Pool under Construction and Soft Water

tfp_fan

Well-known member
Oct 27, 2020
59
Houston, Texas
Hello all:

The construction of my inground
saltwater pool (with pebblesheen plaster) is to be started at the end of the month and I am very excited. I would like to ask for your comments or suggestions with regard to pool with water softener (I read few posts about this topic, however they didn't have any clear recommendations). Few years ago, after we observed damages to the bronze faucets in our bathrooms and kitchen and also white water stains on our granite countertops due to the hard water, I installed a water softener to soften my whole house. Now, all the outdoor faucets (including the backyard) are on the softener. However, my lawn irrigation system (including lawn backflow preventer located on the front of my house) is the only one which is directly connected to our water meter just before the water softener and has hard water.

I haven’t talked to the builder yet, but I guess the pool will be filled from the faucet in the backyard (which is on softener) after the construction. The pool will have auto fill and I also guess the builder will connect the pool auto fill to that water pipe (faucet) in our backyard. I am wondering if you think I must be concerned about my saltwater pool and the softened water? Mainly here is my questions:
1) Will it be fine to fill the pool with soft water? Will soft water be fine for saltwater inground pool (pebblesheen plaster, travertine coping, ceramic tiles, …) and/or its water balance?
2) Assuming even if it is fine, I am not sure whether my softener can handle 13000 gallons of water for filling the pool (and I am not sure how it would be possible to bypass the softener for filling the pool)?
 
Last edited:

Shirker

Well-known member
Jul 2, 2014
685
Athens, GA - USA
Pool Size
19000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
2) Assuming even if it is fine, I am not sure whether my softener can handle 13000 gallons of water for filling the pool (and I am not sure how it would be possible to bypass the softener for filling the pool)?
The water softener will not be able to process that much water. But it is not really an issue except you may have hard(er) water going through your house while you fill the pool. Once your pool is full, hit the recharge button on your softener (or just let the next scheduled run take care of it) and you should be good to go.

I don't have plaster so I will let someone else answer #1 but my guess is that there is no benefit of having the pool use softened water b/c you will be adding calcium anyway. But not really any harm either except you will need to recharge more often to account for the larger water volume going through the system.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tfp_fan

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
39,444
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
In your climate, there is no reason to use softened water for fill or make up water. You get rain. Alot of it. So your CH should not ever climb too high (like mine). We get NO rain. So I have a small softener for our make up water.
 

proavia

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Feb 6, 2015
2,257
Chandler AZ
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Adding soft water via the autofill will help in keeping your CH in check. As water evaporates, it leaves behind the calcium (and other solids). If adding hard water, your CH will continue to increase. Using soft water for your make up water will help mitigate the CH increase. Since you are in Houston and get a fair amount of rain, you will have to monitor your CH and possibly have to add calcium every now and then to mantain an adequate level. Not sure if using a water softener attached to your autofill will benefit you in the long run - given the amount of precip you get.

Here in the desert southwest, our CH will double or triple every year due to evaporation and little rain. That's why many of us with water softeners use them for our make up water/auto fills.
 

tfp_fan

Well-known member
Oct 27, 2020
59
Houston, Texas
Thank
In your climate, there is no reason to use softened water for fill or make up water. You get rain. Alot of it. So your CH should not ever climb too high (like mine). We get NO rain. So I have a small softener for our make up water.
Thank you, @mknauss , for your great comment. I should clarify that I was not going to fill the pool or make up water by purpose. My point was, if it happened (filling the pool and making up its water with softened water) whether it would be any issue or not?
 

an1vrsy

Bronze Supporter
Jul 10, 2018
282
Las Vegas, NV
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
There is also another option. You can find out if there is a water delivery company to fill your pool. They‘d either connect to a hydrant with their authorized water meter and fill your pool or if there is no hydrant nearby they’d use two trucks and tag team the fill. I used a water delivery company to fill my pool on March 1st. It was 1 cent a gallon plus $90 an hour for their time. Fortunately for me there was a hydrant next door. They rolled out 200 feet of fire hose and it took just over 2 hours for 23,000 gallons. By the time they arrived I had a water cushion of at least a 1,000 gallons in the deep end.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Shirker

Shirker

Well-known member
Jul 2, 2014
685
Athens, GA - USA
Pool Size
19000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
There is also another option. You can find out if there is a water delivery company to fill your pool.
Just ask them to tap a hydrant on an active line. Our first load of water was pretty perfect. The second truck tapped a line with a bunch of sediment.

 

tfp_fan

Well-known member
Oct 27, 2020
59
Houston, Texas
@HermanTX @mknauss The gunite has been scheduled for tomorrow. For the pool fill process, I talked to the builder and told him that all the outdoor faucets (including the backyard) are on the softener. He said "we would need to figure out pool fill when we got close to plaster. Either bypass softener or add calcium carbonate to water after fill". I would like to check with you guys to make sure there won't be any issue for the pool due to adding calcium carbonate to the water after the first time fill.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,998
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
@HermanTX @mknauss The gunite has been scheduled for tomorrow. For the pool fill process, I talked to the builder and told him that all the outdoor faucets (including the backyard) are on the softener. He said "we would need to figure out pool fill when we got close to plaster. Either bypass softener or add calcium carbonate to water after fill". I would like to check with you guys to make sure there won't be any issue for the pool due to adding calcium carbonate to the water after the first time fill.

Calcium carbonate is insoluble in water. It would be calcium chloride. But I wouldn't use that. Look at your water softener - most of the control valves (Clack or Fleck or Pentair valves) have the ability to BYPASS the softener. Simply put the softener valve into BYPASS MODE and you'll be filling the pool with untreated municipal water. It's going to take anywhere from 24-48 hours to fill your pool so you'll just have to deal with having hard water in the house for a day or so. That really shouldn't be an issue though.
 

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
1,729
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Either bypass softener or add calcium carbonate to water after fill".
Most water softeners regen after x thousand gallons (mine is set around 3300 gals). So you will overrun the capability of the water softener and end up with non-softened (i.e. hard) water in the pool. Therefore, just put the system on bypass and fill from any outside tap. You will not have soft water in the house for 24-36 hours but that should not matter.
Alternatively, do you have a water spigot on the inlet line going to the water softener? If so, hook your hose to that and you will have hard water directly.
You can post a picture of your water softener if you wish.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tfp_fan

tfp_fan

Well-known member
Oct 27, 2020
59
Houston, Texas
Calcium carbonate is insoluble in water. It would be calcium chloride. But I wouldn't use that. Look at your water softener - most of the control valves (Clack or Fleck or Pentair valves) have the ability to BYPASS the softener. Simply put the softener valve into BYPASS MODE and you'll be filling the pool with untreated municipal water. It's going to take anywhere from 24-48 hours to fill your pool so you'll just have to deal with having hard water in the house for a day or so. That really shouldn't be an issue though.
Thank you, @JoyfulNoise. I had seen the valve on my softener but didn't know it is a bypass valve.