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Thread: Trying to rid the metals/stains

  1. #1
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    Trying to rid the metals/stains

    Please only ask a question once, and in your own topic, rather than hijacking someone else's topic. Thanks JasonLion

    I think this is definitely the place where I need to start! New to TFP.

    Trying to rid the metals/stains in my mother's vinyl pool, 20,000 gallons. Here's what we've done over the last 6 days: dropped the chlorine level down to 0 as recommended. Added 2 containers of Stain Free which worked like a miracle! 1 hour later added 1 container of Metal Free. Vacuumed, backwashed as recommended. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday could not get a good chlorine reading. 100 degrees temps in Cincy this weekend so no chlorine is no good. We wanted to get the level back up. The pool company told us (even though the bottle said to only slightly increase the level of chlorine) to shock, 1 gallon, 2 gallons, 3 gallons... until we finally got a reading Friday. By then, we literally watched the stain reappear on the walls. Bought another bottle of Metal Free b/c we thought the first maybe wasn't enough, added it to freeze the stain from growing. Saturday, the chlorine tested almost 0 again so thought it was a good time to add another bottle of AA to remove the stain that was returning. Vacuumed, backwashed, and pool was blue again today w/no stains. Decided it was best to gradually add chlorine, 3/4 gallon of household bleach every 2-4 hours. After 2 doses, the chlorine was again, barely reading (I know the chlorine has to counter the AA first), and the stain was coming back! WHAT???!!! I'm not sure if the first time we didn't put enough Metal Free in, but after 2 bottles, the metals should be held. She added a 3rd bottle of Metal Free before I left tonight. OR if because we did it in reverse order, Metal Free, then Stain Free yesterday, it didn't hold. Calling manufacturer in the AM!!! PH is low (of course), but this pool MUST have chlorine and I tried to do it slowly and not intensely, like I'd read.

    Help!

  2. #2
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    Metal Stains-HELP

    Help! We've been trying to rid my mother's vinyl, 20,000 gallon pool of metals for the last few weeks. She had a terrible stain around the walls that turned from yellow, to orange. :P We did the vitamin C test, and bingo... it came right off!! Her CYA level was very high so we drained about 1/3 of the water and refilled. It tests in the normal range now.

    So here's the metal saga: I've read and read and followed the pool store employee's directions. First, we lowered the chlorine to 0. Tuesday, we added 1 bottle of Stain Free and watched the stain disappear before our eyes. Because it wasn't completely gone, and I was paranoid about getting it out, we added another bottle. 1 hour later, we added 1 bottle of Metal Free. It seemed to work! The pool was blue but cloudy. Brushed, vacuumed, backwashed. We decided to rebalance the water starting Wednesday b/c the weather in Cincy was going to be 100 degrees. 100 degrees w/no chlorine is no good! The pool store told us to add 1 gallon of shock, test. Another gallon, test. Another gallon, test. By Friday, we were beginning to get a purple color reading, but the stain was coming back!!! My mom bought another bottle of Metal Free and added it. The manufacturer said the initial does must not have been enough for all the metals in her pool. She added that Friday to prevent further staining. Saturday, the chlorine reading was almost 0 again, and thought it would be ideal to add another Stain Free bottle (AA), to get rid of the returning stains. Again, it worked wonders!!! Today (Sunday), after much reading, I began to SLOWLY add chlorine. The PH is still low (obviously from the acid). We started with 3/4 gallon of bleach (b/c it is weak) every 2-4 hours. After 2 doses, the stain started to reappear! WHAT??!!! From all I read, the chlorine must be added slowly to counteract the AA. After the AA is burned up, the chlorine will begin to register. I did not expect stains to reappear! We stopped and she added another bottle (3rd in 6 days) of Metal Free. Calling the manufacturer tomorrow!

    The only reason, I can imagine, this could be happening, is after adding the 3rd container of Stain Free Saturday, we did not follow it up with another Metal Free. This was b/c a 2nd bottle was added Friday night before we decided to dose the stains while the chlorine was still low. Tonight, she added 3rd bottle of Metal Free. According to what I've read, this should stop the stains and they should disappear in a few hours. Not sure that's happening.

