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Thread: Iron stain aftermath help please

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    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Birmingham, AL
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    Iron stain aftermath help please

    Hello all,

    New pool owner here. About to throw in the towel and just hire someone. Bought the house and moved my mother in last August. Over the fall, she put iron wire mesh in pool over skimmer openings to catch leaves. Went to open pool up a month ago and added ph+ to 7.8 and cal-hypo shock to 11+. Water was crystal clear, but immediately water coming from ports turned yellow/brown. Water cleared but entire liner was stained brown. Pool store gave me Pool Stain Treat (oxalic acid with, supposedly, sequestrant already added) and told me put in 4 lbs. Where it set, liner immediately cleared. No change a day later. Went back and they sold me Baquacil to reduce chlorine to zero and add another 6 lbs. Stain disappeared. Ph dropped to 6.8 and chlorine was zero. Added ph+ to 7.4 and started adding bleach, one gallon per day. On the third day the stain started returning. Argh! I then went to another pool store and got 4 lbs of Natural Chems Stain Free (citric acid), a bottle of poly60, and 2 bottles of Jack's Magenta Stuff. They tried to sell me a phos out chemical and calcium increaser? I didn't buy those. Used the the stain free and worked like a charm in an hour on recirc. Then added Jack's and pool turned milky white/blue. Been using chlorox daily for last 8 days and no change. Today noticed there is starting to be a brown stain around waterline on the steps.

    I have a 26,000-28,000 gallon in-ground, vinyl liner pool near Birmingham, Alabama. For chemicals, I have cal-hypo shock, trichlo tabs, 2 lbs of Natural Chem Stain Free, one bottle of Jack's Magenta Stuff, ph+, ph-, half a bottle of Baquacil, two buckets of Arm and Hammer ph and alkaline tabs in one, and lots of chlorox bleach. I have the Taylor 2005 test kit.

    My levels are:
    FC: 0
    TC: .2?
    CC: .2?
    B: .5?
    PH: 7.0
    CYA: 100
    TA: 90
    CH: 110

    I put question marks after some results because I have some color change but not enough for the minimum on the test scale.
    Please help.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Iron stain aftermath help please

    Welcome to TFP!

    Iron in your water is a pain to deal with no matter what you add to the water. It will always require regular additions of sequestrant and care in maintaining pH and chlorine levels.

    If you have iron-free fill water to replace the pool water with, that is your best solution. Just don't drain below 1ft of water in the shallow end.

    I'm a little dubious that just the mesh added enough iron to cause such a problem, so you may want to verify that your fill water has no iron before you consider a refill.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Birmingham, AL
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    Re: Iron stain aftermath help please

    Accidentally reposted this thread. Thanks for replying. So all I can do at this point is drain and refill? And how can I test for iron in the City water? I did add two bags of CULator. The pool stores locally I called don't test for metals.
    Birmingham, Alabama 26,000 gal, vinyl liner, in-ground pool, Hayward sand filter-300 lbs, 20 gpm. 1 hp motor

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    Re: Iron stain aftermath help please

    Here are some pics from last year after we bought the house to pics of during the oxalic treatment to pics from today.

    http://s105.photobucket.com/user/bam...bile%20Uploads
    Birmingham, Alabama 26,000 gal, vinyl liner, in-ground pool, Hayward sand filter-300 lbs, 20 gpm. 1 hp motor

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Iron stain aftermath help please

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul W View Post
    Accidentally reposted this thread. Thanks for replying. So all I can do at this point is drain and refill? And how can I test for iron in the City water? I did add two bags of CULator. The pool stores locally I called don't test for metals.
    You can fight it with sequestrant, but it will be an ongoing headache. Unless water is expensive, I would consider an ascorbic acid treatment followed by a drain and refill. If you live near the end of an older water line, you could have issues with iron in your pipes. Any iron stains on plumbing fixtures?
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Join Date
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    Birmingham, AL
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    Re: Iron stain aftermath help please

    The housing division was built in about 2001 and this house was built in 2003. I don't notice any staining on any of the indoor or outdoor plumbing fixtures. The pool was installed in 2009. We had no problems with metal staining all last summer or early fall and didn't use any chemicals other than the cal-hypo, trichlor tabs, and ph+. The stains only showed up last month after not using or keeping chemicals in pool over the winter. I still have 2 lbs of the citric acid treatment. If the iron is getting in from the city water, should I go ahead and do a partial drain and refill after another acid treatment? So much information.
    Birmingham, Alabama 26,000 gal, vinyl liner, in-ground pool, Hayward sand filter-300 lbs, 20 gpm. 1 hp motor

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