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Thread: Polyacrylamide-based tablets to purify/floc iron in water?

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Polyacrylamide-based tablets to purify/floc iron in water?

    Greetings, I am posting this in the deep-end because it's a chem-geeky kind of question However, I am curious as to whether anyone with iron in their water has ever used Ferri-Iron tabs, which is presently packaged by Lynde Co. in MN and sold regionally at http://askthepoolguy.net .

    The pool company was kind enough to send me the MSDS, which showed the formula is (-CH2CHCONH2-) N -- and non-toxic.

    I looked up polyacrylamides and discovered they're used pretty extensively in water treatment, specifically to bind up ferric chloride, etc. Essentially, it's a gel-like floc, from what I can gather.

    In my case, I've not oxidized any iron lately, so I can't yet test them (but will likely find an opportunity at some point to test them.)

    But I read a lot of posts from people whose water turns brown, green, etc. after they shock.

    Here's what the site writes about the tablets, by way of background:
    A popular product, especially where water is hard and contains Iron, is something called ferritabs. They were produced previously by Hydrology Laboratories, a division of Aqua Clear Industries, in packages of 10 per box, and designed for sand filters or de filters. See the photo of the old tabs and packaging, this for de type filters.


    They are back on the market, and better than ever!


    Ferri-Iron Tabs are water treatment tablets that help eliminate the discoloration caused by iron and manganese.

    They have been formulated for use in all filters EXCEPT diatomaceous earth filters.


    These double-action tablets have been formulated to help decolorize water that has been colored by IRON or MANGANESE. These discoloring insoluble materials are removed from the water by charge neutralization and flocculation.


    This non-toxic formulation is completely soluble in water and contains no caustic or corrosive chemicals, diatomaceous earth, alum or any chemicals that will alter the pH or chlorine level of the water.
    So I'm curious as to whether the pros/chemistry-enabled super posters have ever had any experience with this product, and whether anyone thinks it's possible to use same to facilitate actual iron removal via shock/oxidize and add tabs. Or whether there are downsides.

    If it worked, it'd be a lot cheaper to spend $21 bucks once than consume Jack's Magic forevermore

    Thanks to any who feel able to weigh in on the idea, and to anyone whose had any experience with the former product!

    Cheers,
    Swampwoman
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    Re: Polyacrylamide-based tablets to purify/floc iron in wate

    Removal rather than Sequestration has forever been the Holy Grail for pool owners with iron problems. If we haven't heard about this momentous discovery on this board by now, I doubt it exists.
    Bill
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    Re: Polyacrylamide-based tablets to purify/floc iron in wate

    ^You see why I was excited by the possibility. I just might experiment and try it with the AA treatment I'm planning. I'd really like to get off Jack
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    Re: Polyacrylamide-based tablets to purify/floc iron in wate

    Hopefully Richard (Chem Geek) will post on this.

    As Yeg said, and you already know, removing the iron, not just sequestering it, is the holy grail for people with it in their water.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Polyacrylamide-based tablets to purify/floc iron in wate

    I think you should try it and let us know how it works. In general, amides (unlike amines) react rather slowly with chlorine so that's good. It does sound like the product can effectively bind to iron and floc it to get caught in the filter.

    As for removing metals, there is CuLator® Metal Remover, but we've had mixed reports and not enough of them to be definitive.
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    Re: Polyacrylamide-based tablets to purify/floc iron in wate

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    I think you should try it and let us know how it works. In general, amides (unlike amines) react rather slowly with chlorine so that's good. It does sound like the product can effectively bind to iron and floc it to get caught in the filter.
    Vac to waste?
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    Re: Polyacrylamide-based tablets to purify/floc iron in wate

    UWVanya, no, just backwashing for the sand filter, according to the seller.

    Okay, I've decided what I will do is to use 2-3 lbs of my AA for a pre-closing fall treatment, and instead of Jack's, will do as thepoolguy.net says, which is to use AA, then add the tabs to bind and filter out the released iron.

    I'll report back and let you know what I think. I'll do everything else according to the AA instructions, including the polyquat, and I'll still bring the chlorine back slowly.

    I bought extra AA in bulk on ebay, so I will keep the rest in case I need to re-treat in spring after I open...in which case I might experiment and try jacks to see if there's a difference.

    I wonder if AFTER I do the AA treatment if I could get a ppm read on the water if I stopped using Jack's a week earlier. Then I'd like to retest after a week of the tabs and filtering. I'd just like to get a firm handle on whether or not something will actually reduce the ppm of iron

    I won't likely start til the weekend, so subscribe to the thread if you want updates
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    Re: Polyacrylamide-based tablets to purify/floc iron in wate

    Greetings, all. I am still reading up on this floc type product, and I found this page with before and after pics sent in from some home owners.
    This approach might be good for those folks who have that sudden color change on shocking. Here's a link to the pics http://www.askthepoolguy.net/category/ferritabs-2/

    I am wondering if my own test will be valid considering I've had jack's pink in the water all summer, but the backwash color should tell the tale.

