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Thread: Metal Stains .3ppm Copper

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    Metal Stains .3ppm Copper

    I have a test kit and all my levels are always good but obviously I cannot test metal. I am on a well and use it to fill. I run it through filter that goes on the end of a hose but I am getting absolutely terrible metal stains this year. Years past were bad but this is unsightly. I know they are metal because I have already done the vitamin C test and an FYI is that I try to keep my PH lower around 7.1 to 7.3. I opened the pool this year with the ascorbic acid treatment because the chlorine was 0 and followed with metal magic and things looked pretty good, probably the best in 2 years, but now the stains are the worse since putting the pool in. One other comment is that I saw some "pink gel" by some seals. I thought it was an algae but the pool store, there to buy a filter not chemicals, said that it was likely the result of metals.

    So I went to the pool store, which I normally don't do since finding troublefreepool, to get opinion and prices on metal removing products. The pool store guy I think I actually had some respect for because he did not just try to sell me something and said that first he needed to find the level of metal before going forward. He also told me that high metals will attack the fiberglass and eat away at the bond line between the molded sections of the pool because he said most fiberglass pools are not one mold. I question this but then thought back to 2 deep scratches in the pool floor after the first or second season of having the pool. I have no idea how or where these deep scratches could have come from and still don't. He recommended I change my filter system from a cartridge to a sand or DE filter because he said that the cartridge filters are not as effective to pull small things from the water like metal. He said I can control the metals and metal stains without a new filter but then I would spend more on chemicals.

    Pool Store readings were:
    FC: 0
    PH: 7.4
    TA: 40
    No Iron
    Copper: .3ppm

    Our test kit reading 6 hours later:
    FC: .5
    CC: .5
    TC: 1
    PH: 6.8
    TA: 40
    CH: 300
    CYA: 70
    Based on this and the pool calculator, we are adding borax and baking soda to increase the PH to around 7.2 and TA to 110.

    The pool store recommended the stain remover (ascorbic acid) and run 24 hours and then add metal free. I basically agree with all this but not sure if their stain remover and metal free are good or if Jacks or some other are better brands. The next thing they recommended, which I am not sure about is to add Ultimate Scale and Stain Remover as preventative maintenance every 4 to 8 weeks (I need to verify timing) Has anyone heard of this or have any opinion. I normally do not like adding other chemical other than the pool school recommendations but I think metal stains are a special animal especially for a well water pool owner.

    Here are my questions?
    1) Does anyone have any knowledge of this Ultimate Scale and Stain Remover from Leslies? Sorry I could not attach a picture because it said the file was too large.
    2) Any comment regarding metals attacking the bondline.
    3) In a previous thread that I read it was noted to "Do not shock! Do not shock for at least 2 weeks!" Why do we not shock after the ascorbic acid and metal free steps to quickly get the chlorine levels stable?
    4) What are the risks of having too much chlorine in the pool other than dry skin and eyes burning? What level of FC is considered too much chlorine?
    5) What is a skimmer sock? Isn't is just like putting panyhose on the skimmer? Are there chemicals in a skimmer sock?
    6) Should I put wait for the PH and TA to raise before adding the ascorbic acid?
    7) Should I wait 24 hours before adding the metal free?
    8) Should I really consider changing from my cartridge filter to a sand or DE filter because of my high risk metal problem because I am on well water?
    9) Do you think that pink gel was metals?

    Thanks to all! This site and forum are amazing and I recommend them to everyone with or thinking about a pool.
    Mitch
    Michigan
    8000 gal, IG, Fiberglass, Jandy CS 200 Cartridge Filter, Normal operating pressure with a clean filter is 11 PSI

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Re: Metal Stains .3ppm Copper

    I've no experience with metals in the pool, so I will stay away from those questions. FWIW, there seem to be a few metals threads going on now. You may want to visit them in case something of value pops up.

    4) In addition, I believe high FC can attack your pool walls for vinyl (not sure about fiberglass). FC levels up to shock level are safe for all pools. Of course shock level is dependent on CYA level. the Chlorine / CYA Chart says you are good up to 28 ppm for CYA 70.

    5) socks or panty hose are commonly used. THey are suspended in front of skimmers and / or return lines. Slow dissolving chemicals like CYA are put in them.

    8) I always heard that cartridge filters were best, but I think that had a lot to do with no backwashing required to maintain them.

    Read Metals in the Water and Metal Stains. I read in some of the other metal issue threads that AA and FC don't mix. Again, Im not the expert on this, so I will defer to others for detailed guidance for you.
    16x32 DiamondBrite kidney, 12,500 gal. (circa 1985) 3/4hp Hayward SII, Harmsco BF84, Taylor K-2006, Hayward SwimPure Plus / Tcell-15
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    prior 17k gal. vinyl, Sand filter

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    Re: Metal Stains .3ppm Copper

    Dear DogsHouse, thank you for the reply. I do follow the Chlorine/CYA Chart and I do use pantyhose at the begining of the season for the CYA but I had not really heard of use other than the other thread. Interesting that you heard cartridge filters were the best, maybe the filter type depends on what you use it for.

