# Thread: Filling pool thru whole house water softener?

1. ## Filling pool thru whole house water softener?

Hey everyone,

We were just discussing which way we thought would be best to fill our pool when the time comes.

We are on a well, and it is hard water, plenty of calcium, lime, iron, and other grit.

We can really tell a difference in our water since getting the water softener, our faucets no longer get that white buildup on them, the strainers don't get plugged with junk.

Now when we filled our 16' Intex Quickset we just used a hose from the yard faucet, the water looked fine, but we did have some very fine grit on the bottom we had to vacuum out, (used to get the same stuff in the bottom of the tub).

So we know this is one option, but we are thinking about filling with water that has been ran thru the whole house inline sediment filter & water softener.

My question is, who here has done it this way, and how much did you fill before you regenerated the softener?

I have looked at the manual and searched the internet about how to calculate the amount of water we can get before it has to be regenerated, but so far I haven't been able to figure it out, all I know is the manual says once it reaches a certain point it will auto regenerate, (which takes up to 3.5 hours), and while it does it's thing all the water bypasses.

We like the idea of "Pre Filtering, and Softening the water" before it goes into the pool, but need to know how often we will need to cycle the softener, (it won't bother us one bit if we have to cycle the softener twice a day, we just need to get a clue about it).

500, 1000, 1500, 2000, 5000 gallons?

Our softener is a Kenmore 300 Series, I know that is not enough info for an exact figure here, but getting in the ball park will help.

Thanks

2. ## Re: Filling pool thru whole house water softener?

Aloha Samantha/Sabrina!

So here's the math: You need to find out how many "grains per gallon" of Calcium Hardness you have in your water that comes to the softener. If you can do a Calcium Hardness test with the kits typically mentioned on this forum, you'll get a PPM result. If it is 175 ppm, you divide that by 17.14 to convert to "grains per gallon." So 175 ppm roughly equals 10 ppm (hard water). IF your CH=350 ppm, then you have 20 gr/gal. hardness (very hard).

Water softeners have specifications that tell you how much water they can soften before they must be regenerated. I believe your softener will soften about 30,000 grains of hardness before you have to go through the regenerating cycle. If your originating water is 10 grains per gallon, then you can run 3,000 gallons before regenerating (30,000 grains divided by 10 grains per gallon = 3,000 gallons). If it is 20 gr./gal., then you can run 1,500 gallons before regenerating.

One more thing to remember...it won't hurt you to have a bit of Calcium Hardness in your pool...so you can run SOME softened water, and SOME of your hard water, maybe bypassing the softener but using the filter so you don't get grit.

Hope this has helped!

Aloha!

3. ## Re: Filling pool thru whole house water softener?

Whole house water softeners are not designed to handle the quantity of water required to fill a pool. You will be regenerating many times and the whole process will take quite a while.

4. ## Re: Filling pool thru whole house water softener?

I have a water softener system with 3 tanks and 2 barrels of salt....my water sucks!
I also have a 12'x24' oval AG pool, the first time i filled it i by passed the system and it took 5 days to get the iron out and the levels correct.
Then i had liner problems and i had to change it twice, after each change i filled the pool thru my softener system.
Let me tell you this was the way to go. I would run the hose for about 12 hours and then recharge the system and everything went well. I would never refill my pool again and not go thru the system.
Once filled i would take my water sample to the pool store to have them check it and each time i only added chlorine and some PH up. I say fill it thru your system you wont be sorry!

5. ## Re: Filling pool thru whole house water softener?

Yes...I guess we all have to make our own decisions...I just wanted to make sure that people knew it IS possible (and sometimes even a real smart idea!) and that they knew the method to figure out how many regenerations it would take. It all depends upon:

1) How hard the water is (grains/gal. NOT ppm) 1 gr./gal.=17.14 ppm (or divide your ppm test reading by 17.14 to find grains per gallon)
2) How much iron you have in your water (nice to not have this go in the pool)
3) How much Ca hardness you want when the pool is filled
4) How many grains/gal. your softener will treat between regenerations
5) How many gallons your pool holds (the smaller the pool, the easier to use the softener)

Back in 2005, I owned a GE Water Softener that actually measured how many gallons of water passed through it with a turbine in the pipe. You could program into the unit how hard your water was, and it would do the math and perform a regeneration at 2 AM (while everyone's sleeping) when that time (gallons processed) came. For pool filling, you could turn off the "wait until 2 AM" mode. If the homeowner has a softener, and very hard water (or high iron), it gives them an option to help avoid the "too much calcium scaling" situation, or even a rust stain problem.

