Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Brown water

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Brown water

    Hello. We just got a new pool from Walmart- 18'x48" Intex above ground. We filled it with water from our drilled well, which contains sulfur and iron, calcium, and magnesium. My wife took a test sample to a pool store and had it tested and they gave her a bunch of chemicals. We first added a Metal Out substance. The next day, we added stabilizer, then shock. When I went out to add the algicide, I noticed the water was brown. I think the shock turned it brown. She took another test sample to the pool store, and they gave her a clarifier. We've been adding it as directed for probably 4 days, and it hasn't seemed to clear things up much at all. I've heard good things about Baquacil. I ordered some and it should be here in the next few days. My question is, is it ok to add Baquacil after I've already shocked it with chlorine, or is there something else I need to do first?
    Intex Ultra Frame 18'x48" Round Pool (7,500 Gallons, Above Ground)
    Intex 56671EG 2,650 GPH Sand Filter Pump
    Intex Pool Maintenance Kit- Deluxe Edition
    Pool filled from drilled well

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Brown water

    Welcome to TFP!

    Avoid using baquacil sanitizer. It is incompatible with chlorine and will create a mess if added to a pool with chlorine. Baquacil makes several other chemicals, besides the sanitizer, some of which are alright to use and some of which aren't.

    You should post a full set of water test results and describe the water in more detail, is it translucent brown, clear brown, cloudy brow, murky brown, etc? Also, how has your filter pressure been behaving?

    By the by, the pool store has been selling you some chemicals that might be useful and some that have no chance of helping. You might want to reconsider listening to their advice.
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3
    BoDarville's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    DFW, Texas
    Posts
    3,840

    Re: Brown water

    Welcome to TFP!

    First off,

    Given that you have filled from a well that you know contains metals in the water, the brown water is likely the result of metals in the water. When chlorine is added, it can result in metals precipitating thereby turning the water brown and possibly form stains on the surface. To guard against this, you need to (1) Keep pH between 7.2 and 7.4, and (2) Add periodic doses of a sequestrant. The sequestrant will not remove metals from the water. It binds to the metals and prevents them from depositing as stains. Sequestrants slowly break down in the pool, so you need to add more regularly to maintain the correct level. Sequestrants based on HEDP, phosphonic acid, or phosphonic acid derivatives are the most effective. ProTeam's Metal Magic and Jack's Magic The Pink Stuff (regular), The Blue Stuff (fresh plaster), and The Purple Stuff (salt) are some of the top sequestrants. You can also find many other brands with similar active ingredients, some of which are noticeably less expensive.

    Quote Originally Posted by jephph
    When I went out to add the algicide...
    What kind of algaecide did you use (looking for the active ingredient, not brand name)? if it is copper-based, this will add more metal to the water and exacerbate your problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by jephph
    We first added a Metal Out substance.
    There is not a chemical product that I am aware of that will remove metals from the water.

    Quote Originally Posted by jephph
    I've heard good things about Baquacil.
    Where did you hear this from? Reason I ask is that there is a forum board dedicated to Bacquacil - Use and Conversion where many members are either actively converting from Bacquacil to BBB or have expressed interest in doing so. I would return your order upon receipt.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Brown water

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion

    You should post a full set of water test results and describe the water in more detail, is it translucent brown, clear brown, cloudy brow, murky brown, etc? Also, how has your filter pressure been behaving?
    Here are the test results. The first set is before we added any chemicals, the second is after the chemicals and after the water turned brown:
    Temp 78,76
    Sat Index .2,.4
    TDS 500,400
    CYA 0,42
    Tot. Chlorine 0,0
    Free Chlorine 0,0
    pH 7.3,7.6
    Total Alkalinity 168,173
    Adj Tot Alk 168,160
    Tot. Hardness 327,293
    Copper 0,Not Tested
    Iron 0,Not Tested
    Everything Else: No, or None

    I should mention that we have a potassium permanganate system for our water to get rid of the iron. I haven't added more in a while, so I'm not sure if any iron made it out to the pool or not. The first test showed 0, and they didn't test for it the second time, so it seems clean, but something's gotta be making the pool look brown. It's a clear brown by the way. As far as the filter pressure.. I haven't noticed much of a change. It's just the cheap Krystal Klear pump and filter that came with the pool, so there's no gauge or anything, but we have been cleaning the filter out at least once a day. And is has been pretty dirty each time(orange, reddish in color).

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion

    By the by, the pool store has been selling you some chemicals that might be useful and some that have no chance of helping. You might want to reconsider listening to their advice.
    I figured they were selling us things we didn't need. But I really have no idea what I do need, so I just went with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by BoDarville
    What kind of algaecide did you use (looking for the active ingredient, not brand name)? if it is copper-based, this will add more metal to the water and exacerbate your problem.
    The algicide is copper based, but was added after the water had already turned brown.
    Quote Originally Posted by BoDarville
    There is not a chemical product that I am aware of that will remove metals from the water.
    The product we used was called "METAL free", which is supposed to "...prevent staining and discoloration from trace metals such as iron and copper." It was the first thing we added (half a bottle), and then we were told to add the rest of the bottle after we called and told them that the water had turned brown.

