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Thread: HELP - Ascorbic Acid Treatment - Stains came back

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    WalterE's Avatar
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    HELP - Ascorbic Acid Treatment - Stains came back

    I followed the Ascorbic acid treatment post as best I could. Took the FC to 0 and added PolyQuat 60. I was so excited to see the stains disappear when I added the Ascorbic acid. The vinyl lining looked like new. It was beautiful. Then I added the sequestering agent (2 bottles of Jacks Magic Blue). Filtered for 24 hrs and then started slowly bringing the the FC from 0 slowly up to 0.5 then 1.0 then holding at 2.0. (PH was 7.2, TA was 50 and CYA is 30). I held it at this level for several days. It had been almost a week since the ascorbic acid treatment and all looked outstanding. I thought I was home free and was ready to celebrate.

    Unfortunately I had to go out of town and left instructions to keep the FC at 2.0. When I returned, the stains had returned as much or worse than before I started. On the white steps and skimmer, the stain is a "Dirty Orange" and against the blue vinyl pool, it looks light green and covers about 75% of the pool.

    Where did I go wrong??? How long does it take before the chance of re-staining goes away?? weeks??

    I'm willing to start over, but want to ensure that it works this time. I suspect the sequestering agent. Was it the wrong one? Not enough? (it's very expensive). Or should I have kept the FC lower and used more PloyQuat 60. (I have no signs of algae). Or should I have waited longer and added more sequestering agent.

    There are some smart people on this Forum and I an confident that you can straighten me out.

    Thanks in advance for your help.
    25,000 gallon in-ground pool - Vinyl Lining
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: HELP - Ascorbic Acid Treatment - Stains came back

    The only way to make the chance of restaining go away is to remove the iron from the pool, which is difficult. Otherwise, it will always come back and always need more sequestrant. Metal in the water is not fun!

    More here, Pool School - Metals in the Water and Metal Stains
    And here, Ascorbic Treatment to rid Pool of metal stains
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    Re: HELP - Ascorbic Acid Treatment - Stains came back

    Greetings, Walter. You didn't go wrong anywhere per se, but metals are a pain.

    The AA treatment is effective at stain removal, as you saw. However, I personally stopped doing them because while it restores your pool, it doesn't actually address the metals, and many people have trouble with the stains coming back.

    To dig deeper in your situation, first, let explain what possibly happened while you were away:

    1. The ph rose too high while you were gone, casing the metal to come out of solution. Keep ph around 7.2-7.4
    2. Some of the metal sequestrant wore off and the metal fell out of solution - the remedy is to add a maintenance dose of sequestrant in all these scenarios
    3. The pool caretaker added too much chlorine, eg shock level, which caused the metal to come out of solution

    You'll notice a theme here metals come out of solution and need re-sequestering aka maintenance doses.

    At this point, there are two paths...three technically, but I'm going to avoid the AA notion for the moment.

    1. You can try to identify the source and type of your metal. Eg. Are you on well? If so, what is the iron level in well? That would help me help you better.

    Or did this staining start after use of an algaecide with copper, a mineral system, etc? What as your treatment history been?

    If your source water is city and you're not just adding more metals, but the metals in pool are high, then its worth a partial water change to dilute the volume of metals in your water. The higher the metal evel in ppm, the harder it is to get stable results.

    But if you're on well, there's just not likely any point. To dilute on well requires trucking in water -- not cheap! But an option. If you're on well, there's a whole conversation to have about pre filtering options to reduce load.

    2. The second avenue would be to simply try a combo sequestrant-and-stain treatment that is easier than AA in execution but not cheaper. I've had success with this approach and enjoyed not mucking about with the slow process of coming out of an AA treatment.

