Have you just purchased a pool and need to fill it with water? Or have you drained it of water and need to refill it? Either way, filling a swimming pool is necessary to enjoy it!
There are various sources of water you can use. After covering the options below, we discuss how to proceed – assuming you go with the most common method, which uses a garden hose connected to your outdoor tap. That section also covers proper swimming pool water levels. Finally, we note how pool builders can be of help during this process.
4 Common Sources Of Pool Water
Filling a swimming pool can be done using various water sources. Here are four different sources you can use:
#1. Garden hose using city water
The most straightforward way to fill inground swimming pools with water is to connect a garden hose to your outdoor spigot. Be aware that this method may not be possible if there is currently a water shortage or mandatory rationing (see below) costs.
Expect it to take as long as 48 hours to fill the pool if you use this method, assuming you have a standard-sized pool. Also, be ready to pay about twice as much for your monthly water bill. That’s assuming you use approximately 12,000 gallons of water per month (the amount used by the average United States household) and that your pool has a volume of about 12,000 gallons. Also, expect to pay a sewer fee.
While those may be the typical costs, you should ask the local water company about filling your pool. Sometimes once they know you need to fill your pool, they will break on the sewer fee. However, it is also possible you will need to pay extra to fill it if there is a drought. You may not be able to use the tap at all during those periods.
#2. Water delivery service
In just a few minutes, filling a swimming pool can be achieved rapidly with bulk water delivery. You certainly want to find a reputable company since you want to fill the pool affordably without sacrificing quality. Swimming pool contractors may be able to make referrals.
Reputability is important related to water treatment. You want the water to be treated so that you do not strain your filtration system or have ongoing problems with balancing chemicals (similar to if you use well water; see below).
To get quotes from these services, you will need to let them know your pool’s total volume in gallons. Otherwise, you can let them know its dimensions, and they can calculate the volume.
Do you have a well on your land? You may wonder about filling a swimming pool with well water. This option is viable, provided it contains enough water to fill the pool (see the risks below).
However, using well water can result in future ongoing challenges maintaining proper chemical balance. The reason is that well water contains many components that are unhelpful within a pool, such as sulfur and various minerals. In contrast, if you use the garden hose method (above), you are taking advantage of how city water is tested to remove elements such as minerals. City water is softer.
If you have a particularly strong pump, filling a swimming pool may take less time than it would with the garden hose method. However, you should generally allow the same amount of time for this option: up to 48 hours.
You may not have to pay anything at all for well water upfront. However, the cost of filling a swimming pool can extend to maintenance: well water typically increases your electric bill since you are forcing your softening system and well pump to work harder. Expect to reduce the life cycles of your equipment too.
Beyond that, what can get extremely expensive is to gauge your well’s capacity accurately. If you have to drill a new well because you run it dry, you could end up with a multi-thousand-dollar expense.
#4. Fire hydrant using city water
You may wonder about the possibility of using the fast rush of water from a fire hydrant for filling in a swimming pool with water. A fire hydrant is, indeed, capable of delivering water extremely fast. One that is functioning perfectly is capable of delivering 1500 gallons per minute (GPM). That means you could potentially fill up the whole pool in under ten minutes!
There is a major issue, though: criminality. You can always check with your local fire department, but it is typically illegal to use hydrants because it is extremely dangerous. Closing a hydrant can be just as problematic as opening it. If you try to close the hydrant too quickly, it’s possible to dislodge the hydrant or causes pipes in the street to burst.
Due to these issues, the cost of filling a swimming pool could extend to court fees and liability: you may get arrested and could be on the hook for a massive bill. In rare exceptions, the fire department may allow you to do it so they can flush the line in the process – and you might need to pay for the water – but expect to have to cross this option off your list.
How To Fill Your Swimming Pool With Water
Here are the seven standard steps to fill your swimming pool with water:
Step 1. To fill up the pool in the standard way, you will need to connect a hose to your outdoor spigot. Some homeowners with multiple spigots use additional hoses to speed up the process.
Step 2. Start with the pool (not the spa).
Step 3. Be careful that you DO NOT create a permanent ring by stopping the water too early. This issue typically arises because people want to leave their homes or go to sleep. If that is the case with you, simply decrease the flow of water while you are away.
Step 4. It is important to understand swimming pool water levels to not stop the water too early. Keep the water running until it is halfway up the pool’s waterline tile. The surface should be approximately 3 inches below the edge of the pool.
Step 5. Now switch to the spa. You can turn off the water when the spa overflows into your pool.
Step 6. Once the water is in the pool, you can add chemicals and turn on your filtration system.
Step 7. Wait 24 hours after the addition of chemicals. Now the pool is safe for swimming!
Filling A Swimming Pool With Expert Guidance
At Olympus Pools, we work with our new pool owners to walk you through the pool filling process. We’re also here to help you before, during, and after your purchase to answer any questions you may have. We highly recommend any pool owner who has questions regarding their pool maintenance, including water levels, contact their pool builder or a trusted pool maintenance company in their area.