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Thread: which water to use for first ever fill

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    which water to use for first ever fill

    OK, I know I am getting ahead of myself because the pool is not even done yet, but I want to build an understanding prior to the time it comes to fill the pool. I have two readily available options to fill my pool.

    1) use my raw well water
    pH 7.2
    T/A 390
    CH 300

    or

    2) use softened well water
    pH 7.2
    T/A 390
    CH 0 or near 0

    Can someone recommend which option is better?

    I have a TF test kit and that is what I used to come up with the numbers.

    The way I see it, it probably would be better to use the softened water because I am going to have to airate like crazy no matter which source I use to get the T/A down and the conditioned water should be lower in "other" solids. The only additional thing I will have to do if I use the conditioned water is add calcium right away to get the CH up. Does this sound right? What should I used to get the CH up as I fill? Thanks for your help. Ron
    Hey, who removed the filter from the gene pool!

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    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    Is the pool going to be above ground or in ground?? If inground, will it have a vinyl liner? If you have a vinyl liner, then your calcium level really isn't an issue, as it's primarily used to keep the pool from leaching calcium out of plaster and concrete pool surfaces. You will have to lower your TA in either case. If it were me and it is a vinyl-lined pool, I'd go with the softened water, because although the CH isn't an issue with vinyl, it can still be precipitated out and cloud your water if your chemistry gets out of whack. Just my .02.

    Mike
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
    Pentair Optiflo 1 hp/2sp pump w/ Swimpro Voyager 150 sq ft cartridge filter
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    "Fear the Schnauz!"

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    The normally recommended level of CH for a plaster pool is 200-400, so 300 should be fine. In a vinyl pool a CH level of 300 will also be fine, though it isn't really needed. I don't see any point in putting the strain on your water softener, go with straight well water.

    Keep in mind that drawing very large amounts of water from a well can temporarily run the well dry or stir up a lot of sediment. Also you want as direct a connection to the well pump as possible. If the pump is pumping faster then the water is getting into the pool it will cycle on and off frequently which causes extra wear on the pump.

    You will need to work on getting your TA down either way.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: which water to use for first ever fill

    Hi, Ron, (great line in your sig )

    I'd use the raw water. Yours' sounds like a gunite pool but, either way, the CH is perfect so no need to take it out and then put it back.

    If you decide to use soft water, I'm pretty sure it's Calcium Chloride that you use but I'll let someone else confirm that.

    Let me know if you need a cheap, clever aerating device....I'll send you a pic.

    I hear what you're saying about the "other" solids but I don't think they'll come in to play.

    Have you tested the well water for iron? That will be an important issue and, if it's excessive, I believe that softener will take it out for you.....in that case, absolutely use the softened water.

    You will thank yourself over and over for getting a jump on your water.....your saving a lot of heartache and maybe big bucks having this all thought out.

    I hope the kit is proving valuable to you.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Sorry, meant to include that it will be a gunite pool approximately 18,000 gallons. I will have 4 spa jets in the pool with a control for the amount of air allowed into those lines. That will help with T/A adjustments after the pool is filled but I will have to add some type of airation to the fill hose if I am to work on airation as the pool is being filled.

    duraleigh, I had a gunite pool at my last house but we moved to our current residence about 6 years ago. I was clueless about balancing the water in my other pool. That won't happen this time and the test kit is great as are all the other people on the forum who are willing to help out. I will do it right this time and enjoy my new pool! Ron
    Hey, who removed the filter from the gene pool!

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    mas985's Avatar
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    I would mix the two water sources to get at the CH minimum of 200. 67% well and 33% soft. That way going forward the top off could be just the soft water and you would not be adding anymore CH. Topping off with well water each week will slowly rise your CH.

    FL has 50-60 inches of water evaporation each year so it is pretty easy to double your CH over the year. That why I like to start with the minimum.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    mas985, that is a great idea, maybe I would have thought of that, but maybe not. This will reduce the strain on my water conditioning unit as well. Thanks.
    Hey, who removed the filter from the gene pool!

  8. Back To Top    #8
    If your well water is like mine, it may be high in metals like iron. That's the reason why I have a softener in the first place. I would think that you would be better to use softened water since most if not all of the iron content would be out of the water.

    Someone with a lot more experience can maybe add to this thought. I know that there is agents that you can add to the pool that will sequester/suspend the metals in the water. At least at my house, I know if I fill a bucket direct from the well, an orange glow will present if the water sits for a couple days.
    Larry,
    20,700 gal gunite/plaster ig pool w/ SWCG and DE filter near DFW TX

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    I am worried about the metals. I think I will get a metals test kit. My water has a very slight yellow look to it straight out of the well, but if I start pumping a lot of water to fill the pool it may get worse. It is probably best to use the conditioned water. I plan on talking to the company we rent our conditioning equipment from to see if they can help me make sure the water I fill the pool with stays soft during the entire fill. Thanks for the info. Ron
    Hey, who removed the filter from the gene pool!

  10. Back To Top    #10
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    Have your well water tested for iron and copper. If they are present use softened water and add calcium. Water softeners are very efficient at removing metals from the water. Sequesterants will not remove metals, only deactivate them for a period of time so they are non reactive. Sequesterant will need to be added on a regular basis if you fill water has metals. Also if you pool is plaster you might want to fill with soft water and add calcium to the minimum level (around 200 ppm) since a new plaster pool will have very high calcium levels in a short period of time and they only way to reduce calcium easily is to replace some of the 'hard' water with 'soft' water to dilute the calcium.
    Just my 2 cents.

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