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Thread: At wit's end, help! With stains and pool chemicals!

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    At wit's end, help! With stains and pool chemicals!

    I've had this problem since opening pool for season in late May, and just now found this forum. Two local pool stores have not corrected my problem. My steps and ladder were covered with yellowish stain, sides and bottom spotty. I cleaned steps and ladder with united chem pool stain treat (oxalic acid, 5 lbs) and it worked. Didn't have time to do the rest of pool so hired pool company to "clean my pool". They dumped 6 lbs of oxalic acid and left me a bigger mess. I had a heavy white residue in the bottom of my pool which took me forever to filter out. I still had the original stains on the liner and they were beginning to come back on my steps. I used another 5 lbs of oxalic acid to work on the stains believing that was the remedy.
    Needless to say I have poured the chlorine (trichlor and calcium hypochlorite) and shock, baking soda, calcium, algaecide, superblue, just to try to get my pool in balance, but it never was, and I still have stains. That's when I decided to look on the web for some answers. Last Friday I added 18 lbs of baking soda, and today (Tues) my TA = 28. My other readings are FC = 0.02, TC=0.36 CC=0.34. I quit adding chlorine last Friday when I started reading BBB. pH=7.5. CH=201. CYA=112
    I had the pool place run the tests today. They also tested Cu=0.2, Fe=0.1, and Phosphates = 1000. I have added much algaecide?? I don't know what to do. Help, please!?
    In-ground, vinyl, 17,442 gal. Liner 15 yrs old. Hayward: sand filter, self-priming super pump, heater, main drain. Polaris 280 with booster pump and Water Stars fountain. Rainbow Lifegard HiFlo feeder. 3 fiber optic lights.

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    Re: At wit's end, help! With stains and pool chemicals!

    Other important info: my water is clear (transparent) but has a green tint against my blue liner with yellowish stain. I also added two 32 oz. bottles of Bioguard Pool Magnet Plus last Friday at one pool store's recommendation. I have never used pure bleach for chlorine, but no chlorine makes me nervous. Do I need to pour in the bleach? And how much?
    In-ground, vinyl, 17,442 gal. Liner 15 yrs old. Hayward: sand filter, self-priming super pump, heater, main drain. Polaris 280 with booster pump and Water Stars fountain. Rainbow Lifegard HiFlo feeder. 3 fiber optic lights.

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    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Re: At wit's end, help! With stains and pool chemicals!

    Your main issue is a high cya level. With a level above 100 it's almost impossible to shock the pool. We would first start by suggesting a drain/refill to lower the cya level to 40. Switch from pucks to bleach, and stay out of the pool store. You're gonna keep going in circles dumping cash into the pool until the CYA level is lowered.

    Read pool school for info on the basic pool levels and terms, buy a good test kit (if you haven't already), lower cya to 40 and get ready for a clear pool.

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    MikeInNH's Avatar
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    Re: At wit's end, help! With stains and pool chemicals!

    Yikes, you've been pool stored. Some of those chemicals I've never heard of. You are at the right place now though. First thing is you need a good test kit. The TF100 is great and is a good price: http://tftestkits.net/splash-page.html . Accurate test numbers are needed and pool store accuracy is all over the place. Next is dig into the pool school link on the top right of this page. If your CYA is really that high then you will need to replace a fair amount of water. Lastly, a proper amount of chlorine is all that is needed to keep the yuckies out of your pool. PH and TA is also a big thing but more for balance than killing the organics.

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    2007 1st full year with AG pool~15k gallons 18'x33' JW
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    Switched to BBB from Baquacil (couldn't pay me to go back)

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    Re: At wit's end, help! With stains and pool chemicals!

    Thanks for replying; I've ordered my testing kit. I guess my yard will get a good watering tomorrow with pool water! Then I am pouring in the bleach. Let me know if this is not right. When do I add phosphate remover, if at all? Do I need to treat for metals? (ProTeam Metal Magic) I get lots of sunlight, 10-12 hours/day. Water 90 degrees. Do I forget about the stain and just balance my water?
    In-ground, vinyl, 17,442 gal. Liner 15 yrs old. Hayward: sand filter, self-priming super pump, heater, main drain. Polaris 280 with booster pump and Water Stars fountain. Rainbow Lifegard HiFlo feeder. 3 fiber optic lights.

