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Thread: Still have metal stains after draining 85%!

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    Still have metal stains after draining 85%!

    **sorry for the long post. It's been a journey.**

    Please help! I was lucky enough to find this forum weeks before closing on my new home with my first ever pool. (Except my awesome 10' kiddie pool. But I'm in the big leagues now.) I've probably read half the posts by now, and I really thought I had it all figured out.
    At first I was using the previous owner's test kit. (Dubious at best, since it was stored outdoors in a plastic shed/oven. My tf100 was enroute.) The pool had no chlorine and the ph was well below 7.2. Too low for an accurate reading. I knew I needed to act fast, so I made my best guess and added borax according to pool math, half the recommended dose at a time. I finally reached 1.5x the recommended dose and had barely made an improvement. I was still below 7.2. At this point my tf100 was arriving the next day, so I decided to wait, in case the test kit was bad.
    I also read that CYA can make it difficult to raise the ph, and this guy was a dedicated puck user for 17 years...
    In the meantime, I added two gallons of liquid chlorine (for his bi-weekly shock ) from the plastic shed/oven, which raised my chlorine by 0. I thought I was crazy. Turns out it did not survive the heat. Free lesson: My bleach is stored in a dark room in my cool basement.
    Sure enough, after a REAL test, my ph was way low and my CYA was 200! I kept adding borax until my ph was acceptable, then added one jug of bleach. 20 minutes later, the stairs were greenish yellow below the water line.
    More frantic research, and metal stains seemed most likely. Off to the pool store to get some ascorbic acid. And like magic fairy dust, my pool was sparkling white again! So the first thing I do is check the survey of my city water. No reason for concern there. I assumed the low ph caused corrosion in the pool plumbing. I had to drain off all that CYA anyway, so I would just kill two birds with one stone. 4 days, 3 50% drains (85% new water) and some quick chemical adjustments later, and I have the following results.

    3.5 fc
    0.5 cc
    7.2 ph (I brought it back down, expecting I was going to slam)
    100 ch
    70 ta
    30 cya

    What I also have is a slight greenish tint. Which it turns out is... Metal! Yay! (Confirmed by VitC test)
    How can I still have metal? My ph never dropped after I got it up the first time. According to my water district, copper is just 0.04ppm in my fill water. I'm assuming copper because the tint is greenish. It's definitely more subtle than the first round. Just enough that my pool looks a little dirty The water is amazing though! Where do I go from here???
    To add insult to injury, the previous owners best friend lives next door, and they are having a good chuckle at my hippy pool ways. (Even though the neighbor on the other side says maybe it wasn't all smooth sailing for the previous owner either...) Help me properly rep the bbb method in my 'hood!
    15k gal, IG vinyl, 26 yrs old, 1.5hp variable speed pump, sand filter, peristaltic pump (liquid chlorine feeder), dolphin triton (Mr. Roboto), TF-100 + speedstir

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    Re: Still have metal stains after draining 85%!

    Having trouble getting a good picture in the light rain. It's slightly more noticeable than it seems here.
    image.jpg
    15k gal, IG vinyl, 26 yrs old, 1.5hp variable speed pump, sand filter, peristaltic pump (liquid chlorine feeder), dolphin triton (Mr. Roboto), TF-100 + speedstir

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Still have metal stains after draining 85%!

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Sounds like you have made some great progress. Did you use any sequestrants after the AA treatment and drain? Looks like you need to do another quick AA treatment and then start to use sequestrants to prevent the staining from returning.

    Check out: http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...d-metal-stains
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Still have metal stains after draining 85%!

    I was hoping to avoid the expense of sequestrants by draining.
    If I understood correctly, AA dislodges the metal from the vinyl, and it will stay in the water until you add more chlorine. I would only need sequestrants if I didn't drain.
    I spent $40 on Ultra Stain Free in the first battle, and didn't add any chemicals until after draining 50% x3.
    I'm really hoping to get rid if the metal for good.
    15k gal, IG vinyl, 26 yrs old, 1.5hp variable speed pump, sand filter, peristaltic pump (liquid chlorine feeder), dolphin triton (Mr. Roboto), TF-100 + speedstir

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Still have metal stains after draining 85%!

    Well, clearly you still have metal in the water. So you either have to 1. replace the water with some with no metals in it (is there iron in tap water?) or 2. you have to use sequestrant or 3. live with the stains.

    Do you see any staining in the home plumbing fixtures?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Still have metal stains after draining 85%!

    Hmmm... No mention of iron levels in the water quality report. No signs of staining in the household plumbing either. Perhaps I should brave the pool store for metal testing?
    15k gal, IG vinyl, 26 yrs old, 1.5hp variable speed pump, sand filter, peristaltic pump (liquid chlorine feeder), dolphin triton (Mr. Roboto), TF-100 + speedstir

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Still have metal stains after draining 85%!

    You could try, unfortunately the metal tests are not very good. Plus if all the metal is in the stains, then it would not be in the water for them to test for.

    There is no question there is metal in your pool.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: Still have metal stains after draining 85%!

    Yes. There's definitely metal. I was just thinking that determining what kind of metal might help point towards some alternative options. Although if the testing is unreliable, I suppose it won't help much. I guess I will have to weigh the costs of sequestrants vs clean fill water in my area. I would like to have at least one good season with sparkling blue water. Maybe next year I won't care as much.
    15k gal, IG vinyl, 26 yrs old, 1.5hp variable speed pump, sand filter, peristaltic pump (liquid chlorine feeder), dolphin triton (Mr. Roboto), TF-100 + speedstir

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    Re: Still have metal stains after draining 85%!

