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Thread: Clear Rusty Brown Pool Water

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    Clear Rusty Brown Pool Water

    Hello. I am new to the forum so thanks for any help. I just got my first pool last week. It's an easy set 18' x 48". Following is the order of how I did things. Before jumping directly to iron, please read entire post. I also have overhanging oak trees which I think could also be to blame.

    NOTE: Water is 100% clear, just tinted rusty brown
    NOTE: Overhanging oak trees put dark brown markings/stains on the cover (could these marking coming from tannins/pollens/etc. be tinting my pool that badly?)

    * Filled pool from well Tuesday thru Friday
    * I knew I had iron, so I put metal free into the water Friday evening. 25% more than it called for.
    * Chlorine/Shock granules Saturday evening
    * Sunday water was clear brown and got worse when I swam in it
    * Had water tested. Pool store said everything was in range. There were NO metals on their test.
    * Put clarifier in water Wednesday evening
    * Upon research online, I made a filter with packed pillow stuffing to see if it would catch some iron. Ran that for 12 hours Wednesday evening until this morning. Pillow stuffing was slightly rusty brown but nothing extreme at all, especially for running the pump for 12 hours continuously. Filters not clogged at all. Water looks the same.

    Did I not wait long enough for the metal free to do its job? The water test showed no iron after the metal free and chlorine/shock. Are the overhanging oak trees releasing tannins or pollens into the water causing the discoloration? What do you think?

    Thanks.

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Clear Rusty Brown Pool Water

    Welcome to TFP!

    The clear but rusty brown appearance is indicative of iron in the water. But, to tell for sure whether the stains are from metals or organic origin (e.g., the trees), try this test: Take a Vitamin C tablet and hold/rub it on the stain for a minute or two. If it lifts, then it is caused by metals. If that does nothing, then follow the same process using a trichlor puck. If the stain lifts, then it is organic. Report back on what you find.
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    Re: Clear Rusty Brown Pool Water

    BoDarville......I will do as you instructed and let you know the results.

    As a note, I do know that my trees put off a brown "substance". During June I was doing a building project and had bright white aluminum fascia laying under the oak trees for about a month. The fascia developed these brown spots that I could not remove that I had assumed were from the trees. They were not plentiful, so I did not think they could affect the pool.

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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: Clear Rusty Brown Pool Water

    What if you did a test with two buckets of pool water, one with tree debris, one without. Cover or move then away from the tree and see if you make tree tea or if both turn brown.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Clear Rusty Brown Pool Water

    Quote Originally Posted by techguy
    What if you did a test with two buckets of pool water, one with tree debris, one without. Cover or move then away from the tree and see if you make tree tea or if both turn brown.
    I could try this. I would have to use fresh water though since my pool water is already compromised. I would then have to try and duplicate every step in the same ratios. Might be hard to do with a 5 gallon bucket.

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    Re: Clear Rusty Brown Pool Water

    Quote Originally Posted by BoDarville
    Welcome to TFP!

    The clear but rusty brown appearance is indicative of iron in the water. But, to tell for sure whether the stains are from metals or organic origin (e.g., the trees), try this test: Take a Vitamin C tablet and hold/rub it on the stain for a minute or two. If it lifts, then it is caused by metals. If that does nothing, then follow the same process using a trichlor puck. If the stain lifts, then it is organic. Report back on what you find.
    2 questions:

    1. This may be a stupid question but ,for the vitamin C, my pool store only has a $50 quantity of this. Can I just use vitamin c tabs from a pharmacy or is that different?

    2. The pool store has me using Leslie's Chlor Brite which is a Dichlor Granule. Can I substitute that for the Trichlor puck?

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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: Clear Rusty Brown Pool Water

    1. This may be a stupid question but ,for the vitamin C, my pool store only has a $50 quantity of this. Can I just use vitamin c tabs from a pharmacy or is that different? If you are just looking to test the effectiveness of Vitamin C on stains, the tabs will work fine. If you are looking to do a full AA, there are better sources than the pool store.

    2. The pool store has me using Leslie's Chlor Brite which is a Dichlor Granule. Can I substitute that for the Trichlor puck? Do you know what your CYA is? if it's high, both dichlor and trichlor are not going to be effective at killing algae and will aggravate a high CYA. liquid Chlorine is likely a better source. Read this: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-..._chlorine_pool
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: Clear Rusty Brown Pool Water

    Just a note, the recommendations of Leslies and the recommendations here are likely to be polar opposites. You need to choose TFP or Leslie's recommendations as mixing the two will only lead to bad results and lost money and time.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Clear Rusty Brown Pool Water

    Be very careful when holding the trichlor tablet on the stain. It will quickly fade your liner if you hold it there too long.
    John
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    Use Iron Out in Pool Water ?????

    Merged by moderator. If it is related, please keep it together. Thanks, jblizzle

    Some of you may remember a post of mine last week concerning brownish water. I did determine that it is in fact from the iron even though I put a chemical in first so the iron wouldn't react with the chlorine. I tried every pool store chemical and homemade filtration in addition to the pump filter that I could. I was ready to drain the water and pay to have some water delivered. Before I did that I decided to try the iron out that you see all over the internet, ya know the chemical to be put through your home plumbing. It is actually working and clearing the water. I was hesitant to do it because their website says they do not recommend its use for pools, which I believe would be because that is not its intended purpose and it may not have been tested with pool chemicals and what not. My question is........what do you guys think about using the iron out in a pool? I have read all over the internet about people using it and yet I cannot find anybody complaining negatively about things such as skin and eye irritation or anything like that (safety issues). I have a 2 year old and would like to hear from others on here before we swim in it, hopefully some of you have actually been doing this for some time and can tell me how you've done with it. Thanks.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Clear Rusty Brown Pool Water

    If you serach "iron out" in the handy dandy search bar at the top of the page, you will get a few posts about it. Including these:
    using-iron-out-t22758.html
    sodium-dithionite-iron-out-t32866.html

    Basically seems like it is generally safe, but cheaper to use citric or ascorbic acid.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Clear Rusty Brown Pool Water

    Unless I am missing something, you are mixing up stain removers (vitamin C, citric acid) with sequestrants. Stain removers lift iron stains off of the walls and put the iron into the water. Sequestrant binds to iron in the water and prevents it from forming stains. If the water is brown, but the walls are clean, there is no point in using a stain remover, you should be using a sequestrant.

    MetalFree is a sequestrant, but not one of the ones we recommend using. Sequestrants based on HEDP, phosphonic acid, or phosphonic acid derivatives are far more 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.
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