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Thread: Can't raise PH or keep clorine levels up and iron stains

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Can't raise PH or keep clorine levels up and iron stains

    It's a long story.

    I've had three issue for going on two seasons. I have a 14,000 gallon fiberglass pool. I've had the pool for 5 years an the only problem I had was iron stains when I opened the pool in the spring. I'd add a product called stain out, then metal out 24 hours later and the problem was gone for the rest of the year.

    Last year I added a salt water chlorinator. All last season I couldn't keep my chlorine levels up. The only way to keep them up was to run the chlorinator at 100% 24 hours a day. I'd then get iron stains starting at my jets, then eventual covering the entire pool. The old stain remover I used was no longer available so I've tried others. Then all work, the stain would be in gone in a day. I then add a sequestering agent, wait a day, vacuum the pool and clean or even replace the filter. I then try to get my chlorine levels up, running the chlorinator at 100% for day. After about a week the stains come back.

    This went on all last year and cost me lots of money in chemicals. This year when I opened the pool it was a swamp, green and stinky. I'm assuming because I can't keep chlorine in the pool there was nothing to prevent this from happening. I drained the pool down half way, refilled it using a special metal filter, added 5 gallons of liquid chlorine and ran the pump for a couple of days. The pool cleared up nicely, allowing me to see the dark iron stains. I balanced the pool, turned off the salt water chlorinator and went back to my old chlorine tablet chlorinator.

    I ran it for a couple of weeks this way with the stains, but couldn't keep my chlorine and PH levels up. I added the stain remover. The stains went away, I then added a sequestering agent, vacuumed the pool, and changed the filter. With the stains gone I keep added the required dosage of PH plus, and keep my chlorinator cranked up. The PH stays down and the chlorine level only raise if I run the pool 24 7 with the chlorinator at a 4-5 out of 10. I only used a setting of 1-1.5 in the past. I'm using tons of PH plus and buckets of chlorine tabs. My local pool store recommended I shock it every day until I can maintain chlorine levels. I did this for two days, and my iron stains came back.

    As well the water burns your eyes. I'm assuming do to the low ph.

    All my levels are perfect except my PH and chlorine levels. I tested as well as my local pool store.

    I'm assuming something is eating my chlorine. With the saltwater, or tab chlorinator cranked up, that high chlorine level water coming out of the jets is causing the iron to release from the water. That's why I see it first at the jets. Once the chlorine gets into the pool it is eaten up. Where is my chlorine going, and why wont the PH stay up? I think if I get these items corrected I can get rid of the stains by using ascorbic acid and Jacks Magic Pink stuff.
    Inground 40,000 liters,salt,1.5 hp with a big 3.5 sf sand filter,I live in canada.75,000 btu thermopompe heater.

  2. #2
    Senior Member dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
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    Re: Can't raise PH or keep clorine levels up and iron stains

    Welcome to TFP

    Can you post up a full set of test results? You may have a number of issues...having the test results and your method of testing will help us assist you better.

    FC
    CC
    TC
    PH
    TA
    CH
    CYA
    Salt
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    Re: Can't raise PH or keep clorine levels up and iron stains

    FC 0
    CC I haven't checked my test strips only test FC. Pool store didn't say.
    PH 6.6
    TA 90ppm
    CH 300ppm
    CYA 40ppm
    Salt haven't checked, not unsing chlorinator.

    I use test strips as a rule, and bring to pool store, weekly as of late. I have a new test kit on the way.
    Inground 40,000 liters,salt,1.5 hp with a big 3.5 sf sand filter,I live in canada.75,000 btu thermopompe heater.

  4. #4
    Administrator JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Can't raise PH or keep clorine levels up and iron stains

    You definitely need to bring your PH up right away. You should never allow PH to get outside of 7.2 to 7.8. If you can't keep the PH at some appropriate level you aren't using enough borax or soda ash (or your PH test doesn't work).

    You need to properly shock your pool, see the instructions in Pool School. That partly means using enough chlorine to get your FC levels up to where they ought to be, even if that is a lot of chlorine.

    After you can maintain an FC level, you should raise CYA up to around 70-80 for use with the SWG.

    You should be using regular doses of sequestrant to prevent iron stains. If the stains come back you either need a better brand of sequestrant or you aren't using enough.

    All of this would be much much simpler if you had something more reliable than test strips.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    TFP Admin. Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  5. #5
    Junior Member
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    Re: Can't raise PH or keep clorine levels up and iron stains

    I have a new test kit on it's way. I've been trying to get the PH up using PH+, it wont come up. I'm going to try airating the water.
    Inground 40,000 liters,salt,1.5 hp with a big 3.5 sf sand filter,I live in canada.75,000 btu thermopompe heater.

  6. #6
    Senior Member In the Industry

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    Re: Can't raise PH or keep clorine levels up and iron stains

    I've been trying to get the PH up using PH+, it wont come up. I'm going to try airating the water.
    Don't aerate. Keep using the pH+......It will come up...you just haven't used enough.

    Find the Pool Calculator in my sig and use it to calculate roughly how much you need.
    Dave S.
    Site Owner 42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter, No SWG
    TFTestkits owner
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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