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Thread: Water turned DEEP BROWN in 2 days! Help! New Pool & NPO

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    Exclamation Water turned DEEP BROWN in 2 days! Help! New Pool & NPO

    Hello! I need major help! My brand new pool (only been set up for a week) turned very dark murky brown in the last 2 days. This is my first pool....I'm a newly single mom just trying to give my only son something fun to do this summer. Here is the breakdown of what I have and what I've done so far:

    Coleman above ground 18'x48" (states 6,100 gal)
    Regular Filter pump (I run this 8 hrs/day on a timer)
    Purchased a Krystal Clear Saltwater System (this runs 4 hrs/day on a timer)

    On the first day of fill I dumped 3- 50lb bags of Solar Salt around perimeter. The water took about 15 hours to fill up and it was a light greenish color to begin with. When the salt dissolved I ran the filter pump for a good 12 hours and the SWG 4 hours then set their regular timer cycles.

    Everything was was fine for about 5 days.... I cleaned the filter every other day, nothing looked abnormal, just regular buildup. I ran my test strips and the only thing that looked off was the TA (2 different brand test strips gave me different readings, between 125-180ppm.)

    Then yesterday morning when I went out to skim the top, it was turning darker greenish/brown and I noticed some sort of brown soot-looking stuff on the bottom and around the valves. I cleaned the filter and it was COVERED in the brown residue. I then turned the pump on to run constantly. I put about 1 1/2 lbs of stabilizer in a sock and hung it in front of return valve so it could help disperse. I put the SWG in Boost mode.

    Today when I went out, the water was completely brown! Not green at all, but solid brown. And the brown residue is everywhere!!! Is that rust or something? I bought 5 gal of 6% bleach and poured them in just now and turned off the SWG but left on the filter pump.

    I'm at a loss, I have no idea what to do. The nearest pool store is over an hour away (I live in VERY rural Texas). I will pack up and go today if I have too, but I need to know EVERYTHING I must get, because it's pretty much a once/week trip for me. Can't afford to run back and forth and get stuff everyday. PLEASE help me!!!
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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Water turned DEEP BROWN in 2 days! Help! New Pool & NPO

    That sure looks like the results of iron in the water. Are you filling from a well?

    My guess is the green look when you first filled it was the combination of yellow water from the iron and the blue liner. Then after running for a while, your chlorine may have gotten high enough to oxidize the iron and cause the brown.

    The easiest solution would be to refill from a source of water that doesn't have iron. There are metal sequestrants that can help, but they are a regular maintenance item and don't really cure the problem.
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    Re: Water turned DEEP BROWN in 2 days! Help! New Pool & NPO

    No, I am on city water supply in Coleman, TX. We have gotten a lot of rain lately that filled out lakes and the lakes have been over-turning a lot. That's what supplies us. There really isn't any other source to fill from, and if I refill it will almost 99% happen again. We shower and cook/drink this water supply (that's a scary thought ).
    So, I guess I should do the sequestrants....what am I looking for at the store? And I'm guessing I need a pretty good vacuum too to clean up when it sinks?

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Water turned DEEP BROWN in 2 days! Help! New Pool & NPO

    You need to filter out the oxidized iron from the pool. Since you don't have a skimmer on your pool, you can make a rust filter for your pool. It will take a few days but it will filter the rust out. Here are some youtube links to show how to make the filter. The first one is good for construction of the filter, the second one is better for placement and he cleans/changes the polyfil frequently.

    Vacuum out as much of the solids on the bottom of the pool as you can, moving as slowly as you can so you don't stir it up too much. Once the water is clear start using sequestrant regularly so it doesn't happen again.

    Something else you may want to try is a slime bag .

    How to get rust out of pool water - The easy way - No more brown water! - YouTube

    How to get iron out of pool water. Effective and cheap. Intex pool. - YouTube

    This is a smaller homemade iron filter

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyaJozT_0-Q


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    ckk81's Avatar
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    Re: Water turned DEEP BROWN in 2 days! Help! New Pool & NPO

    Hi!
    Test strips are notoriously unreliable. Get one of the recommended test kits it's worth your time and sanity alone.
    Post a full set of test results when you can.
    Have you run an OCLT?
    Pool School - Perform the Overnight FC Loss Test (OCLT)

    If you pass that we can start narrowing down the cause.

