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Thread: giant spots all over pool and spa that no one can diagnose

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    giant spots all over pool and spa that no one can diagnose

    Hello, my name is Grace and I have a home near Sarasota, Fl. It is a + or - 8,000 gal. salt water pool with a spa. The pool is about 7 yrs. old and we have not had any problems other than some mechanical parts and snakes going into the heater in winter.
    We left the house on Labor day weekend (9/1) and went back to NY. On Sept. 10, I received an email from the person who takes care of the pool telling me that there are enormous black spots all over the pool. They were not there the week before and when we left the water was nice and crystalline. He said they were not there the Tuesday after Labor day when he came and on 9/10 they were all over the place. He said he applied "Sea Klear 90 day algae prevention and remover". when he came back on 9/17, the application did not work. He said that he concluded that it was NOT organic because the application did NOT work.
    I arrived in Fl. last week and took the water to be tested at the local pool store and they told me that it was OK and clear. Our pool person sent a friend of his to look at the pool because he said he'd never seen anything like it. The new person told me right away that it was an EXTREME case of COPPER PLATING. He said water whether heating or not goes thru the heater and touch the copper coils in there. When the water gets saturated with copper, it splits and attaches itself to the walls. TREATMENT: We need to empty the pool, acid wash it and refill it. I spoke to several home inspectors and realtors whom I know and they all CATEGORICALLY told me that they never heard of or saw anything like it.
    I don't know what to do. I know my pool person is not the best at it, he just cleans pool well and is reliable, but that's all.
    Today, the Manatee County water department came and took samples of the pool water and even scraped the wall where the dark spots are. They are going to test for copper.
    Any suggestions? Has anyone seen anything like it before? If we need more advise, where do we turn? I would appreciate any input from you. Thank you. Grace If you'd like to see pictures of the spots, pls send me your email addr and I'll send them. Thanks.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: giant spots all over pool and spa that no one can diagno

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    The information you got about copper entering the water due to the heater is bad ... unless you allowed your pH to get way too low. Also, acid washing is not the proper way to remove metal staining ... if that is indeed what you have.

    Please post up some pictures so we can see what you are talking about. There are simple methods to determine whether the stain is organic or metallic that we can discuss later.

    Also please post up a full set of test results: pool-school/read_before_you_post
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: giant spots all over pool and spa that no one can diagno

    I would suspect that the copper is from algaecide. This sounds like someone broadcast cal hypo and caused the copper to stain.

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    Re: giant spots all over pool and spa that no one can diagno

    can you explain what it means when you say someone broadcast cal hypo? thanks.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: giant spots all over pool and spa that no one can diagno

    Quote Originally Posted by grg
    can you explain what it means when you say someone broadcast cal hypo? thanks.
    Threw the cal-hypo powder into the pool and it sat on the bottom.

    Has any algaecide been used in the pool? Do you have a mineral system? Pictures are going to help.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: giant spots all over pool and spa that no one can diagno

    I tried posting pictures but it didn't take. we use town water, it was tested today. results will be back in a week or so. the town water dept. is doing it and testing for copper. We have a salt chlorinator and tomorrow morning I can go out and get all the brands of products we have out there. I'm trying to create a file you can go to to see the pictures. I'll try again here but it didn't upload them before. Thanks for all your help. My husband is away on a business trip and I am stuck with this and know NOTHING about it.

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    Re: giant spots all over pool and spa that no one can diagno

    I created a file on Picasa and sent it with 7 pictures of the pool. I don't see it. the album name is: What are these stains?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: giant spots all over pool and spa that no one can diagno

    So post the link to the album or the pictures.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: giant spots all over pool and spa that no one can diagno

    Quote Originally Posted by grg
    He said he applied "Sea Klear 90 day algae prevention and remover".
    That is copper-based algaecide. If it is something he thinks works, then it is probably not the first time he has used it.