    In this alternate method, you specifically use Metal Magic by proteam, and do a test to see how much you need to remove the stain. Here's the instructions: http://www.proteampoolcare.com/image...SpongeTest.pdf

    I like this method because its easy to tell if it will work by doing the test, and after doing the super treatment, it seems to take longer before having to add maintenance doses. In addition, you have to use sequestrant with the AA method anyway...so to me this is just simpler

    I also just want to check that you've only been keeping FC aT 2, too low for your cya, because of the treatment, right? I don't want to see you get algae. So bring that back up to te normal FC...its been 2 weeks!

    Btw, I never found jacks blue as effective as jacks pink for metal...mine is mostly iron and if that's true for you too and you decide to stay with javk's instead of trying MM, then switch to pink

    Hope that hels give you some options to consider.

    There's a bit more to discuss if your on well, and dependent on any metal ppm you can dig up/determine, but that should ge you started.

    Cheers to clear!
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    Re: HELP - Ascorbic Acid Treatment - Stains came back

    Thank you. This is helpful. I am now planning to go forward with the Metal Magic plan. Here are my answers.

    1. Not a well. Using City Water (appears to have very low amounts of copper or iron I looked at their yearly analysis).
    2. Stains have been there a couple of years - not sure what could have caused them. Probably some chemical the pool store gave me.
    3. Just finished 3 partial water refills (vinyl lining) to get CYA down (now 30). (Maybe should have addressed the stains first.)
    4. I will bring my FC up to 4 per the chart.
    5. Having trouble visualizing the sponge test. Does the sponge wrap around the bottle or attach to the bottom of the bottle?.
    6. Now must order the "Metal Magic" and await arrival. I'm not sure about a local vendor. Probably should order enough for maintenance also.

    Appreciate your help. Wish me luck.
    25,000 gallon in-ground pool - Vinyl Lining
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    Re: HELP - Ascorbic Acid Treatment - Stains came back

    Hey, Walter,

    I was going to chime in but swampwoman is a guru on metals and has first hand experience. We'll help with the battle where we can.
    Dave S.
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    Re: HELP - Ascorbic Acid Treatment - Stains came back

    Go ahead and chime in any time, Dave. Your comments are always welcome and can supplement the sage advice of swampwoman.

    An update:
    1. I have ordered 7 bottles of Metal Magic.. Getting ready to try again.
    2. I decided to backwash today and was amazed at the color of the discharge. It is a very dark orange/brown color - I have not seen before. I've see green from algae and brown from pool sediment, but never this color. So obviously, the first treatment did something and I'm hoping that part of the discharge was unwanted metal.
    3. Trying to keep the FC at 4. It was three this morning, so I added 2 quarts of liquid chlorine to take it to 5. I think my usage now is around 2ppm per day. Any suggestions for a chlorine schedule that will minimize my efforts?. Looks like during the summer it will be a daily job or 1/2 gal per day. Maybe 1 gallon every 2 days?
    4. Is there any way I can determine if it's iron or copper?
    5. Next step will be the sponge test when the MM arrives. Still not clear on how to attach the sponge to the bottle.
    25,000 gallon in-ground pool - Vinyl Lining
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    Re: HELP - Ascorbic Acid Treatment - Stains came back

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    Re: HELP - Ascorbic Acid Treatment - Stains came back

    Good morning.

    There are a couple of ways to do the sponge test, depending on where your staining is. Eg if on floor, you can saturate the sponge with the MM, put in a small plastic container (eg sandwhich box type) and hold down on stain with stones, heavy object or a pole strategically located.

    The jacks stain ID kit is meant to tell you which of their stain removers to use, and is great to do if you want to use one of their stain removers. Right now though, you're trying the metal magic approach, so I'm not sure it'd be worth this particular stain test at the moment.

    However, to determine whether iron or copper or both, Lamotte makes a fairly inexpensive copper and iron test kit. That said, once sequestered, you may not get much of a reading.

    Pool stores also will test for metals if you kinda just ignore the rest of what they say Some people will get 0 readings even though they have staining, which is proof in the pudding -- so testing is a bit slippery in this regard.

