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Thread: Stains

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    Stains

    I have 4 year old pool, 18,000 gallons, salt water system with Chlorine generator, white plaster, in Northern California, a area noted for "hard" water. 2nd summer noticed grey stains, along with an orange / rust colored stain. 2 summer's ago grey stains got bad, orange stain is worse also. Tried 2 bottles of stain remover, no luck. Sanded pool, removed most, not all of stains, but stains quickly returned. Last fall and this spring added apporoximately 20 bottles (over a period of months) of stain remover. I used a PVC pipe to get stain remover right on worse stained areas, and this temporarily improves stains, but stains come right back. Pool builder, "leaves, not brushing enough, your city's water (I had the city test my water, the city's water company strongly, in no uncertain terms disputed this: I discussed with builder and never heard again about my city's water) "lawn fertilizer in pool", we even tried a phosphorus remover, Pool builder added a inline "metal remover". Point is that contractor while verbally supportive, really doesn't seem to know what to do. I keep the pool very clean, chemical tests at builders store are always correct, (I have been instructed recently by pool builder "to keep ph at 7.2, for a plaster pool") never had an algae problem. Calcium levels OK, wore out brushes, tried a stainless steel brush, sanded to the point that the plaster feels as smooth as any pool I have been in. I do have a scale problem for which I routinely add scale and stain remover. Last couple of years I haven't been diligent about brushing, but if sanding didn't fix? I came across an article from a Pool builders convention in Las Vegas that basically implies that stains are / maybe inevitable with salt and plaster. Next step is consulting a professional, already invested lots of money and way to much time. Hoping someone has a solution. raiderron

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Stains

    Welcome to TFP!

    One crucial thing to understand is that stain remover takes the stain off the wall and puts the metals back in the water. You then need to use sequestrant to keep the metals in the water bound up so they can't redeposit as stains. If you fail to use sequestrant regularly the stains will simply come back, as you observe.

    Stains are completely avoidable, not at all "standard". If your fill water has a lot of metal in it, it can get expensive to prevent stains, but it is straightforward enough.

    We don't recommend keeping PH that low unless you are have extremely high CH levels.

    For more specific advice, you should post a full set of water test results.
    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: Stains

    JasonLion thank you. No I did not use a sequestrant after adding the stain remover. Yes my Calcium hardness levels are high, average > 300, but OK per contracter test results as the top level is 400. After next check I will post full results, metals etc. Again thanks, feel like I have a plan.

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    Re: Stains

    Apologies for taking so long to post, I had a minor algae problem. Last night I put a sock full vitamin C (weighted down with tupper ware bowl of water), and stain appears worse. Further discoloring, a darker brown with slight orange tint. The chlorine level is high, should I try again after letting the Chlorine level drop? What level should I have the chlorine at before I re-attempt my stain removal test with Vit. C?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Stains

    The next thing is to try a trichlor tablet against a stained area for a couple of minutes.
    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: Stains

    I place a chlorine tablet on stains and did remove stains, though took around 1 hour. In 15 minutes there was no change in the stain.

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    Re: Stains

    I have continued to place Chlorine tablets on the stained area's and this definieitly removes the stains. I have raised the Cl- levels, what else can I do?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Stains

    Trichlor works against both copper stains and organic stains. You can also try a sock with dry acid in it, which will remove copper stains, but not organic stains. For organic stains, keeping FC around shock level for your CYA level for several days will usually clear up all of the stains. For copper stains, if the stains are localized you can treat them individually with trichlor or dry acid. However if the stains are extensive it is best to do a drain and manual acid wash.
    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: Stains

    Thanks. If I clean up the stains, how do I prevent the stains from returning? I assume that I should use some metal out remover chemicals, any recomendations on a brand / method? Would it be better to wait for warmer water or OK in winter?

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