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Thread: Iron stains

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    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Iron stains

    Hi there: I've read a lot about how to remove iron stains (confirmed with a vitamin C tablet test). With my CYA around 30, I keep FC at 3-4 and pH around 7.8. It seems to me I'm seeing more orange spots on the bottom of the pool. Is the high pH making this worse?

    The pool store said I had .1 iron and .1 copper in my water - is this reliable? The numbers don't seem that high given other posts I've seen. Trying to decide if I should embark on this mission: www DOT troublefreepool DOT com/sticky.php?s=2298

    I just got done tackling an algae issue in our newly acquired pool which was unused for 3 years. I'm afraid to let FC fall - should I use an algaecide if I do take FC down? It seems there are mixed opinions.

    Tina (TKO) ~ My Pool: In-ground concrete/white plaster kidney shaped (21x40x9(deep end)); ~28,000 gal; Pentair Superflo hp pump; Hayward S244T 300lb sand filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir

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    Jan 2014
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    Harrisburg, NC
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    Re: Iron stains

    Hi there. I'm not a TFP expert, but will offer my 2 cents based on recent experience. DO NOT let your FC fall to zero, or if you do, DO NOT SLAM afterwards, even though the SLAM post says you're supposed to do that. I learned the hard way

    You can see what happened in my thread: Help! Iron stains returned immediately
    2005 build, 16K gal, IG - vinyl, 3/4 hp WhisperFlo pump, sand filter, Polaris cleaning robot

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    May 2015
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    Mount Cheaha Alabama
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    Re: Iron stains

    Hey TKO.
    There's a definite relationship with the SLAM process and metals being deposited on pool surfaces.

    The higher your pH is the less likely metals will stay in solution - the more acidic(lower pH) the more free ions to bond to iron and copper molecules
    Bleach is Caustic so Slamming will raise pH and subsequently under the right dissolved metal conditions cause staining on liners & gunite.

    I'd advise against the whole pool AA treatment - far too many side effects.
    If your stains lift easily with a bunch of vitamin C pills in a sock just take your time and clean while you swim, but keep your pH down in the 7.2-7.4 range.
    after using a bunch of pills you will see FC drop, and possibly CC - don't get alarmed if your water started clear but has a light turbidity. The FC is being consumed by the free AA. Just monitor for a few hours and bring FC up gradually.

    Pool store metal tests are unreliable at best and complete garbage for the most part.
    They don't account for sequestrants in the water which are binding up copper & iron - which will drop out of suspension when pH goes high
    30k in ground vinyl lined pool surrounded by decking in the woods.
    Hayward sand filter circa mid 80's
    If there is a way to do things less expensively and yield a superior product I am all ears

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Iron stains

    TKO, as an alternate to the AA treatment, I've had past success with the Metal Magic sponge test and dosing to the level indicated by the test.

    If you have metals, you need to sequester them anyway. I found that in my pool, the MM removed "fresh" iron stains virtually as well as AA without the shenanigans. Its not as "sure fire" as an AA treatment, but here's a link if you want to give it a try. http://www.proteampoolcare.com/image...SpongeTest.pdf
    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

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    Re: Iron stains

    Thanks all for the responses - so I think I'll use muriatic acid to lower the pH to 7.2-7.3, then try the Metal Magic or some other stain remover. Besides Metal Magic, are there any other recommended ones?
    Tina (TKO) ~ My Pool: In-ground concrete/white plaster kidney shaped (21x40x9(deep end)); ~28,000 gal; Pentair Superflo hp pump; Hayward S244T 300lb sand filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Iron stains

    Jack's Magic Stuff is good too. But, I think MM is cheaper.
    TFP Moderator
    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Iron stains

    Great - thanks. I'll get some ordered...so, muriatic acid to lower pH to 7.2-7.3 is recommended, right?
    Tina (TKO) ~ My Pool: In-ground concrete/white plaster kidney shaped (21x40x9(deep end)); ~28,000 gal; Pentair Superflo hp pump; Hayward S244T 300lb sand filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Iron stains

    Right, it helps keep the metal in solution. High ph causes the metal to fall out of solution.

    I've used different (recommended) sequestrants and in your case I'd recommend specifically the Metal Magic. Its seems to work best at byproduct stain removal, it requires less top up to maintain, you can get good guidance off that sponge test link I gave you (for free, no expensive sequest test needed) and its cheaper, eg. Check out Pool Chemicals, Hot Tub Chemicals and Supplies | Pool Geek

    For Metal Magic, however, you actually need your ph a little over 7.5 for it to work optimally...it will bring the ph down a bit. So if you're going to use it, you don't need to lower ph as much.
    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

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: Iron stains

    Great to know - thank you! I'll do some digging to see how much MM I will need for our 28k gallon pool.

    Update: I read your test link again, and all the info is there. It says leave pH 7.5 or higher, so maybe I won't touch it for now til after MM?
    Tina (TKO) ~ My Pool: In-ground concrete/white plaster kidney shaped (21x40x9(deep end)); ~28,000 gal; Pentair Superflo hp pump; Hayward S244T 300lb sand filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Re: Iron stains

    Quote Originally Posted by basod View Post
    I'd advise against the whole pool AA treatment - far too many side effects.
    I was thinking of doing a whole pool AA treatment myself. What are the side effects? I have light iron staining over the entire pool surface, except in areas I put an AA tablet.
    Michael

    20,000 gallon in-ground gunite/plaster pool (1992), attached spa with spillway, Pentair Superflo 1.5 HP pump, Smith booster pump for pool sweep, Pentair 2000 DE filter, Sta Rite Max-E-Therm 400 heater, Silencer Blower 2 HP for spa, Polaris 280 pool sweep.

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