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Thread: High levels of copper

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    High levels of copper

    After finally refilling the pool (due to months of leak issues), the pool quickly became cloudy and green. Treated with 'Green to Clean' + shock treatments according to the local pool store. Haven't been able to bring the pH up, however. Bottom line? Boatloads of copper. After draining 3/4 and refilling, there is still approx., 8-10 PPM (estimating via dillution, since most tests only go to 3; different results at different stores). Surprisingly, there is no staining that we can tell as yet, but we have since have been given differing (often opposing) 'solutions'. Should we drain again or use a chelating agent? Any other ideas? It's getting quite wasteful and expensive. [I'm so ready for an oxidizing method that doesn't require chemicals!]

    Thanks for any suggestions you can offer!

    35,000 gal - IG
    Cartridge filter
    Fiberglass over plaster
    TF-100 test kit. 24' round AG w/main drain, 15000 gal, 3/4 hp Jandy pump runs 24/7, 30" Hayward sand filter, puck chlorinator. LP gas heater, oversized. Liquid chlorine to shock. Pool is not at our main residence, can't check it every day. Short swim season! Pool doesn't freeze in winter, water gets down to 42 degrees.

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    Re: High levels of copper

    Seems like your fill water is the problem. I have seen this before. The cause is usually due to a low pH of the source water eating your copper pipes. Any greening up in the bathroom fixtures or unexpected pin hole leaks in the hot water pipes?

    That is a LOT of copper. Are you on a well?

    For the time being, use sequesterants, not chelators. They last longer. Chelates break down quite quickly in the presence of chlorine.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: High levels of copper

    Copper is not normally found in ground water. As said above, the source is usually deterioration of copper pipes from pH being too low for extended periods or the introduction of copper algaecides.

    .3ppm (yes, that's POINT three ppm) of copper is considered troublesome so if the tests are right you have so much copper I would never consider trying to sequester it. I would find the source, fix it, and then drain and refill the pool as the only viable alternative.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: High levels of copper

    Thank you both for your responses! We've had the fill water tested, and that's not the problem - it's the heater, which was already broken, so we've now had it bypassed. Then we drained 3/4 and refilled. Perhaps the problem is that while it was still about 1 foot low (from where we normally fill), I could tell the water was still too turquoise and there was a film on top, so I stopped filling and took in a sample. Since the tests (at 3 different places) only read up to 3ppm, I dilluted it 1:4 and the tests registered between 1 and 2ppm at that point. I'm noticing some turquoise "film-like" substance at the bottom of the pool and before draining, I did try "Metal Free", but I don't think we ran the filter long enough to get all of it out. Now it's dawning on me that that is playing a role, as well.

    The people who put in the fiberglass came out mistakenly when I wasn't here and then left a message to drain and acid wash (for a pretty penny, I might add). I thought fiberglass should never be acid washed. And as far as I can tell, there aren't even stains. I'm awaiting a call back in explanation, but hear from other sources to either drain 3/4 or so again and then use sequestrants, or to go straight to sequestrants. As you advised above, however, it's not a good consieration for that volume of copper? We're concerned about doing a full drain since it is fiberglass, and we don't want to open up a whole other can of worms at this point. And do we need to do something (besides acid wash) to the surface to be sure something isn't adhering to the fiberglass? Does it make a difference if it's a slow drain via hoses, instead of a costly pump?
    TF-100 test kit. 24' round AG w/main drain, 15000 gal, 3/4 hp Jandy pump runs 24/7, 30" Hayward sand filter, puck chlorinator. LP gas heater, oversized. Liquid chlorine to shock. Pool is not at our main residence, can't check it every day. Short swim season! Pool doesn't freeze in winter, water gets down to 42 degrees.

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    Re: High levels of copper

    Drain 1/2- 2/3 of your pool and then refill. Then repeat as many times as it takes to get the copper test below .3ppm. Copper is NEVER good for ANY pool and will only cause you problems. I certainly would get a small sump pump ($50) to assist in the draining because I would want the copper out of my pool NOW rather than later.

    If the current copper precipitates onto the pool surfaces, you may never get it off.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: High levels of copper

    Is it likely that the copper has precipitated onto the fiberglass? Then what?

    Also - if we are estimating around 9ppm of copper, then if we drain even 2/3, we'd still have 3. At what point do the sequestrants do their job? Not that I want more chemicals, etc., in the 'new' water, but it would mean a 3rd time draining - after having just finally filled after a leak issue. Disheartening with the loss of resources, money, time . . .
    TF-100 test kit. 24' round AG w/main drain, 15000 gal, 3/4 hp Jandy pump runs 24/7, 30" Hayward sand filter, puck chlorinator. LP gas heater, oversized. Liquid chlorine to shock. Pool is not at our main residence, can't check it every day. Short swim season! Pool doesn't freeze in winter, water gets down to 42 degrees.

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    Re: High levels of copper

    If the copper that is currently in solution in your pool water precipitates onto the fiberglass you may or may not EVER get rid of it. Copper stains are difficult to get rid of and fiberglass is the most stain-prone of all the surfaces.

    It has not come out of solution yet but the resultant staining will be very apparent if and when it does.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: High levels of copper

    Thanks for the clarification.
    TF-100 test kit. 24' round AG w/main drain, 15000 gal, 3/4 hp Jandy pump runs 24/7, 30" Hayward sand filter, puck chlorinator. LP gas heater, oversized. Liquid chlorine to shock. Pool is not at our main residence, can't check it every day. Short swim season! Pool doesn't freeze in winter, water gets down to 42 degrees.

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