you can run a hose from the soft water spigot and another from the pre-softener tap, do a blend. Or add 1000 gallons from the tap, then the recharge amount from your softener (1200 gallons) and do tap again while it recharges overnight.
    10,500 gal IG, Topaz Pebble, auto-level
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    Cal Pools Wave Force Plus (wall return jets plus 2 floor pop-ups), Venturi Skimmer
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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Auto fill with hard or softened water

    A typical home softener should reduce the hardness all the way down to <3 Grains Per Gallon,(About 51 PPM TH) and it should do this for the entire run. This is with optimal performance. If your Auto fill demands water between cycles, you'll be putting in straight hard water. So these are some reasons you still get CH in the pool with a softener.
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    Re: Auto fill with hard or softened water

    Thanks all for your thoughts!
    Owner in Phoenix 16.5'X37', 27,000 gal pool; rennovation summer/fall 2015 to remove in ground sytem, resurfaced w/pebble sheen cool blue and update all equipment: Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo VS pump; Pentair 160332 Clean & Clear Plus 520 sf cartridge filter; Pentair Auto Fill; Pentair Intellichem, Pentair EasyTouch automation (including SWCG); ThePoolCleaner (suction side).

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    Re: Auto fill with hard or softened water

    I've used my taylor kit to test the softened tap the night after a recharge, and it's still 40, so that's about right. We did a partial drain this spring so the PB could repair some tile, and I refilled it with softened water. The Calcium is now around 600.
    10,500 gal IG, Topaz Pebble, auto-level
    Hayward DE filter, 2HP Ecostar VSP, ProLogic PS-4, GVA actuators
    Cal Pools Wave Force Plus (wall return jets plus 2 floor pop-ups), Venturi Skimmer
    Water sheer, 2 wok pots, bubbler stem on the baja step
    ColorLogic Mutlicolor LED lamp. Taylor 2006+speed stir

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    Re: Auto fill with hard or softened water

    Don't forget blowing dust as a source of calcium in arid areas. There's a reason gypsum mines are out there.
    20k gal. IG plaster w/spa. 2 HP Aqua-Flo "A" pump, Hayward DE6020 filter. "The Pool Cleaner".

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