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Thread: Chemical balance when treating iron stains

  1. Back To Top    #1
    C New's Avatar
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    Chemical balance when treating iron stains

    Today's chemistry per TF-100
    FC-5
    TC-5
    CH-300
    TA-70
    CYA-70
    ph-7.3
    CSI - neg 0.45
    Temp - 74 degrees

    I'm preparing to treat pool for iron stains using a Stain Eliminator Kit from Periodic Products. I'm using the kit because it's the recommended kit for the CULATOR metal eliminator product and, since I want the product to work, I think its reasonable to follow the recommendations. I already verified the stain is iron by using a vitamin c tablet to remove a small area. The fill water from well tested .2 ppm so I think the staining is from high chlorine and ph levels. Before I found TFP I was paying someone from the pool store to maintain my pool and they LOVED to use Turboshock and since they came biweekly I know the ph was often too high as well. Now that I know how to maintain the pool myself, thanks to TFP, I want to remove the stains and hopefully remove the metal as well so I don't have to routinely use sequester.

    The kit instructions are:
    1. Balance to 7.2 - 7.4 ph, 80 - 120 TA, 200 - 400 CH and phosphates to less than 10 ppm. (Done except for phosphates, don't know how to measure that)
    2. Lower chlorine level to 1 ppm or less. (Scary stuff but I have ProTeam Polyquat 60 algaecide)
    3. Turn circulator pump on (I have cartridge filters and I don't think there is a way to bypass them?)
    4. Add the Ascorbic and Citric Acid powders
    5. Add the Culator Metal Sequester, circulate and brush for an hour then turn pump off and let it sit overnight
    6. Next day bring the ph up to 7.2 - 7.6 (I guess this means the ph will drop during the process?)
    7. Insert Culator Metal Eliminator cartridge into the pump basket and run the pump at least six hours per day cleaning filters frequently
    8. For at least 3 weeks do not shock or allow chlorine to exceed 1 ppm

    I'm looking for feedback from other members who have used this process/products - successes, failures, disasters or just general comments.

    Also can any of you TFP experts answer the following questions:
    Do I need to replace some of the water (been hoping for heavy rain but hasn't arrived yet) to reduce the CYA level and increase the effectiveness of the chlorine before I start?
    Is there a way to bypass the cartridge filters to circulate? I have new filters to put in after the process is complete.
    At what point do I need to add the Polyquat and will I need to add additional algaecide during the 3 week period that chlorine level is low?
    Since bringing ph level back up is in the instructions I'm guessing it is going to drop dramatically at some point - anybody have any experience to share?
    Are there pitfalls other than an algae outbreak that I need to be aware of and try to avoid?

    Thanks so much for help!
    26K In ground Gunite w/pebble tech. Jandy/Zodiac SWG, 4 Cartridge Filter System & Paramount PCC 2000 Floor Cleaner, well water auto fill

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Chemical balance when treating iron stains

    I'm sorry I don't have more helpful feedback on this specific product, but having well, iron, done ascorbic acid treatments several times, etc., I do have comments that might be future-useful

    I personally would not allow FC to ride at 1 ppm for three weeks. The times I've done the AA treatment, I've been able to bring the FC back up without immediate recurring of stains (the stains would recurring only as iron was added and seqestrant wore off months later.) However, do not SHOCK for 3 weeks...or ever, if possible, as that will cause more staining.

    What you'll likely find is that the AA, plus polyquat, will fight the chlorine until its oxidized. So the trick is to add moderate amounts of FC every few hours, test, re-add until you get FC holding at normal, but not HIGH levels. That way you will avoid an outbreak that would necessitate shocking/slamming.

    IME, AA takes longer to work in cooler water, so do give it a few days.

    Re:lowering your cya...that would likely give you a little more room but I'm not sure as my cya is always lower and I chlorinate the next day so I can't calculate whether the cya would help extend your sanitation in lw leaves by reserving chlorine or whether it exacerbates your likelihood of algae at that level.

    Lastly, your well iron is pretty low if you meant .2, not 2. Mine is more like 2 At .2, I'm surprised you get much staining at all, but perhaps it has built up over time.

    At any rate, on my vinyl liner I switched from AA treatments to high initial dose of Metl Magic instead after reading about something called "the sponge test." It worked just as well for me and was way easier, but I've also now plumbed my softened water to an outdoor spigot and use that for refills...so my iron level has dropped quite dramatically.

