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Thread: After ascorbic acid treatment - now what?

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    After ascorbic acid treatment - now what?

    Did a light treatment of AA today for blue stains previously identified by a stain specialist as copper from my enthusiastic use of algaecide Staining was not what I would consider extreme so I went with a lighter application than recommended just to see what results I might get. Added 1 lb to my 15000 gal quartz agg pool around perimeter as suggested in instructions I found on this site. Yikes - my steps don't look so good! Is this going to go away? Do I need to proceed to the sequester phase regardless of these stains? or should I add another 1/2 lb of AA? I'm a little scared....

    Tried to upload photos but file size is too large(???) Steps have brownish/greenish/black spots where once there was blue stain. Suggestions or guidance would be appreciated.
    15000 gal. in ground quartz agg./ lazy L
    Pentair Whisperflow 1.5/Pentair FNS D.E. filter
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: After ascorbic acid treatment - now what?

    Copper stains are tricky, sometimes they lift off, other times they change form and become even more difficult to remove.
    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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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: After ascorbic acid treatment - now what?

    Upload your photos to Photobucket.com or a similar host site, choosing the "large" size. Then, copy and past the "IMG" code and put it in your message here, and the pic should appear.

    Now for the staining:

    I found this post from last year from one of our Special Contributors at the time, Waterbear:
    (Perhaps you should try steps 2 and 4 and possibly 5.... )

    1. hold a vitamin c tablet against the stain (which is underwater--this is important) for about 30 seconds. If ascorbic, citric, or oxalic acid is going to work this will tell you. If there is no change go to next step. If it works do an ascorbic acid treatment.

    2. fill an old, white cotton sock with dry acid and tie the top. Fill a small Tupperware container with stones or rocks (we want it to sink and not float) and cover, rubber band the sock to the underside of the container and place on stain (which is under water). Let sit 45 minutes but check at 15 minute intervals. If stain lifts or changes it is not organic and is metal. Proceed to step 4 (sponge test)

    3. Take a trichlor tablet, crush it up and put it in a white sock (NOT the one you had the acid in), affix it to the Tupperware container. Brush the stain to disturb any biofilm and place the sock on the stain. Let it sit for 30 minutes. brush well again. If there is any change to the stain it is organic. Organic stains often require quite a bit of scrubbing and an oxidizer to get them off of plastic surfaces. Think of it as a form of mildew (not completely true but there are similarities). You know how hard mildew stains are to remove and they are organic.

    4. If step 2 worked the stains are metal and probably copper. The problem is removing them from plastic or fiberglass, which is not easy, since they cannot be acid washed like plaster. Get a bottle of HEDP based metal sequestrant such as Proteam Metal Magic and a cellulose sponge (such as you use to clean the kitchen or bathroom). you will also need your rock filled Tupperware container and rubber bands. Rubber band the sponge to the container and soak the sponge with the sequestrant. Place on the stain. Check in 5 minutes. If the stain lifts and the area under the sponge is back to it's normal color it's metal, go to step 5. If it doesn't resoak the sponge with sequestrant and place on the stain for 15 minutes. If it lifts go to step 5, If it doesn't resoak the sponge and let it sit for 30 minutes. If it lifts go to step 5. IF the area near the sponge turns yellowish at any of these times the stain is organic, go back to step 3 (or use the sodium percarbonate). You WILL need to scrub and use an oxidizer like sodium percarbonate or high chlorine levels (which can bleach a liner--percarbonate is a bit safer but it still can bleach. Think of it like a color safe powdered bleach compared to liquid chlorine bleach that you use in the laundry--it's not but the analogy holds.)

    5. Make sure the water level is above the stain line!
    If the stain lifted in 5 minutes add one qt. seqestrant per 10k gallons.
    If the stain lifted in 15 minutes add two qts. seqestrant per 10k gallons.
    If the stain lifted in 30 minutes add four qts. seqestrant per 10k gallons.
    Don't try t get away with adding less. It won't work.
    The pool will probably get very cloudy for a few days to a week, this is normal. Run the pump and filter 24/7 for about 3-4 days. Check the filter pressure and clean as needed. The pool will eventually clear on it's own. Just let it run it's course. Keep your chlorine levels normal and do not shock while treating and for a few weeks after. This should remove just about all the metal stains.
    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: After ascorbic acid treatment - now what?

    Thanks so much for your very informative reply! I had a certified stain specialist from Jack's come to the house to make the diagnosis so I am pretty sure it's copper....for a number of reasons. I will follow the steps outlined in the information you provided. In the meanwhile, let's see if these pics work now. The stains are even worse looking now as I did a second application of AA as suggested in the post by mbar from 2007. I specifically targeted the steps area and the deep end seat area. I don't see any change in my walls where I have slight blue streaks.


