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Thread: Could my metal really be gone?

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    Could my metal really be gone?

    I have been plagued by brown stains on my vinyl liner for 15 years. I can attribute the stains to my use of well water, and have been able to keep them in check through the use of sequestering agents and periodic doses of ascorbic acid. This year, sometime in late June, I decided to try CUlator, as it was displayed on the counter of my pool store and decided I'm already spending a fortune on these other products, why not give it a shot. I bought 2 of the CUlator bags and placed one in each skimmer. After a couple weeks I experienced no improvement as stains would start to appear about weekly when more sequestering agent was needed. I decided to buy 2 more CUlator bags and added those to my skimmers along with the originals. After another month or so there was still no improvement. Around this time I was starting to experience noticeable algae on the vinyl liner walls. This happens almost every year in late July in my locale (Norwalk, CT) as temps as well as pool use increases. Because of staining issues I have to keep chlorine at minimal safe levels, with an occasional splash of algecide. Slamming had always been out of the question as it would turn my pool brown. Well, in the first week of August I looked at the stains beginning to appear, and brushed the algae off my walls for the umpteenth time, and took the 4 CUlator bags and tossed them in the garbage in disgust. I decided I was going to slam the pool regardless of the staining, and see what happened. Well, the first evening of slamming, after adding 5 gallons of bleach to get my FC levels to 16, the staining appeared. This was the most bleach I had ever added to my pool at one time. When I woke up the next morning, the stains were GONE! What?? I figured that because of overnight chlorine loss the metals must have somehow gone back into suspension. Didn't think that was possible, but had no other explanation. FC did drop down to about 10 overnight, so added 2 more bottles of bleach, expecting fully the stains to come back. But no, they didn't. I continued slamming the pool for the next few days, and all has been good since. Even after adding some water from our well I have not experienced any staining, and I haven't added any sequestering agent in weeks. I'm very confused by this, as I do not think the CUlator product had anything to do with this as there was staining right up until the time I removed them from the pool. Unless the CUlator bags actually held the metal internally and that was what was causing the staining until I removed the bags from the pool? I am sitting in front of the pool right now, 3 weeks removed from slamming and it has never looked so crystal clear, with no signs of staining or algae. Anybody else ever have a similar experience?

    FC 3.2
    CC 0.2
    PH 7.4
    TA 90
    CH 190
    CA 40
    Last edited by jldelia; 08-31-2015 at 07:56 AM. Reason: Typo - wrote metal, meant vinyl

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Could my metal really be gone?

    It could have been that the CUlater product was indeed helping remove the metals in the pool and the lingering stains that we appearing were now organic in nature and not the same staining you had in the past. Did the staining appear different this time before SLAMing the pool? Organic based staining from residual algae will often be cleared up during a SLAM while metal staining, as you experienced in the past will often increase during a SLAM due to the temporary elevated pH and chlorine levels. With your pH at 7.4, I would expect any metals in the pool to be dissolved in the water, showing a brown or green color to the water, but if you're not seeing that, you may have eliminated a good portion of the metals. The only way to know for sure is to get the pool water tested for metals content. The most accurate test would be through a local laboratory that can test for metals in water. My local lab runs a suite of tests called Drinking Water Suitability that tests for a group of common water metals, nitrates and a few other analytes for about $40. Second option would be a pool store metals test. They would give you a good ball park number. You can also purchase an iron and/or copper test kit from tftestkits.net. They are not exactly cheap individual tests but as someone using well water to fill their pool, they might be worth the long term testing ability.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: Could my metal really be gone?

    Stains looked the same prior to slamming, so I think it was still a metal and not an organic stain. I've had pool store check for metals and it's always 0. They said being I use a sequestering agent it won't show metal because it's not in suspension. It must be metal though because it clears immediately with ascorbic acid. May have my lab run the DWS test since it's only $40 and would at least verify the problem. If this CUlator product does in fact work it's a Godsend for those of us on well water. I still think it may be snake oil.

    >> Joe <<
    30K IG , Vinyl, Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump, Hayward DE Filter, Taylor FAS-DPD, Well Water

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Could my metal really be gone?

    Just checked the pricing on my local lab again. Here's what they do:
    Water Suitability, $45, Calcium, Chloride, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Sodium, Conductivity, Hardness, Nitrate, pH, Sulfate, and Total Dissolved Solids
    Irrigation/Spray Suitability, $50, Nitrate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Sodium, Copper, Potassium, Phosphorous, Zinc, Chloride, Sulfate, pH, Hardness, Total Dissolved Solids, Conductivity and Ammonia

    Primarily this lab does testing for farming and livestock purposes but water is water and they do a good job.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    cowboycasey's Avatar
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    Re: Could my metal really be gone?

    I have not but I think that is great I have heard that when you water turns brown or different colors that is when you use the colater bags..
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
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    Re: Could my metal really be gone?

    You should contact the CuLator company and tell them what happened They sometimes have special procedures or can explain how to verify that your CuLator bags removed iron. When you spend that much money (the bags are not cheap) you should get what you pay for in service.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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