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Thread: Brown Stains - Need HELP

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    Brown Stains - Need HELP

    This is my first time posting but have been reading and using suggestions from here since we opened our pool 3 years ago. I use the TF-100 test kit since day one.

    This is our third year with our pool. We have a swg, 16x32 vinyl on ground pool, 13,400 gal approximately. Just recently we noticed brown stains on the bottom of the pool. We tried a chlorine tab on the bottom over the weekend and it seemed to help but they are starting to return. Numbers yesterday were:

    FC-3.5
    CC-0
    TC-3.5
    TA-100
    Ph-7.8
    CH-50
    CYA-50

    These numbers have been fairly consistent since we have had the pool. This year at opening I had a hard time getting (just waiting) for the TC to drop down. At opening it was 14, a week later it was 15. We turned down the swg and brought it down to 7, turned it down more and had it at 4. We were going out of town and didn't want issues so turned it up a bit, when we came back a week later it was 8. Just checked it tonight TC is 5.5, plan on checking in the morning for loss and see what that tells me. In the mean time I am trying to figure it out. It's making me crazy! For 3 summers I have had beautiful clear water with very little effort. My husband keeps saying brown algae but my CC is 0. He has also suggested that it maybe coming from under the liner. Thoughts or suggestions please.

    16x32' 3.5' depth, vinyl liner, swg, Hayward sand filter and pump, Southern Maryland area.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Silver Spring, MD
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    Re: Brown Stains - Need HELP

    If it is algae it will brush off easily.

    If it doesn't brush off, try placing a vitamin C tablet on one of the stained areas and see if that has any effect.
    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

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    Re: Brown Stains - Need HELP

    It doesn't brush off. It is a stain. Tried the vitamin c yesterday, nothing happened, just added some vitamins to the water
    Did the chlorine tab and it worked but starting to see them again.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Silver Spring, MD
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    37,879

    Re: Brown Stains - Need HELP

    Do you have anything that might have added copper to the water? Copper is in some algaecides, ionizers, mineral systems, and can be etched out of gas heaters when the PH is very low.
    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

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    Re: Brown Stains - Need HELP

    No, we have absolutely no copper pipes or anything else, no ionizer, no algaecides ever, only salt for the swg. No heater on the pool. Ph has never been below 7.2.

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    Re: Brown Stains - Need HELP

    I checked the CH again this morning and it is still 5.5, 0, 5.5.

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
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    Re: Brown Stains - Need HELP

    Is your pool 3 years old, or is it just you've been in the house with the pool for 3 years?

    I ask, because I've learned that liners are treated when new to prevent "undergrowth" if you will, but in rare cases an old liner can be subject to same. I have heard people complain of such a problem, but its difficult to work out. In my own case, i have some historic iron stains combined with what i suspect is under-liner growth in one corner on a 14 yr old liner. I havent entirely worked it out, but in my case, the true solution will be a new liner soon

    Usually, if the stain responds to chlorine and not vitamin c it would suggest it's organic in nature...whether above or below the liner

    There is a ferrous sulphate treatment I've read that you can apply to surrounding soil that might make a difference in time if that were in fact the problem (organic under the liner). (Essentially, by watering in this agricultural additive, you are changing the acidity of the surrounding soil to make it inhospitable to fungal growth...or so I'm told. I have not tried this.)

    If your pool is in fact only 3 years old, it might be worth asking the installer to take a look, and asking about the vinyl supplier and whether it had been known to be treated, and just see what he suggests.

    But before all that, I'm wondering if a good SLAM might first give you further clues...eg. If the liner is permeating, the slam would lighten but not entirely remove the stain. If its topside the vinyl, then perhaps the slam would eradicate it.
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: Brown Stains - Need HELP

    Ok, the pool framing is probably 12 years old, we put a new liner in 3 years ago when we moved the pool from a friends house down the street to ours. We are the installers! We leveled the ground with sand but did not treat it at all, we are the original owners of the house and have been here since we built our house 12 years ago.

    So I guess I'll try SLAMing the pool but according to my OCLT I did last night there is no indication of organic anything in the pool. I hesitate SLAMing only because my CC is already 0 so how would I ever tell I was done when I'm already at zero?

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