    15000 gal. in ground quartz agg./ lazy L
    Pentair Whisperflow 1.5/Pentair FNS D.E. filter
    Solar Heat
    Hayward Navigator sweep
    San Diego, CA

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: After ascorbic acid treatment - now what?

    Yikes. If the tips Waterbear gave don't work (can't hurt at this point, right?) then an acid wash may be the only option.
    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: After ascorbic acid treatment - now what?

    Okay, now you're scaring me....

    It's pretty nasty.....will work on next steps tomorrow and hope for the best.

    Thanks for your support!
    15000 gal. in ground quartz agg./ lazy L
    Pentair Whisperflow 1.5/Pentair FNS D.E. filter
    Solar Heat
    Hayward Navigator sweep
    San Diego, CA

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: After ascorbic acid treatment - now what?

    I'm sorry!
    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: After ascorbic acid treatment - now what?/UPDATE

    So, I completed the tests from water bear today with mixed results.

    The white sock test with AA inside released part of the worst stains on my steps. I was hopeful...I went to the pool store in search of Jack's Blue Stuff or an equivalent and the store clerk recommended a product from SeaKlear called Metal Klear because it doesn't have phosphates. I did the sponge test with the Metal Klear and nothing happened at all. I suspect that the weight of the rocks may have caused the chemical to disperse in the water too quickly to affect the stained area that I placed it on. In any case I went ahead and put both 32oz bottles of the Seaklear in my pool according to the directions and have my DE filter running all night. At the moment I am not hopeful.. the AA didn't do a lot to the stains on the walls and floor of my pool. However, when applied directly to the stains, it did the job...

    Any other ideas? I need to find something to scrub those awful stains off of my steps. Keep applying the sock until they're gone? They look gross.

    Thanks!
    15000 gal. in ground quartz agg./ lazy L
    Pentair Whisperflow 1.5/Pentair FNS D.E. filter
    Solar Heat
    Hayward Navigator sweep
    San Diego, CA

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: After ascorbic acid treatment - now what?

    The Seaklear product is not one we generally recommend. Phosphonic acid and HEDP based sequestrants are usually more effective.

    Look for Jack's Magic, GLB Sequa-Sol, or Proteam Metal Magic instead.
    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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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: After ascorbic acid treatment - now what?

    Metal Klear is not a great sequestrant. Sequestrants containing phosphates are significantly better. There is no reason to avoid phosphates. ProTeam's Metal Magic and Jack's Magic the Pink Stuff (regular), the Blue Stuff (fresh plaster), and the Purple Stuff (SWG) are some of the top sequestrants. You can also find many other brands with similar products, some of which are noticeably less expensive. Sequestrants based on HEDP, phosphonic acid, or phosphonic acid derivatives are the most effective.
    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: After ascorbic acid treatment - now what?

    Thanks to all...

    The store clerk talked me out of Jack's Magic because he doesn't care for it and I foolishly listened to him. He did tell me that SeaKlear backs up their products and if it doesn't work, I get my money back. Assuming that it will do nothing, I know what to do now..

    I suppose I should wait until I do the Jack's treatment before worrying any further about the stains on my steps. Is it possible to do only a partial drain on my pool and acid wash just the top steps that are affected? I only ask because I just put all new water in my pool last year and really don't want to go to that expense again so soon.

    Meanwhile my filter psi is climbing. Okay to wait on filter cleaning until after the Jack's treatment? It got to 24 yesterday when it typically lurks around 19-20psi.

    Thanks so much to both of you!
    15000 gal. in ground quartz agg./ lazy L
    Pentair Whisperflow 1.5/Pentair FNS D.E. filter
    Solar Heat
    Hayward Navigator sweep
    San Diego, CA

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: After ascorbic acid treatment - now what?

    Ya know, that might be a good idea - the partial drain to reveal the step area and treat the stains directly...u should probably take care of the filter sooner rather than later.
    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: After ascorbic acid treatment - now what?

    Well, I sometimes come late into a thread with half of the info I need but those don't look like stains to me. They look like a wear area where the finish is worn off the pool (steps) surface. If they are, further scrubbing, treatment, etc. will only exacerbate the problem. Do you have a pic from just a little further away?
    Dave S.
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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: After ascorbic acid treatment - now what?

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Well, I sometimes come late into a thread with half of the info I need but those don't look like stains to me. They look like a wear area where the finish is worn off the pool (steps) surface. If they are, further scrubbing, treatment, etc. will only exacerbate the problem. Do you have a pic from just a little further away?
    OP said they changed color and got worse after doing the AA treatment, and a "stain specialist" came out and identified them as copper staining.
    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: After ascorbic acid treatment - now what?

