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Thread: Brown Water - I am at a loss

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Hernando, MS

    Brown Water - I am at a loss

    Good Afternoon,

    We have had this Intex above gound pool (22') for 2 years. This is the first year that we have tried to start with last year's water and we are at a loss. We have been fighting with our Saltwater pool for 3 weeks now and have spent quite a bit of money. My pool cover did not stay on over the winter and therefore when we started we had a lot of leaves in our black pool.

    We started by removing leaves and attempting to SLAM my pool with 8.25% bleach first. After much of that the pool went from black to a dark mud brown.

    We tried floc twice which seemed to make a small difference making it less dark.

    Per the recommendation of the pool company that had been testing my chemicals I bought and used YellowOut following the directions on the bottle which seemed to make the most difference to date.

    We tried YellowOut a second time which made no difference.

    Included should be two pictures of what the pool looks like now. It is still the lighter brown color and seems to be turning a little bit green again if you look straight down in the pool.

    Any ideas that can be thrown out there would be appreciated.

    I have a printout from the pool company's test from Wednesday. I have been back a few times since then but don't have the printout.

    Free Available Chlorine - 1.5 (according to test strips it is currently at 10ppm due to dichlor I have put in)
    Total Available Chlorine - 1.5
    Salt - 700 (have salt but am waiting to put this in)
    CH - 50 (I have the fix for this but am waiting to put it in as well)
    CYS - 80
    TA - 80
    PH 7.2 (my test strip shows about 7.4 today)
    Copper - 0
    Iron - 0
    Phosphates - 100ppb

    I have not started the SWG yet as I don't believe it would do much good getting rid of the algae. Mrs. Crump is concerned that the brown is not caused by algae but something else but we are not sure what it would be since the copper and iron are 0. Is 100ppb on the phosphates high enough to worry about. It just seems like we keep guessing at this and can't get to clear water.

    Also, one last thing to note. I have noticed that there is a small amount of sand where our filter's backwash drain is. Is that normal or is something wrong there? We have replaced the sand and checked the pipe that runs down the center of the filter and there were no cracks in that. Is there anything else I should check?

    Thanks in advance!


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

    Re: Brown Water - I am at a loss

    With CYA around 80 you want to keep FC between 6 and 11, and never below 6 for normal operation, and for SLAMing the pool you need to raise FC to 31.

    Given that, the odds are very high that you have yet to kill everything that is growing in the water.

    The brown could be from iron, but colors from metals don't cause any cloudiness at all. Take care of whatever is growing in your water first, and then if the color is still there we can explore the possibility that there is something related to iron going on.
    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

    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Sebring, Florida

    Re: Brown Water - I am at a loss

    I agree with JasonLion that you first need to SLAM the pool.

    This will be VERY different from the Pool Store advice so if you decide to learn TFPC pool care, we will advise you to stay COMPLERTELY out of the pool store.

    Keep browsing the forum to read the success stories....your pool can be cleaned up soon but you are going to have to make the decision to use the methods we suggest.

    read "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School. That will get you started and will likely have you asking some questions.

    While you are reading and learning, you will need to order one of the suggested kits that test for the parameters that are important. Pool store testing is inadequate and I can tell by what you have been tossing in the pool, they will not be able to get your pool clear.

    Let us know if you are ready to manage the pool by the methods we will teach you and having nothing more to do with the pool will be a real eye-opener.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Beens's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Virginia Beach, Va

    Re: Brown Water - I am at a loss

    It can be done and you can do it with the right tools! The first and most important tool is a good test kit. The type we use is not sold at most pool stores but is easily ordered online.

    If you decide to do it the TFP way, just start reading pool school and ask any questions here!

    Remember the pool stores make most of their money selling people expensive chemicals. We're not selling anything here. We just like helping people learn how to take care of their pools.

    Jump in with us!

    18' x 48" (42" water depth) Intex Metal Frame 6,700 Gallons
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1.0 HP pump
    Hayward Pro Series S166T Sand Filter
    Original Intex Floating Skimmer

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