    How do I get chlorine back into this pool without stains reappearing? It's a vicious cycle!!!

  3. #3
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    Re: Metal Staining - a Seemingly Never Ending Problem

    We're dealing with a metal stain in my mom's vinyl, 20,000 gallon, inground pool. Vitamin C test worked so we used Stain Free product and Metal Free. Stains disappeared, but when we began to add chlorine again (we'd dropped it to 0 as recommended), the stains begin to reappear. 3 bottles of Stain Free and 3 bottles of Metal Free in 6 days! I think the initial dose of Metal Free wasn't strong enough and the pool lady said to add chlorine by slowly adding shock, 1 gallon, 2 gallons, 3 gallons, until we got a purple color. We finally got that but also got the stains back!! Retreated this weekend, and again started to introduce chlorine SLOWLY this time w/bleach 3/4 gallon ever 2-4 hours. After 2 doses, the stain was reappearing! HELP!!

  4. #4
    Administrator JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to rid the metals/stains

    Metal Free is not one of the sequestrants we recommend using. Sequestrants based on HEDP, phosphonic acid, or phosphonic acid derivatives are the most effective. ProTeam's Metal Magic and Jack's Magic The Pink Stuff (regular), The Blue Stuff (fresh plaster), and The Purple Stuff (salt) are some of the top sequestrants. You can also find many other brands with similar active ingredients, some of which are noticeably less expensive.

    If you don't have enough sequestrant, the stains will simply come back right away.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    TFP Admin. Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  5. #5
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    Re: Trying to rid the metals/stains

    So, it would be best to use one of the above sequestrants, and then began adding chlorine?

  6. #6
    Administrator JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to rid the metals/stains

    Yes, using a better sequestrant will certainly help. You might also need to use more than the standard dosage, depending on what the metal level is in the water. If you add more sequestrant at the very first indication of the stains returning, you can usually get rid of the stain.

    When bringing chlorine up from zero, you want to only add a small amount at any one time and test to see what FC level you got to. However, you may need to repeat that quite a few times in one day before you get a measurable FC level. The goal is to add enough chlorine to bring FC up no higher than 2. Then on subsequent days you can raise the FC level by 2 over the previous day until you get to normal levels.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    TFP Admin. Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  7. #7
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    Re: Trying to rid the metals/stains

    I'm going to try to find one of those recommended. I may need to order it online.

    When adding chlorine slowly, in small amounts, multiple times per day, can you give me a guideline? I was using bleach this time b/c I know it is much weaker than shock, and thought that was the way to go.

  8. #8
    Administrator JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to rid the metals/stains

    I suggest adding 2 ppm of bleach at a time, give it half an hour, measure FC and repeat until FC gets up to 2 ppm. All of this should be done with the pump running.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    TFP Admin. Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  9. #9
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    Re: Trying to rid the metals/stains

    Okay. Let me be sure I understand ppm. If 1 gallon of bleach is about 6% chlorine, that's 6ppm per 10,000 gallons, correct? Or for 20,000 gallons, it would be 2 gallons of bleach to equal 6ppm. And if I only want to add 2ppm to 20,000 gallons, it would be about 2/3 of 1 gallon of bleach, then test every half hour. I'm new to this pool thing. Sorry if this seems obvious.

  10. #10
    Administrator JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to rid the metals/stains

    You have it right. The Pool Calculator, link in my signature, is very handy for figuring out this kind of thing.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    TFP Admin. Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  11. #11
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    Re: Trying to rid the metals/stains

    And with 3 bottles of Metal Free in the pool, the metals should be sequestered enough for chlorine? 3 bottles is 3X the recommended dosage for 20,000 gallons. She says the stains that started again yesterday, seems to have stopped (not gone away, but no worse) after 3rd bottle (but no more chlorine was added last night to react). I contacted their help desk but have not received a reply yet this AM. We may take a ride today to seek out some Metal Magic for preventative treatments (which I think can be added w/chlorine, it seems on the stain removal products must have FC 0) but for now, we want to get some chlorine going. It is going to be in the upper 90s again today. Do NOT want algae!

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