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Thread: Water is Yellow. Never seen anything like it.

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    Water is Yellow. Never seen anything like it.

    I'm helping a friend with his pool.

    He bought a small 3300 gallon intex and asked me about what to do to keep it up since knows i have a pool. I told him about TFP and told him that since he was dealing with such a small pool just to get a chlorine drop test and maintain.

    I also told him about BBB and not to get tablets etc. but of course he didn't listen...

    He called me on Saturday saying his pool water was turning green in the midst of his kid's pool party. I told him not to worry about and to shock it that evening when the party was over.

    I asked him if he bought bleach like I told him and of course he told me he bought tablets. Told me that he added the tablet that day.

    I later found out that water had been sitting in the pool for four days so I explained to him that tablets were for maintaining FC at best and that he basically had no chlorine in the pool and thats why he had algae. No big deal I figured.

    He mentioned that he added a half bag of trichlor because the "bleach didn't do anything."

    I went by his house this morning to test his pool with my TF kit so I could give him all his numbers to use in the calc. On the way he's telling me about how green it is etc. and I'm joking with him about him not listened to me in the first place and now he's gone and bought a tub of tablets AND powder shock (trichlor).

    I get there and the water is yellow. I'm talking pee yellow. The water is clear not cloudy.

    Here's his values for start:

    FC: 12.5
    CC: 1
    PH: <6.8
    CYA: <30
    TA: <20???

    I figure he needs to get his PH up first of all. and then continue to shock. I have no idea about the yellow water. I know shocking a pool throws off the PH but with it at only 12FC I don't think it would throw the test that bad (mine usually reads really high while shocking).

    I read a little about metals in the pool school and saw that yellow water can by symptomatic of that. He has well water, and we just got a ton of rain over the last couple days.

    Also the TA test kind of had me puzzled. After two drops the test turned from green, slight pink, then clear. As it sat there it started to turn almost a charcoal color...really bizzare.

    To my knowledge he's added a half bag of trichlor, a tablet, and some bleach. All I can figure is that he's got some weird reaction to the metal in his water? I jokingly told him he needed to get his water tested and they would probably condemn his house.

    So far I've left him with a list to get bleach and borax from the store. Should he try to use a sequester while the PH is low right now? I dunno my knowledge just tells me to SLAM till the water is clear but this beats most anything I've seen.

    The pic doesn't do it justice imo...I feel it is more golden yellow than this. Maybe it is just an algae bloom. The pick seems kind of greenish.
    Here's a pic:

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    Waldog's Avatar
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    Re: Water is Yellow. Never seen anything like it.

    I too am on a well, and in my research before I called out the water truck I found most folks seen this sort of thing with well water with iron content... and once bleach was added the pool would turn this color, or a brownish color.

    Not sure if that's what's going on here but could be. If it's a high mineral content... the stock pump may not work well enough to help clear things up.

    Hopefully someone else will come along with more advice.
    Installed May 2014 - 16' x 48" Summer Escapes Pro Series Pool AG Vinyl (6,000 gal) - Intex 2650 Sand Filter - Christmas, FL

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    Re: Water is Yellow. Never seen anything like it.

    wow. never have saw that color before. be interesting when the experts chime in. with a CC of 1 though, I can tell you that a SLAM is in order. anything over .5 means SLAM. id call him and tell him to start stocking up on good quality bleach. and for goodness sake, ditch the tablets.
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Water is Yellow. Never seen anything like it.

    Not sure what to tell you.... Is there any chance your friend bought bromine stuff for a hot tub by mistake?

    Check this thread: http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...eeds-help-LOL?
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    Re: Water is Yellow. Never seen anything like it.

    Is it me, or is that pool off level?
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    Re: Water is Yellow. Never seen anything like it.

    Looks like metals in the water.
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    Re: Water is Yellow. Never seen anything like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by gtnos View Post
    wow. never have saw that color before. be interesting when the experts chime in. with a CC of 1 though, I can tell you that a SLAM is in order. anything over .5 means SLAM. id call him and tell him to start stocking up on good quality bleach. and for goodness sake, ditch the tablets.
    Yeah I've already preached all that and def told him needs to keep SLAMing. I showed him what I was testing and what it meant and that CC= still need to shock. I guess we shouldn't be too baffled by the color it until the CC is 0 and passing OCLT?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Xexys View Post
    Is it me, or is that pool off level?
    Oh yeah it is. It's not too horrible...its only a 14ft. pop-up pool. It's probably off by an inch.
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    Re: Water is Yellow. Never seen anything like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by thepopo View Post
    Yeah I've already preached all that and def told him needs to keep SLAMing. I showed him what I was testing and what it meant and that CC= still need to shock. I guess we shouldn't be too baffled by the color it until the CC is 0 and passing OCLT?
    if it was my pool, based on what Richard said and my own knowledge, I would:

    1. Double check what chemicals I bought / used.

    2. get the pH up to par and start SLAMMING.

