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Thread: Filling Pool with water from water softener

  1. #1
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    Filling Pool with water from water softener

    Hi there,
    I am in the process of having my first pool built. Still a few weeks away from being able to fill it, but wanted to get some opinions on here.
    One of the biggest problems I here from AZ pool owners is the issue of hard water causing scaling in their pool. I currently have a water softener in my home. I have a soft water loop so all my outside hose bibs are still hard water but the inside of my home has soft water. Call me crazy but is there a good reason for me not to just hook up a hose bib to a faucet in my home and use that to fill my pool for the first time?
    I would imagine that I may end up using a lot of salt and having to wait for the water softener regeneration cycles, but are there any downsides to doing this? My auto water leveler is hooked up to a hard water outlet, but if I fill it up initially with soft water, I would imagine it would take a long time for the hard water from the AWL to cause my calcium levels to become too high.
    Or another option could be to fill my pool with half hard water and half soft water?
    I am sure I am missing something here, but please advice this newbie!
    Located in Phoenix Arizona
    Pool Size - ~14000 Gallons
    Filter - 425 sq ft Cartridge
    In Ground Concrete SWG Pool
    PebbleTec pool (Actually Stonescape)
    1.5 HP 2 speed Hayward Tristar Pump
    Aquarite T-40 Cell (SWG)

  2. #2
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    Re: Filling Pool with water from water softener

    You are on to a very good idea but the problem will be one of capacity. Your household softener will be overwhelmed trying to fill your pool.

    Check in to trucking in water that is low in CH and then using the household softener to keep the pool level up from evaporation/splashout.......even then it may be a strain on your water softener in your arid climate.

    You are wise to be aware of this problem now. It's a big issue where you live not easily solved if you let it catch you by surprise.
    Dave S.
    Site Owner 42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter, No SWG
    TFTestkits owner
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  3. #3
    Administrator JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Filling Pool with water from water softener

    Many people top off evaporation with water from a water softener, but filling the pool from one is not usually such a good idea. Keep in mind that residential water softeners are not designed for the quantities of water required to fill a pool. There will be many recharge cycles and lots of salt before you are done. This isn't as much of an issue if you are just topping off evaporation, which is way less water at any one time.

    The best thing to do is to measure your unsoftened waters CH level and see how much of an issue you have. Then use either unsoftened water for the fill, or a mixture of unsoftened water and softened water for the fill, depending on just how high your fill water CH level is.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  4. #4
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Filling Pool with water from water softener

    In addition to trucked in water, I'd look into having your water ran through an Reverse Osmosis unit after it's filled. There have been a few people here that have good success with it. I'm not sure which would be cheaper but it'd be worth looking into. Then I'd use the soft water on the auto fill.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 1.5hp Dynamo pump. 24" Pentair Sand Dollar Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit
    You can stop SLAMing your pool when you pass the OCLT (You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & You have .5ppm CC's or less) & your water is clear.

  5. #5
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    Re: Filling Pool with water from water softener

    Just to give you an idea of what you're up against, our water softener needs to regen after every 500 gallons that flows through it. That would be 28 regen cycles to fill your pool. You would be doing a lot of waiting...
    26,000 Gallon Gunnite IGP
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  6. #6
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    Re: Filling Pool with water from water softener

    I am considering purchasing one of the recommended test kits, does anyone know what tests (or all) I should be running on my tap water (both softened and unsoftened) before I decide to use either/or for fill water?
    Located in Phoenix Arizona
    Pool Size - ~14000 Gallons
    Filter - 425 sq ft Cartridge
    In Ground Concrete SWG Pool
    PebbleTec pool (Actually Stonescape)
    1.5 HP 2 speed Hayward Tristar Pump
    Aquarite T-40 Cell (SWG)

  7. #7
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    Re: Filling Pool with water from water softener

    There is no point in wasting the reagents to do the CYA (chlorine stabilizer) test as it should be zero in your tap water. CH would be good to know since there is no way to lower it other than adding fill water with a lower CH level or by paying for a reverse osmosis treatment. TA is also good to know, but it can be adjusted up or down as needed (up is easier, down is harder but doable).
    27K gal, IG vinyl, 1.5 HP pump, 24" sand filter, Goldline Aqua Plus SWG

  8. #8
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    Re: Filling Pool with water from water softener

    does anyone know what tests (or all) I should be running on my tap water (both softened and unsoftened) before I decide to use either/or for fill water?
    Confirming what gordiec just said, CH (calcium hardness) is the most important. YOu would hope for something well below 400ppm but could likely manage even just a little higher. If it's much over 500 or so, I would certainly consider an alternative source.
    Dave S.
    Site Owner 42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter, No SWG
    TFTestkits owner
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  9. #9
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Filling Pool with water from water softener

    Though the recommended test kits won't test for it, you should have it tested for metals. Softened water should have none even if your hard water does but it's worth testing. Most pool stores can test for them.

    I tested my tap water for everything but CYA. That way I know what happens when I add fill water.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 1.5hp Dynamo pump. 24" Pentair Sand Dollar Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit
    You can stop SLAMing your pool when you pass the OCLT (You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & You have .5ppm CC's or less) & your water is clear.

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