    With the orange backwash, iron is def the suspect to my mind. AA also tends to work a bit better on iron than copper, and you did have a successful AA treatment, so my best guess is that its possible your water supply has a bit of iron in it. Generally, each of iron and copper will stain at anything higher than .3 ppm.

    If you can post a pic of the stains, it might help (or not, since they can look similar.) during the AA treatment, did any part of the staining turn black before lifting? That's a hint for copper, just so you know.

    Regarding chlorine/bleach dosing, the best practice is to dose daily to your target based on the FC/CYA Chart for your cya level. You'll have a sense of daily consumption in so doing after a bit, but it never hurts to do a quick check f the ph and FC each day anyway. That's how you catch a problem early on to keep things "trouble free."

    Cheers!
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    Re: HELP - Ascorbic Acid Treatment - Stains came back

    Thank you SwampWoman. My Metal Magic arrives tomorrow and I hope to start the process. I hope you will stay with me. Here are the instructions from their website:
    Applications
    Adjust pH to 7.5 - 7.8 and clean filter as necessary.
    Turn off, disconnect, or remove Nature 2, Frog, and similar system. Discontinue use of chlorine generator.
    After application, keep filter running continuously for 48 hours
    Best results occur when water temperature is above 60 degrees F
    For light staining or low metal content in water, use 1 quart per 10,000 gallons of pool water.
    For other treatment options refer to the ProTeam Metal Magic Sponge Test .pdf (below)
    ProTeam Dry Clarifier will aid in the speedy removal of suspended metal particles in the water

    I do have a couple of questions:
    1. Do you have any additions or clarifications to add to the Pro Team instructions?
    2. What about FC? No mention here. My target would be 4 with a CYA of 30.
    3. Anything else? Algaecide? Etc.
    4. Should I start a new thread, or is this one fine? Either way, I will keep a log running until success or failure.
    5. Water is currently clear… will add pictures of current stain.
    25,000 gallon in-ground pool - Vinyl Lining
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    Re: HELP - Ascorbic Acid Treatment - Stains came back

    Ignore my previous questions. The Metal Magic has arrived and the label information has answered my questions. The label on the bottle is much more detailed than what I found on their web site. Here is the instruction:

    Adjust PH to 7.5 or higher. If sanitizing with Chlorine or Bromine, these levels should be at or below 3 ppm. Ideal levels should be around 1 ppm. Avoid shocking the pool for up to 1 week after application.

    The rest of the label is much more detailed, however this answered my FC question. When taking to FC 1.0, I will use an algaecide.

    I will start adjust chemistry today and try to start tomorrow.

    Will keep the thread posted on how it goes.
    25,000 gallon in-ground pool - Vinyl Lining
    Hayward Pro Series S244T Sand filter -- 300 lb Sand
    Taylor K-2006 Test Kit
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    Re: HELP - Ascorbic Acid Treatment - Stains came back

    Polyquat 60 is preferred. Be sure that it is not a copper based algaecide.
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    Re: HELP - Ascorbic Acid Treatment - Stains came back