    If you don't find your current method satisfying in terms of convenience or effect, thos are two additional options you might consider for the future. I am enjoying the results of this approach

    Here's the link: http://www.proteampoolcare.com/image...SpongeTest.pdf

    The reason I liked this approach was not having to fuss with ph levels so much and reducing the two-step (AA plus sequestrnt) approach to one-step. Downside is the accumulation of spent phosphates which at high levels can foul an swg...but usually only at very high levels over time...not from just one heavy treatment or a bit of maintenance. Eg years not months.
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!
    Helpful Links:
    GET A TEST KIT Chlorine/CYA Chart How to SLAM About Metals & Stains

  3. Back To Top    #3
    C New's Avatar
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    Re: Chemical balance when treating iron stains

    Thank you so much Swampwoman! The beauty of this site and it's members is that nobody has to keep reinventing the wheel. Experience is the best tool available. I do like the fewer steps to the proteam product and will try that if I have the staining recur. Since my well water did test very low (yes, .2 not 2) I'm pretty sure the staining was caused by excessively high chlorine and ph before I found TFP and decided to take control of my pool. CYA is higher than I would like but I've been waiting for rains to come and dilute it gradually - rain finally arrived today after several months of drought . And I think you are absolutely right about not waiting three weeks to start bringing chlorine up. I've not had an algae outbreak in the 2 years we've had the pool and that is something I would really like to avoid.

    You mentioned phosphates - how do I test for high levels of phosphates? I need to buy some MA anyway so I could take a water sample to the pool store but if there is a way I can/should be testing at home....

    Your input is greatly appreciated!
    26K In ground Gunite w/pebble tech. Jandy/Zodiac SWG, 4 Cartridge Filter System & Paramount PCC 2000 Floor Cleaner, well water auto fill

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Chemical balance when treating iron stains

    I have a Taylor phosphate test kit, but it doesn't really go high enough for someone on a steady diet of sequestrant so I use hubby's aquarium test, which in my case, still has to be diluted.

    Jack's Magic has a test kit specifically for its own products, I believe.

    In general, in a properly chlorinated pool, phosphates are completely moot because algae will not/cannot feed on phosphates if the FC is kept at the TFP-recommended ratio for cya.

    Pool stores use half-baked scare tactics about phosphates to sell pricy phosphate removers and to otherwise excuse/compensate for their stabilized products that mean the correct ratio is not kept So generally, phosphate readings rarely mean a thing truly to the average pool owner, despite all the baloney some product peddlers will tout!

    The exception is phosphate scale in extremely high ph environments ... (Eg the guts f the salt cell, not the pool water) And my recently expanded understanding of this is that in theory, even at 25000 ppb (25 ppm but phosphates are read in PB...so mine are 25 times what the pool store would say..,) if my calcium isn't high I'm only a moderate risk for salt cell scaling.

    However, when I do switch to swg next spring or the year following, if my phosphate level has not reduced (they break dwn over time and my usage has been light this year now that iron is down due to softwater additions) I will do a one time commercial level phosphate removal treatment, which will cost about $140 - $280 at my high level...a level that has accumulated over my 4 years here, and the 11 years prior since this pool's been on well since day 1

    SO in your shoes, I would look at phosphate testing as maybe a once a year/2-year kind of thing, for which the pool store is probably fine...just tune out the big deal they'll make of modest phosphate levels, or have some fun with them and ask them where they think spent metal sequestrant goes...

    And just so you know, at this incredibly high and uncommon level of phosphates in my pool...my water is crystal and I have never had algae since taking it over and using TFP
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!
    Helpful Links:
    GET A TEST KIT Chlorine/CYA Chart How to SLAM About Metals & Stains

  5. Back To Top    #5
    C New's Avatar
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    Re: Chemical balance when treating iron stains

    Thank you SW. My pool requires a steady diet of muratic acid to keep ph down and the pool store charges about $8 per gallon. So I can buy acid there and have them test my water for phosphates periodically. I've never added sequestrant before and the last time the pool store analyzed for me (in August) phosphates were zero (and every time prior to that as well). We've had heavy rain since Friday and chlorine level is almost down enough to start treatment. I really hope this works and brings back the beautiful blue color to the plaster.
    26K In ground Gunite w/pebble tech. Jandy/Zodiac SWG, 4 Cartridge Filter System & Paramount PCC 2000 Floor Cleaner, well water auto fill

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