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Thread: Iron precipitating out?!? What just happened?

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    Iron precipitating out?!? What just happened?

    Bought a house with a swamp and have been doing the shock process for two weeks. Keeping FC at 34 the whole time. Began to wonder if filter wasn't working properly since I was losing no FC overnight but water was still completely cloudy and greenish, so I used a Flocculant. Lo and behold, overnight the pool went from "I think maybe I can see the third step" to "Oh wow, I didn't know the pool had TWO bottom drains."

    I vacuumed to waste and decided to Floc it again one more time the next night. Since I had lowered the water a ton with the first vacuum, I added more water from the hose. (WELL water, mind you.)

    So today while I'm vacuuming again this morning I notice there is a bunch of this dark reddish brown powder settled on the vacuum plate in the skimmer. I'm guessing that it's iron, right? Does that explain the persistently green cloudy water?

    DId the flocculant cause the iron to precipitate out? Do I need to get this iron out fast before it stains the liner? Will my sand filter get rid of it (assuming it's working properly, which is still up for debate)?

    I would vacuum to waste but I don't have enough water left and don't want to add more well water to bring it back up.

    Help!
    18000 gal, inground, vinyl
    sand filter, 3/4 hp pump

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    357's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    15

    Re: Iron precipitating out?!? What just happened?

    Iron from well water made my brand new pool green when I initially filled it. It was clear as in you could see the bottom clearly but tinted green. You could have iron making the water green and algae causing the cloudiness. Chlorine will kill the algae but you'll need to vac/filter to remove it an clarify the water. I believe high chlorine levels (during shock process) can cause the iron to oxidize out into a powder. I have had this happen as well. Remove the powder by vac/filter obviously. I had to add a metal sequestrant to remove the color from my pool water. I used Jack's Magic Pink Stuff per recommendations I read on TFP. I found it on eBay for $24 shipped. I did find one local pool store that had it but it was 25 miles away and they wanted $30 plus sales tax.

    If you have a full list of test results that would help folks understand what's actually going on in your pool. Also, pictures help too. You can upload them to a free photobucket account or similar, then post a link to them with [img]before%20and[/img] after and they'll show up in the thread.
    18' round Intex Ultra-Frame pool, 48" deep. Default "A" size filter with 1500 gph pump, w/2nd 780 gph pump. Softened well water used for fill.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Iron precipitating out?!? What just happened?

    Most likely the red dust is iron, but that would not have had anything to do with your cloudy water problems.

    Well water can have iron in two different forms, powdered dust suspended in the water, and dissolved iron. Most likely your well has both. The dust would have fallen out of suspension on it's own eventually, a process which would go faster because of the floc.

    I recommend regular vacuuming and then backwash/clean the filter right away. That is just as good as vacuuming to waste in this situation.
    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: Iron precipitating out?!? What just happened?

    Here are my numbers:

    FC= 7
    CC= .5
    TA= 110
    CH=40
    CYA=50 (was at 60 before all the rain and added h20)
    PH=7.4

    And here's a pic of the precipitate:

    [attachment=0:czyqpwue]iron in skimmer.JPG[/attachment:czyqpwue]

    I've only seen this precipitate in the skimmer and have no rust stains anywhere. I was running the hose directly in the skimmer (helping to push the vac plate down) so maybe that's why I was getting a lot of it right there.
    Or could this be something else entirely?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    18000 gal, inground, vinyl
    sand filter, 3/4 hp pump

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    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Iron precipitating out?!? What just happened?

    It could be any of several different kinds of debris, from pollen to sand. Without more information it is difficult to tell (and probably doesn't matter). Pollen and algae are kind of slimy, while sand and iron are gritty. Clay is somewhere in-between those two.
    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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