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Thread: Copper problems????

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    Copper problems????

    This is the third year with this pool. Last summer is was using trichlor that had copper in it and about the same time I started having an unbelievable rash all over every time I used the pool I started noticing a greenish powder on the filter. I suspected the trichlor and the copper in that caused the problem because I didn't used that the year before and never had the problem. I do not want to go through this again and plan to follow the BBB given here. Do you folks think my best guess is accurate or may I be looking at something more sinister. The pool was drained and taken down for the winter so I will be started with fresh water and a new filter. I'm open for suggestions. Also have a spa now and using a mineral cartridge and chlorine granules in it and so far OK. Water has been changed every 3 months so no problems with the spa. thank you
    intex 15 ft above ground round pool. paper filter. 5300 gallons water. located central Missouri. not heated (yet) thinking about it though--Have lots of wood.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Copper problems????

    Welcome to TFP!

    Copper can cause a green(ish) powder, green hair, turquoise water, stains on the pool walls, etc, but getting a rash from copper is extremely rare. Since you are starting with fresh water, it will be difficult to figure out exactly what caused the problem last season.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Copper problems????

    What brand of tablets did you use?
    What algaecide did you use?
    Did you test the water regularly?
    Has your home has any plumbing leaks?

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Copper problems????

    FYI the spa "mineral" cartridge likely contains copper as well, just to point that out.
    Its not very likely we'll be able to determine what caused the rash - perhaps its possible that if the FC was not high enough some kind of bacteria was to blame? If your CYA was too high the tablets may not have yielded the proper CYA:FC ratio.
    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

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    Re: Copper problems????

    hello and thank you. I was using HTH brand trichlor last year. Kept checking water, PH was perfect all year much to my amazement as I always have the too high levels in the past year, TDS didn't register much of anything, I shocked the pool a couple of times during the summer with Shock N Swim HTH product. Never had a green pool and water was always crystal clear . I only used the shock and the trichlor never added anything else. had a lot of heavy rains and had to drain it down several times as it was running over the top. I thought I may have some bacteria problem last year so I shocked the pool when the rash started but it never changed anything. Chlorine levels had to be bumped up occasionally but was usually within the acceptable range with just the trichlor tabs. I was putting 2 of the 3 inch ones in a floater about every 3 or 4 days as that was how long it took for them to dissolve down. I just wondered if the green powder on the filter was excess copper as it was a powder and sprayed off with a hose never any kind of slime or slick feeling. No plumbing leaks have ever been seen. If you folks have any ideas I'm certainly open to suggestions. Thank you again I'm hoping to get it right this year and not have the problem.
    intex 15 ft above ground round pool. paper filter. 5300 gallons water. located central Missouri. not heated (yet) thinking about it though--Have lots of wood.

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    Re: Copper problems????

    According to Pool School

    CC - Combined Chlorine

    Combined chlorine is an intermediate breakdown product created in the process of sanitizing the pool. CC causes the "chlorine" smell many people associate with chlorine pools. If CC is above 0.5, you should shock your pool. CC indicates that there is something in the water that the FC is in the process of breaking down. In an outdoor pool, CC will normally stay at or near zero as long as you maintain an appropriate FC level and the pool gets some direct sunlight


    It could have been the CC that caused the rash. Another thing to consider is a bio-film settling into your system, pump, filter, pipes that could have been resistant to the levels of chlorine when you shocked your pool. Heated spas (what I am familiar with) can easily form a bio-film, and increasingly easier as the water is kept warmer. I had that problem with my spa last year. The water looked and smelled great but every time I cleaned the filter cartridge, at least weekly, it was covered with a grey clumps of slime. Even after I began to properly shock the spa with chlorine, and a few days here and there with higher than normal levels of chlorine to shock, I could not get rid of it. I had been using ozonator, Nature 2 cartridge, and non-chlorine shock for years, and rarely any chlorine.

    Two heavy duty spa flushes, using double the amount of suggested product, and for 24 hours, did not get rid of it. So I did a decontamination, using extremely high levels of chlorine, > 100 ppm, for several hours to knock it out. I, had already been soaking filter cartridges in chlorine/water mix most of the time, too.

    Before I did the decontamination, I developed a pretty serious bladder infection that was hard to knock out. The water looked and smelled great.

    Just reporting this if it comes up again after you put in new water and start BBB.

