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Thread: Clear, Green Water

  1. #1
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    Clear, Green Water

    So for three weeks i have been battling the leveling of our new Intex pool. I finally got it level last Monday and started filling it (from our well). Today it is full (i only filled a couple of hours per day to prevent from putting too much stress on the pool). Of course, I didn't bother to do any research on pool treatment, but I can happily say that the water was completely clear this afternoon when I turned the pump on.

    We do have hard water (the well was tested when drilled two years ago, and it was high in calcium and magnesium). Not knowing what I was doing, I purchase some Aqua Tech test strips, tested the water and used their website to treat the pool based on the test strip results. I purchased some chlorinating tables (three inch), ph down (because it was high), stabilizer, metal and scale control (can't remember exactly), and the shock plus treatment.

    So today, I turn the pump on and put in the shock treatment and anti-algae treatment and then go take a nap. When I woke up and looked in my pool, imagine my surprise when my previously clear water was dark green. It was still clear, but very green. A quick google search tells me that it is due to the reaction of the chlorine and the magnesium in the water. I have since added the scale metal treatment and the ph down. It's still green. Like I said before, I've been battling the dirt to level this pool for almost 4 weeks (we actually filled the pool once and had to drain it). My kids are driving me crazy to get in the pool, but I'm scared to let them get into the green water. I couldn't find anything quick through searching this site, so I'm hoping someone will be able to help me. It's a scorcher here today and we were looking forward to getting in the pool - HELP!

    and thanks for any and all replies.
    Pool Size= 4600 gal
    cartridge filter
    above ground pool
    Intex 637A filter (1000 gph)

  2. #2
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    Re: Clear, Green Water

    Welcome to TFP! We will help you get this straightened out.

    I've been watching this thread to see if a guru might come on and shed a little light. So far, no posts. There will be someone soon though.

    For starters though, it does sound like metals may be causing problems here. Your history of well water with confirmed metals in the water supports this theory. Further, water with algae in it is usually green but is usually NOT clear. What we need in order to be certain of things though is some test results on your water. It is hard for us to tell you which path to take without them.

    Please read Pool School and obtain a good test kit. With it, you can furnish us with the test results that we need. You can also utilize a pool store to run these numbers for you although their accuracy is often called into question. But they can help you to test for metals so you don't have to buy a kit for metal testing. Don't buy or add any more metal control products to the pool at this time until we know some more. We may know what it is that is causing your pool to be green based on suspicion, but we need to know what it isn't based on water balance issues first.
    10K gallon IG gunite with waterfall; Pentair CC320P filter; WhisperFlo 2 HP pump
    TF Test Kits - Pool Math - Pool School
    "It depends."- JohnT

  3. #3
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    Re: Clear, Green Water

    Thanks for the reply. Since all i have to test the water is test strips, I don't know that the results from that will help. I can swing by walmart tomorrow to see if they have the 6 way test mentioned on this board in pool school. hopefully tomorrow evening I can provide the results from that.

    The ph down and metal stuff seemed to help a little, but the water was still green after about 2 hours.

    and now i find the BBB method - that looks easy. i'll be purchasing the required stuff for that tomorrow.
    Pool Size= 4600 gal
    cartridge filter
    above ground pool
    Intex 637A filter (1000 gph)

  4. #4
    Guest

    Re: Clear, Green Water

    Well water...color change after adding shock, and water is clear and colored. My guess is iron which colors the water yellow and against the blue vinyl of the pool will make the water look green.
    Please list the ingredients in the algaecide you put in so we can rule out copper.
    Also, get your water tested at a pool store (but do not buy anything YET!) and get it tested for iron and copper in addition to the normal tests.
    I suspect that there might be some pH problems also.

    IF things are as I suspect then there are a few ways to approach the fix, none of them hard but first we need those test results from the pool store including the metal tests.

    I assume you do not have a water softener. If you do I would drain the pool and refill with soft water (which will have the iron removed) and start over but follow our directions AFTER another water test of the new water.

  5. #5
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    Re: Clear, Green Water

    I do not have a water softener. Either way, draining the pool is really not an option at this point. like I said, this is the second time in two weeks we've filled it and i really don't want to stress the well any more than I have to.

    How much water does the pool store need and do they typically charge for the test?

    Algaecide ingredients:


    Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chloride - 20%
    Other ingredients - 80%

    It also mentions Alkyl (50% C14, 40% C12, 10% C16)
    Pool Size= 4600 gal
    cartridge filter
    above ground pool
    Intex 637A filter (1000 gph)

  6. #6
    Senior Member Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Clear, Green Water

    An empty small bottle like a Pepsi bottle filled will do and they typically don't charge for testing. They just get you with their products.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Clear, Green Water

    Quote Originally Posted by chadw

    How much water does the pool store need and do they typically charge for the test?
    I would bring in about 1 1/2 to 2 cups (12 - 16 oz) in a clean plastic container or glass jar. There should be no charge for testing. They want you to buy stuff. Be sure to have them test for metals, iron in particular. You will need a good seqesterant that you will probably have to buy from them. The stuff from the big boxes is junk. Find out what brands of sequesterant (metal removoer) they carry and let us know and we can tell you the ones that are good.
    Algaecide ingredients:


    Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chloride - 20%
    Other ingredients - 80%

    It also mentions Alkyl (50% C14, 40% C12, 10% C16)
    Good and bad news on the Algaecide.
    Good news, it contains no copper.
    Bad new, it's junk!
    You don't really need algaecide in a properly maintained pool BUT if you are going to use one you want polyquat 60. The bottle will say poly [oxyethylene (dimethyliminio) ethylene (dimethyliminio) ethylene dichloride] and you want the 60%, not the 30% which is more expensive to use. Make it easy on yourself. There are no other algaecides that start with the word "poly" and are 60% so if you see those two things and no other ingredents other than inert you have the right stuff.

  8. #8
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    Re: Clear, Green Water

    I just called a local pool supply store and told them what was going on (i wasn't able to get a sample of the water due to storms this morning). they agreed that it sounded like the metals reacting to the chlorine and that all they could offer to treat it was a product called Flock Out. they did say they would test the water for free, so i'll try to take a sample in tomorrow.

    is that product any good? Someone else told me today that baking soda would clear it up.
    Pool Size= 4600 gal
    cartridge filter
    above ground pool
    Intex 637A filter (1000 gph)

  9. #9
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    Re: Clear, Green Water

    Quote Originally Posted by chadw
    I just called a local pool supply store and told them what was going on (i wasn't able to get a sample of the water due to storms this morning). they agreed that it sounded like the metals reacting to the chlorine and that all they could offer to treat it was a product called Flock Out. they did say they would test the water for free, so i'll try to take a sample in tomorrow.

    is that product any good?
    No! Anyway you cannot floc an Intex Pool since you cannot 'vacuum to waste'!
    Someone else told me today that baking soda would clear it up.
    Baking soda raises TA (total alkalinity) and is a pool chemical that is needed at times (and sold in pool stores for a lot more money as alkalinity increaser) but it WILL NOT REMOVE METALS FROM YOUR WATER!
    You need a metal sequsterant such as Jack's Magic Pink Stuff, Proteam Metal Magic, GLB Sequasol or other HEDP based sequesterant. The ingredients will say HEDP, Phosphonic Acid Derivative, or Phosphonate. You do not want an EDTA based sequsterant such as Natural Chemistry's Metal Magic, they are not as effective. The ingredients will list EDTA, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, or it will say that the product is phosphate free or does not raise phosphates. (Phosphates are NOT a problem in pool water so do not be suckered into that one!)
    You will need to initially add a treatment dose of seqesterant (sometimes a double dose is needed) and drop your pH to about 7.2.
    After that you will need to add weekly to monthly maintenace doses to keep the water from changing color back since these products do not remove the metals but only chemically deactivate them.

    Floc will only help if the iron has precipitated out as rust and in that case the water would be brown and not green and you could see the rust in the water. Also, you cannot use floc if you cannot 'vacuum to waste' which you can't do with your Intex pool! In your case the iron is still dissolved and has taken on a colored form. By adding the sequsterant you will change it back to a clear form and chemically deactivate it BUT IT IS STILL IN THE WATER! Sequesterants do break down from the action of both chlorine and sunlight which is why maintenace doses are needed after the initial treatment to keep the problem from reoccurring.

  10. #10
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    Re: Clear, Green Water

    at long last - the test results from my friends at Premier Pools & Design in Wilson, NC:

    FC & TC = 5.2ppm
    CC = 0ppm
    pH=7 (he recommended pH up - i have borax at home)
    Hardness=80ppm
    Alkalinity=127ppm
    CA=10ppm
    Copper and Iron= 0ppm
    Total Dissolved Solids = 200ppm
    Phosphates= ~1500ppm

    He recommended ProTeam Phosaway for the Phosphates (I lied and told him i thought i had some of that already).

    Thanks for any and all help!
    Pool Size= 4600 gal
    cartridge filter
    above ground pool
    Intex 637A filter (1000 gph)

  11. #11
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    Re: Clear, Green Water

    Are you sure they tested for iron? Sometimes when the results are 0 they didn't test it at all - did you specifically ask for one?

    This is second Pool Store test results today that said 0 iron but the description sounds like chlorine reacting to metals.... I don't get it.

    Anyway, how's the water looking?

    You do need to increase the CYA level, if that's accurate. With CYA less than 30ppm most of the chlorine will be destroyed by sunlight pretty rapidly.

    Good job on ignoring the phosphates.

    I would leave the pH alone for now till we figure out the metals issue.

    Do you have any more sequesterant?

    I'd advise you to get either the TF-100 or the Taylor K-2006.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

  12. #12
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    Re: Clear, Green Water

    Well, they tested for metals after the other tests were done (now i remember the guy asking the girl if she tested for them and she said no - but retested). thats when they found the phosphate issue, so it may not have made it to this sheet that they gave me.