    Good morning,

    Sun is coming up in San Diego and I immediately went out to check the pool. The dark stains on the corner seat in the deep end are virtually gone. However, the large ones on the steps in the shallow end are very much present.

    DaveS - Jack's Magic has a certified stain specialist program and I had one of their local certified guys come out and test the stains before I started anything. Where you see the really dark stains, they were once an aqua blue color before application of AA. I had this pool gutted down to the dirt 5 years ago and rebuilt with a product called "Crystal Tech" which is a quartz agg material with a lifetime warranty. So I would hope that this is not wear. When I had the pool drained last year, I also had the entire surface inspected while it was empty and was told that it was in excellent shape. Your question makes sense but for these facts.

    I have never cleaned the filter myself before but I have the Pentair directions and may attempt it myself. In the meanwhile I may continue to use the sock method with AA on the steps and see how far that gets me...
    15000 gal. in ground quartz agg./ lazy L
    Pentair Whisperflow 1.5/Pentair FNS D.E. filter
    Solar Heat
    Hayward Navigator sweep
    San Diego, CA

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    Re: After ascorbic acid treatment - now what? /New twist!

    So, very little change after using SeaKlear yesterday except on one surface. This afternoon in frustration, I crushed a 3" trichlor tab and put it in a sock on the brown/black stains on my steps and they are now almost gone......vanished.

    This leads me to believe that I have both copper and organic stains of unknown origin. Previous post recommended sodium percarbonate for organic stains, i think. However, I am wondering since I haven't shocked my pool yet this season (we don't close our pools out here...) perhaps I should shock first and see what happens? I think that I read somewhere that hyperchlorination can eliminate a lot of organic stain problems. Test this morning indicated FC/TC - 1.0 (let this get low intentionally for stain remover to work) pH - 7.2.

    Still a newbie at the chem side of this...

    Thanks!
    15000 gal. in ground quartz agg./ lazy L
    Pentair Whisperflow 1.5/Pentair FNS D.E. filter
    Solar Heat
    Hayward Navigator sweep
    San Diego, CA

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: After ascorbic acid treatment - now what?

    Seriously! Well that's good news then isn't it (wish that could have been determined for you before you paid for sequesterant and AA. Did you call that "specialist"?! )

    Yes, try shocking and brushing these areas, or just moving the puck over them, unless it's too big an area?
    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: After ascorbic acid treatment - now what?

    I know, can you believe it?? I still have blue streaks on some areas of pool walls and floor that haven't budged but at this point I feel like this process could drag on forever....buying a better sequestrant, cleaning filter again....etc. If I can get the rest of these stains off the steps I will be happy. Now, after I shock if all stains in all locations go away then I will know that my "stain specialist" either didn't read his tests properly or I got sold a bill of goods. (I avoid speaking ill of professionals...) He wanted $480 to remove the stains and clean my filter and I told him no and that I would tackle it myself.

    I am moving the crushed puck around the steps and leaving it for 30 minutes per area and the improvement is awesome! Will shock tomorrow...

    Thanks for your moral support and good info....I have learned a lot!
    15000 gal. in ground quartz agg./ lazy L
    Pentair Whisperflow 1.5/Pentair FNS D.E. filter
    Solar Heat
    Hayward Navigator sweep
    San Diego, CA

  19. Back To Top    #19
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: After ascorbic acid treatment - now what?

    Good for you. Then it was worth it.
    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

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: After ascorbic acid treatment - now what?

    Hello!

    Shocking my pool didn't do a lot for my stains....perhaps a slight improvement in some areas, or maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part I am still brushing everyday just on the chance that it will help.

    I did a little more research on this site and found the attached photo from last year from a gentleman in Florida. It is the only picture that I have found so far that looks like my stains - bright aqua blue/green. Unfortunately in his case, they were much more severe and he eventually wound up acid washing his pool. Our situations were also similar in that the steps and immediate surrounding area were heavily affected. After having read so many posts about stains on this site, it seems to me that this particular stain doesn't seem to be commonly occurring nor does it seem well known to my new expert friends on this site.

    The good news is that all of the stains that turned brown/black after application of the AA were successfully removed with the crushed puck in a sock. Unless anyone has any additional suggestions, I am going to put money in the budget for an acid wash next spring and let this go....

    Thanks again for all of your support!
    http://www.travel-ascending.com/pool1.jpg
    15000 gal. in ground quartz agg./ lazy L
    Pentair Whisperflow 1.5/Pentair FNS D.E. filter
    Solar Heat
    Hayward Navigator sweep
    San Diego, CA

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