    Quote Originally Posted by BoDarville
    Where did you hear this from? Reason I ask is that there is a forum board dedicated to Bacquacil - Use and Conversion where many members are either actively converting from Bacquacil to BBB or have expressed interest in doing so. I would return your order upon receipt.
    The first thing that came up after I googled "brown water in pool after shocking" was this forum thread: http://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index ... wtopic=151 about halfway down, a user named Guest_James_* posts a message. It sounded exactly like what I had experienced (brown water right after adding chlorine), so I looked into it. I found it on Amazon- http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004WF ... UTF8&psc=1 , and the 1 review also sounded exactly like my problem (well water, turned brown after shocking) and it seemed to work well for him.
    Intex Ultra Frame 18'x48" Round Pool (7,500 Gallons, Above Ground)
    Intex 56671EG 2,650 GPH Sand Filter Pump
    Intex Pool Maintenance Kit- Deluxe Edition
    Pool filled from drilled well

  5. Back To Top    #5
    BoDarville's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    DFW, Texas
    Posts
    3,840

    Re: Brown water

    Quote Originally Posted by jephph
    Temp 78,76
    Sat Index .2,.4
    TDS 500,400
    CYA 0,42
    Tot. Chlorine 0,0
    Free Chlorine 0,0
    pH 7.3,7.6
    Total Alkalinity 168,173
    Adj Tot Alk 168,160
    Tot. Hardness 327,293
    Copper 0,Not Tested
    Iron 0,Not Tested
    Everything Else: No, or None
    These results look like they came from test strips. I would recommend one of the Recommended Test Kits, but will not pontificate further on this aside from making this recommendation. I will address your test results as posted.

    • 1. You can ignore TDS. It is a completely irrelevant parameter.
      2. You need to get some chlorine in the water. Otherwise you will be battling algae and brown water. Aim for 4-5 ppm FC, given your CYA of ~42. Monitor FC daily and add chlorine as needed to keep it within this range.
      3. Add sequestrant to keep the metals in suspension which will help clear the water. Sequestrant breaks down over time, so you will need to replenish as needed.
      4. Based on your second test results, bring pH down between 7.2 and 7.4 using Muriatic Acid (MA). This will also lower TA which can also stand some lowering. Continue to monitor daily and adjust pH as needed to stay within this range.
      5. Total hardness (TH) is the sum of calcium hardness and magnesium hardness. We do not normally test TH; We focus on calcium hardness (CH). As an approximation you can multiply TH by two thirds to get a rough estimate of CH. Using this formula on your second test results, your CH **estimate** is ~200 ppm.
      6. I'm skeptical of the copper and iron results. If you water is a transparent (not murky) brown, that is a classic example of metals in the water and iron is common in well water, plus you had added a copper-based algaecide. Therefore, we know there is iron (from your initial post) and copper (from the algaecide) in the water. Sequestrant and monitoring pH will deal with both.


    One other thing I will mention: Should the metals ever precipitate out again and turn the water a transparent brown and assuming you can deal with that for a short while, temporarily hold off on adding additional sequestrant and try the "paper towel" method which involves placing paper towels in the skimmers. The paper towels may remove some of the precipitated metal particles. No guarantee this will work, but it is a low cost - low impact alternative worth trying, so I will put it on the table. Some members have had some success with this (see this post: a-tale-of-two-filters-and-ugly-rusty-water-t46130.html) - scroll towards the bottom to see a picture of the iron filtered out by the paper towels. If you try this method, check on the paper towels every couple of hours or so while the filter is running. Replace towels as needed.

    Even if the paper towel method removes some of the metals, you may still need to continue using a sequestrant on an ongoing basis. However, you may be able to use less of it if the paper towel method was at least somewhat successful.