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    Re: At wit's end, help! With stains and pool chemicals!

    The "Stain" sounds organic in nature - from your description it sounds like it's growing. I'd say the only thing your pool needs is chlorine and lots of it.

    I know you've been adding some chlorine - but the most important thing to appreciate is that chlorine gets used up and algae is an ever growing thing. So if you add enough chlorine to kill half the algae - and then let it grow back - you never get anywhere and the pool feels "stuck"

    The shock process described in pool school is designed to do 2 things - 1) Raise chlorine levels to where you are killing algae much faster than it can grow and 2) Create a simple set of criteria to know when that process is complete.

    This will involve large quantities of chlorine - probably much more than you are used to. This will run counter to the common advice you get at a pool store. Pool industry numbers almost never take CYA into account to determine proper chlorine numbers. This creates endless trouble for people who try to maintain their own pools.

    So - don't worry about phosphates, algecides, conditioners or anything else. Get your CYA to a more manageable level (the drain/refill), get a proper test kit (on order) and get the pool up to shock level and maintain that level until the pool clears.
    16K Gal Plaster | Compupool SWG | Intelliflow VF | TF-100

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    Re: At wit's end, help! With stains and pool chemicals!

    ^^^ lightningguy hit it on the nail.

    Very nice explanation, succinct and informational.

    Your first step is to drain at least 60% of your water and refill. If you do this, forget the numbers your pool store gave you and plan to test and begin anew. After the drain, things will be much easier to manage.

    How's Pool School going? Read it again, just for kicks. Your kit will likely be there before you're ready after the drain and refill so you'll want to be prepared, it's just how Duraleigh rolls with the shipping....
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

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    Re: At wit's end, help! With stains and pool chemicals!

    Found out this morning my city gives a once-a-year adjustment on the water bill. And my testing kit shipped today! Thanks TFP!
    In-ground, vinyl, 17,442 gal. Liner 15 yrs old. Hayward: sand filter, self-priming super pump, heater, main drain. Polaris 280 with booster pump and Water Stars fountain. Rainbow Lifegard HiFlo feeder. 3 fiber optic lights.

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    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Re: At wit's end, help! With stains and pool chemicals!

    Don't be shocked if you need to drain your pool more than once. Often the pool store results are WAY off with the CYA, especially over 100. I would HIGHLY suggest waiting until you get your own test kit, and preform a test on your own before draining. If there's any chemicals you currently can return to the pool store, I would also suggest doing so. It sounds like they've tossed you every item they could to clear a problem that was created by bad water chemistry. Stock up on liquid chlorine (bleach) as you're going to use a good bit of it while clearing the pool.

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    Re: At wit's end, help! With stains and pool chemicals!

    Ok. No one has told me what you mean by "a good bit". 5 gals? 20?
    In-ground, vinyl, 17,442 gal. Liner 15 yrs old. Hayward: sand filter, self-priming super pump, heater, main drain. Polaris 280 with booster pump and Water Stars fountain. Rainbow Lifegard HiFlo feeder. 3 fiber optic lights.

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    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Re: At wit's end, help! With stains and pool chemicals!

    Some people get by with only using a matter of gallons......some people buy stock in Clorox. It's honestly had to answer that question.

    How far away from a major store (Wal-Mart, Meijers, ext) are you? If you are close to a Wal-Mart look in the pool section for the cases of 10% (for $6.47) and pick up say 10 cases of that. You may need to purchase more.....you may end up using some in your day to day cleaning. There's just to many outside forces to tell.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: At wit's end, help! With stains and pool chemicals!

    Quote Originally Posted by Katydid
    Ok. No one has told me what you mean by "a good bit". 5 gals? 20?
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/first...ch-t45074.html
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: At wit's end, help! With stains and pool chemicals!

    10-20 gallons of 6% is a reasonable starting place - but a total guess. Anything left over will be useful for the next or 2 so wont go to waste/

    If your pool store sells 12.5% chlorine by the case that may be a cheaper/simpler way to go. If they do sell liquid let us know the price and strength - we can help you make the comparison to the cost of 6% bleach.
    16K Gal Plaster | Compupool SWG | Intelliflow VF | TF-100

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    Re: At wit's end, help! With stains and pool chemicals!

