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Thread: newbie here HIGH COPPER/IRON LEVEL

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    smforte's Avatar
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    newbie here HIGH COPPER/IRON LEVEL

    I bought a home last year with a 16 x 36 Grecian style pool. Hayward pump/sand filter. Aqua Genie filter. I've been able to maintain the pool beautifully all summer with 2 3" chlorline tabs and the occasional pool shock by Leslies' pool called Power Powder Plus. We do not have a well but use city water. I do not have a pool heater. A few days ago I noticed algae starting to form on the sides of my pool. I took a sample in to Leslie's and had it tested. The manager's main concern was the copper/iron level of my water is 3+.....what ever that means. He said we could try chemicals which could end up costing $400 or more but couldn't guarantee that would solve the problem or I could drain half of the pool and refill and have it retested....which I'm doing now.

    Here is the water analysis.....I will have to write what is on the form since I'm not familiar with the correct terminology

    Free available Chlorine - 0
    Total Available Chlorine - 0
    Water pH - 7
    Total Alkalinity - 0
    Cyanuric Acid - 50
    Calcium Hardness - 50
    Total Dissolved Solids - 700
    Copper/Iron - 3+
    Phosphates - 400

    I'm not sure what all these means but nothing seems to be in line with the ideal range other than the pH level. Am I doing the right thing by draining half? I cannot afford to add over $400 of chemicals. Please help!!
    Montgomery, AL
    27000 16 x 36 IG, Vinyl, Grecian, Hayward Sand filter, 1 HP Pentair whisperflo motor, Aqua Genie filter not by choice, no extra jets, Dolphin s300i robotic cleaner,Taylor K 2006 test kit, speed-stir which I couldn't live without!

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    Re: newbie here HIGH COPPER/IRON LEVEL

    Welcome to tfp, smforte

    I am suspicious of those test results. I would guess you cya and CH are higher than listed since you have been using pucks (which add cya) and the "powder plus" that adds CH. We have found that pool store test results are very inconsistent, enough so that we tend to not put much faith in them.

    The 3+ for the metals would suggest that you would have staining on pool surfaces. What type of pool is this and do you have staining?

    Draining may or may not be the right approach.

    Do you know what the Iron and Copper levels are for your city water?

    Have you been using algaecides containing copper?
    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.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: newbie here HIGH COPPER/IRON LEVEL

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    First please realize that we generally do not trust pool store testing (or their advice) and I would highly recommend you get one of the Recommended Test Kits and take control of your pool.

    That said, we generally do not recommend buying your own metal test and trust the pool store for that Do you have any stains showing on any of your house fixtures that would indicate metals?
    Have you ever added any metal before? Or have a pool frog / nature 2?
    Although who know what was done before you bought it.

    I would suggest getting a second option on the metals ... also I though they tested for copper and iron separately? So that is odd.

    You will save yourself a lot of $ if you read Pool School and stop trusting pool stores for much of anything.

    After we figure out the metal situation, you will need to stop using tablets as they are adding stabilizer (CYA - cyanuric acid) to your pool and you are already at the top of our recommended range and stick with liquid chlorine / bleach. Also, since you have algae, you need to SLAM the pool. [slam:1u5j8r86][/slam:1u5j8r86]

    A lot of info overload, we have all been there, but if you take the time to learn and follow our recommendations, you will have a clearer pool while spending less $.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: newbie here HIGH COPPER/IRON LEVEL

    Holy smokes batman!! ok I understood probably 1/3 of what you guys just posted. Looks like I'm going to have to read the pool school section and hopefully get my husband to do the same. Most of all the pool maintenance falls on my shoulders though since I'm the one that wanted the darn thing. And I thought Leslie's Pools was the "go to" for everything. I do not have a pool frog. I put 2 3" chlorine tabs in the filter basket every couple days. When I noticed the green starting to form on the sides of my pool 2 days ago, I used 16 oz of Leslie's Algae control which I assumed wasn't enough but was all I had at the time. (I did that once last year when I first bought the house and it cleared it right up). Yesterday, I scrubbed the sides and vacuumed the pool and this morning it looks like I hadn't touched it. I also have no idea what the levels of our city water is. Right now I feel my head is barely above water. ; ) Live in AL where it is still in the 90s and so want to enjoy the pool for the next week or so.

    Since we inherited the pool I have no idea what all has been done to it or even how old it is. We bought the house as is, in foreclosure. There are rust rings around the pool ladder so this may be an ongoing problem? We also have tons of trees and pine trees around our pool which is a constant battle or should I say nightmare.
    Montgomery, AL
    27000 16 x 36 IG, Vinyl, Grecian, Hayward Sand filter, 1 HP Pentair whisperflo motor, Aqua Genie filter not by choice, no extra jets, Dolphin s300i robotic cleaner,Taylor K 2006 test kit, speed-stir which I couldn't live without!

