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Thread: Iron in well water

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    Iron in well water

    I'm a new owner of a IG 20,000 older cement and fiberglas pool at a campground and I'm getting a little nervous about my ability to get the brown monster open by Memorial Day weekend. I've been at this about 6 days and the water is still pretty brown (unable to see bottom at 5'). It also looks like the entire pool is one large rust stain.

    I have been reading the forum and it has a lot of great advice about how to handle the rust (absorbic acid treatment is my plan), the problem I have is that every time I backflush my sand filter, I have to keep adding bad water from the well. Someone had recommended using a sequence of 3 whole house filters (RV type) with specific iron removing cartridges. I spoke to our local Home Depot and they have filters that remove rust and sediment, but nothing for just iron. The guy told me that the filters they have do not remove clear water iron. He also said that in order to remove the clear water iron I will need a iron removal system that costs about $500 and uses potassium promagnate? Does anyone know where I can get the clear iron removal cartridges or will the Home Depot ones work?

    Great forum. Thanks for your help. I have to go backwash my sand filter again.
    20,000 gallon, older concrete and fiberglass IG, Triton II sand filter, Hayward 1.5 HP pump, Polaris G1000 automatic diclor feeder

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Guest
    You need what is called a 'green sand' filter. Green sand is a ion exchange resin that will remove iron. It is recharged with potassium permanganate. I would contact a water treatment company for info on this.

    Do you currenly use a metal sequesterant in the pool? If yor iron problem is bad a weekly dose of sequesterant such as Jacks Magic Pink Stuff or Proteam's Metal Magic would help a lot.

  3. Back To Top    #3
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    An good iron filter will run around $500, or more if you want high flow rates. You can search for "greensand iron filter" at google to get some examples of what is available.
    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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    I have been using In the Swim stain away, but unfortunately not right away. I didn't start using it until day three. Do you think I should use the absorbic acid method to get rid of the stains, or would it be easier to drain and scrub with muratic acid? I might have a source for city water (they haven't told me how much it will cost to haul yet).

    If I get the pool clear is it feasible to use the Home Depot filters in sequence and sequestreant to keep the fill water clear?

    Thanks
    20,000 gallon, older concrete and fiberglass IG, Triton II sand filter, Hayward 1.5 HP pump, Polaris G1000 automatic diclor feeder

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Guest
    If your water is brown from precipitated iron oxide (rust) then the home depot filters might help since you would need to filter out a particle. If the water is clear or yellow from ionic iron in the water you would need the ion exchange (greensand) filter and/or metal sequesterant.

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    The water isn't real brown, more of a yellowish tint, so more than likely I'll need the green sand filter. Any thoughts on absorbic acid cleaning vs. drain and scrub with muratic acid?
    20,000 gallon, older concrete and fiberglass IG, Triton II sand filter, Hayward 1.5 HP pump, Polaris G1000 automatic diclor feeder

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    The ascorbic acid treatment is much easier than a full drain and acid wash and usually works just as well. If there is also calcium scaling you may need to drain and acid wash, but if it is just metal stains then ascorbic acid is the way to go.
    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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    Hi campool...I also have high iron in my well water. I never noticed it win I had a liner pool but now I have a glass pool. It will show up quickly. All I can tell you is what I do to keep it at bay. I do use a filter on the end of my hose to top off the pool but I really don't think that does anything for my ionic iron. I use one quart of metal magic in the spring and a 3 oz. dose weekly. I keep my ph at 7.2 and between 7.3 and 7.4 the staining will start again. If i start to get another stain I will use another quart. My staining always seems to go to the same area in the pool I don't know why but I am able to tell very quickly by focusing on that area if I will have stain problems.
    hope this will help a little and good luck.
    Ric.W
    Ric W
    My Pool
    8605 gal fiberglass, 3/4 hp pump, sand filter, aquabot cleaner, heat siphon heat pump, tiger river(sumatran) spa

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    Thanks for the input. I just ordered 5 lbs of absorbic acid. Hopefully it will arrive soon or my campers are going to be swimming in a brown pool. Is metal magic the same as In the Swim's Stain Away?
    20,000 gallon, older concrete and fiberglass IG, Triton II sand filter, Hayward 1.5 HP pump, Polaris G1000 automatic diclor feeder

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by camppool
    Is metal magic the same as In the Swim's Stain Away?
    Probably similar. There are basically two kinds of sequesterants sold for pools (excluding speciality products such as ones to chelate calcium and remove scale) They are either EDTA based (Like Natural Chemistrys MetalFree) and HEDP (phosphonic acid) based ones (like Proteam's Metal Magic and the Jack's Magic Line). The HEDP ones will cause in increase in orthophosphates in your water but this does not cause any problems 99% of the time if you maintain normal FC levels for your CYA (in other words, if you properly maintain your pool). The other 1% is easily handled with a phosphate remover product, adding borates to your water, or using polyquat 60 as a maintenance product. If you practice proper pool maintenancewater balance and you don't have algae blooms for no apparent reason then don't worry about phosphate levels! The HEDP ones are also MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE at preventing metal staining than the EDTA based ones, which is why there are so many more of them on the market. The vast majority of metal treatments ARE HEDP based. Check the ingredients or the MSDS for your In the Swim product and see if it contains HEDP or Phosphonic acid. If it does it should be fine. If it is EDTA based I would use a HEDP based product. From my experience they are better at keeping the stains away.

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    I was reading through the directions on the absorbic acid stain removal process and noticed that I shouldn't shock the pool for 2 weeks. That may be a problem for me since I have people coming in one week to use the pool. How long before people can safely swim in the pool after the absorbic acid treatment?
    20,000 gallon, older concrete and fiberglass IG, Triton II sand filter, Hayward 1.5 HP pump, Polaris G1000 automatic diclor feeder

  12. Back To Top    #12
    Guest
    Ascprbic acid will kill your chlorine. Once it starts to hold then you can slowly increase it to proper levels. This can take a few days. If you shock you run the risk of either colored water or restaining.

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    Thanks for all of your help.

    By the way, it was about 38 degrees this morning, if this weather doesn't turn warm pretty soon, I don't think I will have to worry about swimming, we may just ice skate on it......
    20,000 gallon, older concrete and fiberglass IG, Triton II sand filter, Hayward 1.5 HP pump, Polaris G1000 automatic diclor feeder

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