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Thread: WHAT am I doing WRONG???

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    WHAT am I doing WRONG???


    First, let me say that I read Pool School on a regular basis. I read and reread constantly. Here's what's going on:
    Shocked for days to get rid of what I thought was algae. Kept my level a little higher than 15, which is what Pool Calc says is ideal for my set up. The overnight test held; however, the corners of my shallow end and the bottom of the deep end still seemed greenish but the water is super sparkly. I got in with the fins and tried to brush/scrub whatever it is. It's not moving. At all. Here are today's numbers:
    FC 6.5
    CC 0
    ph 7.3
    T/A 140 (up from 110 just a few days ago)
    CH 300
    CYA 35 (Little bit of a guess as I lost the dot approximately halfway between 30 and 40)

    I know it's me. What am I doing wrong? Or any thoughts on what the green, nonmoving stuff might be? It doesn't seem slimy...
    BTW, vacuuming every day. Loads of acorns and *&^%$# Japanese beetles... Thanks for any insite you can give-- I feel like people here have already been incredibly helpful!
    Christina
    40x22, 25,000 gallons; vinyl; DE filter

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    svenpup's Avatar
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    Re: WHAT am I doing WRONG???

    Green could be copper staining. Have the pool store test for metals. You can also try the vitimin C test to see if AA treatment might help.
    TFP Method Advanced Intermediate
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    Helpful Links: Pool School, BBB for Beginners, How to Shock (hint...it's a process not a product), Chlorine/CYA Chart, Jason's Pool Calculator

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    Re: WHAT am I doing WRONG???

    Quote Originally Posted by svenpup
    Green could be copper staining. Have the pool store test for metals. You can also try the vitimin C test to see if AA treatment might help.
    Thank you! Had to do a little research to find out about the Vitamin C test, so I will pick some of that up tomorrow. Could not find info on an AA treatment. The search told me AA was too general a search... Can you tell me what that is? And if the pool store tells me that there is metal in the water, do I buy something they sell me, or is there a better solution to remove metals? Am I going to have to drain? Jeez, I hope not, it's supposed to be 90 here the rest of the week...

    Also, just read a post that was about shadows on a pool bottom. It sounded a lot like what I am experiencing, with very similar advice on how to figure out if it's a stain, and if it is organic or metal. Kind of hoping that I just need to keep shocking, but I just don't know...

    Thanks again for the advice!
    Christina
    40x22, 25,000 gallons; vinyl; DE filter

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: WHAT am I doing WRONG???

    It sounds like it could also be organic staining left over from algae. Try rubbing a trichlor tablet on it, in addition to the Vitamin C. By the way, AA = ascorbic acid (technical name for vitamin C); there's a pool school article on it...
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Re: WHAT am I doing WRONG???

    [quote=. By the way, AA = ascorbic acid (technical name for vitamin C); there's a pool school article on it...[/quote]

    Found it. Thanks for not calling me out on my I READ pool school rant...
    Christina
    40x22, 25,000 gallons; vinyl; DE filter

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    svenpup's Avatar
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    Re: WHAT am I doing WRONG???

    Just found this that may help:
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by cfroehl1
    ...And if the pool store tells me that there is metal in the water, do I buy something they sell me, or is there a better solution to remove metals?...
    To manage metals in the water you use a sequestrant (see #5 above). This doesn't remove the metals, but only keeps them in suspension so they can't do any more harm. When you are using sequestrant it is a regular regimen where you have to add an initial dose, and then regular (weekly) maintenance doses.

    If you drain and refill with water lower in metals it can stop the problem from getting worse.

    If it is copper, you probably want to try to determine where it came from. Have you used any algicide or other pool products that contain copper?
    TFP Method Advanced Intermediate
    • 17,500 gallons - In Ground - Plaster - Hayward Swimclear 3020 Cartridge Filter - Sta-Rite Max-E-Glas Main Pump upgraded with A.O. Smith B2980 E-Plus New Centurion Two-Speed Motor - Polaris 280 Cleaner with Polaris PB4-60 Booster Pump - TightWatt2 Timer - Taylor K-2006 Test Kit - Pool Pilot Digital Nano SWCG

    Helpful Links: Pool School, BBB for Beginners, How to Shock (hint...it's a process not a product), Chlorine/CYA Chart, Jason's Pool Calculator

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    Re: WHAT am I doing WRONG???

    What condition has you pool been in for the last few months. It sounds like you might have had a green swamp which would make me think they are organic stains.

    If they are organic, you can simply elevate your FC for a few weeks (say 50% above normal) and brush on them every time you get a chance. If they begin to fade, keep after them. If they show no improvement, they are likely metal.

    Either way, metal or organic, it is important that you determine what they are and then you can formulate a plan for treating them.
    Dave S.
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    Re: WHAT am I doing WRONG???