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    Re: newbie here HIGH COPPER/IRON LEVEL

    Quote Originally Posted by smforte
    I put 2 3" chlorine tabs in the filter basket every couple days.
    Assuming your pool volume is ~ 20000 gallons, each puck (usually 8 oz) adds about 1.7 ppm cyanuric acid (cya) to your pool...assuming 1 puck per day, that equates to adding about 143 ppm of cya to your pool in three months...I highly doubt your cya is 50 ppm, and is likely going to be a problem since our recommendations are 30-50 ppm cya. Definitely get your own appropriate test kit as jbliz mentioned so that we can get a reliable measure of cya. Most likely you will need a partial drain/refill to lower it.

    Quote Originally Posted by smforte
    When I noticed the green starting to form on the sides of my pool 2 days ago, I used 16 oz of Leslie's Algae control which I assumed wasn't enough but was all I had at the time.
    Algaecides can be used to help prevent algae, but once you have it, chlorine is what you need along with the SLAM process jbliz mentioned. In general we do not recommend algaecides, since a properly chlorinated pool will not need it. It appears yours was not properly chlorinated probably due to the use of the pucks and the resulting high cya level. See: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...ater_chemistry and http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-..._chlorine_pool

    Quote Originally Posted by smforte
    And I thought Leslie's Pools was the "go to" for everything.
    Absolutely not...although I am sure somewhere there are knowledgeable employes at a leslies...that is not the combined experience of this board. That applies in general to all pool stores, but especially to leslies.
    Quote Originally Posted by smforte
    I put 2 3" chlorine tabs in the filter basket every couple days.
    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.

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    Re: newbie here HIGH COPPER/IRON LEVEL

    well this has certainly enlightened me. I found the published city water testing for 2013 but it said the last cooper was tested was 2011. Copper** aL = 1.3 ppm I'm trying to figure my exact gallon
    Montgomery, AL
    27000 16 x 36 IG, Vinyl, Grecian, Hayward Sand filter, 1 HP Pentair whisperflo motor, Aqua Genie filter not by choice, no extra jets, Dolphin s300i robotic cleaner,Taylor K 2006 test kit, speed-stir which I couldn't live without!

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    Re: newbie here HIGH COPPER/IRON LEVEL

    also when you say pucks are you referring to the chlorine tabs? I use 2 3" tabs every couple of days. Should I be using more than 2? and I have a test kit but have absolutely no idea how to use it. I failed chemistry in school. I've read you all use bleach. What kind? how much, how often?
    Montgomery, AL
    27000 16 x 36 IG, Vinyl, Grecian, Hayward Sand filter, 1 HP Pentair whisperflo motor, Aqua Genie filter not by choice, no extra jets, Dolphin s300i robotic cleaner,Taylor K 2006 test kit, speed-stir which I couldn't live without!

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    Re: newbie here HIGH COPPER/IRON LEVEL

    Quote Originally Posted by smforte
    also when you say pucks are you referring to the chlorine tabs?
    Yes, pucks=tabs...sorry about that.

    Quote Originally Posted by smforte
    I use 2 3" tabs every couple of days. Should I be using more than 2?
    No, your cya level is likely already too high (from the tabs), so you need a different chlorination source.

    Quote Originally Posted by smforte
    I have a test kit but have absolutely no idea how to use it.
    What test kit do you have?

    Quote Originally Posted by smforte
    I failed chemistry in school.
    Pool chemistry is much much easier than high school chemistry and all the information you need is in pool school (link near the upper right of page).

    Quote Originally Posted by smforte
    I've read you all use bleach. What kind? how much, how often?
    Not all of us use bleach all of the time. But when you are learning the basics of the methods taught on here, it is a good idea to start with bleach/liquid chlorine. Plain unscented bleach (avoid splashless or thickened) available at the almost any walmart or grocery store. Also higher percentage bleach, often called liquid chlorine available at hardware stores, pool stores, home improvement stores, sometimes walmart etc.
    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.

