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Thread: Yellow-Brown Staining Problem

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    Yellow-Brown Staining Problem

    Okay, I have been working my way through problems with my inherited pool (bought house last year). So far, I have properly shocked the pool (1 month ago). OCLT tests since have been perfect. I am reasonably confident there is no bio in the pool. I solved an FC loss problem (attributed to AA treatments). Now it is on to the staining problem.

    I have terrible yellow-brown staining that begins on the steps (plastic) and quickly spreads to the vinyl liner (see picture below). This process takes a couple of days once it really gets going. Here is what I know. AA treatments work like a charm. It will take the pool to crystal clear in about 1/2 hour. This will last roughly a week before the stains start to set in again. Now here comes the strange part. I went to get a metals test at the pool store today. My iron is essentially zero, by my copper is high at 0.8.

    Source of the copper?? Not sure. I am using 2 oz of copper based algaecide a month. Perhaps that adds to the trouble. Also, the previous owners used chlorine pucks instead of the SWG cell (they were too cheap to fix the computer that runs the cell). I have read that this may increase copper. ??

    Anyway, the schmo at the pool store also suggested Tannic Acid. Tannic Acid is possible since we have a lot of oak trees by the pool. But we have a screened in porch, so less bio mass gets into the pool than most...but still could be a problem. AND high FC does not wipe out the stains. I have been up to 10-15 ppm with FC and the stains don't budge one iota. Incidentally, direct chlorine application to the stain does nothing as well.

    I read up on both iron and copper trouble via this forum. I have many conflicting signals on this one. Not sure which way to go. If I can't find a reasonable solution to the problem I am thinking about dumping the pool water and starting fresh.

    What do you think???

    Here are the other vitals via TF-100

    SWG (T-cell 15)
    FC 5.5
    CC 0.0 - 0.5
    pH 7.2
    TA 80
    CH 190
    CYA 70
    * I have been really diligent on these numbers. I kick them back into line as soon as they depart normal.

    ~18.5K gallon plaster - two level / spa to pool waterfall
    Pentair WhisperFlo WFE-28 Pump, Pentair Clean and Clear Filter
    Hayward Pool Vac Ultra Cleaner

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    Re: Yellow-Brown Staining Problem

    Have you tried rubbing a vitamin-c tablet on the stain? Do this for 1-2 minutes and see if the stain gets lighter. If it does, that means you are dealing with a metal stain..and we can proceed from there.

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    Re: Yellow-Brown Staining Problem

    That looks like a nasty iron stain. I am dealing with a similar issue just not as bad as that. What I learned here is that you, like me, are getting a negative result on your iron test because all the iron is on the liner of your pool and not in the water itself.

    Also, if ascorbic acid is removing the stain then there is no need for a vitamin c test, you've got a metal stain. The reason it's coming back is because you are no sequestering the metals once you get them off your liner and back into the water. This has been the tricky part for me but I've almost got the stain beat.

    Read this link:
    ascorbic-treatment-to-rid-pool-of-metal-stains-t2298.html
    8000 gallon outdoor inground vinyl. Sand filter, Hayward 1HP.

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    Re: Yellow-Brown Staining Problem

    My first thought in reading your post is copper. You should stop using it immediately regardless if it's the culprit or not. It is w-a-a-y too high now and you are only adding to it.

    Secondly, the pics are not indicative of copper stains but iron. Any test for iron may or may not return positive because the iron has precipitated out of the water onto your pool.

    It is difficult to imagine that your pool has precipitated copper or iron at the test levels you report. Metal stains are virtually always the result of allowing CH. pH and TA to drift outside suggested parameters. I can think of no other reason for them to appear.

    My best guess is to repeat the AA treatment, bring your FC back up slowly per the treatment, and CAREFULLY monitor the three parameters above each day. Have you introduced a sequestrant into your pool once the AA is finished? That would seem mandatory. Once again, stop using copper.

    EDIT: I am parroting virtually all of kizerman's advice....he/she is spot on, IMO.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Yellow-Brown Staining Problem

    Thanks for the reply all. Yes we have been dealing with the previous owners neglect for sometime now. Add to that, I recently came to TFP and have myself neglected the balance for about 6 months. So here we are. I have not used sequestering agent yet. This was by design. TFP has taught me to know the problem before trying the treatment. I have the bottle of sequestering agent, I just wanted assurance it was the right move.

