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Thread: how much copper is too much copper?

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    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    jenks, ok
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    how much copper is too much copper?

    the reason i ask this question, is because last year, we had a pool store experience (and ended up with quite a bit of copper stains) got that cleared up, but this year, the stains are coming back. (so maybe we didn't get it cleared up like we thought we did!) i did the metal stain protocol, and cleared the stains, but now they're coming back again. we use bleach, borax, the very occasional triclor puck (only 2 so far this year). i've got polyquat, and metal out, and use them sparingly. I'm of the understanding that none of the above contain copper. And yet the stains have returned. I'm all set to go with another stain removal session, but I'm wondering if i'm missing something else.

    to that end, I checked our town's water quality report, and it says

    Copper***
    0.19 ppm at the 90th percentile

    I don't know anything about this, so I have no idea if that's high or low, if i'm not using the sequesterant/metal out on enough of a regular basis to prevent the stains (every other week), or if I'm inadvertently adding it somehow.

    My #'s are as follows:

    C- 5
    CC- 0
    FC- 5
    TA- 100
    PH- 7.8
    CH- 300
    CYA- 50

    Any thoughts?
    17ft round, 6800 gallons, AG, vinyl, cartridge, city water

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: how much copper is too much copper?

    Copper concentrations and how much is bad for the pool, that might lead to staining and/or green pool water depends on pH and FC levels, but in general, less than 0.5 ppm copper will likely not have much effect on pool water. 0.3 ppm is even safer. Over 0.5 ppm you may have some staining or water discoloration, depending on pH.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: how much copper is too much copper?

    Keep in mind that copper tests only test for copper in the water. So, any copper in stains or that is sequestered will not show up on the test.
    TFP Moderator
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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: how much copper is too much copper?

    Your copper stain treatment did not remove the copper from your water, it only removed the solid copper stain from the wall by making it dissolve back into solution. So you still have copper in your water.

    You need to find a pool store that can do a "total copper" test, not just a "free copper" test. Free copper is just the amount of copper ions in solution but does not typically include copper that is sequestered by a metal sequestrant chemical. Total copper uses an acid digestion step which frees up all the copper in solutions and gives you a total amount.

    The only way to get rid of the copper is to replace the water. You must empty some volume of pool water and replace it with metal free water.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    jenks, ok
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    Re: how much copper is too much copper?

    hey thanks! sorry it took so long for me to respond, we had a wicked storm come through about noon. 75+ mph straight line winds, so, i've been working on getting half a tree out of my pool. and the dirt! oy! the pool's going to be cloudy for days just from the dirt.

    i'll see if one of my pool stores can do a "total copper test", once we get the clean up finished.
    17ft round, 6800 gallons, AG, vinyl, cartridge, city water

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