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Thread: Ascorbic Acid and Return of Brown Stains

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    hodapmj's Avatar
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    Ascorbic Acid and Return of Brown Stains

    I am in a vicious circle with ascorbic acid to remove brown staining. Brought chlorine levels to zero applied 1.5lbs of ascorbic acid to my 24,000 gallon vinyl lined pool. This removed most of the stains in an hour. Applied another 1.5lbs and viola! all stains gone. Pool was clear and bright! For three weeks everything was great keeping a FC of 2ppm for this time period with 42 degree water here in Arkansas. Then the rains came and he pool went green. Shocked the pool to a FC of 16. Brown staining has returned. I have placed 1.5 gallons of GLB sequestrant to try and remove the stains to no avail. I have a sparkling clear water but all the sides, stairs and bottom are now brown. Do a start over with AA? Need some advise please.

    Test results per TFP Test Kit:

    FC 6 ppm
    PH 7.2
    TA 60
    CH 100 vinyl
    CYA 70
    Salt 3800 ppm
    Water Temp is now 52 degrees
    24K gal. 22 X 40' Fox Lagoon IG Vinyl, 7' Fox 25 jet raised Spa, Intelliflow VS-3050 pump, Intellichlor IC-40 SWG, Pentair Easy Touch Controller, Easy Touch Wireless Remote, Pentair Legend cleaner w/ booster pump, Pentair 250,000 BTU heater, Pentair Tagelus Sand Filter, & Pentair Intellibrite LED lighting.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Ascorbic Acid and Return of Brown Stains

    I think the process has to go like this:

    1. SLAM the pool to remove the algae (stains likely to reappear)
    2. Let the FC drop and maybe add some algaecide/treat phosphates to lower algae risk
    3. Do the AA treatment
    4. Add (and maintain) the recommended sequestrant in the water
    5. Slowly raise the FC level back to normal.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    hodapmj's Avatar
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    Re: Ascorbic Acid and Return of Brown Stains

    How do I keep the staining away? The next storm will cause me to shock again. Bringing back the staining. That is my vicious cycle. How do I stop this from happening?


    24K gal. 22 X 40' Fox Lagoon IG Vinyl, 7' Fox 25 jet raised Spa, Intelliflow VS-3050 pump, Intellichlor IC-40 SWG, Pentair Easy Touch Controller, Easy Touch Wireless Remote, Pentair Legend cleaner w/ booster pump, Pentair 250,000 BTU heater, Pentair Tagelus Sand Filter, & Pentair Intellibrite LED lighting.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Ascorbic Acid and Return of Brown Stains

    Simple, don't "shock" ....whatever that means.

    If you maintain the correct FC/CYA ratio at all times, you will never need to SLAM the pool again. A storm should not affect the chemistry balance very much.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Ascorbic Acid and Return of Brown Stains

    If you are using appropriate sequestrant levels, it is possible to SLAM (shock) the pool without causing stains. Unfortunately, it takes a little experimentation and a fairly expensive test kit add on to figure out what the appropriate level is, but once you find it things get simpler.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Ascorbic Acid and Return of Brown Stains

    Greeting, hoda.

    Last year there was a thread on this board from someone like yourself who ultimately tried a sequestrant-only approach instead of AA treatment. After his success, I tried it too and it worked well for me (5 bottes of proteam's metal magic, then weekly additions thereafter).

    As Jason points out in the archived thread I am posting for you, results really vary, so consider that and try at your own risk

    Also note...shocking after storm shouldn't be necessary...is your swg set at a high enough volume for your cya?

    At any rate, here's the thread, his metal-magic only experiment in detail for your reading pleasure -- best wishes whatever you do.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...m-EDTA-to-HEDP
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    Re: Ascorbic Acid and Return of Brown Stains

    With all due respect, in AZ this is attainable, but in AR rainfall amounts can be up to 10-11 inches in ONE rainfall. No matter what anyone does this amount of rain WILL cause an issue where the the pool will need to be SLAM (shocked). The pool vessel has been active for seven years, could this cause build ups where I should just start over and empty 50-75% of the water and refill? For what I am spending on sequestrants alone is more than the cost of starting over. This problem surfaced last year in terms of excessive staining. I have performed 3 AA's in the past year. Always with success, but when it comes to the next heavy rain and a SLAM (shock) is required, I am back to stains that require another AA treatment.
    24K gal. 22 X 40' Fox Lagoon IG Vinyl, 7' Fox 25 jet raised Spa, Intelliflow VS-3050 pump, Intellichlor IC-40 SWG, Pentair Easy Touch Controller, Easy Touch Wireless Remote, Pentair Legend cleaner w/ booster pump, Pentair 250,000 BTU heater, Pentair Tagelus Sand Filter, & Pentair Intellibrite LED lighting.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Ascorbic Acid and Return of Brown Stains

    You only need to SLAM when the FC is left inadequate. All the rain is going to do is dilute the pool, lower the FC, CH, CYA, salt, maybe affect the pH and TA. 10" of rain is less than 25% of most pools volumes. If you had a FC of 4ppm before the rain it would be 3ppm after, but the CYA is also lowered by 25%. If you plan ahead, the FC could remain high enough to prevent any problems.

    Now you may need extra filtering to clear out any debris that entered the pool, but you should not need to shock/SLAM.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Ascorbic Acid and Return of Brown Stains

    How did the metals get in your water in the first place? Are you on well water?
    If so, trucking in some metal free water certainly would sove your problem provided of course, that you aren't adding any products with copper etc. to your water.

    I'm thinking about doing it, but with the cost of water-trucking, for me its actually cheaper to just use the Metal Magic until I pull the trigger for a new liner, which is due in a few years. However, I would not likely feel that way if I was mucking about with monthly AA treatments which in the beginning, I was
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Ascorbic Acid and Return of Brown Stains

    Agree with jblizzle on this one. We have gotten a ton of rain since January, the lake by us rose 7 feet! I had to add 150lbs of salt and almost a full dose of cya. But, no issue with algae requiring a SLAM. I was still dosing with bleach since the water was too cold for swcg to make chlorine.
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    Re: Ascorbic Acid and Return of Brown Stains

    The water supply is city water, that is from a lake reservoir. Over the last two years this metals issue has appeared to have gotten worse if my FC rises above 3.0.

    Based on my CYA level have been maintaining a FC level of 3.0 via SWG when temps are above 55 degrees. Bleach when colder temps hit Arkansas.

    I am going to try the suggestion of adding 6 quarts of Metal Magic as this seems logical. However, $110 of metal magic is the same cost as a water replacement but without the other chemical additions. If this doesn't work, from a sanity standpoint, it will be best to do a reset and flush the 8 years of water down the drain and refill.

    I have been a TFP, member, advocate and believer for over 7 years. Maintaining my pool has always been a pleasure when following the groups advice.


    24K gal. 22 X 40' Fox Lagoon IG Vinyl, 7' Fox 25 jet raised Spa, Intelliflow VS-3050 pump, Intellichlor IC-40 SWG, Pentair Easy Touch Controller, Easy Touch Wireless Remote, Pentair Legend cleaner w/ booster pump, Pentair 250,000 BTU heater, Pentair Tagelus Sand Filter, & Pentair Intellibrite LED lighting.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Ascorbic Acid and Return of Brown Stains

    Metal Magic is a sequestrant, it binds to the metals and prevents them from forming stains. Sequestrant breaks down slowly over time, so you need to add more at regular intervals. In rare situations sequestrant will remove some of the metals from the water, but that is actually quite unusual.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Ascorbic Acid and Return of Brown Stains

    Wanted to give an update on the use of Proteam Metal Magic as an alternate to an Ascorbic Acid treatment. Followed Proteams instructions to lower FC to 1 and raise PH to 7.5. Added 5 quarts and let it do it's thing. In about 6hrs all brown staining was gone. Left it for 48hrs and started the SWG and slowly brought the FC back to 3.0. I am maintaining with 16oz. every two weeks and have a sparkling pool now for 30 days! Thank you swampwoman for the tip on Metal Magic. I feel that while more expensive solution, this can be an alternate to AA treatments.


    24K gal. 22 X 40' Fox Lagoon IG Vinyl, 7' Fox 25 jet raised Spa, Intelliflow VS-3050 pump, Intellichlor IC-40 SWG, Pentair Easy Touch Controller, Easy Touch Wireless Remote, Pentair Legend cleaner w/ booster pump, Pentair 250,000 BTU heater, Pentair Tagelus Sand Filter, & Pentair Intellibrite LED lighting.

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    Re: Ascorbic Acid and Return of Brown Stains

    I'm glad to hear it worked well for you hoda! I was very grateful to the poster who wrote the original thread about trying a different approach because while yes, a bit more expensive, it has really made my maintenance easier.
    You and I have vinyl liners and sand filters...I wonder if that combo responds particularly well to this product. I know that prior to the discovery-via-thread, and comparing with a season using jacks magic pink, trying an elaborate peroxide experiment, several AA treatments and a culator that in my conditions it is the best and easiest treatment
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: Ascorbic Acid and Return of Brown Stains

    Hello swampwoman,

    I am the one who experimented with the Proteam metal magic last year. For the last several years I have opened my pool and after shocking, the stains formed on vinyl liner. I did raise the chlorine level when closing last fall but this year when opening, I did not need to shock the pool and it looks the best it has in years, absolutely no staining. Just raising the chlorine level to normal and keeping the ph on the lower end seemed to work for me so far. I have not added any metal magic as preventative maintenance either.

    Proteam does claim that a DE filter will remove metals from water, but I am not 100% sure of that yet. If I would need to slam the pool for some reason and no stains return and then I would have to say it did remove the metals. I will surely let you know either way.
    27K Gallon vinyl pool, 1hp 2 speed Hayward Super Pump, EC-75 DE filter, Stenner 45MPH22 liquid chlorine injection pump with timer control. Taylor K-2006 test kit, Aquabot pool cleaner. location SC PA.

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Ascorbic Acid and Return of Brown Stains

    Thanks for the update, Ravenjim!

    Maybe Hoda and I can be test experiments with you. Hoda, do you read your iron levels?

    I know that in my case i opened clear, clean and no stains, so my MM held over the winter, and the other brand hadnt the year before (but that might have been due to volume used.)
    Right now,
    a) I still need to add metal magic as after a week or so my steps will start to discolor if i don't
    And b) that my iron level reads .5 ppm presently (down from the year before last but not gone)
    And c) however, did not use 5 bottles at start up this year, just 2 as an experiment to find the lowest value that would work

    Because I filter my add water, my calcium is very low (50-60). Its possible that with higher calcium more iron binds with it and is filtered out. Just a theory
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: Ascorbic Acid and Return of Brown Stains

    Sorry Swampwoman I don't monitor iron levels. Could you be on to something on low calcium levels. I keep mine lower because from what I understand on a vinyl pool there is no need. What are using to monitor your iron levels?


    24K gal. 22 X 40' Fox Lagoon IG Vinyl, 7' Fox 25 jet raised Spa, Intelliflow VS-3050 pump, Intellichlor IC-40 SWG, Pentair Easy Touch Controller, Easy Touch Wireless Remote, Pentair Legend cleaner w/ booster pump, Pentair 250,000 BTU heater, Pentair Tagelus Sand Filter, & Pentair Intellibrite LED lighting.

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Ascorbic Acid and Return of Brown Stains

    I use this kit, but for all intents and purposes, testing really doesn't achieve much except satisfying my curiosity, so not likely worth purchasing in your case if your maintenance plan is working In my case, I test my taps for well-level with it to monitor my softener's efficacy, which seems variable!

    http://www.amazon.com/Lamotte-Insta-.../dp/B000P6DHMM
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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