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Thread: Stair Discoloration

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    Stair Discoloration

    I was wondering if anyone has a comment or feedback about the product called “The Step Stuff” by Jacks Magic? My stairs are not as white as they could be. I can take a Magic Eraser to them and the stains come off after a fair amount of effort. However, it is very difficult to remove the yellow/browning tinge on the treads of the stairs because they are not smooth (by design). Does anyone support The Step Stuff? It appears that product may do what I am hoping for? My water is balanced and clear, but either I have some sort of algae or they are turning color slightly over time? Thanks!
    22,500 gal Lagoon shaped inground pool, vinyl liner, Hayward 4800 DE Filter, Hayward 1.5 HP super pump, Aqua Heat Pump, Nexus Pure SWG, Aquabot, Hebron, CT

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Stair Discoloration

    Yellow/brown on the steps is almost certainly iron in the water staining the steps.

    I have heard several raves about how wonderful The Step Stuff is. However, you can usually do the same thing with vitamin C tablets or bulk ascorbic acid for less money.
    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: Stair Discoloration

    Thanks for the response! I can only assume you are exactly right about the iron as the Vitamin C tablets take the stain right off. Buying Ascorbic Acid in bulk seems to be worth trying as it is too large an area to treat with just tablets. I have three questions that you may be able to help me with:

    1) Where does one buy Ascorbic Acid in bulk?
    2) How would I treat the steps once I had the Ascorbic Acid (how much to put in? sprinkle in? Let it sit? Take a brush to it?)
    3) Are there any aftereffects I should be on the watch for after adding Ascorbic Acid?

    Thanks for all the help!
    22,500 gal Lagoon shaped inground pool, vinyl liner, Hayward 4800 DE Filter, Hayward 1.5 HP super pump, Aqua Heat Pump, Nexus Pure SWG, Aquabot, Hebron, CT

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Stair Discoloration

    Amazon and eBay are both fairly good for ascorbic acid.

    Depending on how large an area you are trying to treat you can either do a local treatment or a whole pool treatment. For the local treatment, put AA in a cloth bag of some kind (perhaps a T-shirt that has been tied up into a bag) and place that on a stained area for 30 seconds and move on. For the whole pool treatment, see this topic.

    The only thing to watch out for with AA is that it uses up chlorine and works best when the PH is fairly low (around 7.2 to 7.4). After the treatment, the iron goes into the water. Depending on how much iron is in your water you may want to use sequestrant to prevent the stains from reappearing.
    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: Stair Discoloration

    Again- Thank you. You are extremely helpful. Of course, I have another question though. I have seen sequestrant mentioned before. What is it and where do I buy that?
    22,500 gal Lagoon shaped inground pool, vinyl liner, Hayward 4800 DE Filter, Hayward 1.5 HP super pump, Aqua Heat Pump, Nexus Pure SWG, Aquabot, Hebron, CT

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Stair Discoloration

    Sequestrants are a whole family of chemicals that bind to metals in the water and prevent them from forming stains. ProTeam's Metal Magic and Jack's Magic the Pink Stuff (regular), the Blue Stuff (fresh plaster), and the Purple Stuff (SWG) are some of the top sequestrants. You can also find many other brands with similar products, some of which are noticeably less expensive. Sequestrants based on HEDP, phosphonic acid, or phosphonic acid derivatives are the most effective.
    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: Stair Discoloration

    The suggestions worked great. I added bulk Vitamin C (1.75lbs) and the stains removed nearly immediately- impressive! Anything in the pool that is white looks brand new just a day later. I also added The Purple Stuff by Jacks Magic afterward. I then vacuumed the pool thoroughly and then backwashed. So far so good as it has been a week now and everything is nearly perfect.

    My question now is this: How long will my Chlorine level be difficult to raise/sustain? I know the Ascorbic Acid can “eat” up the Chlorine, but I have added enough bleach to raise it to 5 (according to the Pool Calculator) and 24 hours later, my Chlorine is barely registering 2.
    22,500 gal Lagoon shaped inground pool, vinyl liner, Hayward 4800 DE Filter, Hayward 1.5 HP super pump, Aqua Heat Pump, Nexus Pure SWG, Aquabot, Hebron, CT

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    Re: Stair Discoloration

    I could use more help on this topic. After just a few weeks, the stairs are starting to turn from the nice bright white again. Vitamin C takes the stain right off again (using a tablet to test). I am assuming I need to repeat the bulk treatment? Last time I did this it worked great but it took over a week to not have to add Chlorine (bleach) almost daily to get the SWG back to being able to keep up. I would add about 1-2 gallons at a time. To avoid this again, I will add less Vitamin C (rather than 1.75 pounds I did all at once) and use as little as possible to remove the stain. I am assuming I should add another quart of the “Purple Stuff” as well? We do have well water and we have had a lack of rain so I have been “topping off” the pool here and there to keep the water level up. I am assuming this is adding to the problem. Can you let me know if I have the right course of action in mind and if there anything I should be doing differently to help prevent the discoloration?

    Thanks!
    22,500 gal Lagoon shaped inground pool, vinyl liner, Hayward 4800 DE Filter, Hayward 1.5 HP super pump, Aqua Heat Pump, Nexus Pure SWG, Aquabot, Hebron, CT

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