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Thread: Copper Stains I Believe

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    Copper Stains I Believe

    Hello, I am new here and have a few questions. But first, I have an 18 round 54 deep above ground pool. For the past few years I have used a copper ionization system. It has worked very well in the past but now I am concerned. This past summer I noticed what appeared to be light tan stains which now appear to be light gray. I tried posting a picture but couldn't. Anyway, these stains are not all over...just what appears to be blotches in certain areas and absolutely none on the walls; just on the vinyl bottom. I hit it 3 times with Stain Free and used a Metal Out or Metal Free product. They did not budge. Then I tried the PH Minus which also did not work. It could be possible that I didn't do this enough as time was running out and we had to close our pool. So, I am wondering what to do in the Spring and what is the absolute best product to use to try to lift these stains. And I don't believe this is something from the under the liner since our liner is very thick. I will admit I somewhat neglected our pool this summer because of health issues with my mother and I just didn't tend to it as I normally would. When I was finally able to get the water tested, the copper levels were sky high.

    Now, all of this is leading me to believe that I never should have introduced copper in the first place and I think I have learned my lesson. But now what I wish to do is the following: Rather than use a sand filter I would like to get a cartridge filter and of course a new pump since the one I have is beginning to rust. That's a given right now. And I would also like to install a diverter to drain off excess water when it rains. As for a sanitation system I would like to go with Aqua Smarte although I realize it contains silver and limestone. So, I would think BOTH could cause issues although maybe not as bad as with copper. If I go with this (and I haven't made my mind up yet), how do I go about getting rid of the stains without having the mineral system on? And I certainly don't want to go with a SWG. So, my last choice just seems to be a regular chlorine generator.

    Also, I was doing some research last night. We have our pool grounded but I was reading about "bonding". Does an above ground pool have to be bonded as well? It just makes me wonder if perhaps that could have caused some stains.

    Sorry, I know this is a lot of questions but I am fairly new to attempting to make a switch.

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Copper Stains I Believe

    Welcome to TFP!
    It does sound like copper stains. If so, they are essentially impossible to remove from vinyl, so they'll be there until you change your liner. However, it's worth getting a chlorine tab and holding it on the spot; if it lightens then it is an organic stain which can be removed.

    Now, the best thing you can possibly do is dump metal ionizers of all kinds and just use chlorine, either from bleach or an SWG. It is by far the easiest, cheapest, and safest way to maintain a pool. Take a read through Pool School (link in the upper left corner of the page) when you can, and this thread is worth a read too:

    alternative-sanitizers-and-chemical-free-pools-the-truth-t3025.html
    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!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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    Re: Copper Stains I Believe

    Thank you, I forgot to add that I did try liquid chlorine and it didn't work either. But once again, maybe I didn't do it long enough. I thought surely there was a product out there that could help to lift these stains. Thanks again!

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Copper Stains I Believe

    Ascorbic acid (vitamin C tablets) will lighten/remove iron, but generally doesn't work on copper. You can certainly give it a try to see what happens; just sit a tablet on the spot for a few minutes.

    You may be able to remove it by filling a sock with dry acid and rubbing it on the spots, but that can damage vinyl liners. I'd give it a try but be careful not to let it sit very long!
    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!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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    Re: Copper Stains I Believe

    Yes, I tried the Vitamin C tablets as well...didn't work either. I can try the dry acid but not certain that will work either. I thought maybe the copper/scale out product by Jack's might work or perhaps the Blue Stuff and/or even the Ionizer Stuff. Anyway, this same thing happened to a friend of mine years and years ago except that he recently told me it was from the copper from his heater and it was a huge black spot. My stains are really not that bad...more of an annoyance. So, he did hook me up with a guy that I will talk with in the Spring. I just wanted to ask here first. Thanks again!

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    Re: Copper Stains I Believe

    I thought surely there was a product out there that could help to lift these stains.
    Thomas.

    I am going to be pretty direct so I hope you are not offended. You are looking for a "magic bullet" to remove your stains but you have no idea what type of stains they are......that won't work. You must clearly identify the type of stains you have before any attempt at removal can be effective.

    Secondly, you need to get a better understanding of pool water chemistry by reading all the articles in Pool School. You will find that chlorine really is the single best thing you can use to sanitize your pool and that having crystal clear water (without stains) is simply a matter of gaining the knowledge of the best way to do it.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Copper Stains I Believe

    Thank you duraleigh and no I am not offended. I was really researching different products that may work on this. So, I will just wait until Spring and determine what I need to do then and more than likely go with chlorine. If I have to replace the liner, I will do so. Thanks!

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    Re: Copper Stains I Believe

    Thomas, Sorry to hear about your stained liner. Other than the fact that copper is not near as good of a sanitizer when compared to chlorine the staining is a major reason they are not recommended by the forum. If anybody with blond hair used your pool the would leave with green hair. I personally would hate to expalin that to guests useing my pool.

    You mention you dont want to use a SWG but maybe use would use a chlorine generator. The SWCG is the only chlorine generator. You can get a liquidator that will automatically add bleach.

    Personally I have used the Intex SWCG all season without a problem. This unit would work for your pool and cost's under $200. I got mine on sale at walmart for $50. The level of salt you use is nearly undetectable by taste. Any chlorine pool is a salt pool. After chlorine oxidizes waste what is left over is salt. My Intex SWCG has a copper ionizer on it which I unpluged. There are far fewer problems associated with salt when compared to copper or any other mineral system.

    Please read up in pool school. All you need for safe, clear, trouble free water is on this site if you choose to take advantage of it.
    3500 gallon 14x42 Intex Ultra Frame
    1/2 HP Intex 1600 sand filter/pump - Intex SWCG
    Two 4x20 Fafco solar panels.
    Taylor K-2006
    Marquis spirit hot tub - Grill Dome ceramic grill/smoker

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Copper Stains I Believe

    You mentioned you "neglected" the pool - I used to have the Pool Frog (a version of the Aqua Smarte) and used to have stains on the bottom of the pool because the recommended level of FC was too low. After maintaining the proper FC levels for several weeks the stains vanished and have never returned. I would not rule out organics as the cause just yet. There are several options, but no magic bullet. Stick with chlorine, either SWG or liquid or even tablets (but use knowing what they can do...) but I would not ever recommend an Aqua Smarte or similar "gadget".
    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
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: Copper Stains I Believe

    Thanks BBBeliever and frustratedpoolmom. I am sorry, I wasn't clear. I meant to say a chlorinator not a chlorine generator. And honestly, I have never had any blonde leave my pool with green hair; just has never happened. So, I am still weighing my options. As I said though, I was somewhat neglectful of my pool this past summer because of so much going on. Okay, let me think on all of this for awhile as I do have a lot of time before next Spring. Thanks again!

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