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Thread: Filling a pool with soft water?

  1. #1
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    Filling a pool with soft water?

    I moved from Oregon about a year ago and a good friend of mine visited me a few months ago and liked the area so much he just bought a house here. It's got a pebble tech pool. He is going to get a water softener and I know it will come up. Can he or should he fill his pool with soft water?
    I'm a somewhat new pool owner (less than a year) and I think it's a moot point since you need calcium in the water anyway but I don't know for sure.
    I'm sure he'll be relying on me to get his pool going since he won't be here for a few months so I want to do it right.
    What say you????
    Mesa Arizona. Old school 26,000 gallon in ground plaster pool with sand filter built in 1984.

  2. #2
    Member toadlife's Avatar
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    Re: Filling a pool with soft water?

    It didn't blow my pool up, so I'm sure it will fine with your friend's. Just buy some calcium hardness increaser and dump it in after filling it. The tap water in my area is so soft that it registers a zero in the calcium hardness test. I had to buy a 50lb bucket of of the stuff just to get my pool up to an acceptable level after doing a drain/refill to lower the CYA.
    21,000 Gallon IG Plaster with Spillover Spa (Built in 1978) | 48 sq/ft Hayward DE Filter | 3.0 HP Pentair Variable Speed Pump | Hayward H250FDN Heater| 8 Gallon Liquidator | Taylor K-2005 | Taylor FAS-DPD Chlorine Test | Taylor "SpeedStir"

  3. #3
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    Re: Filling a pool with soft water?

    Can he or should he fill his pool with soft water?
    A household water softener will not have the capacity to fill a pool. It can probably produce enough softened water for refills but that's about it.
    Dave S.
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  4. #4
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Filling a pool with soft water?

    Both of the above responses are correct. It won't hurt the pool to fill it with soft water (you'll just have to manually add the CH to the pool), but unless it's one huge softener, it won't have near the capacity to fill a pool.
    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
    Senior Member WestSidePool's Avatar
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    Re: Filling a pool with soft water?

    I prefer not to have my water softener hooked up to the outside spigots of my house.
    I don't find any benefit to watering my lawn or plants with soft water, seems like a waste, and unnecessary usage on the softener.

    I think it would be easier to just buy the solar salt in bags and dump it in if they want soft water in the pool.
    Eric

    IG 17x33 Grecian - Vinyl Liner (21k gallons), Hayward Pro-Grid DE 4820 filter, Hayward Super Pump, CompuPool SWG CPSC36, TF-100 Test Kit

  6. #6
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Filling a pool with soft water?

    WSP -- They're in Arizona, the hard water capitol of the world. Adding softened water for feel is not what they're after. Salt won't help their problem at all.

    There are reports of the CH in tap water out there running 500 ppm. While a household softener won't fill the pool, it's a good idea to use it to replace water lost to evaporation and splashout.

    Mesamav -- Do you know what the CH in your tap water is? That would help decide if they should truck in water, or if filling it from the tap was acceptable.
    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.

  7. #7

    Re: Filling a pool with soft water?

    We used our neighbors hose (on city water) to initially fill our pool and now we always top off with softened water and a filter at the end of the hose.

    Our well water is loaded with iron and I really don't want to start that battle. I always make sure it is fully charged before we start a top off. Seems to work well at keeping the iron out.

    I would think filling a whole pool would be a long process if you used a softener due to having to stop and wait for it to recharge periodically. It could be done though.
    Indiana, ABG 24'x52" Galveston by Blue Cascade (Craigslist $600 w/part of deck included), 13,500 gallons, Intex SWG, solar panel

    My backyard is like a park... Why then does DH always want to go camping??? I just don't understand.

  8. #8
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    Re: Filling a pool with soft water?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    WSP -- They're in Arizona, the hard water capitol of the world. Adding softened water for feel is not what they're after. Salt won't help their problem at all.

    There are reports of the CH in tap water out there running 500 ppm. While a household softener won't fill the pool, it's a good idea to use it to replace water lost to evaporation and splashout.

    Mesamav -- Do you know what the CH in your tap water is? That would help decide if they should truck in water, or if filling it from the tap was acceptable.
    He hasn't asked me about the soft water yet but I know he will. My fill water is 200 ppm CH but where he is buying, the water is 400 or more. Horribly hard water so I thought I'd ask so I could give him an educated response.
    Mesa Arizona. Old school 26,000 gallon in ground plaster pool with sand filter built in 1984.

  9. #9
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    Re: Filling a pool with soft water?

    I have a twin tank, non-electric Kinetico 4040s water softener/dechlorinator in my home and I just filled my new pool up this past weekend. When I received my TF-100, I tested the CH of my tap water with the softener bypassed and found it to be at 170ppm. I would have been able to fill the pool with soft water using my Kinetico, but it would have used quite a bit of salt for regeneration. I had the plaster guys mix the Diamond Brite with soft water, but when it came time to fill the pool, I bypassed it. Considering the pool needs hard water as well as chlorine, it just seemed counter-intuitive to fill with soft/dechlorinated water only to have to add chlorine and calcium back into it. I also did not want my fill water to be at 0ppm for CH as I didn't want it to leach calcium out of my plaster/grout. I know that CH increases as water evaporates because the calcium becomes more concentrated and rain water is naturally soft, so rain should bring CH down if the water level rises and you empty some out. I will also top the pool off when needed with hard or soft water depending on where I need my CH to be.

    Also, simply adding salt to the water will not make it soft, it will just make it salty water. That said, once my plaster has some time to cure, I will throw a 40lb bag of Sun Gems in for improved feel.

    Jose
    17x34' 13400gal freeform gunite IG pool, DB Tahoe Blue, cartridge filter, Rainbow 320, ClearO3 ozonator, 1.5HP 2sp Whisperflow, Intellibrite 5G Color LED, pavers, screened enclosure, Liquidator, 6x Fafco SunSavers, SolarTouch

  10. #10
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    Re: Filling a pool with soft water?

    Well, the way I see it, I'll fill it mostly with tap water and check the CH. My friend has boatloads of money so cost isn't the big consideration. I'll fill it as needed to keep the CH in check and he can use the softened water to top off the pool.
    He is going to get a salt system as well. He wants as little maintenance as possible so that's what I suggested to him. He'll be ordering a test kit in a few weeks but I'll be helping him out getting everything set up so I may be asking a few questions along the way.
    Mesa Arizona. Old school 26,000 gallon in ground plaster pool with sand filter built in 1984.

  11. #11
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    Re: Filling a pool with soft water?

    Im in Tucson, where no one needs to take calcium pills. The glass of water that you would use to take the pill will do the job. With the evaporation rate, the CH level will double in a season. I have successfully managed my pool with levels in the 1,000 range. However to avoid having serious scale problems you have to carefully manage you TA and pH.

    Given a choice, I would fill a pool with tap water, but connect my auto fill to my water softener (which I am considering doing). Since a household water softener couldn't keep up with the initial fill process, that is what you would get if you try using a water softener to fill the pool.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    19k gallon Pebble Tec pool/spa, 2 hp Super II pump (x2), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE filter, Hayward H400 & Solar heating

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