    Progress. Got up this morning to a stain free very clear pool. However, due to past experience and other posts, I'm not going to declare victory just yet. Here is what I did with comments added.
    1. Did the sponge test. Stain around the sponge cleared up in around 3 minutes.. good. (Interesting that stain right under the sponge did not go away, just the area around the sponge.)
    2. Backwashed the filter and cleaned out the pool.
    3. Let the FC go to 1.8 (Instructions said 3 or under, but around 1 was best).
    4. Added Algaecide. The note from "pooldv" arrived after I had used Alkyl 50).. Will switch to Polyquat 60 in the future.
    5. Adjusted the PH to 7.6.
    6. Sprinkled in 2.5 quarts of Metal Magic -- crossed my fingers and waited.
    7. Observation - the MM did not work as fast as Ascorbic. I got nervous and added another quart.
    8. Patience is best.... This morning after 20 hours, 99% of the stain is gone. I'm the only one that can see any residue, but will wait for the full 48 hrs as MM recommends, but I am very happy with the look of the pool this morning.
    9. I had added enough chlorine last night to take it to 3 ppm over night and had no chlorine loss over night.
    10. An interesting point .... The PH dropped out of site. Took 7 drops of base demand to get the color back to 7.4. So I have been slowly bringing the PH back into range. It's currently around 7.0. TA is holding at 50.
    11. My plan now is to hold the FC at 3, bring the PH back into range and give it the full 48 hours. Then backwash and take the FC to my target at 4 and go into a weekly maintenance mode.
    12. If anything changes will post here. I appreciate any comments.
    25,000 gallon in-ground pool - Vinyl Lining
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    Re: HELP - Ascorbic Acid Treatment - Stains came back

    Sounds good, Walter. That's pretty much how it worked for me.

    You will need to add periodic maintenance doses as like all sequestrants, it wears down over time due to chlorine...hence the note about shocking.

    Unlike AA, which then requires the sequestrant after a treatment, the Metal Magic IS sequestrant, so will certainly keep metals in solution longer.
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    Re: HELP - Ascorbic Acid Treatment - Stains came back

    Well, the 48 hours are up and I can find no trace of stain on the pool surface. Even the steps, drain, skimmer, and jets have turned white again. Really looks good. Now to keep it that way. PH is still below 7.0 (adding baking soda to slowly bring it up) and I am maintaining the chlorine between 2 and 3.5 ppm.

    Metal Magic calls for monthly maintenance. Here is what is on the label:

    After 48 hours resume normal pool operation, for pools with sand and DE filters, backwash according to manufacturer's instructions and resume filtering.

    After initial dose, for continued prevention of stains and scale to equipment and pool surfaces:

    If source water has more than 2-3 ppm of metals present, add 16 ounces of this product for every 10,000 gallons of water monthly. For pool water that has trace amounts of metals in source water, add 3-6 ounces per 10,000 of water monthly.

    My source is the city water, which reports copper at 0.2 ppm and iron at 0.3 ppm. (unless I have contamination inside the meter). So guess I will go with 3-6 ounces per 10,000. Since my pool is 25,000 I plan to go with 15 ounces per month (roughly half a bottle). (Unless I get better advice from this forum.)

    I'm at a loss as to the source of the metal stain. I did find an old bottle of copper algaecide. Probably when I had a bad algea bloom and was throwing anything at it.

    Thanks again for everybody's help.... Especially Swampwoman
    25,000 gallon in-ground pool - Vinyl Lining
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    Re: HELP - Ascorbic Acid Treatment - Stains came back

    You're welcome. Glad we got you squared away. Cheers to clear!
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: HELP - Ascorbic Acid Treatment - Stains came back

    Walter, following your thread since I have a non stop battle w iron staining. I've tried it all and have given up hope. Good luck!!
    Montgomery, AL
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    Re: HELP - Ascorbic Acid Treatment - Stains came back

    Quote Originally Posted by smforte View Post
    Walter, following your thread since I have a non stop battle w iron staining. I've tried it all and have given up hope. Good luck!!
    Hello smforte:

    I hear what you are saying. Based upon my first experience with the Ascorbic Acid (pool looked great for week and then it came back with a vengeance), I am cautious about declaring victory this early. I have purposely been keeping my FC around 3ppm for a while and the fact that the MM guys say no slamming for 2 weeks. I'm now three days into it. The water is crystal clear, but I feel sure that there is plenty of metal floating around in that clear water waiting to raise its ugly head.

    I am curious about your experiences. Did yours clear up initially? How and when did the stains come back? Swampwoman indicates that it may take some time for the metals to filter out. Great to have someone with her experience in our corner.