    I am starting to think that dumping the water and starting over may the right course of action. Especially since sequestering agent will only lift the staining and not remove the metal.

    Is there some merit to my thinking here?? Would a dump of the pool water help me start fresh and maintain better balance???

    Todd
    ~18.5K gallon plaster - two level / spa to pool waterfall
    Pentair WhisperFlo WFE-28 Pump, Pentair Clean and Clear Filter
    Hayward Pool Vac Ultra Cleaner

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    Re: Yellow-Brown Staining Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by tlhwxman
    Thanks for the reply all. Yes we have been dealing with the previous owners neglect for sometime now. Add to that, I recently came to TFP and have myself neglected the balance for about 6 months. So here we are. I have not used sequestering agent yet. This was by design. TFP has taught me to know the problem before trying the treatment. I have the bottle of sequestering agent, I just wanted assurance it was the right move.

    I am starting to think that dumping the water and starting over may the right course of action. Especially since sequestering agent will only lift the staining and not remove the metal.

    Is there some merit to my thinking here?? Would a dump of the pool water help me start fresh and maintain better balance???

    Todd
    I'm no expert but I wouldn't dump your water. The iron got in your water one way or another and probably will again plus draining and filling isn't cheap. There is nothing wrong with just deactivating the metals.
    Follow this link: ascorbic-treatment-to-rid-pool-of-metal-stains-t2298.html before doing anything drastic.

    I've had to do the treatment twice already and still have very slight staining so I am going to do the treatment once more with Jack's Pink Stuff as my sequestering agent and hopefully it will be gone for good.

    My point is, don't be frustrated if it comes back a little bit after the first try. Just do it again.
    8000 gallon outdoor inground vinyl. Sand filter, Hayward 1HP.

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    Re: Yellow-Brown Staining Problem

    Would a dump of the pool water help me start fresh and maintain better balance???
    I would absolutely endorse that as a great idea with a caveat....can you control your source water you select for refill?

    In other words, if your previous water had iron and you refill from the same source, you will still have iron. However, if you can justify the expense (it varies widely) to have water trucked in, then you will probably be able to verify that water has low or no iron content. Copper does not occur naturally in almost all waters so it eliminates that problem as well.

    Being able to control and manage your pool without concern for metals is truly trouble free.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Yellow-Brown Staining Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by tlhwxman
    Thanks for the reply all. Yes we have been dealing with the previous owners neglect for sometime now. Add to that, I recently came to TFP and have myself neglected the balance for about 6 months. So here we are. I have not used sequestering agent yet. This was by design. TFP has taught me to know the problem before trying the treatment. I have the bottle of sequestering agent, I just wanted assurance it was the right move.

    I am starting to think that dumping the water and starting over may the right course of action. Especially since sequestering agent will only lift the staining and not remove the metal.

    Is there some merit to my thinking here?? Would a dump of the pool water help me start fresh and maintain better balance???

    Todd
    If you do an AA treatment and you don't add sequestering agent, then the metals that the AA lifted from the steps and liner will just redeposit. The sequestering agent will bond to the metals so they won't be free to bond to your pool surface.

    So, what I see here is:

    1. You have metal staining (because the AA treatment lifted the stains).
    2. The stains returned because you didn't use the sequestering agent after doing the AA treatment.

    If you do the AA again and then use the sequestering agent (I would consider more than one bottle just based on the stain in your picture (more is better than not enough in this case)) remember to bring the chlorine level up VERY SLOWLY, or the stains can redeposit, despite the sequestering agent. If I'm wrong in this reasoning, someone with more experience please correct me.
    16x28 Roman, 55000 litres, salt water, Zodiac Duoclear 130 (mineral cartridge removed!!!), inground, vinyl liner
    Hayward Tri-star VS900 (1.85 HP) pump, Hayward C3030 cartridge filter
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    Re: Yellow-Brown Staining Problem

    I just did the same AA treatment and followed it to a T. I spent two weeks slowly bringing my FC up and guess what... every single bit of the stain has come right back. I am so disappointed because the pool looked so **** good after I did the AA treatment. I used 3lbs of AA and 3 bottles of ProTeam's Metal Magic. I don't know what else to do since doing the AA treatment is not exactly cheap.
    1.) 27,000 gallons
    2.) Sand Filter
    3.) In-ground
    4.) Vinyl Liner
    5.) 1HP/63GPM

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    Re: Yellow-Brown Staining Problem

    Removing the metal stain in a pool does NOTHING to remove the metal. If you do the AA treatment and do nothing else, the stain will reappear.

