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Thread: Help! My pool water is brown and I don't know why?

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    Help! My pool water is brown and I don't know why?

    I am an 15x48 Intex Pool owner in Upstate New York and new to the forum! I have had one heck of an awful season trying to keep my water clear! I spent most of June getting it clear and then I get it clear and then just this past weekend, literally overnight...my water turned brown and I mean brown!!! I took my water in for a sample - they tested it - told me all my levels are high - sold me PH balancer, Pool First Aid and Black Algecide - I've added all and my pool is a clearer brown, but still brown - it looks like my pool liner is stained - all the connectors have this brown residue on it, the cartridge is crazy brown (I've been rinsining every day) and my hoses have turned brown too - has this happened to anyone else who owns an Intex pool - It sounds crazy - but it almost seems like someone vandalized my pool and dumped brown food coloring in it! Oh and btw...today all my levels were really low - they told me not to add chlorine and shock until it is clear - I AM SO STRESSED OUT! I would welcome any help at all!!!
    Intex Ultra Frame 18'x48"
    Intex 14-Inch Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump
    Intex Intex Krystal Clear Salt System (not yet installed)

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    Vette's Avatar
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    Re: Help! My pool water is brown and I don't know why?

    Stop adding algaecide. Those are copper based. Adding copper to a pool is a bad idea. Algae isn't an issue in a pool with proper chlorine levels (and if it becomes a problem, shocking takes care of it)

    You need to test your water yourself with a reputable test kit! TFtestkits.net is the place for that! It seems expensive up front, but your water will be SO much better when you don't have to rely on a pool store for your data. Without proper numbers, it's hard to give advice. Hopefully someone more eloquent can step in an advise you, I'm not very good at explaining myself.
    11,700 gallon 21' round 54" deep all-resin AGP - June 2012
    Waterway 1HP 2-speed pump / 100 sq ft cartridge filter
    Hayward 150,000btu Natural Gas heater
    I use and recommend the TF-100 for testing

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Help! My pool water is brown and I don't know why?

    Welcome to tfp, StressedPoolOwner

    Is the water tinted brown but still see through? If it is, it sounds like metals (probably iron) in the water. Did you fill your pool with well water? Do you know any metal levels in your fill water?

    Take a look at this pool school article. It has some recommendations for metal sequestrants that can put the metal back into solution.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Help! My pool water is brown and I don't know why?

    Yes, it was a dark brown on Sunday and Monday and now it is a clearer brown - I did read something about metals being in the water - but is that a common thing to just happen overnight when the pool water has been clear? I do live where we have hard water - but this is our 4th season with this pool and we fill it with the same water every year - but this year has been our most challenging by far!
    Intex Ultra Frame 18'x48"
    Intex 14-Inch Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump
    Intex Intex Krystal Clear Salt System (not yet installed)

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    Vette's Avatar
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    Re: Help! My pool water is brown and I don't know why?

    Did you dump a lot of algaecide in? That may have caused this problem to just appear. I've never had first hand experience with that problem, but it seems like it could happen.
    11,700 gallon 21' round 54" deep all-resin AGP - June 2012
    Waterway 1HP 2-speed pump / 100 sq ft cartridge filter
    Hayward 150,000btu Natural Gas heater
    I use and recommend the TF-100 for testing

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Help! My pool water is brown and I don't know why?

    High chlorine levels can also cause the metal to come out of solution and tint the water.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Help! My pool water is brown and I don't know why?

    Yes - when i was trying yo resolve the issue back in June - i added a whole bottle of Copper Algaecide - but them drained it b/c i couldn't get it clear from the dark brown cloud i had back then (but i couldn't drain the whole pool - so their was about 2 inches of water when i refilled - but i shocked/vacuumed/and stayed a great chlorine regimen and all was fine until this weekend? Should I just drain the pool...AGAIN and start over or is their a way to resolve this? I've been reading and people are talking about Sequestrants and a home-made filter system - I am a super busy working mom and I just want my kids to be able to swim on a hot day (which we have been having a lot of here) - ugh - who knew this would be such an issue.
    Intex Ultra Frame 18'x48"
    Intex 14-Inch Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump
    Intex Intex Krystal Clear Salt System (not yet installed)

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Help! My pool water is brown and I don't know why?

    Quote Originally Posted by StressedPoolOwner
    all was fine until this weekend?
    This is interesting. Did you add any water this weekend? Did you raise your chlorine level higher this weekend? Did you add anything else to the pool this weekend?
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Help! My pool water is brown and I don't know why?