Aloha!

6. ## Re: Filling pool thru whole house water softener?

Well I am pretty good at math, but for the life of me I can't figure out how many gallons this unit will pass through before it needs/requires a recharge.

Like I said originally, if we need to recharge 2 times a day that will be fine, basically if we can get say 1,000-2,000 gallons a day thru the softener then that works for us.

The pool will hold 10,450 gallons, and we only plan to fill it from empty once, from there it is just keeping it topped off, so hopefully the softener can handle a one time large quantity fill.

We have the softener set to it's highest hardness level, we took a sample to a Culligan dealer and had them test it straight out of the well, and they said it was 16 for hardness, plus our unit has something that is required for use in CA, it comes with this feature turned off, but after reading the manual we thought it would do a better job if we turned it on, (not sure that was the right thing to do or not).

Thanks for the responses, help and advice.

From the sounds of it we will most likely tap the cold water line after the softener close to where the equipment is going to sit and run a 3/4" line out from there, (we want a full time line out to the equipment for an autofill, and a faucet).

7. ## Re: Filling pool thru whole house water softener?

Aloha Samantha!

I think I found your unit here: http://www.kenmore.com/kenmore-300-seri ... 238306000P and it seems to be about 30,000 grains per cycle. Since your water is 16 grains per gallon, you should get about 1875 gallons of softened water before you have to backwash/regenerate the resin beads in the softener. If you can regenerate once during the day, you can get about 3700 gallons a day (then regenerate again that night and start again the next day).

Tell us what the special CA feature is, and maybe we can give you some insight.

Aloha!

8. ## Re: Filling pool thru whole house water softener?

Aloha BigIslandPoolService,

Thanks for the help and the link to the unit we have, using that I was able to find the Owners Manual for it, http://www.managemylife.com/mmh/lis_...M/L0811488.pdf.

The thing about CA is on page 24 of the PDF file, here is some of what it says:

California Efficiency Requirement

Your Kenmore WaterSoftener has a "HighEfficiency"
feature with an "ON"or"OFF" setting. This softener
setting is shipped in the "OFF" position, which utilizes
the maximum rated capacity while most often achieving maximum salt efficiencies.
When installing this unit in the State of California, you MUST turn this setting to
the "ON" position which may initiate more frequent recharges,
however it will operate at 4000 grains per pound of salt or higher.

EFFICIENCY MODE

When this feature is ON, the water softener will operate
at salt efficiencies of 4000 grains of hardness per pound
of salt or higher. (May recharge more often using smaller
salt dosage and less water). Installations in the state of
California require this setting to be turned ON. This
softener is shipped in the OFF setting.

Does this change things any? Is running it in this mode a good idea?

I am not sure if our well pump will even put out that much water in a day, (or if we want to try), it is about 18 years old now, and the last thing we need to do is over do it and have that go out on us.

Based on what you have said we are thinking "maybe" try and get 1,000-1,500 recharge the softener, then maybe another 1,000-1,500, and call it a day, repeat the following day or maybe even wait a day or so.

9. ## Re: Filling pool thru whole house water softener?

Aloha Samantha,

OK...so DON'T turn on the California efficiency (oxymoron ) feature...(I can say that because I'm an OxyMoron from California)! You want full capacity, so keep it OFF.

And I doubt that your well pump will give you any problems with putting 3,000 gallons into your pool per day. That is small pickens for a well pump. I imagine that the softener will regulate how many gallons/minute you can move, so the well pump might even get a bit of rest every now and then.

What you said in that last line was correct...and no need to give it a one-day break in between. Just go for 2 sessions per day (3,000 gallons/day) and take 3 days to do it.

Aloha!

10. ## Re: Filling pool thru whole house water softener?

Hey Warren,

Thanks bunches for the help and info, that helps allot!

So the softener will work BETTER if I turn that CA thing off?

From what we read it would work at a higher capacity, but more efficiently, so this is wrong?

Thanks

Samantha

11. ## Re: Filling pool thru whole house water softener?