    Is there any way to get more replies? I really do not know where else to turn to if I cannot get answers from this website/forum?

    Pool store guy told me that my levels were perfect and that now that I added the borax and baking soda to raise the TA and PH that I would have to wait 5 days or the acorbic acid or metal free would pull that rather than the metal so now I am waiting again.
    Mitch
    Michigan
    8000 gal, IG, Fiberglass, Jandy CS 200 Cartridge Filter, Normal operating pressure with a clean filter is 11 PSI

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Metal Stains .3ppm Copper

    I'll take some of these questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by foosboy2
    One other comment is that I saw some "pink gel" by some seals. I thought it was an algae but the pool store, there to buy a filter not chemicals, said that it was likely the result of metals.
    More than likely, this "pink gel" is a bacterial growth known as Pink or Red Slime. It is also sometimes called Pink Algae but this is a misnomer since the root cause is a bacterium, not algae which is plant-based. Therefore, algaecides will do nothing to either prevent or get rid of Pink Slime. The slime formed around the bacteria provide it with a high level of protection. In addition to clinging to the walls of a pool, it has an affinity for PVC plastics and will attach itself to both the inside and the outside of PVC materials that are a part of, or attached to, the pool. This includes your pool’s plumbing as well as your cleaner/vacuum. Since your test results show that FC got down to 0 combined with a CYA of 70, this provided ideal conditions for Pink Slime to get started. To get rid of Pink Slime, you will need to SLAM Your Pool. SLAM stands for Shock Level And Maintain. The key part is "Maintain". The SLAM process is not a single-dose treatment. You will need to continuously maintain a shock FC target level for your CYA according to this chart: Chlorine CYA Chart. In order to properly perform this process, you will need one of the Recommended Test Kits. You will not be able to rely on Pool Store testing for this one. Here's what I would do to prep for the SLAM in your case:

    1. Do a partial drain & refill to get the CYA down into the 30-50 ppm range. This will make it easier to perform the SLAM process. Going forward, use plain unscented bleach for chlorination. This will not increase CYA like trichlor tabs and dichlor powders will.
    2. See if having metal-free water trucked in is a reasonable-cost option. No harm can come from having the facts on this and you will know for future reference.
    3. After you have refilled the pool to its normal water level, add sequestrant to the water. The high chlorine levels needed for the SLAM may result in metals precipitating from the water and could form stains on the surface. The sequestrant will minimize this risk.
    4. Adjust the pH to between 7 and 7.2 before you begin the SLAM. Once you begin the SLAM, ignore pH. Do not test or adjust it until you have completed the SLAM and FC drops to 10 ppm or less.
    5. Begin the SLAM process.


    Quote Originally Posted by foosboy2
    1. Does anyone have any knowledge of this Ultimate Scale and Stain Remover from Leslies?
    I would simply use a sequestrant based on HEDP, phosphonic acid, or phosphonic acid derivatives - these are the most effective. As for brand-names, ProTeam's Metal Magic and Jack's Magic The Pink Stuff(regular), The Blue Stuff (fresh plaster), and The Purple Stuff (salt) are some of the top sequestrants. Sequestrants bind to the iron and prevent it from depositing as stains - they do not remove it. Unfortunately,all sequestrants break down over time so you need to be constantly adding more. If you look into the feasibility of having metal-free water trucked in, I would weigh the cost of future sequestrant additions when evaluating the cost of the trucked-in water.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Metal Stains .3ppm Copper

    It is interesting that the pool store said you have copper and not iron in the water. It is pretty rare for copper to occur naturally in the water. Take a sample of your well water and have it tested for metals and post the results here. Is there a chance your pool has ever had a mineral pack or algaecide containing copper used in the water? Have you ever had a heater with copper heat exchanger?

    Questions 1 & 2 I don't have an answer for.

    3. If you raise FC too quickly the metals that were sequestered after the AA treatment will drop out of solution and stain the pool. You will need to keep your pH in the 7.0-7.2 range during this time as well.
    4. FC higher than your target range will fade swimsuits and degrade elastic faster. It will also degrade pool cleaners, toys, floats, ect that are left in the water. If you have metals in the water it will promote metal stains.
    5. A skimmer sock is a little thicker than a stocking, kind of like tights vs pantyhose, so it is a little more durable. However knee hi hose are cheaper and easier to find and work just as well. Skimmer socks do not contain chemicals.
    6. According to the instructions for Ascorbic Acid treatment you wait 24 hours before raising pH or TA. You want to keep pH in the low end of the range to keep the metals in solution.
    7. When the stain is gone add the metal sequestrant.
    8. Your pool store guy is mistaken. Sand filters allow much larger particles through than Cartridge filters. DE will filter finer than cartridge or sand, but I do not think it would be worth it to change out your filter. If you have metals in your fill water the best remedy is to use a sequestrant on a regular basis after you have treated the stains.
    9. I have no idea what the pink gel was, but I do not think it was metals.
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  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Metal Stains .3ppm Copper