    So the phosphates aren't something to be concerned about? He said they were very high.

    What is a good stabilizer to use?
    Pool Size= 4600 gal
    cartridge filter
    above ground pool
    Intex 637A filter (1000 gph)

  13. #13
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    Re: Clear, Green Water

    and the only thing close to a sequestrant i have would be the aqua-chem scale metal and stain control

    and i just called back to make sure, and the iron and copper readings are correct. they test for those standard, and they are saying that they read 0. she remembered me and said they just went back and checked the phosphates after I got this results.
    Pool Size= 4600 gal
    cartridge filter
    above ground pool
    Intex 637A filter (1000 gph)

  14. #14
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    Re: Clear, Green Water

    and to answer the question on how the water is looking - it's still green. Not nearly as bad, but still not beautifully clear yet.
    Pool Size= 4600 gal
    cartridge filter
    above ground pool
    Intex 637A filter (1000 gph)

  15. #15
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    Re: Clear, Green Water

    i would like send out an endorsement to TF Test Kits. i called and talked to them and they wouldn't sell me a kit because he was convinced it wouldn't solve my problem. that speaks volumns about that company and their integrity.

    So.

    Now i'm going back to the store on the way home to purchase some sequestrant (Pro Team Metal Magic). I'll follow up with you fine people tomorrow.
    Pool Size= 4600 gal
    cartridge filter
    above ground pool
    Intex 637A filter (1000 gph)

  16. #16
    Senior Member In the Industry

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    Re: Clear, Green Water

    Thank you for the nice words, Chad. Now, I have an 86 Ford pickup that runs like a top that I could let you have for .............

    I sent you a PM to follow up our conversation. Check in the upper left corner of the homepage....it'll say "1 new message"
    Dave S.
    Site Owner 42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter, No SWG
    TFTestkits owner
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  17. #17
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    Re: Clear, Green Water

    i need a pickup, so if you let me have it for, oh, say, $68, I'd come pick it up today!!!

    As for the pool, today is much better. last night it got about 22oz of metal magic and a new filter, and a new filter this morning. as i washed the filter, it was very easy to see that the water was YELLOW. so duraleigh and others were correct (thanks for nothing pool store) in that we do have iron in the water interacting with the chlorine. There is still a green hue to the water when you look in the pool, but it is almost clear. I'm thinking of putting the rest of the metal magic in tonigh and I'll keep changing filters at least daily (to a new filter). Bleach was purchased last night and will get added tonight (the chlorine level last night was still at 3ppm.

    We may be going out of town this weekend, so if we do, what is the best way to keep my pool chlorinated while we're gone so that I don't come back to an algae mess? i have chlorine tabs (3"), but no floater. should I buy a floater? or could I drop a couple of those tabs into the skimmer and leave the pump running while we're gone?
    Pool Size= 4600 gal
    cartridge filter
    above ground pool
    Intex 637A filter (1000 gph)

  18. #18
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    Re: Clear, Green Water

    Yes, you can put the tabs in the skimmer provided you leave the pump running while your gone. I would not recommend tabs in a skimmer if the pump is on a timer.

    Make sure your PH is at least 7.8. If your TA is still above 120 that's good. Tablets lower both, so you want them up a bit before you go. Check the levels when you get home.

    Dave's a great guy. That's why we like him

    I would still recommend you get a test kit - at the very least pick up the HTH 6-way from Wal-mart for about $20. At least then you can accurately test PH/TA and CYA and the use the OTO chlorine test. (Dave was right - the big pool test kits are a bit overkill for your size pool-which I missed the first time. )
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

  19. #19
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    Re: Clear, Green Water

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    (Dave was right - the big pool test kits are a bit overkill for your size pool-which I missed the first time. )
    They are overkill but, on the other hand, if you want to spend the money a good kit will make your pool maintenance easier. Even though you have a small pop up pool it's still a pool and the smaller water volume makes it a bit trickier ot maintain the water balance. In your case, since you do have the iron problem, I would suggest that you do accurate testing since dump and refill is not going to be the best option for you if you get any water balance problems. Remember to add a maintenance dose of Metal Magic weekly and whenever you have to top off the pool (3 tablespoons for your size pool, full treatment dose on filling would be 1/2 to 2 bottles, depending on how high your iron levels are--the pool might get cloudy for a few days when you do the initial treatment. It will clear on it's own.)

    If you test regularly and keep ahead of your water by giving about 5 minutes a day to maintenance you can prevent most problems from happening.
    Just my 2 cents.

  20. #20
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    Re: Clear, Green Water

    I did get a 3 way test kit (they didn't have the 6 way) at walmart. so i can at least test the chlorine an pH. If I can find the 6 way, I'll do that.

    I'll definitely keep an eye on it and probably test it everyday until I get a handle on things. the pool was looking very good this morning (compared to Sunday), so something is working. Hopefully it'll be better by the weekend.
    Pool Size= 4600 gal
    cartridge filter
    above ground pool
    Intex 637A filter (1000 gph)

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