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Thread: High Copper Levels - PLEASE HELP!

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    bobgio's Avatar
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    High Copper Levels - PLEASE HELP!

    I have an 18 by 36 inground pool with deep end and I use chlorine to maintain. I have a Raypac heater and a Nature 2 chlorinater with the mineral cartridge. This is only my 3rd summer with the pool and at the beginning of the season I noticed greeny blue staining around my steps and vinyl walls at the water level. I should note that I replaced the Nature 2 cartridge at the beginning of the year as well. I had my water tested for copper and the levels are high 0.7 - 1. They said it is probably my heater exchange but I also read it could be the Nature 2 system cartridge. The blue staining is gone and has not returned but I am seeing brownish stains appearing on my liner.

    I removed the cartridge and added an inhibitor to keep the copper from any further staining. Question is, how do I know if it is my heater or the cartridge?

    I was thinking of lowering the water and then filling back up the pool...and if the copper levels return to being high...then I know it is the heater. It really irritates me that it could be my heater since it is only 3 years old and only used about 10 times. Any thoughts on this?

    Also:

    If it is the heater, I was told to run a bypass so the water does not always run through the heater? Any thoughts on this...is a bypass usually done?

    If it is the heater, do I replace it or keep it until it completely fails?

    What happens with my water if the copper levels are high when I close my pool?

    What is the best way to remove the copper stains...I was told citric acid or vitamin c tablets?

    Please help...I am wishing I never got this pool!
    Bob G, 18x36, 21000 Litre, inground, starite system 3 cartridge filter, raypac heater

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: High Copper Levels - PLEASE HELP!

    The only way to get rid of the copper is to replace the water. First you treat the stains, many people have reported good results with Jack's Magic Copper and Scale Stuff. You will need to bypass the heater during this treatment. Once all the stains are gone drain and refill the pool. To drain the pool safely you may need to do a series of partial drain and refill cycles, depending on how high your water table is. Also since this is a vinyl pool, always leave at least 1 foot of water in the shallow end to prevent the liner from shifting. If you notice the liner starting to float, stop draining immediately and refill the pool.

    You can have a service technician inspect the heat exchanger to see if it has eroded. The Nature 2 pack is the likely source of copper. It doesn't take much for copper to become a problem.

    If by chance it is the heater once the water is exchanged you will need to keep a close eye on the pH and not let it drop below 7.4 When pH drops too low that is when copper starts to erode.

    If you close the pool without doing anything then you will open with possibly more stains and you will have to deal with the problem in the spring. I assume you partially drain and close at the end of your swim season, so it won't harm anything to wait and do the stain removal either at the end of your swim season and add sequestrant to keep the copper in solution over the winter or do it all in the spring prior to the new swim season.
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    Re: High Copper Levels - PLEASE HELP!

    One step at a time.

    1. Identify the stain correctly. What do you have right now...blue stains or brown stains?
    Dave S.
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    Re: High Copper Levels - PLEASE HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by bobgio View Post
    I have an 18 by 36 inground pool with deep end and I use chlorine to maintain. I have a Raypac heater and a Nature 2 chlorinater with the mineral cartridge. This is only my 3rd summer with the pool and at the beginning of the season I noticed greeny blue staining around my steps and vinyl walls at the water level. I should note that I replaced the Nature 2 cartridge at the beginning of the year as well. I had my water tested for copper and the levels are high 0.7 - 1. They said it is probably my heater exchange but I also read it could be the Nature 2 system cartridge. The blue staining is gone and has not returned but I am seeing brownish stains appearing on my liner.

    I removed the cartridge and added an inhibitor to keep the copper from any further staining. Question is, how do I know if it is my heater or the cartridge?

    I was thinking of lowering the water and then filling back up the pool...and if the copper levels return to being high...then I know it is the heater. It really pisses me off that it could be my heater since it is only 3 years old and only used about 10 times. Any thoughts on this?

    Also:

    If it is the heater, I was told to run a bypass so the water does not always run through the heater? Any thoughts on this...is a bypass usually done?

