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Thread: Clear, brown water, HELP!!

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    Clear, brown water, HELP!!

    Hi. i am a newbie, just bought an intex 18' x 48" easy set pool. i need some guidance. i didn't do much research before hand, silly me
    We have well water. after filling, i added a 3" chlorine tablet in the floating canister late last night. This morning the water is brown, but crystal clear. i am going to get a good testing kit this week, i only bought the ph, bromine and chorine one.
    Does this sound like iron to you? If so, what's my next step? i will probably also take a water sample to a pool store tomorrow, but you sound like a very knowledgeable pool guy!
    I will also be buying the 3 B's tomorrow!
    i look forward to hearing from you.

    oh. the ph & chlorine levels were in the "desired" range on the test kit. (ph 7.6 & chlorine 1.5)
    Thanks for any advice!! jessica
    18'x48" Intex easyset vinyl, 5593 gallons, cartridge filter

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Clear, brown water, HELP!!

    Welcome to TFP.

    It sure sounds like iron.

    The easiest solution from a pool maintenance perspective is to have water delivered, but that's not always available.

    There are products that can bind the metal to avoid the symptoms, but no practical way to remove it. Here's a link to an article on Metals in the Water and Metal Stains that may help.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Clear, brown water, HELP!!

    Welcome to TFP Jessica.

    As JohnT said, sounds like iron to me. A good test kit is a good place to start and reading the link that JT provided is good advice.

    The test kits that we recommend (see my sig) don't test for metals so your best bet is to take a sample to a pool store near you that can test for them. Don't buy anything they recommend until you come back here and post the numbers so we can advise you on what you need.

    If it is metals and you have access to metal free water you will be ahead to drain and refill with new water. Otherwise, you'll have to use regular doses of sequestrant to keep it in suspension.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Clear, brown water, HELP!!

    I've got a question... there are carbon filters that you can get at Walmart in the RV section... would those filter out iron?
    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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    Re: Clear, brown water, HELP!!

    Quote Originally Posted by anonapersona
    I've got a question... there are carbon filters that you can get at Walmart in the RV section... would those filter out iron?
    I don't think so. A greensand filter will pull a goodly amount of iron and other metals out, but they typically won't get all of it.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Clear, brown water, HELP!!

    The problem of filtering out the iron is one of magnitude. It's one thing to filter a few hundred gallons for drinking, but a completely different animal to try and filter an entire pool. Reverse Osmosis would take care of it but I'm not sure where the breakpoint would be between using sequestrant and running the water through an R/O treatment even if it's available in your area.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Clear, brown water, HELP!!

    Thanks for all of the helpful information!! if it is iron, can someone recommend a good sequestrant?
    I will also check into having water delivered....
    Also, will the iron hurt anything? or is it just unsightly?? after all, this is the water i bathe in and cook with every day!
    18'x48" Intex easyset vinyl, 5593 gallons, cartridge filter

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Clear, brown water, HELP!!

    Any sequestrant that's HEDP (Hydroxyethylidene-diphosphonic acid) or phosponic acid derived, are the ones most commonly recommended here as being the best.

    The iron won't actually hurt anything. It just makes your water brown and will stain your liner. The biggest reason for getting water free of iron is so that you don't have the continual expense of adding sequestrant.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Clear, brown water, HELP!!

    I did the exact same thing last year with my 12' easy-set. It was fine when I filled it up from my well, and then the next day... Brown and clear. I purchased a bottle of HTH Clarifier from Wal Mart and added, I think, about an ounce. Just follow the directions. I then cleaned the woefully inadequate filter that came with the pool about every 4 hours, and it was cleared up in about 4 or 5 days! Piece of cake!

    Then following the awesome advice you get here on maintaining the water my pool looked like this for the rest of the season!

    Rob B
    My $100 pool finally died after 6 years.
    Totally got our monies worth!
    Butterfly made me do it...

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