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    Re: newbie here HIGH COPPER/IRON LEVEL

    Do you think it necessary for me to drain half the pool? Wondering if 1/3 would be okay. But, Instead of bogging you guys down with 1 question after another I'm going to read the pool school thing. Since I don't seem to have any straight answers for you guys. The pool kit I bought was from....Leslies. The kind ya put the drops in. Problem is I have no idea how to read it so I just stuck it in a drawer on the patio. I thought as long as the pool was clear, clean and pretty I was doing everything right. Didn't think I was having any problems until the little green showed up same time as last year.
    Montgomery, AL
    27000 16 x 36 IG, Vinyl, Grecian, Hayward Sand filter, 1 HP Pentair whisperflo motor, Aqua Genie filter not by choice, no extra jets, Dolphin s300i robotic cleaner,Taylor K 2006 test kit, speed-stir which I couldn't live without!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: newbie here HIGH COPPER/IRON LEVEL

    You need to test the pool yourself and post up the results. Which kit do you have? If you got it from Leslie's, I am sure it is not one of the recommended kits, but it could be close.

    Once we know your CYA level, then we can talk about draining water.

    I would still suggest another source for the metal test result.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: newbie here HIGH COPPER/IRON LEVEL

    Welcome fellow Alabamian.

    First thing to do is go look at that test kit and tell us the model name or number and we can look it up?
    How long have you had it?

    Your pool is about [s:2l3g3n3e]15,000[/s:2l3g3n3e]See Post below gallons. You'll need to know that in order to figure the amounts of chems to add.

    Have you already started draining water from the pool? If you haven't, I'd take a sample to another store and have them test the metals. And maybe even a third, just to get a concensus. Once you do that, post back the numbers they give you and we'll go from there.

    I would pour 2 large jugs of 8.25% bleach in the pool now.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: newbie here HIGH COPPER/IRON LEVEL

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    Your pool is about 15,000 gallons. You'll need to know that in order to figure the amounts of chems to add.
    I get closer to 20000 assuming 5.5 ft average depth.
    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.

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    Re: newbie here HIGH COPPER/IRON LEVEL

    Yes, I already started draining. It's down about a foot. In my estimates I'm thinking somewhere between 20000 and 24,000 ? Hubby is bringing home bleach. Should I put it in while the level is low or when I fill it back up. The Test kit i have is a very basic kit. Basic Poolcare DPD Test Kit, Free Chlorine or Bromine, pH
    Montgomery, AL
    27000 16 x 36 IG, Vinyl, Grecian, Hayward Sand filter, 1 HP Pentair whisperflo motor, Aqua Genie filter not by choice, no extra jets, Dolphin s300i robotic cleaner,Taylor K 2006 test kit, speed-stir which I couldn't live without!

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    Re: newbie here HIGH COPPER/IRON LEVEL

    That kit is missing TA, CH, CYA and it is not good for FC and CC ... so, order one of the recommended kits.

    There is not too much hurry to add bleach while it is filling ... you can if you want and brush really well to mix it, or just wait until the pump is running.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: newbie here HIGH COPPER/IRON LEVEL

    Since you're filling with public water it should already have some chlorine in it so yoru can wait until you can run the pump if you want.

    I'll just echo what JB said, you need a good test kit.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: newbie here HIGH COPPER/IRON LEVEL

    Do I add the bleach directly into the pool and must i pour it into the filter? Don't want to harm the liner.
    Montgomery, AL
    27000 16 x 36 IG, Vinyl, Grecian, Hayward Sand filter, 1 HP Pentair whisperflo motor, Aqua Genie filter not by choice, no extra jets, Dolphin s300i robotic cleaner,Taylor K 2006 test kit, speed-stir which I couldn't live without!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: newbie here HIGH COPPER/IRON LEVEL

    Normally you pour the bleach slowly in front of a return jet and then leave the pump on for at least 30-60 minutes.

    Do not put it in the filter ... or the skimmer which is what I think you really meant.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: newbie here HIGH COPPER/IRON LEVEL

    Slowly pour it in front of a running return jet. That way it's dissolved almost instantly into the pool water.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: newbie here HIGH COPPER/IRON LEVEL

    ok...I didnt mean filter. Once I refill the pool, I will pour it in front of the skimmer. I have an Aqua Geanie filter that has the return jet underneath. That is the only form of circulation the pool has but seems to do the job. I will then brush the sides of the pool. Thanks guys for baring with me.
    Montgomery, AL
    27000 16 x 36 IG, Vinyl, Grecian, Hayward Sand filter, 1 HP Pentair whisperflo motor, Aqua Genie filter not by choice, no extra jets, Dolphin s300i robotic cleaner,Taylor K 2006 test kit, speed-stir which I couldn't live without!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: newbie here HIGH COPPER/IRON LEVEL

    No, not in front of the skimmer ... in front of the return jet of water so it mixes into the water. Oh, just finished reading your post ...

    Do you not have access to jet of water or is it just below the skimmer?

    I am surprised that is enough to provide good circulation for that sized pool.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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