    If it is the heater, do I replace it or keep it until it completely fails?

    What happens with my water if the copper levels are high when I close my pool?

    What is the best way to remove the copper stains...I was told citric acid or vitamin c tablets?

    Please help...I am wishing I never got this pool!
    Welcome!

    It is most likely your Nature 2 cartridge. If you're using chlorine for sanitizing there's no point to have that in your pool. Please post picture(s) of the problem areas so other members could help identify them.
    44k plaster pool, Pentair 011018 pump, DE6020 filter, LED lights, K2006 test kit

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    bobgio's Avatar
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    Re: High Copper Levels - PLEASE HELP!

    At the start of the season I had blue/green stain around my steps and liner at the water line. These blue/green stains have not really come back for a month or so.i My kids are getting the green hair thing...but I have now noticed some brownish colour stains in different areas. I have tried using citric acid in a sock but it did nothing. My copper levels are between 0.7 and 1 ppm. Here are a few pictures of the brown stains...I am noticing a few more similar stains popping up.

    20160814_210214.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Bob G, 18x36, 21000 Litre, inground, starite system 3 cartridge filter, raypac heater

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    Re: High Copper Levels - PLEASE HELP!

    I am lowering the water as I type this...I thought it would be best to treat the stains once I have the cooper levels under control and figure out where it is coming from...I am keeping my fingers crossed that it was the nature 2 cartridge.
    Bob G, 18x36, 21000 Litre, inground, starite system 3 cartridge filter, raypac heater

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: High Copper Levels - PLEASE HELP!

    There are usually only three sources of copper. Copper based algaecides, mineral sanitizers or copper plumbing/heat exchangers. Copper is only dissolved from p,umbing/heaters when PH spends so easy time below 7.2. All heaters don't have copper heat exchangers. As long as your pH is 7.2 or higher there won't be an issue with copper plumbing.
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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: High Copper Levels - PLEASE HELP!

    It is better to treat the stains first and put all the metal back into solution then drain the metal laden water and replace it with metal free water. The stains are from copper that has fallen out of solution and deposited on the surfaces of the pool. If you drain and refill first then you will put the copper into solution in the water you just put into the pool, leaving the pool vulnerable to further copper staining.
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    Re: High Copper Levels - PLEASE HELP!

    Do you know what model heater you have, many newer pool heaters don't contain copper heat exchangers, also do you test your pH frequently and maintain it in the 7.5-7.8 range? Low pH lets the water become acidic which will then eat through any metal in contact with the pool water.
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    bobgio's Avatar
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    Re: High Copper Levels - PLEASE HELP!

    My ph at the beginning of the season was low, 6 something, when I opened the pool. However, I treated it within two weeks and had it balanced again. My main concern is where the copper is from the heater or the nature 2 cartridge. That is why I lowered the water level and am now refilling. I figure that I will have the water tested for copper after refilling, if the levels continue to rise, then I know it is the heater as I have removed the nature 2 cartridge. The rep at raypak was totally useless and a real jerk... but he told me the average life span is only 5-7 years. So I spent $2000 on a heater and $2000 to have it installed and I might get 5-7 years out of it!!!!! If it is the heater...I think I will remove and not replace. My other concern is removing the stains...is the jacks my best bet cuz I have not idea how to get rid of them.
    Bob G, 18x36, 21000 Litre, inground, starite system 3 cartridge filter, raypac heater

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    bobgio's Avatar
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    Copper Stain Removal

    Here are a few pics of the stains I am getting...There are now about 6-8 of them. Please tell me the best way to get rid of them...I have been told Jack's Magic copper but will it remove these stains from my vinyl liner...any help please.

    20160814_210119.jpg

    20160814_210214.jpg

    Thanks
    Bob G, 18x36, 21000 Litre, inground, starite system 3 cartridge filter, raypac heater

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    bobgio's Avatar
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    Re: High Copper Levels - PLEASE HELP!

    The stains are now gone...not a copper issue...must be algae.
    Bob G, 18x36, 21000 Litre, inground, starite system 3 cartridge filter, raypac heater

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