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Thread: Drain/refill pool to get rid of excess iron?

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    Drain/refill pool to get rid of excess iron?

    Some of you may remember my other posts regarding minor iron staining in my pool. In those posts I ruminated on the possibility of a drain/refill after the AA treatment to get rid of the iron that was put back into solution, but decided against it because my fill water was the likely source of the iron in the first place.

    However, upon further reflection I am now thinking that the drain/refill step may be beneficial. It seems to me that if there are trace amounts of iron in the municipal fill water, that over time with evaporation the iron would get more concentrated much as calcium does from fill water. Am I correct in my thinking?
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Drain/refill pool to get rid of excess iron?

    Yes, evaporation and subsequent refilling will increase the iron concentration over time, assuming there is iron in the fill water. However, I wonder if there is really enough evidence that that is a significant factor in your particular situation to justify replacing a lot of water.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Drain/refill pool to get rid of excess iron?

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Yes, evaporation and subsequent refilling will increase the iron concentration over time, assuming there is iron in the fill water. However, I wonder if there is really enough evidence that that is a significant factor in your particular situation to justify replacing a lot of water.
    Yeah, I wonder the same thing. But I keep coming back to the question of how the iron got into the pool to begin with. Seems like it almost had to be the fill water?

    And, of course I'm making the assumption that the staining is from iron in the first place. Originally, I thought it was organic, but it did not respond to chlorine. It did respond dramatically to vit C pills however. Also, before I bought the house a realtor had thrown in some trichlor pucks in various places around the pool. Everywhere they rested they left a rust colored ring, which also points to iron in the water, right?
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

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    Re: Drain/refill pool to get rid of excess iron?

    Chlorine will precipitate iron out of the water; so that may be where the rust colored rings came from where the pucks landed on the bottom.
    I have a bit of iron in my fill water, and a lot of iron this last summer since they opened up a little used well that has higher levels of iron (~2ppm). Last august, I vacuumed to waste, and backwashed heavily, and raised the chlorine level to 25 ppm due to diaper incident (dont ask)! I then added about 600 gallons of water from the hose. Within 30 minutes, my water was emerald green (red-orange iron on a blue liner make nice green). I ran the filter all night and by morning it was clear. I backwashed the filter and the nastiest, orangish water with little orange particles came out the backwash hose (iron precip). You can get SOME of the iron to come out and filter it (although im not sure how a DE filter would work instead of sand and since you have a plaster pool, the staining might be worse than on my vinyl). Best thing i did was to buy an iron filter for my hose bib. It was about $250 and will filter ~20,000 gallons of water with an iron level of 2-3 ppm. I use that, and will use it this summer when i need to add water to the pool.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Drain/refill pool to get rid of excess iron?

    Quote Originally Posted by bk406
    Best thing i did was to buy an iron filter for my hose bib. It was about $250 and will filter ~20,000 gallons of water with an iron level of 2-3 ppm. I use that, and will use it this summer when i need to add water to the pool.
    That is the best long term solution, but I probably won't spend the extra $$ until I replaster in the next few years. Where did you purchase the filter from?
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

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    Re: Drain/refill pool to get rid of excess iron?

    Have you done a test to confirm the presence of iron? If so, what amount?
    Dave S.
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    Re: Drain/refill pool to get rid of excess iron?

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Have you done a test to confirm the presence of iron? If so, what amount?
    Not yet. I didnt have too much of a chance since i only got it late in the season. I plan to do just that this summer. Here is what i bought:

    http://www.home-water-purifiers-and-fil ... filter.php
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Drain/refill pool to get rid of excess iron?

    You could also try one of these.

    I have one that I bought last season to get rid of some copper in my pool, but it says it works on iron as well. I attached the input to a submersible pump and then just ran the output back into the pool.

    http://www.aquaticeco.com/subcategories/3871/MetalTrap
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    Re: Drain/refill pool to get rid of excess iron?

    Quote Originally Posted by mnb
    You could also try one of these.

    I have one that I bought last season to get rid of some copper in my pool, but it says it works on iron as well. I attached the input to a submersible pump and then just ran the output back into the pool.

    http://www.aquaticeco.com/subcategories/3871/MetalTrap
    Assuming it works as advertised, that is the ticket! Just attach it to the hose before refilling. Thanks!
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

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    Re: Drain/refill pool to get rid of excess iron?

    No problem. I did a quick test with mine. I took a sample from my pool and a sample coming from the filter (being fed by my pool water) and took both to be tested.

    Pool water showed copper, filtered water did not. I don't really know how it works, and I'm hoping that it is not just using some sort of chemical treatment to just suspend the metal and not really trapping it. Sort of like adding that metal free stuff to your pool. I don't think that is what it is doing, but you never know.

    I ordered mine from that first link I gave, but I see that they are out.

    I was also looking at this site, who seem to still have them available for order, although they are more expensive here.

    http://www.askalanaquestion.com/METALTRAP.htm

    Good luck.
    15,000 Gallon IG 15x30 fiberglass
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    Re: Drain/refill pool to get rid of excess iron?

    Quote Originally Posted by bk406
    Thanks for that!

    And thanks, everyone for taking the time to respond! If I decide to drain/refill I will post up with the results, which hopefully won't include a floated pool question. But I really don't think our water table is that high here in the DFW area...
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

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    Re: Drain/refill pool to get rid of excess iron?

    Good luck Beez....
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
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    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
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    Re: Drain/refill pool to get rid of excess iron?

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Good luck Beez....
    That sounds like a portent!
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

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    Re: Drain/refill pool to get rid of excess iron?

    [center:3gj9kdnn]Matt Heck
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    Re: Drain/refill pool to get rid of excess iron?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heckpools
    http://www.hottubessentials.com/micron-fill-filter.asp
    That's a good option for filtering out particulates and maybe even larger aggregates of iron containing gunk (is that a word) that is already in oxidized particualte form. However, it will not filter out dissolved metals. These metals are by far the culprite in staining pool surfaces. No mechanical filter will remove dissolved, chemicaly reduced metals. A filter like the ones shown further up will first oxidize the metals, then mechanically filter out the oxidized metals.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Drain/refill pool to get rid of excess iron?

    My iron comes from the massive amounts of dust/sand/silt that goes into my pool daily. The tap water tests virtually no iron. AA treatment did a great job on iron staining, a bit on some copper staining (from years of ionization), and started releasing some of the scale (which stains more than the plaster does from iron). Continued use of sequestrate has even kept the releasing of scale going too, with regular brushing with steel brush on the scale on steps and bottom. Steel used mainly on the scale on bottom of pool and steps; nylon brush on other areas. I think the sequestrate along with keeping the water pH around 7.2, releasing of stained scale, and brushing has "faded" the copper staining somewhat since last fall when I did the AA treatment; even with cold water.

    If you do the AA treatment wait until the water warms up quite a bit. I did mine when water was in 70's and it took well over a week instead of a day or two, as everything slows down in colder water.

    I think you said that your plaster is pretty old. Acid washing removes some of the plaster and doesn't always remove all the stains. With old plaster the amount of plaster removal varies over areas of the pool even if you are very careful and consistent with application, brushing, and rinsing. I've acid washed my 13 year old plaster three times and it did not remove all of the stains even using straight acid on some places. Although my most excellent plaster job has held up to my abuse, over the years, there are a few places that were slightly damaged by the acid when I wasn't being as careful as I should have been. (100+ F and lots of wine to dull the pain and make it more "fun") All of those times I wish I had known about the AA treatment and certainly would have tried that first. And even a second time if needed.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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