    3. If yellow color or other issues are still present, start testing for metals.
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    Re: Water is Yellow. Never seen anything like it.

    That thread mentioned a PH/TA crash. His PH is at the bottom of what is testable...and the TA test was really weird and absurdly low if it can be trusted (it turned all sorts of colors).
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    Re: Water is Yellow. Never seen anything like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by thepopo View Post
    That thread mentioned a PH/TA crash. His PH is at the bottom of what is testable...and the TA test was really weird and absurdly low if it can be trusted (it turned all sorts of colors).
    i do agree that TA result is quite disturbing. Id go ahead and add some baking soda per pool calc and see what happens. I cant imagine it getting much worse than it is now.
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    Re: Water is Yellow. Never seen anything like it.

    Yellow water is from iron in the water. Add a startup dose of sequestrant and lower the FC level and it should turn blue.

    Meantime, you do need to work on PH and TA.
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    Re: Water is Yellow. Never seen anything like it.

    Just reinforcing what JasonLion said. It's iron. It occurs in my pool as well. Sequestrant and letting the FC come down on it's own will get it back to blue.
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    Re: Water is Yellow. Never seen anything like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    Just reinforcing what JasonLion said. It's iron. It occurs in my pool as well. Sequestrant and letting the FC come down on it's own will get it back to blue.

    Much thanks to you and Jason. What is Sequestrant exactly? I've never had to deal with it or source it out. Is it something that is called something else at maybe Wal-mart or do I need to tell him to go to the pool store? Is it the same stuff branded as "Stain and Scale" remover in the pool section?

    Oh and one other special thanks to Dave. I ordered some new test chems on Friday before Memorial Day weekend and the stuff was at my door on Tuesday with standard shipping. Meghan was really helpful as well. I'm gonna have to order some more R-0871 soon as daily testing at high FC levels to clean out up my own swamp has nearly exhausted it.
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    Re: Water is Yellow. Never seen anything like it.

    Thanks for the very kind words. We know we are a throwback to the old ways of doing business. We're just glad to be small enough to make it all work.

    Sequestrant prevents metals from precipitating out of your pool water by sort of "forcing" them to stay in soluble form.

    In other words, the metal (iron) is still there it is just in a form that is invisible.....it does not remove them from the water.....neither does anything else, for that matter.

    Sequestrants "wear out" over time so must be replenished in a pool with iron content in the water.

    There is no easy way around this other than to fill the pool with iron free water.
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    Re: Water is Yellow. Never seen anything like it.

    Get the pH and TA up before doing anything!!!! It isn't metal or anything else it is strictly pH and TA. Had a 20 x 40 IG customer 20 years ago called with the same exact issue. Took almost 50 lbs of sodum bicarb before the water cleared. As we added it in slowly you could see the water clear in front of a return and as it mixed would go back yellow.
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    Re: Water is Yellow. Never seen anything like it.

    swimcmp, the color is coming from iron, though it is PH/TA related. The iron in the water can take several forms, some of which are visible as a color and some of which are not visible. As the PH changes the most common state for the iron to be in changes, which tends to change the color. At very low PH you see yellow, at very high PH you see a yellow/green often referred to as green, and at normal PH you tend not to see the metals at all. But the metals are still there, even if you can't see them.

    The PH and TA certainly need to come up, and that may well cause the color to go away, but there is still iron in the water and it still needs to be dealt with or it can cause staining in the future rather than just coloring the water.
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    Re: Water is Yellow. Never seen anything like it.

    It this point I am tempted to say dump it and start over, it is a small pool afterall
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    Re: Water is Yellow. Never seen anything like it.

    Yeah I keep telling him to just start over...especially since he's on a well. Of course he didn't listen at startup when I told him to just fill, shock, and balance and he'd have no problems.

    Instead he filled it...let it sit for four days...decided it was turning a color and added tablet. It's been difficult but this new yellow migraine has shown him the folly of thinking a pool, even a small one, is maint free.

    I told him to focus on getting the TA and PH corrected and that the metal might stop precipitating. I figure if his PH is exceptionally low...espcially given all the rain we just got...it really might be making the iron in the water do some weird things.

    Thanks for all ya'll help. I'll try to remember to post back and let you guys know how it turned out.
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    Re: Water is Yellow. Never seen anything like it.

    Dump would be a good idea but then is there an alternate source to refill?

    post back and let you guys know how it turned out.
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