    I won't give up if you won't.
    25,000 gallon in-ground pool - Vinyl Lining
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    Re: HELP - Ascorbic Acid Treatment - Stains came back

    Quote Originally Posted by WalterE View Post
    Hello smforte:

    I hear what you are saying. Based upon my first experience with the Ascorbic Acid (pool looked great for week and then it came back with a vengeance), I am cautious about declaring victory this early. I have purposely been keeping my FC around 3ppm for a while and the fact that the MM guys say no slamming for 2 weeks. I'm now three days into it. The water is crystal clear, but I feel sure that there is plenty of metal floating around in that clear water waiting to raise its ugly head.

    I am curious about your experiences. Did yours clear up initially? How and when did the stains come back? Swampwoman indicates that it may take some time for the metals to filter out. Great to have someone with her experience in our corner.

    I won't give up if you won't.
    Actually, your post is identical to mine....I could have wrote it. I've done numerous AA treatments, MM and added Jacks pink each week. I keep my ph at 7.3 and FC at minimum. After 2 weeks the metals come back. The only thing I can contribute the metals to was my ladder that was starting to corrode. We removed it last year. After spending so much $$ on sequestrants, AA etc I finally gave up. Staining isn't quite as bad this year but still there. Saving for a new liner and hoping I can drain the metals out one day soon.

    But alas,,,,that's my story and I certainly wouldn't want to discourage you. Here's hoping you have more success than me.
    Montgomery, AL
    27000 16 x 36 IG, Vinyl, Grecian, Hayward Sand filter, 1 HP Pentair whisperflo motor, Aqua Genie filter not by choice, no extra jets, Dolphin s300i robotic cleaner,Taylor K 2006 test kit, speed-stir which I couldn't live without!

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    Re: HELP - Ascorbic Acid Treatment - Stains came back

    Quote Originally Posted by smforte View Post
    Actually, your post is identical to mine....I could have wrote it. I've done numerous AA treatments, MM and added Jacks pink each week. I keep my ph at 7.3 and FC at minimum. After 2 weeks the metals come back. The only thing I can contribute the metals to was my ladder that was starting to corrode. We removed it last year. After spending so much $$ on sequestrants, AA etc I finally gave up. Staining isn't quite as bad this year but still there. Saving for a new liner and hoping I can drain the metals out one day soon.

    But alas,,,,that's my story and I certainly wouldn't want to discourage you. Here's hoping you have more success than me.
    smforte, you may have identified my problem. I have been racking my brain to try to figure out where the metals are coming from. On one of my ladders, one of the screws is rusty. Could that have caused the problem? I can certainly remove both ladders. We don't use them that much since we have a shallow end to exit the pool.

    Anybody else out there want to weigh in on a rusty screw in the ladder? The ladders are about 8 years old.
    25,000 gallon in-ground pool - Vinyl Lining
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    Re: HELP - Ascorbic Acid Treatment - Stains came back

    Quote Originally Posted by WalterE View Post
    smforte, you may have identified my problem. I have been racking my brain to try to figure out where the metals are coming from. On one of my ladders, one of the screws is rusty. Could that have caused the problem? I can certainly remove both ladders. We don't use them that much since we have a shallow end to exit the pool.

    Anybody else out there want to weigh in on a rusty screw in the ladder? The ladders are about 8 years old.
    That was the only thing I could find in my pool that was questionable so I figured, what the heck! However, my house was a foreclosure and no telling what previous owners my have dumped in the water. Be sure to keep your eye on ph. Like I said I keep my FC lower but of course I had a higher than normal bather load 2 weeks after treatment and had to raise FC level to 8. Next morning, hello yellow steps....ugh
    Montgomery, AL
    27000 16 x 36 IG, Vinyl, Grecian, Hayward Sand filter, 1 HP Pentair whisperflo motor, Aqua Genie filter not by choice, no extra jets, Dolphin s300i robotic cleaner,Taylor K 2006 test kit, speed-stir which I couldn't live without!

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