    As others have said vacuuming out the visible solids to waste is a good idea.
    30K? gal (20x40, 3ft shallow to 8-9ft hopper), Vinyl IG, single speed 1HP pump, Hayward Micro Clear DE-3600 filter, Hayward Aqua Rite SWG T15 Cell, Rheem/Raypack M206A heater

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    Re: Water turned DEEP BROWN in 2 days! Help! New Pool & NPO

    Ok thank you, I will get started on the rust filter ASAP.

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    Re: Water turned DEEP BROWN in 2 days! Help! New Pool & NPO

    I posted my problem on FB with pictures and go figure, about 10-15 other ppl in my small town had the same thing happen if they filled or added new water in the last week or so. So we all contacted the city and the water plant, and they say there is a problem they're trying to fix at the plant. Whatever it is, it oxidizes the metals in our water once we have added sufficient chlorine to our pools.
    Unfortunately I didn't know this before I dumped 5 gal of bleach in my pool this morning, now it's WAY WAAAAAYYYYY worse than the pics I posted earlier. I'm not sure I will be able to filter this much out. I might have to drain and refill.....but if they haven't fixed the problem at the water plant, then it'll just happen again.

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    Re: Water turned DEEP BROWN in 2 days! Help! New Pool & NPO

    Ironically iron is much easier to remove from the water in its brown oxidized form. Just keep at it with the filter and keep your chlorine at recommended levels you should be clear in a couple days.
    Chuck-
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    ckk81's Avatar
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    Re: Water turned DEEP BROWN in 2 days! Help! New Pool & NPO

    You can filter out then. I'd post a thread but I'm the mobile app.

    30K? gal (20x40, 3ft shallow to 8-9ft hopper), Vinyl IG, single speed 1HP pump, Hayward Micro Clear DE-3600 filter, Hayward Aqua Rite SWG T15 Cell, Rheem/Raypack M206A heater

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    Re: Water turned DEEP BROWN in 2 days! Help! New Pool & NPO

    The GOOD news:
    After a week of filtering & vacuuming, I got clear water again!
    The BAD news:
    It only lasted for 2 days. Now today, my water is a weird ugly greenish color. I just reconnected my SWG 2 days ago after we got all the iron out (or so I thought). It runs on a 4 hr/day cycle. My filter pump has been running pretty much non-stop for a week except when I'm changing out filters.

    I bought a good test kit. Here are my #'s:
    Salt 3700
    CYA 40
    FC 1
    TA 230
    pH 7.2
    CH 200

    Any help???

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    Re: Water turned DEEP BROWN in 2 days! Help! New Pool & NPO

    It looks like you went from an iron problem into an algae problem due to low FC. I don't know how some walk people through it so easy, but while you wait you might as well read this a couple of times

    Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart
    Scott
    15,000 Gallons vinyl in-ground screen enclosed, Hayward Eco-star SP3400VSP, Hayward Aqua Logic PL-Plus, Hayward T-15 Salt Cell, Hayward S244T Sand Filter, Polaris 380 with booster pump, Hayward heat pump HP50HA. K-2006 kit.

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    Re: Water turned DEEP BROWN in 2 days! Help! New Pool & NPO

    Scott
    15,000 Gallons vinyl in-ground screen enclosed, Hayward Eco-star SP3400VSP, Hayward Aqua Logic PL-Plus, Hayward T-15 Salt Cell, Hayward S244T Sand Filter, Polaris 380 with booster pump, Hayward heat pump HP50HA. K-2006 kit.

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    Re: Water turned DEEP BROWN in 2 days! Help! New Pool & NPO

    Ok I'll start the shock process. Should I continue to run the SWG on the regular intervals during this process, or just turn it off and run the filter pump only?

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    Re: Water turned DEEP BROWN in 2 days! Help! New Pool & NPO

    Turn off the SWG, it won't help much at those levels and only use up some of its life and also make it hard for you to know how much you are really losing. The more often you can test and bring FC back up the quicker it will go as well. Once you pass all three tests and let FC come back down you'll need to get the SWG set high enough or long enough run time to maintain your FC by the chart. Post any questions on the SLAM though, a lot of people on here are awesome at getting people through it. I just hoped to get you started reading and in the right direction
    Scott
    15,000 Gallons vinyl in-ground screen enclosed, Hayward Eco-star SP3400VSP, Hayward Aqua Logic PL-Plus, Hayward T-15 Salt Cell, Hayward S244T Sand Filter, Polaris 380 with booster pump, Hayward heat pump HP50HA. K-2006 kit.

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    Re: Water turned DEEP BROWN in 2 days! Help! New Pool & NPO

    Thanks so much!!!

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