We have a well with water hardness straight out of the ground at 300ppm. When we filled our pool we didn't worry about the hardness as much as I was worried about the grit and sediment in our well water. We have a whirlpool whole home filtration system that backwashes itself every few days to recharge the filtering media and a water softener. I plumbed our house with one outside line specifically for filling the pool that runs through the whole home filter but not the softener. I was afraid of overworking the softener. In hind sight I probably should have filled the pool slower but instead ran the well at full blast for the whole day and a half to fill the pool up, dredging up all sorts of sediment and the pool still ended up with a slight orange tinge. That was because the whole home filter was clogged up with so much sediment that it took many manual backwashes to finally get the water flowing good again and to get the pressure back up.
I would recommend at least filling through the sediment filter but I'd also keep a close eye on it and change the filter often or if it's an automated kind like ours to manually backwash the filter many times through out the fill up. When it comes time to fill up your pool let us know how it goes if you decide to run through the softener.

12. ## Re: Filling pool thru whole house water softener?

Hey Jamison04,

Our sediment filter is just the inline type with the round filter thingy inside that you replace when it get dirty, but the bowl is clear so we can see what the filter looks like whenever we have to put salt in the softener.

We will get a bunch of extra filters, (they are cheap enough) and keep a close eye on it as we go, I do know that without the inline/pre filter the little spinning meter wheel in the softener that has magnets on it will collect rust/grit/dirt or whatever it is and will stop counting how much water is going through the softener and that makes the softener think we haven't used any water so it stops regenerating.

I think we will go slow and use the softener to fill the pool, it is not all that old so it should be fine, I was just concerned about having water bypass the softener because we had exceeded the amount of water used and another recharge was due.

13. ## Re: Filling pool thru whole house water softener?

Originally Posted by Samantha Sabrina

So the softener will work BETTER if I turn that CA thing off?

From what we read it would work at a higher capacity, but more efficiently, so this is wrong?
Here's the deal...California wants people to use less salt and less water, so Kenmore went along with it and provided this setting that would make it more efficient for salt and water usage (during the recharge process). Only problem is, it recharges more often to do that...and that's precisely what you DON'T want. You'll note that they say that in the OFF position it will work at its greatest softening capacity...

Your water is actually good hardness for most pools, but the softener will grab iron...so it's still a good idea to use the softener...

Aloha!

14. ## Re: Filling pool thru whole house water softener?

Hey Warren,

Thanks, that clears some things for us, lol.

I am going to change the setting right now!

I really appreciate your help and patience in explaining everything to me.

Aloha

15. ## Re: Filling pool thru whole house water softener?

I have very hard tap water and always had excessive calcium in my pool until I started using softened water to add water. If I were you I would do exactly what you plan. How much water I put into the pool for each regeneration would depend on the amount of water I was using for non pool filling.

16. ## Re: Filling pool thru whole house water softener?

Just an FYI, you want to make sure you wait a minimum of 6 hours between softener regenerations. The salt in the salt tank needs a minimum of 6 hours of contact time to ensure the brine solution in this tank becomes strong enough for a proper regen. This can add time to the whole filling process, but I am thinking of just mixing hard and soft water just to keep my CH levels down when I fill mine.

17. ## Re: Filling pool thru whole house water softener?

Aloha!

I don't think that 6 hours will create a problem, since it will take a little more than 6 hours for them to fill the pool (if the fill rate is 5 gal./min.). But that was an important point to bring up (good catch, NORESULL ) especially if they fill faster than 5 gal./min.

Aloha!

Warren

18. ## Re: Filling pool thru whole house water softener?

Another thing to remember, most home softeners have one exchange vessel and are programmed to regenerate when there is no use because when regenerating, the softener is bypassed and any water use is hard. With this in mind, remember, you may use the capacity of the softener then you should wait for the unit to regenerate without using the water then wait another 6 hours for proper brine contact time. johnnysnok has a good set up where another vessel can take over while the previous vessel is regenerating but most home units are not like this.

If you are interested in filling the pool with softened water, look for companies that may sell softened water in tanker trucks...

19. ## Re: Filling pool thru whole house water softener?

Or move to the Big Island, where even the well water is soft! I used to blow people away when I'd put a TDS meter in my rainwater catchment tank and get readings of 8 ppm--and that was my raw, unfiltered water, with just a touch of chlorine and Baking Soda added!

There's nothing like having the best water in the world.

Aloha!

Warren

20. ## Re: Filling pool thru whole house water softener?

Originally Posted by BigIslandPoolService
Or move to the Big Island, where even the well water is soft! I used to blow people away when I'd put a TDS meter in my rainwater catchment tank and get readings of 8 ppm--and that was my raw, unfiltered water, with just a touch of chlorine and Baking Soda added!

There's nothing like having the best water in the world.

Aloha!

Warren
Oh yeah, rub it in a little more!

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