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Thread: Rust sediment in pool-- How to get out??

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    Rust sediment in pool-- How to get out??

    Ok- we have an AG 18x48 intex pool. I've had nothing but problems since we put it up a week and a half ago. The water is constantly cloudy even with keeping very high chlorine levels in it. I thought it was algea but now I think it's rust sediment. Here's why....
    We live in a town of 750 and our water system is HORRIBLE! When we take a bath you can see rust deposits that sit in the bottom of the tub- a burnt orange color. We filled our pool and I've been batling cloudy water. Last night I shocked the pool for the 3rd day in a row (trying to keep at shock level) and after letting it run several hours shut the pump off last night. I left for work this morning and just left the pump off all day. When I came home I looked in the pool and it was crystal clear!!! I started skimming the bugs off the top and noticed one leaf on the bottom- when I took the net down to get it I saw all the orange stuff stir up!! I got out the vaccum, hooked it up to the pump (with a clean filter in) and started cleaning the bottom. As I got in the pool it all stirred up to cloudy again. There was NO slimy feel on the bottom OR on the sides- the sides were totally clean. This is what makes me think it's rust just like we get in our tub. What can I do to clear all of this out?? Do I need to keep the pump running 24/7 and clean it every day? I was so excited to see the clear water and now I'm totally let down. All my levels are perfect as far as pH, CYA to FC and TA too.
    Any help is appreciated!!!
    AG 18x48 Intex metal frame / 6,700 gallons / vinyl / cartridge filter / 3,000gph pump. New (hand me down) pool owner!!

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    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Northeast Ohio
    Posts
    221

    Re: Rust sediment in pool-- How to get out??

    Can you post a full set of numbers for us to take a look at? Also, if you can, have a pool store test your water for metals. I wouldn't buy anything (tell them you already have it if you need to), but post all your results and we can help you make sure you doing the right thing to take care of whatever is making your water cloudy.
    32x16 ft Grecian rectangular vinyl pool 8ft on deep end - 19000 gal. 18" Hayward S-240 sand filter. 250K BTU Pentair MasterTemp heater. Hayward 3/4 HP Super Pump.

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    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Northeast Florida
    Posts
    161

    Re: Rust sediment in pool-- How to get out??

    That sounds like iron, not algae. The chlorine from shocking causes it to precipitate out of solution. Yes, you need to keep the pump running and clean the filter often. Eventually you will see less and less in the filter as it filters out. If you leave the pump off and let it settle, vacuuming will work too. If you can vacuum from outside of the pool without stirring it up first, that is better. Hanging a towel in front of the return will catch some of it too.
    33' above ground pool, 52" deep, about 27500 g
    sand filter w/zeobrite

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    Re: Rust sediment in pool-- How to get out??

    Just tested the water- the results are:
    TH- 400
    FC- 12
    pH- 7.5
    CYA- 20
    I like the idea of putting a towel in front of the return. I will try that.
    AG 18x48 Intex metal frame / 6,700 gallons / vinyl / cartridge filter / 3,000gph pump. New (hand me down) pool owner!!

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    Re: Rust sediment in pool-- How to get out??

    I left my pump off all day again today and when I came home same thing- crystal clear water and orange, rust settled to the bottom. I got out my vac, hooked it to the filter and tried vaccuming to wastewith the return still open to see what would happen. I vaccumed while standing outside of the pool too. Well it just stirred it all up again and the water that went back through the return was still rust filled and just clouded up the pool again. I asked about a different filter but someone replied that it wouldn't filter out rust sediment. My levels are still the same and look to be safe for swimming. I suppose we will just swim in it (kids can't stand waiting) and hope that the filter will clear it up some over time. I just feel like I'll be going around in circles. Would a sequestrant do anything for me??
    AG 18x48 Intex metal frame / 6,700 gallons / vinyl / cartridge filter / 3,000gph pump. New (hand me down) pool owner!!

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    SWSuburban Chicago, IL
    Posts
    11,965

    Re: Rust sediment in pool-- How to get out??

    Not at this point. The iron has dropped out of solution cuz of the chlorine. Sequesterant at the start would have prevented that, but that gets expensive over time. I'd suggest go ahead and just let the rust particles get filtered out over time. You can hose the cartridge off every day or two, and replace it weekly till the rust is gone. YOu should get your CYA up tho - right now your FC is higher than your recommended shock level for 20 CYA. We recommend safe swimming UP TO shock level. So allow that to drop below 10 before you let the kids in. You ideally want your CYA to be 30-50... how do you plan to chlorinate daily? (bleach/tabs?)
    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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    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Northeast Florida
    Posts
    161

    Re: Rust sediment in pool-- How to get out??

    I used to have an Intex with a cartridge filter. If yours is the same type of filter I had, it will eventually filter out the iron, but it may take a while and some will slip through in the meantime. When you check the filter is it covered with rust? If so, then it is working....keep cleaning the filter and putting it back in. If the filter is not collecting anything, then the next thing I would try is the blue clarifier (many different brands, looks like blue shampoos, comes in a 32 oz bottle) That helps the particles clump together so the filter can catch them.
    33' above ground pool, 52" deep, about 27500 g
    sand filter w/zeobrite

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    Re: Rust sediment in pool-- How to get out??

    I raised my CYA to 30 now. I came home from work to the same thing (left the pump off all day- settled to bottom) and I decided to try a little experiment. I have been looking at getting a slime bag that filters down to 1 micron but as they are somewhat expensive we will wait a while. What I did was cut off the foot to two different pair of tights. Stuck them inside each other and fitted them over the water return and put the ring on it to hold them in place. I then vaccumed the bottom into the filter. We could still see some cloudiness coming out from the tights filter but when I stopped and took it off OMG- it was disgusting!! It caught a bunch of the rust sediment but now I'm confident that a slime bag would get it all after a few times of letting it settle and then vaccuming. In the meantime we've just been swimming in the cloudy rust water. I mean we bathe in it after all, so since all my other chemical levels are fine the kids are still enjoying it!! I'll let everyone know how the slime bag does once we get it. Thanks for all the help!
    AG 18x48 Intex metal frame / 6,700 gallons / vinyl / cartridge filter / 3,000gph pump. New (hand me down) pool owner!!

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