    I was gonna say don't drain until you test your cya but someone beat me to it if you have a menards close by I just stocked up on 6% bleach for 99 cents for 96 oz......isn't this site awesome?..... Mike
    18x52 intex ultra frame pool 6981 gallons, 1 HP LL pump with 19 in sand filter,BBB method,borax 50ppm
    leslies DPD test kit + fas-dpd chlorine test kit + borates test strips
    thru wall skimmer,hard plumbed with 2 returns 1 1/2 sch 40 pvc
    1 large fountain 1 inch sch 40 pvc,shut off ball valves on all

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    Re: At wit's end, help! With stains and pool chemicals!

    Still waiting on my test kit so I can begin shocking. I got nervous about no chlorine, so I added 1000 oz of bleach. My water is blue not green! I still don't have a reading on my Walmart OTO kit. I have done a lot of checking, and the best I can do on bleach is $8.98/three 182 oz at SAMs. Pool stores don't carry liquid bleach (one told me it has not caught on here).
    In-ground, vinyl, 17,442 gal. Liner 15 yrs old. Hayward: sand filter, self-priming super pump, heater, main drain. Polaris 280 with booster pump and Water Stars fountain. Rainbow Lifegard HiFlo feeder. 3 fiber optic lights.

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: At wit's end, help! With stains and pool chemicals!

    Remember you first step is to measure your cya level to see if you need a drain refill before starting the shocking process. Post what you get, we'll go from there.
    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: At wit's end, help! With stains and pool chemicals!

    I didn't see where anyone suggested he try the vitamic C test to see if those yellow stains are iron. Before he drains any water I would think he shoud find out if the stain is iron. If so he would want to do the Ascorbic acid treatment first to get the iron off the liner and into the water so when he does drain to lower the CYA he is also removing a lot of the iron. Right?
    8000 gallon outdoor inground vinyl. Sand filter, Hayward 1HP.

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    Re: At wit's end, help! With stains and pool chemicals!

    I did do the vitamin C test and yes it took the stain right off just like the oxalic acid did (just where I touched with the acid). I asked the pool store if they sell ascorbic acid/she said she could order it (40 lbs) and it would be expensive. I figured I could order it myself. I guess we are waiting on my test results. I will post them ASAP and will not do anything until I get a consensus from everyone. Thanks to all for your help!
    In-ground, vinyl, 17,442 gal. Liner 15 yrs old. Hayward: sand filter, self-priming super pump, heater, main drain. Polaris 280 with booster pump and Water Stars fountain. Rainbow Lifegard HiFlo feeder. 3 fiber optic lights.

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    Re: At wit's end, help! With stains and pool chemicals!

    Quote Originally Posted by Katydid
    I did do the vitamin C test and yes it took the stain right off just like the oxalic acid did (just where I touched with the acid). I asked the pool store if they sell ascorbic acid/she said she could order it (40 lbs) and it would be expensive. I figured I could order it myself. I guess we are waiting on my test results. I will post them ASAP and will not do anything until I get a consensus from everyone. Thanks to all for your help!
    Ok so you have an iron stain. Before you drain and fill to lower your CYA you should certainly do an ascorbic acid treatment and sequester the metals to get the iron off your liner and into the water so when you drain, you remove a lot of the iron from your pool.

    I'm not sure why you would need 40lbs of AA when I believe 2lbs can treat a 10,000 pool. Last time I bought it I paid about $40 for 2lbs. I'm sure you can do better online.
    8000 gallon outdoor inground vinyl. Sand filter, Hayward 1HP.

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    Re: At wit's end, help! With stains and pool chemicals!

    I feel your pain. I've been dealing with these stains for a few years now. I can vouch for the pool magnet plus. It works wonders for me. Just need to add it every couple weeks and figure out what dose works for you. That is if it works on your pool.

    On a side note, I haven't added any for a month now and I have no stains. One thing I changed was the algaecide. I was using the cheap stuff from lowes but bought some poly 60 off amazon.

    24000 Gal, 18x36 Vinyl
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