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Thread: I'm so confused, brown pool. Iron?

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    I'm so confused, brown pool. Iron?

    Last fall, lightning hit our pump and pool. Caused some damage to the top rail and killed the pump. We decided to wait until this spring to buy a new pump, so the pool didn't get winterized. I also stupidly left it uncovered and it got full of leaves.

    Fast forward to this spring.. We replaced the pump and have gotten most of the leaves out. The water was almost black. I kept adding bleach and got it to a green color. I was adding bleach again to shock it and an hour later the water turned brown. It's been like that for a week even though I've been running the pump.

    I suspected iron in the water even though we are on city water. Took the water to be tested. They tell me AFTER testing that they can't test for iron. They are the only pool store around here. Is there a way to test it at home?

    I went ahead and bought Metal Out and have put 2 qts in our pool. It's been 2 days and I can almost see the bottom. Is it supposed to take that long? If the Metal Out works, when can I start adding bleach? Will it turn brown again?

    We have never had this problem and it's just so frustrating! Would have been nice to swim with the kids this holiday weekend, you know?

    TC: 0.6
    FC: 0
    pH: 7.3
    Total Alkalinity: 86
    Total Hardness: 79

    The pool store water testing was useless. I have the TF-100 test kit here at the house. When asking them about the iron, they said for us to bring water up there and they would test it. We assumed they would be testing for iron. Nope!
    27' above ground, 17,204 gallons, sand filter

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: I'm so confused, brown pool. Iron?

    If the brown is caused by iron in the water, it looks like you need to use more sequestrant. Sequestrant will clear up colored water with in 12 to 24 hours if it is going to work. But the brown could be caused by other things.

    Since your water is murky/cloudy, you should continue shocking. If you water was a clear transparent brown, then you should add more sequestrant.

    You can buy an iron test kit, like the Taylor K-1716, but it is mildly expensive.

    Since you are on city water, you should be able to call the water company and have them tell you exactly how much iron there is in the water. Unless you have iron stains on all of your sinks, I doubt there is an iron problem.
    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: I'm so confused, brown pool. Iron?

    I'd think that the brown is tannins from the leaves, though I am hesitant to disagree with Jason Lion. With FC at 0 you need more chlorine. After 2 days, it must be something else.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: I'm so confused, brown pool. Iron?

    Quote Originally Posted by anonapersona
    I am hesitant to disagree with Jason Lion
    You aren't actually disagreeing. Perhaps I wasn't clear enough. I was trying to say that if it was metals it would have cleared up in 12 to 24 hours, so it is probably something else. There is a chance that it is still metals, and just needs more sequestrant, but that is no longer the most likely possibility.
    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: I'm so confused, brown pool. Iron?

    The Metal Out did nothing. I'm really thinking it's tannins, like what was suggested. Why didn't I think of that?? That is the only thing that has changed this year, is those dumb leaves!

    We have all of the leaves out, but the water still looks like tea. I'm backwashing and adding bleach, but I'm thinking this is going to take forever. Is there a quicker way? Should I use Floc? I know that many people here don't like it. I've never used it.

    It's been around 90 here and we are dying to swim!
    27' above ground, 17,204 gallons, sand filter

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: I'm so confused, brown pool. Iron?

    Floc won't help if the FC isn't holding overnight...have you completed the shock process?
    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
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    Re: I'm so confused, brown pool. Iron?

    I'm shocking it now. I woke up this morning and I can see the bottom! It's working, just slowly. Glad I didn't add the floc.

    I need to be more patient.
    27' above ground, 17,204 gallons, sand filter

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: I'm so confused, brown pool. Iron?

    Quote Originally Posted by inthewoods
    I'm shocking it now. I woke up this morning and I can see the bottom! It's working, just slowly. Glad I didn't add the floc.

    I need to be more patient.
    Naw- be impatient . Test that water every hour! Keep the FC at shock level. That will speed things up.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
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    Heckpools's Avatar
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    Re: I'm so confused, brown pool. Iron?

    floc is used to help clear a cloudy pool. But ONLY if its cloudy due to dead algae particals or calcium. If its cloudy from lack of chlorine it wont do anything but waste your money!

    I know you didnt add it, just wanted to post that incase someone else reads this and thinks floc may work instead of shocking.
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