    YOu can remove the metal in your pool only by replacing the water. Sort of that, you must sequester the meta and control your pH and TA so that it stays in suspension but you will constantly, for the rest of your life, have to add sequestrant to that pool to keep the metal from restaining
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Yellow-Brown Staining Problem

    Dave and others,

    What about METALTRAP Filters (green sand variety)? Would this help filter the dissolved iron?? What is your take? Seems to me I could spend the $150 and filter the stuff out and then not have to buy sequestering agent all the time.

    BTW - we did a pool dump and refill. None of the pool stores here had an iron test so we couldn't test before doing the refill - but we moved ahead because we thought it was still worth it. Could only drain about 80% of the water due to the liner pulling and wrinkling. We then filled with tap water. The water replacement was a great idea. It has many benefits including the fact it is now easy to balance and has gorgeous water. Unfortunately, the stains returned. This makes we think two things (the 10% of the old water and the tap water both have iron).

    Anyway, I am now looking to either A) filter it, or B) giving up and just trying to sequester it. Thus my questions above

    Todd
    ~18.5K gallon plaster - two level / spa to pool waterfall
    Pentair WhisperFlo WFE-28 Pump, Pentair Clean and Clear Filter
    Hayward Pool Vac Ultra Cleaner

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    Re: Yellow-Brown Staining Problem

    What about METALTRAP Filters (green sand variety)? Would this help filter the dissolved iron??
    I think you will find they do not have enough capacity to make an appreciable difference in a pool.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Yellow-Brown Staining Problem

    Dave,

    Thanks for the advise. That was a money saver.

    Todd
    ~18.5K gallon plaster - two level / spa to pool waterfall
    Pentair WhisperFlo WFE-28 Pump, Pentair Clean and Clear Filter
    Hayward Pool Vac Ultra Cleaner

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    todd.scallions's Avatar
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    Yellow-Brown Staining Problem

    Ah ok. That makes sense now. I thought you were supposed use the metal out to get it to the filter and then backwash it out. So after three years of no stains, now I'm fighting a battle forever.... Unless I drain and fill with metal free water. Wonderful news!


    1.) 27,000 gallons
    2.) Sand Filter
    3.) In-ground
    4.) Vinyl Liner
    5.) 1HP/63GPM

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    Re: Yellow-Brown Staining Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by todd.scallions
    Ah ok. That makes sense now. I thought you were supposed use the metal out to get it to the filter and then backwash it out. So after three years of no stains, now I'm fighting a battle forever.... Unless I drain and fill with metal free water. Wonderful news!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Are you sure you are refilling with metal-free water? My point is, you have iron in your water and it came from somewhere and unless you can itentify the source, blindly refilling your pool is not the way to go.

    There is nothing wrong with sequestering the metals and many people who have used Jacks Pink stuff report having to use very little as time goes by to keep the stains away.
    8000 gallon outdoor inground vinyl. Sand filter, Hayward 1HP.

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    todd.scallions's Avatar
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    Yellow-Brown Staining Problem

    Oh I'm not going to refill it with anything until the liner gets replaced. I'm just bummed that in the three years I've been in this house I all of a sudden have a metal problem. I was getting by with just bleach and baking soda and now I have to add another chemical. Oh well, part of pool ownership. I'll learn to deal. Thanks for the clarification on the AA treatment.


    1.) 27,000 gallons
    2.) Sand Filter
    3.) In-ground
    4.) Vinyl Liner
    5.) 1HP/63GPM

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    Re: Yellow-Brown Staining Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by todd.scallions
    Oh I'm not going to refill it with anything until the liner gets replaced. I'm just bummed that in the three years I've been in this house I all of a sudden have a metal problem. I was getting by with just bleach and baking soda and now I have to add another chemical. Oh well, part of pool ownership. I'll learn to deal. Thanks for the clarification on the AA treatment.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    But you have to identify the source of the iron or you are spinning your wheels. Find out why you have a high iron content before you do anything otherwise you are thowing darts at a board.
    8000 gallon outdoor inground vinyl. Sand filter, Hayward 1HP.

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