    My plan is to give the AA a good 24 hours or so, then add the tabs and see if my backwash color changes.
    I'm not sure if the ionic bond can compete with the diphosphorous bond of jack's.

    If anyone has any suggestions or tips, please feel free to post. I'm new to AA too so there are a lot of variables that could go awry here!

    Yours in science
    Swampwoman
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    Re: Polyacrylamide-based tablets to purify/floc iron in wate

    Update: star log 09/23
    My test may end up being totally wasted. I had postponed the AA treatment to this weekend because last was warm enough for a swim. Then I turned the heater off, let temp drop, and got chlorine down to 1 ppm, added polyquat.

    Added 2.2 lbs of AA, but only stairs seemed to repond much. Added 4.4 lbs more since we know they're very old stains. After a few hours, husband felt they were "lighter" but I felt "not by much considering I triple dosed."

    So, I am beginning to suspect that I had "some iron staining" BUT also have tannin or under-liner stains -- or that rare phenom I've seen only a post or two about where very high phosphate levels cause some kind of otherwise inexplicable staining.

    However, I also realized water is pretty cold, right around 60, and they say AA works ABOVE 60. So I've left it overnight on recirculate to see if it's better when the sun comes up this a.m.

    SO, while I will still add the ferritabs today once I start to filter, I feel the test will kind of be fr naught since the stains aren't apparently exclusively iron.

    I HAVE however, also discovered this week that our water softener is messed up and that all the water in the house has been putting out 1.2 ppm of iron for the last 8 weeks. SO I may still get some evidence of iron collection when I add fill water and use the tabs ;(

    Will update tomorrow.
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    Re: Polyacrylamide-based tablets to purify/floc iron in wate

    Oops, didn't update "tomorrow."
    Findings inconclusive because I wrecked experiment by having two full bottles of sequestrate.

    Did add the tabs and backwashed. Backwash was cloudy but white in color, meaning either the dissolved tabs themselves or calcium (no algae or anything). Makes sense since iron was never oxidized. Ergo, I'd use these after an oxidization event, eg shocking on opening, adding fill water with iron, etc. But not with already bound/sequestered iron.

    If when I shock I see any sign that iron is coming out of solution, I will test. This is the condition I believe the tabs were made for.

    The next time someone fills a sand-filtered pool with well water and has obvious iron, I would be happy to treat them o these just to find out if they work in those conditions. My problem is that now between the soft water, pre-filtering and sequestrate use, I dont get to that point (BUT I haven't had to shock since opening, so we'll see!)
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    Re: Polyacrylamide-based tablets to purify/floc iron in wate

    Was your experience with Ferri-iron tabs in-conclusive? Im considering buying them. Sure hate to keep dumping money into a loss cause. Any input will be so appreciated.

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    Re: Polyacrylamide-based tablets to purify/floc iron in wate

    Yes, it was inconclusive. My suspicion is that they work well if you are shocking your pool, which causes the iron to oxidate -- so if you're already rust colored, suspect these work.

    However, also suspect it will NOT break the bonds of sequester -- eg. Jack's Magic -- if you've steadily treated your pool with iron sequestrate.
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    Re: Polyacrylamide-based tablets to purify/floc iron in wate

    Thank you for the quick response. So I think your saying that I have a good shot of this working considering the following:
    1) Brown dust appeared in abundance shortly after introducing chlorine to recently filled pool (combo of well and city water)
    2) Vacuuming only dissipates and redistributes through return (sand filter) I've also tried the home remedy sock/quilt stuffing/rags/ you name it, as a pre & post filter remedy. COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME.
    3) Only Chemicals introduced to water thus far is; HTH Green to blue Shock and PH plus.

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    Re: Polyacrylamide-based tablets to purify/floc iron in wate

    Yes, in those circumstances, I'd give it a try for sure.
    You will need to keep an eye on your filter according to instructions, because it acts like a floc of sorts and pressure can rise faster.

    Were the rags a rusty color even if they didn't make much of a dent? (That helps us know if its iron oxide or not.)

    If you call them, they might be able to expedite the shipment for you. Please let us know if it works.

    My reasoning as to why in your case it's worth a try is because for the cost of one bucket of ferritabs, it's about the same cost as a single bottle of Jack's magic. I have to use 2-4 bottles of Jack's a month to deal with MY well water. So if it doesn't work, well, you're only out a bottle of Jack's

    Also note that over a few days, sand filters are "alleged" to clear a certain amount of iron precipitate...but it will not nail it enough to prevent future staining. Just fyi.
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    Re: Polyacrylamide-based tablets to purify/floc iron in wate

    Yes the rags are rusty

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