    Good luck and I'm really sorry about your rash. I walk around much of the time with something or the other causing a rash, pretty much most of the year; delicate flower here. I have a rash on my ankles right now, from yesterday's mid-march sun.

    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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    Re: Copper problems????

    Quote Originally Posted by geekgranny
    ... delicate flower here....
    Ma'am,

    I hope you'll forgive the impertinence, but since you walk amongst rattlesnakes and copperheads like a tiptoe through the tulips for most folks, I have ask ask what a "tough old bird" would be expected to handle in your neck of the woods.

    OP, my apology for going OT.

    Lee
    Geometric 16X36', 16K gal, shotcrete, exposed aggregate plaster, acrylic coated concrete deck/cantilever coping;
    Pentair equipment suite (EasyTouch w/wireless, 2 Intellibrites, Intelliflo VS-3050, C&C 200 Filter, IC-40 SWG);
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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Copper problems????

    Quote Originally Posted by waterworship
    hello and thank you. I was using HTH brand trichlor last year. Kept checking water, PH was perfect all year much to my amazement as I always have the too high levels in the past year, TDS didn't register much of anything, I shocked the pool a couple of times during the summer with Shock N Swim HTH product. Never had a green pool and water was always crystal clear . I only used the shock and the trichlor never added anything else. had a lot of heavy rains and had to drain it down several times as it was running over the top. I thought I may have some bacteria problem last year so I shocked the pool when the rash started but it never changed anything. Chlorine levels had to be bumped up occasionally but was usually within the acceptable range with just the trichlor tabs. I was putting 2 of the 3 inch ones in a floater about every 3 or 4 days as that was how long it took for them to dissolve down. I just wondered if the green powder on the filter was excess copper as it was a powder and sprayed off with a hose never any kind of slime or slick feeling. No plumbing leaks have ever been seen. If you folks have any ideas I'm certainly open to suggestions. Thank you again I'm hoping to get it right this year and not have the problem.
    Who knows what the green powder was. I wouldn't use the HTH copper tablets anymore though.

    To touch a bit more on what Alice offered...

    What were you testing with? drop test kit, strips?

    Were you testing your FC levels, along with CC levels or were you simply testing total chlorine (yellow OTO drop test)?

    And what is "acceptable range"? If you refer to the CYA chlorine chart... you will see the the higher the CYA level, the higher your FC must be to maintain a sanitary pool.

    If you were constantly using tablets, then you were adding CYA, and it's entirely likely your water, even though it remained "clear", was not properly sanitized which could have led to the rash. For example, in your pool, two 3" tablets would raise the CYA by 10. Every 4 days. That would likely have made your CYA level very high.

    Proper testing and chlorination (no tablets with copper ok? ) should prevent a repeat of what you experienced.

    I predict you can save alot of money by simply using bleach, borax and baking soda, and you may not even need the last two.... and you will spend alot less than using the HTH products. If you worry about the time, it's literally 5 minutes a day to test and add a little bleach.

    Refer to the article in pool school about seasonal pools like the Intex, when you are ready to begin your start up.
    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

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    Re: Copper problems????

    Back to OP, could you post a full set of water test results? If you do not have your own kit, most pool stores will do it for you.

    It may not help but If you could post for combined chloramines (cc's......pool store should be able to tell you if they can or not) that might give us a clue. Your other results may be just as helpful so post them, too.

    EDIT - A little (unnamed) gremlin has pointed out to me that OP has an empty pool! Well, that'll skew the test results pretty badly!

    So, OP, when your pool is refilled this spring, posting test results from the beginning (certainly immediately if the rash re-occurs)may be very helpful in getting to the cause of the problem. I suspect you may have had very high cc's.....that may have contributed to your rash.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Copper problems????

    Quote Originally Posted by lee32903
    Quote Originally Posted by geekgranny
    ... delicate flower here....
    Ma'am,

    I hope you'll forgive the impertinence, but since you walk amongst rattlesnakes and copperheads like a tiptoe through the tulips for most folks, I have ask ask what a "tough old bird" would be expected to handle in your neck of the woods.

    OP, my apology for going OT.

    Lee
    OK.... I'll fess up. About the only thing delicate with this geezet is skin and hair. A very blond sort of girlie. I never had any problems with sun rash, like my nearly albino DF, who had to cover from head to toe when in the sun (and they wintered in Florida) until I started on meds for migraine prophylaxis. And it only affects my legs, thank goodness.

    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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