Can I put water softener salt in my pool? It’s a question that swimmers and pool owners often ask.

It’s bad enough to shower and bathe in hard water since it leaves you all itchy and irritated afterward. And to feel the same way when you are supposed to be relaxing in a pool can be so annoying.

But filling up a pool with softened salt is not as simple as you might think. You would need to maintain the pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness balance. If you do not want to use a water softener because it is time-consuming and requires regeneration, you might be thinking about water softener salts.

Here are a few things you should know.

How Soft Should My Pool Water Be?

Although it would feel great, the hardness of your water should be more than what you have in your home to bathe, shower, or do your chores. This is because pool water likes to balance itself by draining calcium and other minerals from its nearest source.

If you have your pool water too softened, you will notice that pool's plaster and tile grouts are beginning to crumble and give away. Even the heaters and railings start corroding. Too much softness, along with low pH for a prolonged period, can make the matter so much worse.

A pool owner knows how much trouble it is to replace them, not to mention the expensive additional costs. On the other hand, too much hardness also has its problems.

It causes scaling on ladders, decks, and other surfaces, which is like a film of white residue. Moreover, it also causes build-ups and corrosion in appliances and pipes.

These are a few notes to keep in mind:

  • Maintain a certain level of mineral composition in your pool level, which should be not too soft nor too hard.
  • To maintain the health of swimmers and overall water quality, use good quality salt.
  • The perfect hardness of the water should be reached slowly. Now, the quality and chemical balance can be imbalanced if it is reached within 24/48 hours only. This is because the brine is not produced adequately if the process is too fast.
  • You can use water salts to maintain the hygiene of your pools.

What Happens If I Add Water Softener Salt To My Pool?

As water softening salts are quite poor, they are often used as a disinfecting pool salt to maintain hygiene. But not all softening salts are suitable. The ones with brown, grey, pink lumps in them may have impurities mixed in them, which would cause some unwanted changes.

  • Stained Pool - This is contrary to the idea that only hard water stains your things. But since softener salts are designed to dissolve slowly to avoid egress blocking, it often sits at the bottom of your pool. This can cause different stains to develop, which are permanent and very hard to correct.

    Most pool owners avoid using pellet softener salts as they are coarser and have a longer dissolution time. They also contain higher levels of manganese than regular pool salts, which causes a tinge to appear.

  • Calcified Salt Cell - Water softener salts have added components that can become corrosive over time and damage your metal appliances. They get collected on the cell electrode, which stops the system from registering the correct level of salt.

    If this happens for an extended period, it will reduce the efficiency of the electrodes, damaging them and needing replacements.

  • Cloudy Appearance - Impure softener salts with added components can cloudy up the look of your otherwise crystal-clear pool. You can clear it up but adding more chemicals can make matters worse in the long run.

  • pH Difference - Along with the hardness and chlorine levels, a pool owner must also be highly receptive to the pH level. While a pool salt does not cause any imbalance, water softener salts may raise or decrease the pH value.

    While you can adjust it easily, it is recommended not to as you would only be adding more and more chemicals.

    So, if you want to use water softener salt in your pool, you can do it because it is completely safe. But you would need to ensure it is pure and contains 99% pure NaCl or KCl. Avoid using pellets with impurities as it can cause corrosion on vinyl floors and cause discoloration.

How Much Softening Salt Should I Use And What To Do Next?

You would need to use the exact quantity of salt for both softening and pool salt—no need to change the amount.

If you use softening salt, you will have to wait longer for the pool to be properly chlorinated. It depends on the volume of water, the existing hardness, and the size of the pellets used.

You would then need to mix the salt around using a broom, dusting off the bits that have settled at the bottom. This would quicken the dissolution a little.

Final Words

Still wondering, can I put water softener salt in my pool?

Of course, you can. You would just need to keep a few things in mind. But at the end of the day, using pool salt is much more convenient, more accessible, and is more cost-effective.