    Nope, nope, nope & nope! My chlorine regimen was to add a gal. of liquid chlorine once a week - this has worked since all was fine with my water!!!
    Intex Ultra Frame 18'x48"
    Intex 14-Inch Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump
    Intex Intex Krystal Clear Salt System (not yet installed)

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Help! My pool water is brown and I don't know why?

    Do you add the gallon a part at a time daily, or all at once?
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Help! My pool water is brown and I don't know why?

    All at once walking around the pool!
    Intex Ultra Frame 18'x48"
    Intex 14-Inch Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump
    Intex Intex Krystal Clear Salt System (not yet installed)

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Help! My pool water is brown and I don't know why?

    Did you do that last weekend?
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Help! My pool water is brown and I don't know why?

    Yes - on Sat. night!
    Intex Ultra Frame 18'x48"
    Intex 14-Inch Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump
    Intex Intex Krystal Clear Salt System (not yet installed)

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Help! My pool water is brown and I don't know why?

    Was the water tinted before or after that?
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Help! My pool water is brown and I don't know why?

    The water tinted on Sunday afternoon and got darker as the day went on!
    Intex Ultra Frame 18'x48"
    Intex 14-Inch Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump
    Intex Intex Krystal Clear Salt System (not yet installed)

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Help! My pool water is brown and I don't know why?

    It sure sounds like metals. If you measured it, what was your ph before adding the gallon of bleach? If you didn't measure it, what is it now...or the last time you measured it?
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Help! My pool water is brown and I don't know why?

    The ph was super high when I tested the water on Monday - I added a ph balancer and then on Tuesday my ph was low. I called the pool store and they said to let the pool first aid work - give it 2 days and add the black Algaecide - but reading on this forum everyone is telling me to stop using the Algaecide. So I just got up - checked the water - still the same - used test strip - still low on all levels! I think I am going to drain, scrub the liner and start over...AGAIN - ugh!!! Why is having a pool so hard - so frustrated!!!
    Intex Ultra Frame 18'x48"
    Intex 14-Inch Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump
    Intex Intex Krystal Clear Salt System (not yet installed)

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Help! My pool water is brown and I don't know why?

    I'm unclear as to how you can maintain a proper free chlorine reading if you only add chlorine once a week. are you using the bbb method and your own test kit? If not, you might want to read through pool school and save yourself some future aggravation if you're having to start over. It would also help us help you if you posted your set up gallon wise, what kind of filter, etc etc in your signature and posted a full set of readings.

    If it is iron that as been oxidized by chlorine and high ph, there are some threads on this forum where owners have cleared things up putting paper towels in their skimmers and changing frequently to slowly remove some of the iron from the water.
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!
    Helpful Links:
    GET A TEST KIT Chlorine/CYA Chart How to SLAM About Metals & Stains

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    Re: Help! My pool water is brown and I don't know why?

    At Swampwoman - I am seeing that I am doing things really wrong - I read through a lot of the pool school articles last night and I don't know why but this system has been working for the last few years but I think with all the extreme temps this summer - it's all off and a better system needs to be put in place so we can all enjoy a better swimming summer!!! I can't afford the test kit right now - but I will save some money - I am using the test strips - my filter Includes 110-120 volt Filter Pump with 1,000 gallon (3,785 L) per hour flow rate and GFCI - uses cartridge B - Water Capacity (90%): 4,440 Gal (16,805 L).
    I am interested in trying to remove the iron - but I am stuck on how long that will take - as opposed to just draining and starting over - your thoughts?
    Intex Ultra Frame 18'x48"
    Intex 14-Inch Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump
    Intex Intex Krystal Clear Salt System (not yet installed)

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Help! My pool water is brown and I don't know why?

    The hard part to determine is where iron is coming from, if it is in fact iron. If it's coming from your fill water, there's a chance that even if you refilled, then shocked, you could have the same problem. But you now have possible copper as well from the poolstore additions, so you might want to drain and refill anyway.
    Why not try putting paper towel in your skimmer basket to see if they turn rust color. Then use the thread search feature to see if you can find the thread that talks about how to remove iron from an above ground? If you do that for a few days and the water starts to clear, then you've found your culprit in part at least. Then you could add metal sequestrate (eg jack's pink stuff) to help keep any remaining ppm of iron in suspension. However, if your fill water doesn't have iron, then it's cheaper and easier in the long run to drain and refill. Maintaining sequestrate will require weekly additions of product, which is not exactly cheap and trouble free in my case, it's my only current choice as I'm on well and while we could truck in water, we have concerns about starting a chain reaction of events this year due to our location, water table, and a desire not o close the pool at the moment.
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!
    Helpful Links:
    GET A TEST KIT Chlorine/CYA Chart How to SLAM About Metals & Stains

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