    Ok, read some more articles now that i know we are talking about iron. I saw a note from Jason lion that high ph is can trigger staining. The fill water did test at 7.9 ph. Can maintaining a ph between 7.2-7.4 help avoid more staining?
    15k gal, IG vinyl, 26 yrs old, 1.5hp variable speed pump, sand filter, peristaltic pump (liquid chlorine feeder), dolphin triton (Mr. Roboto), TF-100 + speedstir

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Still have metal stains after draining 85%!

    Maybe, but likely need sequestrant too.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: Still have metal stains after draining 85%!

    Knichold, welcome to TFP.
    Two quick things...I have metals in source water, in pool, etc. and like you was new to the home/pool a few years ago so I will try to save you some time and experimentation

    You absolutely want to have a GOOD sequestering agent in there right away...this forum usually recommends proteam's metal magic or jack's magic. Start with 2 qts for your pool size immediately.

    Try to keep the ph a little below 7.5...yes, even lower can be better -- eg with Jack's pink, it seemed to work better at 7.2. These days I am using meal magic and my ph is at 7.4 and stable there (my TA is 70) and the pool is happy and the steps are sparkly white YMMV.

    Second trick is to add maintenance levels of metal magic or jacks weekly, and not to let ph get away from you. Eg with metal magic, try 3-6 oz weekly and see if it keeps staining away. Increase if not.

    Third is to put any ole filter on your hose to help reduce any free metals in your water source. Mine goes through a softener but still has some iron on the other end. You can get the cheap ones on amazon. Or the expensive metal traps, but in my case, haven't used.

    The only way to completely and truly remove metals from water would be to have the water trucked in since your fill water has copper. You will likely find that sequestering agents are adequate, so try that first. I'm finding etal magic to be te most cost effective for me by buying a case with free shipping at www.poolgeek.com where it's 16.99/bottle.

    Best wishes!
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Helpful Links:
    GET A TEST KIT Chlorine/CYA Chart How to SLAM About Metals & Stains

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    Re: Still have metal stains after draining 85%!

    Thanks Swampwoman! The stains are minor. So if I keep my PH in check and if I can get away with the minimum amount of metal magic, that's an extra $85-$135 per season. Not ideal, but I knew owning a pool wouldn't be cheap. At least this site is keeping it from being a budget-buster.
    I'm assuming I will have to put in 2qts at the beginning of every season, too?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Ps. I bit the bullet and ordered a few bottles of metal magic from pool geek. I'll post some before and after pics once my pool is sparkling again.
    15k gal, IG vinyl, 26 yrs old, 1.5hp variable speed pump, sand filter, peristaltic pump (liquid chlorine feeder), dolphin triton (Mr. Roboto), TF-100 + speedstir

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    Re: Still have metal stains after draining 85%!

    I have been battling the same issue all summer. I have to keep my ph no higher than 7.3 and A tad lower FC than I'd like. Been using Metal Klear after my AA treatment. So far so good.
    Montgomery, AL
    27000 16 x 36 IG, Vinyl, Grecian, Hayward Sand filter, 1 HP Pentair whisperflo motor, Aqua Genie filter not by choice, no extra jets, Dolphin s300i robotic cleaner,Taylor K 2006 test kit, speed-stir which I couldn't live without!

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Still have metal stains after draining 85%!

    Knichols, in my case I had added 5 bottles for serious staining and it cleaned it right up without doing AA treatment - on the proteam site, there is a "sponge test" that will help you identify how much is needed to clear the steps/stains etc. in this approach, I was using the metal magic instead of AA...but others will do both. With this product, it actually wants your ph higher, so whie you're waiting for the product, don't try to get the ph down or anything.

    However, I said 2 bottles to get you sequestered -- and yes, every season on start up -- you may find this alone is enough to clean the steps if you pour the two bottles right on the steps.

    I will go find a link from the guy who'd tried this approach with success so you can read it
    Cheers!
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!
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    GET A TEST KIT Chlorine/CYA Chart How to SLAM About Metals & Stains

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Still have metal stains after draining 85%!

    Here's the link. Jim posted his whoe treatment plan...though my hunch is just by adding te 2 you would get similar results...just want you to have the info you need
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...m-EDTA-to-HEDP
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!
    Helpful Links:
    GET A TEST KIT Chlorine/CYA Chart How to SLAM About Metals & Stains

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    Re: Still have metal stains after draining 85%!

    I came back to post my newest crisis, and thought I would add a quick update on this topic. Swampwoman's advice was spot on! I've been managing my metal with the sequestrants. It only took one bottle and some patience for the metal to clear up. I added ~8 oz of metal magic weekly for reasonable management. A couple of times I used half a bottle the day before we had guests for that gorgeous sparkling pool I love so much. But I've decided I like keeping my money better than a perfectly blue pool every single day. The important thing is that the pool is clean and healthy!
    Next season, I'm trying the CUlator with minimal sequestrant use. I'll post an update with my results next summer.
    15k gal, IG vinyl, 26 yrs old, 1.5hp variable speed pump, sand filter, peristaltic pump (liquid chlorine feeder), dolphin triton (Mr. Roboto), TF-100 + speedstir

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