    When black stains develop due to calcium hypochlorite being broadcast in water containing copper, the stains develop as soon as the granules hit the pool floor, and would probably be seen by the person broadcasting the calcium hypochlorite.

    Extensive black organic stains usually take time to develop. Based on the time, organic staining is unlikely.

    post453895.html

    chlorine-powder-black-stains-t64275.html

    Can you post a full set of chemical readings?

    Are the stains on the floor and the walls?

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    Re: giant spots all over pool and spa that no one can diagno

    https://picasaweb.google.com/1108294768 ... xquj9-e2BA

    go to this link above to see the pictures. Thanks.

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    Re: giant spots all over pool and spa that no one can diagno

    Wow! Nice pool that deserved better care. Sure doesn't look like organic stains (algae) to me. You can just about confirm that by holding a tri-chlor puck onto the stained area for a minute or two. Unless it clears significantly, that a metal stain and surely copper like jamesW suggests.
    Dave S.
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    Re: giant spots all over pool and spa that no one can diagno

    It looks like you have a lot of copper staining. The turquoise and black stains are probably copper. Since it's on the walls, it's probably not from broadcasting cal hypo. What color is the plaster supposed to be?

    Note: A copper test might not show much copper in the water if all of the copper is on the plaster.

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    Re: giant spots all over pool and spa that no one can diagno

    The original color is a speckled white and light turquoise. Some parts are completely clear. Last week when I went to the local pool store, they gave me a product called "Spot Out" the main active ingr. is trichloro-s-triazinetrione. I applied crystals on flat bench in deep end. They said I should scrub well, apply crystals and then let it sit overnight. When I scrubbed stuff off next morning, the stain was completely gone. I need to know how to proceed. The pool guy says we should empty the pool, do an acid wash and then refill. I assume after acid wash we'll have to resurface the pool before we refill. Am I right? Is that the correct solution? Thanks.

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    Re: giant spots all over pool and spa that no one can diagno

    The plaster looks like it's turquoise all over. Is that the original color?

    Can you post some chemistry information and what chemicals have been used in the past few months?

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    Re: giant spots all over pool and spa that no one can diagno

    Duraleigh, the SPOT OUT I mentioned is tri-chlor, right? It took the spots out. I tried it in 2 different places and it worked in both. What is the correct treatment to get rid of all of this? Do you resurface the pool after acid wash? Thanks to all. Problem is becoming more and more clear in my mind.

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    Re: giant spots all over pool and spa that no one can diagno

    Duraleigh, the SPOT OUT I mentioned is tri-chlor, right?
    I don't know any brand names but you could look on the side of the container.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: giant spots all over pool and spa that no one can diagno

    Copper stains are difficult to remove. You might be able to do it by lowering the pH way down like an acid startup (a no-drain acid wash). That has its own risks. You would have to take the system off-line and remove anything metal, like lights and handrails. Then, if that works, you would need to drain and refill to get rid of the copper.

    Or, you could drain and acid wash and/or sand down the plaster. You don't need to replaster after acid washing, but the surface will be rougher unless you sand it smooth.

    Note 1: Draining a pool has risks due to ground water. It should only be done if you know how to do it safely.

    Note 2: Since this developed in less than a week, black algae would not be a likely possibility because it does not grow that fast.

    Note 3: You might want to review the maintenance procedures of the service person to see if they will be able to maintain the pool properly from now on. They should not be adding copper algaecide to your pool.

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    Re: giant spots all over pool and spa that no one can diagno

    thanks JamesW.. I'll keep you posted on what's going on. I am waiting for the county water test to confirm it is copper (although from everything I've read, it most likely is) and then we'll take it from there.

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: giant spots all over pool and spa that no one can diagno

    As stated before, any copper currently staining the walls will NOT show up on a water test because it is stuck on the wall. So the water could test clear of copper, but that still be the cause of the stain.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: giant spots all over pool and spa that no one can diagno

    Also note that the service person said that copper was added. Can you find out how much total copper the service person has added this year?

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