    Dear BoDarville, thank you for the reply and information. I definitely already have the recommended test kits and use that to maintain all the levels recommend by this site so I always keep my FC between 3-7. The only time I do not keep it at that level is when I am about to do the ascorbic acid treatment. So my FC has been maintained and yet I still observed the "Pink Slim" and that is why I somewhat believe the pool store person that it was residue from the metals or sequestant agents that I used. I also only use liquid bleach except when I leave for vacation and then I leave the auto chlorinator with the tabs. I have investigated trucking in the water and it is about $250-$300 which I will likely do next year for fill but I have no choice during the times to top it off from the kids splashing the water out, than to top with my hose that is from my well. I thought the sequestrants were supposed to bind to the iron and copper and then the filter would catch it and it could be removed. Do any of the filters catch the metals when bound to the sequestrants? I like your suggestion/information regarding a sequestrant based on HEDP, phosphonic acid, or phosphonic acid derivatives - these are the most effective, I will investigate this.
    Mitch
    Michigan
    8000 gal, IG, Fiberglass, Jandy CS 200 Cartridge Filter, Normal operating pressure with a clean filter is 11 PSI

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    Re: Metal Stains .3ppm Copper

    Dear Zea3, that is a great idea to test both the well water and the pool water. I will do that today. I did use an algaecide at pool closing and maybe a little at the pool opening but there has been a lot of water added since then. Other than that I only use the chemicals prescibed on this site. I do have a heater but I am not sure if I have a copper heat exchanger. Still I cannot believe that the amount of stains I have is from that. I also see blue/green flakes occasionally in my filter and thought that they were coming off the heater and assumed it was off the copper from the heater so I guess I assumed I had copper in there somewhere. Thank you for the answers to the other questions. That totally makes sense about shocking. Also interesting about the filters. Thank you for the information.
    Mitch
    Michigan
    8000 gal, IG, Fiberglass, Jandy CS 200 Cartridge Filter, Normal operating pressure with a clean filter is 11 PSI

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Metal Stains .3ppm Copper

    Usually metal residue is a brown/copper color. I've never heard of metals leaving a pink, slimy residue. I suppose it's possible that it could be residue from the sequestering agents. Perhaps someone who has recently used Metal Magic can weigh in and see if they noticed any pink residue. If you can post a pic of the pink residue, that would help us diagnose. If not, feel the pink residue. If it feels slippery, I would still suspect Pink Slime. Another way to tell...true Pink Slime will spread into the inside of your PCV piping, filter/skimmer baskets, and eventually onto the pool surface. A neighbor of mine had a case of Pink Slime a few years ago and he told me that he first noticed a pink slimy residue when he cleaned out his skimmer basket.
    Quote Originally Posted by foosboy2
    Do any of the filters catch the metals when bound to the sequestrants?
    It's possible that the filter might capture some of the metal, but likely not all of it.

    One other low-cost trick you can try if you actually let the iron precipitate out (assuming you can deal with the rusty orange color for a while) is to try the "Paper Towel" method which involves placing about 3-4 sheets of paper towels in the skimmers. The paper towels may remove some of the precipitated metal particles. No guarantee this will work, but it is a low cost - low impact alternative worth trying, so I will put it on the table. Some members have had some success with this (see this thread: http://www.troublefreepool.com/a-tal...er-t46130.html) - scroll to Post #14 to see a picture of the iron filtered out by the paper towels. If you try this method, check on the paper towels every couple of hours or so while the filter is running. Replace towels as needed.

    BTW, good job on looking into the trucked-in water. At least you know about how much this will cost and it's always good to have options.

    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Metal Stains .3ppm Copper

    I have orange and pink slime. I have a picture but it seems that you can only upload very small size pictures.

    Interesting about the paper towel because they were actually trying to sell me some product that would do something similar at the pool store.

    Thanks for the comments and ideas.

    Friday is the tentative day to start the ascorbic acid treatment. Then Saturday throw the metal free in. I will likely try the paper towel idea as well.
    Mitch
    Michigan
    8000 gal, IG, Fiberglass, Jandy CS 200 Cartridge Filter, Normal operating pressure with a clean filter is 11 PSI

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Metal Stains .3ppm Copper

    Tomorrow we will check the chemical levels and likely start the ascorbic treatment. One question is that I have read and seen conflicting views on when to add the metal free from before adding the ascorbic to one hour after to 24 hours after. Does it matter? Also I am now able to add the pictures of the scale and stain preventer and the orange and pink slime/gel.


    Here is the scale and stain preventer.

    Here is the orange and pink slime/gel. Usually only pink.
    Mitch
    Michigan
    8000 gal, IG, Fiberglass, Jandy CS 200 Cartridge Filter, Normal operating pressure with a clean filter is 11 PSI

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Metal Stains .3ppm Copper

    I could be wrong, but my guess would be suntan lotion if your chemicals have been good.
    12000 Gallon IG Plaster built 2/15/2014. Jandy 340 sg ft 127 gpm filter, Jandy 1 HP stealth pump. Circupool RJ-45 SWG (overkill). TF-100 with Speed Stir.

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