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Thread: Pool Cloudy and Brown Stains

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    Pool Cloudy and Brown Stains

    I moved to a new house with an inground pool. Its been an expensive learning process. When the pool was first opened there were brown stains on the steps and bottom of the pool. I used Phoenix Super Erase and the stains were gone. I was adding the maintenance dose of Super Erase but the stains came back last week, especially on the stairs. Used more Super Erase and backwashed and backwashed. The stains are slowly coming back. The water was tested for copper and iron but there wasn't any according to the pool store. My pool store has been really helpful; the first one wasn't.

    Here are my numbers from my TF Test Kit:

    FC 8ppm
    CC 0
    TC 8ppm
    PH 7.0
    T/A 100
    CH 70
    CYA 100

    When the directions say keep adding drops until the water turns either red or blue, should it be a true red/blue? When I did the test the water looked more pink than red, and the blue was a pale color. Trying to get the color a real red I added over 30 drops and it still looked pink. The numbers above were from the re-test I did, not the 30+ drops.

    I have an inline chlorinator with the 3" pucks. Can anyone offer some insight on what's going on? Thanks,

    Eileen
    My Pool: 30K gallons, Hayward EC65 DE filter, IG, Vinyl, 1.5 HP Hayward pump

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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Cloudy and Brown Stains

    well you're probably going to have to drain some water to make any headway with anything, because your cya is probably over 100 (test maxes out at 100). cya is killer when it gets too high, and many times it gets too high because of those nice convenient chlorine feeder systems which add cya. you may have stains, but you probably have algae too, or you will soon. what other chemicals are you using? have you read pool-school/
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

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    Re: Pool Cloudy and Brown Stains

    I have read Pool School, repeatedly. The pool water is currently high, its over the skimmers and we are expecting more rain over the next three days. On top of everything, the Super Pump won't even turn on. Previous owners spliced the cable and I think it shorted out with the rain. That's a project for tomorrow.

    The pool store tested the water on 6/12/09. The CYA was 55ppm. Other than having a lot of rain, how does the CYA get that high in a week's time or is it possible that I'm doing something wrong during the test?

    I'm seriously considering going to the BBB method. It seems that I haven't had a sustained, problem free pool from the moment we opened it. I'm not sure how to make the transition without creating problems. I don't know what "normal" is yet with this pool.

    Eileen
    My Pool: 30K gallons, Hayward EC65 DE filter, IG, Vinyl, 1.5 HP Hayward pump

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    Re: Pool Cloudy and Brown Stains

    Sorry, I didn't answer your question. Last week I added 5lbs of Alk and 4lbs of PH Plus, and then the Super Erase 4 bottles. Chlorine and that's it.

    Eileen
    My Pool: 30K gallons, Hayward EC65 DE filter, IG, Vinyl, 1.5 HP Hayward pump

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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Cloudy and Brown Stains

    it's not unlikely the pool store was wrong (how did they test?) but people do have issues with the cya test. here are some pictures:
    http://www.taylortechnologies.com/Chemi ... ntentID=36
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

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    Re: Pool Cloudy and Brown Stains

    When you do the CYA test, you want the black dot to become completely obscured, not just kinda hard to make out. When it gets to that point I wiggle the tube a little bit and usually that makes me notice the black dot, so I put a little more in until I really can't see it any more.

    The test is intended for outdoors-in-the-shade light, or with your back to the sun--pretty bright, but not direct sun.

    Also, I do the test 2-3 times to be sure I get a consistent result; pour the stuff from the view tube back into the mixing bottle and do the black-dot part of the test again.

    Once we're confident of your CYA result then we can figure out what sort of chlorine level you need. But, really, the pucks have got to go. For each 10ppm FC you get from the pucks, your CYA goes up by 6. In the long term it makes it really hard to keep your pool clear.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    Re: Pool Cloudy and Brown Stains

    Thanks reebok, the pool store does a computerized test and the CYA has always been within a normal range. After looking at the link you sent, I think I will re-test tomorrow and I suspect that I'll be going to the pool store anyway for a new pump and I'll bring them water to test again compare their results with mine.

    Eileen
    My Pool: 30K gallons, Hayward EC65 DE filter, IG, Vinyl, 1.5 HP Hayward pump

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    Re: Pool Cloudy and Brown Stains

    Quote Originally Posted by eileenh1
    When the directions say keep adding drops until the water turns either red or blue, should it be a true red/blue? When I did the test the water looked more pink than red, and the blue was a pale color. Trying to get the color a real red I added over 30 drops and it still looked pink. The numbers above were from the re-test I did, not the 30+ drops.
    The exact color is not really important. What you are looking for is for the color to (1) start changing, and then (2) stop changing. Whatever the colors actually are.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Cloudy and Brown Stains

    I'm pretty sure more than one person has described the computerized tests as "garbage". PaulR has good testing advice. trust your own numbers. did you post about your pump problem(s)? there are a lot of good hardware guys here.
    swimming-pool-equipment-f5.html
    edit: nevermind, I see that you did. good call ;)
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

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    Re: Pool Cloudy and Brown Stains

    Thank Paulr, I'm going to re-test in the morning and take the test directions a little less literally! I'll post the updated numbers and hope that I'm doing something wrong.

    Eileen
    My Pool: 30K gallons, Hayward EC65 DE filter, IG, Vinyl, 1.5 HP Hayward pump

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    Re: Pool Cloudy and Brown Stains

    Eileen,

    The phoenix super erase that cleared your stains appears to be a metal sequestrant. If that is working on the stains, then you most likely have metal in the water. If your stains are reappearing, hold a vitaminC tablet directly onto the stain for a minute or so. If the vitamn C lightens or removes the stain, it is metal and you must treat your pool for metals from this point on. YOu need to confirm whether or not there is iron in your pool......I think there is.

    Secondly, I'll bet your CYA is, in fact, way too high. That can be solved as well but I would suggest you confirm the absence or presence of iron in your water and we'll suggest a course of action from there.

    PS - Did/do you fill your pool with well water?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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