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Thread: Using Citric Acid for Stain Removal

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    Using Citric Acid for Stain Removal

    Hi. I am currently flummoxed with my pool. I had issues with brown stains, attempted many different brands of "metal out", i.e., EZ Chlor Metal Magnet, EZ Chlor Stain Stop, etc. Finally, I found this site and tried the citric acid method of removing the stains. SUCCESS! However, it seems that success is not so easy..... It took a while (overnite) to see the stains were gone, however, in the same time span, the pool went totally cloudy (can't even see the bottom in the 3' end). I continued filtering (36 sq ft DE filter), two times a day changed the DE, had my little robot in there vacuuming away (all day for a week now), have
    gone thru many 25# bags of DE, still cloudy. Currently I have not added tons of chlorine, as I noted that if you raise the chlorine too fast it will drop the iron stains back on the liner. I have added sequesterant to pull the metal out of the water, but it is only getting cloudier. The other odd thing is the alkalinity is off the charts 240 or higher (using strips so don't believe I have a specfic number). The PH has stayed at 6.8 or so, and I tried PH Minus to lower the alkaline level all week, the alkalilnity is still at 240 or higher. I just put in another
    sequesterant, thinking that the last brand I put in may have not been strong enough. However, it seems very odd to me that I am so high on the alkalinity when I put acid in the pool! Every pool store I've been in can't figure this out! Neither can I! I am going to take a sample in to have it tested to see if I can figure out what the problem is: I'm beginning to wonder if it's something stupid like DE in the pool, possibly my filter has a hole in it or something after adding the citric acid. Any thoughts on this MESS? Thank you in advance for even reading this! YIKES!

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    Join Date
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    Re: Using Citric Acid for Stain Removal

    "Yikes" is right! Welcome to the forum. Here are some questions/suggestions...

    1. What are you testing with? You will need a reliable test kit, here is a great primer http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...kit_comparison

    2. Did you add the preventative algaecide as prescribed since the citric acid pretty much wipes out your chlorine?

    3. Read poolschool. http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-school/

    4. Here is great info on the process you are attempting. http://www.troublefreepool.com/ascor...ins-t2298.html

    5. The cloudiness is to be expected. It might be algae, but is more likely part of the process of the metal sequestering. It should clear up on its own. You say you are going through a lot of DE, are you noticing a large pressure increase? This would clue you in to the reason for the cloudiness.

    6. Your very high TA would not come down significantly with a single addition of acid, lowering it is a process that can take several weeks. Focus on your current metal issues, use this info to tackle the TA later http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...l%20alkalinity (this is also part of poolschool)

    It is a lot to learn, hang in there, you can do this, just open a can of "pop" (pool owner patience) and read up!
    20k gal, IG Vinyl, IntelliFlo VF Pump, 60 GPM sand filter, Jandy Aquapure Ei 35, 2 skimmers, one main drain, two returns, Dolphin Diagnostic cleaning robot, Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    stev32k's Avatar
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    Re: Using Citric Acid for Stain Removal

    The white stuff in your pool is insoluble calcium citrate. It is formed when citric acid comes in contact with calcium. It can form very tenacious scale and is bad about plugging small openings in piping systems, filters, and instrumentation. You might be able to filter it out over time, but as long as you have both citric acid and calcium in the water more precipitates will form. Your best bet might be to empty the pool, clean it out, and start over.
    20' x 40' IG with vinyl liner volume approx. 35,000 gal.1.5 H.P. main pump, Polaris 280 cleaner W/ 3/4 H.P. booster pump
    Hayward sand filter, 3.14 sq ft, 62 gpm. Stenner 45 MPH10 chlorine feed pump. 1 micron final filter bags (home made and very effective)

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    Re: Using Citric Acid for Stain Removal

    Before you do anything rash, I would give it some time to clear up. Using citric acid is very common in removing stains, the cloudiness is a normal reaction to the sequestrant. Here is an interesting thread http://www.troublefreepool.com/from-...1.html#p164075
    20k gal, IG Vinyl, IntelliFlo VF Pump, 60 GPM sand filter, Jandy Aquapure Ei 35, 2 skimmers, one main drain, two returns, Dolphin Diagnostic cleaning robot, Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Using Citric Acid for Stain Removal

    shelmarae, welcome to TFP!

    Please post a complete set of water test results. There are many possibilities for what might be going on. Without more information it is difficult to even guess at what might be happening.

    Also, stop lowering the PH. You do not want the PH to go below 6.8 at any point. If you have continued to add acid when the PH was already 6.8, it has probably driven the PH too low. I recommend aerating the water to raise the PH, just be sure to keep an eye on the PH and don't let it go up too quickly. That is going to be tricky, because the common PH test will report any PH below 6.8 as 6.8, so it will be tricky to know just how quickly the PH is coming up.

    As J20832 said, cloudiness after a citric acid treatment is completely normal, and should clear up in two or three days. There could be complications because of your high TA level, which might delay that a little, but we need the full set of water test results to diagnose that.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Using Citric Acid for Stain Removal

    Wow! You guys are great! I really appreciate the responses! I have been filtering like a fool (hee hee), and yes, the pump starts at about 10, I don't dump it til it hits 20. This morning I went out and I can actually see the bottom of the 3' end.
    I have been using the strips for testing, and after reading this, and dealing with this, I am going to get a real test kit. This is my second year taking care of this pool, and I haven't had any problems until now....
    I will get a kit and continue to digest all this wisdom above, Thank you so much and I'll be back!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Using Citric Acid for Stain Removal

    Generally we recommend cleaning the filter when the pressure goes up 20-25% of the clean pressure. This maintains better flow and filtering ... Although it also means doing it more often when clearing a dirty pool.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Using Citric Acid for Stain Removal

    HI!

    Just need to say thanks for all the help, wanted to update progress.
    The pool is getting clearer, I have been aerating all day, brought up my
    PH already. To save time I ran over to WM and got a HTH (I know ) test
    kit, and here are the numbers I got....

    TC .5 (have been bringing it up slowly)
    BR 1.0
    PH 7.2
    CYA 30 (? this kit said the water would be cloudy, it's clear as a bell)
    AK 130
    Hardness doesn't register.... I think I removed all the calcium with that
    citric acid treatment.....
    (the kit says the water
    would be red if there is
    hardness present, it's purple.
    No explanation for that....)

    I'm still reading and filtering....things are looking better.....

    Thanks again for all your input, very much appreciated...

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    Re: Using Citric Acid for Stain Removal



    Sorry, tried to add my pool specs thru the
    file attachment.... didn't work, apparently,
    here it is:

    25,000 IG, FNS Plus36 sq ft DE filter, 1 hp motor, one skimmer, North of PITTSBURGH, PA. Go Steelers!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Using Citric Acid for Stain Removal

    Quote Originally Posted by shelmarae


    Sorry, tried to add my pool specs thru the
    file attachment.... didn't work, apparently,
    here it is:

    25,000 IG, FNS Plus36 sq ft DE filter, 1 hp motor, one skimmer, North of PITTSBURGH, PA. Go Steelers!
    Go to "Use Control Panel" at the top left. Then "Profile" and "Edit Signature". Put the info in and hit Submit.
    You can put your location in the "Edit Profile" area.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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