    I am sitting here with my husband telling him how absolutely amazing you guys are! Seriously, on what other forum on the ENTIRE web would I get such helpful feedback so quickly???
    Quote Originally Posted by svenpup
    If it is copper, you probably want to try to determine where it came from. Have you used any algicide or other pool products that contain copper?
    We haven't used any algicide--right before I found this site, I had gone to Leslie's but the guy there didn't want to sell me algicide b/c he said it would bring up a host of other issues. At least that was a step in the right direction form the pool store (and it got me here )We are a little concerned because we have a non-functioning heater that my husband "unplumbed" from the system once we realized that it was leaking. However, we don't know how long water was circulating through it before he got it disconnected, and when he found the leak, it was coming from a pipe that had corroded, so who knows what got pumped in...

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    What condition has you pool been in for the last few months. It sounds like you might have had a green swamp which would make me think they are organic stains.

    If they are organic, you can simply elevate your FC for a few weeks (say 50% above normal) and brush on them every time you get a chance. If they begin to fade, keep after them. If they show no improvement, they are likely metal.

    Either way, metal or organic, it is important that you determine what they are and then you can formulate a plan for treating them.
    It was pretty gross when we first opened in May. Dumped 7lbs of the stuff the pool store calls shock in. Even after doing that, we still had a 0 reading on CYA (which of course I didn't even know about until I joined here...) Still can't figure out how that's even possible... If I keep the FC 50% above normal, will it still be safe to swim in? That is, after I try the Vit. C and puck tricks...

    Again, sooooooo glad I found this site and all of the incredibly helpful folks who are here! Thank you thank you thank you for putting me on the right path!
    Christina
    40x22, 25,000 gallons; vinyl; DE filter

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: WHAT am I doing WRONG???

    Quote Originally Posted by cfroehl1
    We are a little concerned because we have a non-functioning heater that my husband "unplumbed" from the system once we realized that it was leaking. However, we don't know how long water was circulating through it before he got it disconnected, and when he found the leak, it was coming from a pipe that had corroded, so who knows what got pumped in...
    Corroded heaters almost always mean copper in the water.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: WHAT am I doing WRONG???

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    Corroded heaters almost always mean copper in the water.
    Ok, so they are probably copper stains. While I will confirm tomorrow, best place to purchase the AA? I saw a post earlier with some chemistry sites listed, but someone also mentioned a health food store??? Or Leslie's?

    Oh oh. Just reread Svenpup's post. It seems I have my acids mixed up. What is dry acid? Oh dear. The more I learn, the more I don't know...
    Christina
    40x22, 25,000 gallons; vinyl; DE filter

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: WHAT am I doing WRONG???

    Yeah, AA prob won't help copper if they are copper.

    Try a Vit C tablet first. If the Vit C doesn't remove the stains, or they get darker, then AA won't help.
    try the trichlor, to see if it's old organic.

    If they are copper, which is difficult but possible to get on vinyl, you may just have to live with them.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
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    Re: WHAT am I doing WRONG???

    Ok, did the Vitamin C test today, and it came off very quickly-- I think that's good. I know what it is and, thanks to everyone here, how to get rid of it! I can do the AA treatment now, but I have to order the AA. I can't pick that up in the pool store can I? Have to go there anyway for the Proteam... BTW, I did try the trichlor as well, and there was no change at all. In the mean time, I can't just dump the whole bottle of vitamin c in the pool can I? (I'm half kidding...) Any other tips before I get going on this process? Thanks again, everyone!
    Christina
    40x22, 25,000 gallons; vinyl; DE filter

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    Re: WHAT am I doing WRONG???

    My suggestion is to wait until the end of pool season to do the AA treatment.
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    Re: WHAT am I doing WRONG???

    I agree with Joyce - wait until the season is over, lower temps mean less likely you will develop an algae issue.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
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    Re: WHAT am I doing WRONG???

    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly
    My suggestion is to wait until the end of pool season to do the AA treatment.
    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    I agree with Joyce - wait until the season is over, lower temps mean less likely you will develop an algae issue.
    Ok, I have no problem doing that. I had an algae issue when we opened, but I wonder how long it really lasted because I kept thinking the metal stain was more algae... I definitely don't need the hassle of that again though... Would you suggest just waiting to close the pool a week longer so I can do the treatment?

    BTW, my Kreepy Kruiser arrived yesterday. It won't help or make the staining worse at all will it?

    Thanks again!
    Christina
    40x22, 25,000 gallons; vinyl; DE filter

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: WHAT am I doing WRONG???

    nah...
    as far as when to do the treatment... in colder water, the treatment takes longer. In warmer water, you risk an algae outbreak since the process requires the chlorine to be nil.
    You can't shock the pool for a good 2 weeks after the treatment or you risk the stains resettling.
    Your options would be to do it about a month before close (to ensure there are no lingering issues before you winterize) or winterize and wait till spring. Cuz what if you do the treatment and something goes kooky over the winter and you open to staining again? KWIM?
    If it were my pool I'd wait until next spring and do it. Open when the water temps are about 60 or so. Just a thought.
    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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