    Addressing the subject of Bacquacil...many who have tried Bacquacil sanitizer initially had good results. Eventually, however, they tend to run into problems with a green swamp (or worse). Their pool has been clear & clean for some time and then one day they wake up and it's either green, cloudy, or both. Continued use of Bacquacil will not clear this up and they get frustrated. Assuming you want to avoid that. I would stick with chlorine (plain unscented liquid bleach w/o thickeners) as the sanitizer.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Brown water

    All righty. Thank you. In regards to the chlorine... I don't know why the second test indicated no tot chlorine or free chlorine, because we used shock on it, which included chlorine. I don't know what CYA is.
    Also, seeing as the chlorine is what turned the water brown in the first place, won't the chlorine and sequestrant counteract each other?
    Intex Ultra Frame 18'x48" Round Pool (7,500 Gallons, Above Ground)
    Intex 56671EG 2,650 GPH Sand Filter Pump
    Intex Pool Maintenance Kit- Deluxe Edition
    Pool filled from drilled well

  7. Back To Top    #7
    BoDarville's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    DFW, Texas
    Posts
    3,840

    Re: Brown water

    Quote Originally Posted by jephph
    I don't know what CYA is.
    Cyanuric acid (CYA), often called stabilizer or sometimes conditioner, protects FC from sunlight. The side-effect of doing this is that it also lowers the effective strength of the FC. The higher the CYA level, the more FC you need to get the same sanitizing effect. It is important to know your CYA level so you can figure out what FC level to aim for. I recommend checking this out: Chlorine CYA Chart
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: Brown water

    Any advice on the chlorine and sequestrant counteracting? I put more chlorine in it yesterday, and it made it more brown again. I feel like I'm going to end up in a cycle of sequestering and chlorinating and the pool turning from clear light brown to clear dark brown over and over.

    Edit: By the way, the Baquacil is labeled as "Metal Control" and "Deactivates iron, copper, and other trace metals. I don't know if that's the same as a sanitizer or not... The active ingredient is Tetrasodium Ethylene-Diaminetetraacetate Hydrate. Should I still not use it?
    Intex Ultra Frame 18'x48" Round Pool (7,500 Gallons, Above Ground)
    Intex 56671EG 2,650 GPH Sand Filter Pump
    Intex Pool Maintenance Kit- Deluxe Edition
    Pool filled from drilled well

  9. Back To Top    #9
    linen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Twin Cities, MN
    Posts
    8,649

    Re: Brown water

    What is your ph? If it is still at 7.6 or above, I would lower it down to 7.2 and see if this helps.

    The recommended sequestrates are in the article:http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...metal%20stains The chemical you listed are not like the recommended ones
    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.

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Fallsburg, NY
    Posts
    258

    Re: Brown water

    Yeah, don't use it, get one of the recommended sequestrants. The http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...metal%20stains only mentions a few, but it does tell you what chemicals to look out for that are most effective, yours isn't on the list. I used hth Metal Control from Walmart which says the active ingredient is dimethylphosphonic acid Therefore, it's a derivative of phosphonic acid. It worked well and doesn't turn back to orange/brown everytime I add bleach.
    8638 gallon 20'x52" Intex ultra frame round AG. 2650 gph Intex Sand Filter. Intex krystal Klear SWG. (newer model that includes copper ion generation) Hayward 1091LX skimmer, Kreepy Krauly lil shark. Taylor K-2006 w/speed stir and sample sizer. New this year, Intex PureSpa - dichlor-> bleach method for sanitizing.
    New pool, 16'x36' (approx 18000 gal) in ground pool, Haywood DE filter

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Brown water

    Ok, so I put some pH Down (active ingredient- sodium bisulfate- couldn't find any muriatic acid) in the pool last night, along with a bottle of hth Metal Control (with diphosphonic acid). I woke up this morning, checked the pool, and it is now brown and cloudy. I decided to try out the paper towel method, and threw a paper towel over the strainer this morning. I got home from work, and the paper towel was completely covered in reddish brown, and so was the filter. I removed the paper towel, and put a new filter in. I tested the water (with a test strip- couldn't find any of the test kits recommended) and here are my results:
    pH- about 8.2
    ppm Free Chlorine- close to 0
    ppm Total alkalinity- about 240
    ppm stabilizer- about 80

    So... I'm guessing I need to add more chlorine, and more pH Down. As I said, the water is still very brown. So.. more metal control too?
    Intex Ultra Frame 18'x48" Round Pool (7,500 Gallons, Above Ground)
    Intex 56671EG 2,650 GPH Sand Filter Pump
    Intex Pool Maintenance Kit- Deluxe Edition
    Pool filled from drilled well

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Howell, NJ
    Posts
    977

    Re: Brown water

    The recommended test kits can really only be bought online. Sometimes they can be found locally, but most of the time the pool store will sell you the DPD test kit, which is not the same thing.
    John
    7 year old ~13,500 gal 24' AGP with 1.5 hp Proline pump, 150 sqft Pleatco cartridge, filled with well water with pH of about 4.5.
    Wanda the Whale pool vacuum, home made heater, Taylor K-2006
    Cloudy Pool? 1) Order test kit. 2) Follow SLAM
    New to TFPC? Read Pool School a few times, then post questions. PoolMath will help with chemical additions.

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Monahans, TX
    Posts
    1

    Re: Brown water

    I added pillow stuffing to the skimmer, changed it frequently as well as pump filter. Pool was clear in 3 days.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •