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Thread: continue to pour time and money into stains

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    continue to pour time and money into stains

    This is no doubt a problem with the owner! ME!
    I thought I had a handle on dealing with my iron stains after two seasons of it.
    I asked for help on 4/21/15 about rebalancing my TA after my stain removal and thought all would be fine.
    I have no issues keeping water balanced. It's the stains this year!

    I think I identified the issue but am coming to the experts for diagnosis.

    On 4/21/15 these were my numbers:
    PH- 7.8
    FC-0
    CC-0
    TA-60
    CH- 60
    CYA-30

    Jason Lion and Jbzizzle told me pretty much the same thing: Get the PH down to around 7.2-7.5 , go ahead with sequestrant and start raising Cl slowly. Worry about upping the TA to about 70-90 ( I believe) after the previous is done.

    I got the Ph down to 7.2 and started with the Cl at 2. Kept adding each a.m. as it lost down during day by about 1. Over a week Ph climbed to 7.5 and I let it ride. Kept adding Cl each a.m. for a goal of 2 -3, thinking I could push it on up a bit. Started seeing some faint staining in "favorite" spots. Added more sequestrant. ( Jack's the Pink Stuff). Stain faded a bit but not totally. Thought I'd give the pink stuff a day or so to work and try to keep Cl about 3. Each a.m. before sun hit pool I had lost about 1 on my Cl with no CC. Then added Cl for goal of 4 one a.m. I had backwashed and added a good bit of county water from hose pipe that same morning. Next morn I had even all over staining. Added all the Pink Stuff I had- 1 quart- and no fading of stain. Ph remained at 7.5.

    During this week and a half or so period, I backwashed once and added water several times due to sun, heat and a slow leak I have at my pump. I kept up maintenance doses of poly 60 and pink stuff too. I kept trying to think of the source of the iron which I've never been able to figure out. Staining seemed worse after the backwash and adding water which is county water, no iron, from hose pipe. Probably had nothing to do with it. I was still in search mode and thinking I was doing everything right at that time. BTW: I've searched the forum on trying to find source of iron stains with not much luck for anything that applies to me. I may do another post begging for help on this one at some point.

    This is what I think I did wrong after going back to look at how to do the stain treatment per Mbar:
    First of all I did not put my filter on recirculate with the AA and sequestrant. It was on filter the whole time. Reason was, I had taken a little AA just to see if some of the stain would go away and it did with just a couple of handfuls. Really surprised me that it took so little. Idiot me! I should have gone immediately and turned to recirc.
    Of course I didn't keep my Ph down to 7.2 with the whole process either. I also pushed the Cl above the lowest suggested on the Best Guess chart.

    I started all over.
    let Cl drift to 0 ( No addition of Cl for a day accomplished this as it was usually 2 each morn near the end. Next a.m. was 0)
    Took Ph down to 7.2 (I had hoped lowering Cl & Ph might lift some stain but it didn't even with 6 quarts of Pink Stuff in it all tolled)
    Added another quart poly 60 just for insurance.
    Filter on Recirculate
    Added 2 small handfuls AA. Stains gone in less than 10 min.
    Left pool on recirculate until I could get more pink stuff.
    Ph drifted up to 7.5 twice while waiting for pink stuff. Added muriatic acid per pool calc.
    Added 3 quarts Pink Stuff yesterday evening. Ph was 7.2 at that time.
    Left pool on recirculate overnight. Put it on filter this morning.
    Rain last night. Water is cloudy but usually is after adding sequestrant.

    Numbers today:
    Ph- 6.8
    FC-0
    TA-50
    CH-50
    CYA- 25

    I use bleach and baking soda. I'll start adding bleach today and a little CYA to bring that up to 30.
    I know the TA is low. I don't want the Ph up so should I wait again on the TA?

    Years ago, my dear father-in-law, used to respond to questions he didn't really want to answer in this way:

    " I don't think I know, all there is to know, about that."

    This would make the inquirer stop for a moment to think about what my father in law had just said.
    I love his remark and use it myself when applicable. It appears to be such with the STAINING OF MY POOL!

    Have a great day!
    Joan
    JoanC--Rome, GA
    18.5 x 41 Grecian IG Vinyl--34,000 Gallons
    Hayward S244T -Sand Filter - design flow rate 62GPM, Turnover 29,760 G/per 8hr
    1 HP-single speed pump motor. TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir
    Presume pool built with house 1989. Owner since 2002.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: continue to pour time and money into stains

    Have you ever used algaecides other than the poly quat 60? Any mineral systems? Just wondering where the metals are coming from. Sounds frustrating for sure!
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: continue to pour time and money into stains

    Good morning. Iron is pesky!
    Do you fertilize near the pool? On a windy day, that can introduce iron. Also, small amounts can accumulate over time...you said country water, but not well water...but its possible that at times your water plant has trace amounts of iron

    I will paste here a bit of info for next time you decide to attack the stain thing, but since you just did the AA treatment etc., I wouldn't do this right this second. I just found this approach easier because it worked in my case and worked at a higher ph evel so I didn't ave to fool with bringing the ph down. Your mileage may vary!

    For stains, while AA is sure fire, I found from advice from a TFPer named Ravenjim that doing the Metal Magic sponge test and treating accordingly removed my stains just as well.

    With AA treatment (ascorbic acid) you have to add metal sequestrant anyway. The advantage for me of only using the Metal Magic in larger dose was that you were killing two birds with one stone, and it was nowhere near as difficult to increase the FC after (and it works at a higher FC than AA).

    Here's a link to the sponge test for future use: http://www.proteampoolcare.com/image...SpongeTest.pdf

    And here's the link to Ravenjim's excellent step-by-step thread on the topic: http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...877#post658877
    Hope that helps give you something else to try one day!
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: continue to pour time and money into stains

    Thank you Casey and Swampwoman for your replies!
    Was beginning to think I was too much of an idiot pest to get any replies.

    It has been frustrating for sure and hard to keep up with so many other demands of life in general.
    So please help me as my pool is my solitude!


    Casey: No algaecides other than poly 60 for past 2 years. Not sure what you mean by mineral systems. I only add bleach, baking soda, muriatic acid or dry acid when needed to get Ph down, rarely aerate to get it up, dry stabilizer. I have added the ascorbic acid, very small amounts x2, and total of 8 ( I believe) Jack's Magic, The Pink Stuff.

    Swampwoman: Thank you! Thank you for the links! I think I've read these but you gave me quick access to them! I've spent hours reading about stains on here and you're a super star to me! I did think of iron in fertilizer beginning of last year and spoke with our lawn service instructing them to NOT use any in back yard at all containing iron. I've also thought about the iron building up over time from the sources you mentioned especially since my soil is GA red clay. Perhaps what I'm dealing with is a buildup since the water is not responding as well as it did last season. I think it was in 2012 that the stain was bad and I did the AA treatment and took about a 1 1/2 feet of water out once I got the metal sequestered. My thinking was to get at least part of the metal out of the water so I didn't have to continue to deal with it on a continuing basis. I did refill with county water. I would have taken the level down more but we had lots of rain that spring and there's a bank close to one side of the pool and I was afraid of a cave in.
    That summer stains did not reappear and I was totally lax about putting more sequestrant in and didn't continue algaecide. I had no issues with Ph at 7.5 and Cl 5-6 which was upper levels for my CYA.
    I did less than a cup of AA last summer and put in 3 bottle open season dose of PINK STUFF. All went fine. Later last summer I was SLAMMING like crazy because of CC's I just couldn't get rid of for some reason and I didn't have staining. I don't know what happened this year.
    Pool is open all year. No chemicals in it in cold weather. Weather started to warm pretty early so I started adding CYA and bleach, balancing TA, watching the Ph. Water was clear looked fine for a few weeks, got a little algae and upped the bleach to shock level and stain!
    Right now I'm trying to get Cl level to hold at least at 2. Lost 1.5 overnight. I'm only adding enough to bring it up to 2 with each addition. Ph is at 7.2. Scared to up my TA of 50 due to raising the Ph but it's too low! Water is still cloudy and now has a few bubbles on top of water.

    I felt like the cloudiness was from the sequestrant. Still may be and may clear when Cl maintains. Wondering about the bubbles on surface now? Are the bubbles from all of the sequestrant- low TA- or the Walmart high efficiency 8.25% bleach I use? I used that bleach most of last year and this year too. Sometimes I use the higher concentrate from pool store.

    So do I do a juggling act and take the Ph down a little and add a little baking soda to up the TA?
    Help please?
    JoanC--Rome, GA
    18.5 x 41 Grecian IG Vinyl--34,000 Gallons
    Hayward S244T -Sand Filter - design flow rate 62GPM, Turnover 29,760 G/per 8hr
    1 HP-single speed pump motor. TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir
    Presume pool built with house 1989. Owner since 2002.

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    Re: continue to pour time and money into stains

    Swampwoman- I tried the links you were so good to post for me and they didn't work so I did a search for words within them to try and find them on the forum.

    I found several archived posts you had posted in which might apply to my current water condition, source of iron and how to treat if stain comes back.

    Lots of worries and wondering going through my tired mind. Family is coming in for Memorial Day weekend. Of course they expect a sparkling pool as always.

    Thank you and Thank Casey for lending your knowledge to help me!
    JoanC--Rome, GA
    18.5 x 41 Grecian IG Vinyl--34,000 Gallons
    Hayward S244T -Sand Filter - design flow rate 62GPM, Turnover 29,760 G/per 8hr
    1 HP-single speed pump motor. TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir
    Presume pool built with house 1989. Owner since 2002.

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: continue to pour time and money into stains

    Sorry, think the quote code wrecked the links, let me try again

    Here's a link to the sponge test for future use: http://www.proteampoolcare.com/image...SpongeTest.pdf

    And here's the link to Ravenjim's excellent step-by-step thread on the topic: http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...877#post658877
    =======

    The cloudiness may well be from the sequestrant and if so, will filter out in a day or so.

    Don't know that you need to bother with the TA right now, lots of folks ride low...better to just get tha FC back up and finished fighting the AA

    Not sure about the bubbles but do make sure you're not using bleach that says "Easy Pour" on the bottle...that's known to cause foaming.

    So in short, gently get that FC back up, take a rest, don't stress, but do maintain sequestrant ths year, and maybe consider experimenting re: my links if you need to deal with staining again. But let the water operate at full sanitation level for a while frst just to avoid a need-for-slamming cycle
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: continue to pour time and money into stains

    Thank you for reposting the links Swampwoman. I read them both thoroughly! The Metal Magic sounds like the way to go if I have a "next time round" with the stains. I sort of expect it.

    I'm adding Cl every few hours today. Sun is eating it and something else too I fear .
    Cl was 1 about 11:00. CC-1 I didn't start SLAM. I know this is cardinal sign but I only added enough bleach to get back up to 2 and brushed good.
    I'll pray on this and test in a little while. Dear LORD PLEASE NO! Too early to shock after doing the AA and all that Pink Stuff! I have 3 more days before I can SLAM.
    There's a little debris in the deep end. I'll try to vac blind and get that out too.

    As for the bleach, it doesn't say Easy Pour or anything different from all the bleach I bought last year and earlier this year. I searched and searched on the forum to see if anyone else has had trouble with it and found nothing. There are even people recommending it.
    One thing different was last the poly 60 I added was a different brand. It's AllChlor Poly 60. The ingredients appeared the same. It was much cheaper at an online source so I ordered it. Whatever is causing the bubbles also has made my pollen accumulation in my skimmer gooey and stringy. Kind of sticky feeling and clumps up. Whereas the pollen was more soluble before. Who knows? I just need to get it gone. Get Cl up and filter it out I guess.
    I keep filter on 24/7 so that's a plus.
    I may be SLAMMING by tomorrow! We shall see! Just pray we don't see stains!
    Last edited by JoanC; 05-14-2015 at 08:46 PM. Reason: correct name of poly 60 used
    JoanC--Rome, GA
    18.5 x 41 Grecian IG Vinyl--34,000 Gallons
    Hayward S244T -Sand Filter - design flow rate 62GPM, Turnover 29,760 G/per 8hr
    1 HP-single speed pump motor. TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir
    Presume pool built with house 1989. Owner since 2002.

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    Re: continue to pour time and money into stains

    Good morning.
    I brushed good and backwashed as low as the skimmer would go yesterday. View glass had very cloudy, light tan colored water. Some was probably pollen. Pressure had not risen however. Refilled from hose.
    Filter continues 24/7 as always. Surface bubbles were less by evening. Water blue, opaque - so cloudy. Last night FC-0.5 CC-1. Husband said he could smell Chlorine around the pool. I told him yes, we have CC's! Added 8.25% bleach I had = 3 quarts which would only raise by 2.7.
    At least something in there to work overnight with no sun. Had planned to get bleach and start SLAM this morning.

    This morning- water a little more clear. I can see the bottom of deep end but not clearly. No surface bubbles. FC- 0.5 CC-0.5. I tested again to be sure. Same results. I was prepared to do SLAM and still am. Before testing I even ordered more reagent. I happen to think of bleach in laundry room which is same concentration and added 3 quarts. Will test when back from bleach run. Sky cloudy today. Rain predicted.

    Numbers this morning
    Ph- 7.2
    FC-0.5
    CC-0.5
    TA-50
    CH-60
    CYA-30
    This is estimate on CYA. Too cloudy to test unless someone can tell me how to test when cloudy.
    It was down to 25 on the 12th after backwashing so I added enough to bump it by 10.
    It tested at 35 yesterday and I did a big backwash after testing. Thus, the estimate of 30.

    Going to stock up on bleach and come back and vac.
    I'll keep watching the CC. If I need to SLAM, I will. I can't let this creep up on me.
    Oh, I checked the label on the AllChlor poly 60 against an old bottle of another brand and they had exact same ingredients so I don't think that has been my cloudy or bubble issue.
    Any pointers for me? Maybe proceed with caution or full speed ahead?


    Thanks Swampwoman!
    Thank you Casey!
    JoanC--Rome, GA
    18.5 x 41 Grecian IG Vinyl--34,000 Gallons
    Hayward S244T -Sand Filter - design flow rate 62GPM, Turnover 29,760 G/per 8hr
    1 HP-single speed pump motor. TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir
    Presume pool built with house 1989. Owner since 2002.

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    Re: continue to pour time and money into stains

    Numbers have done pretty well. Overcast day has really helped.
    1:00 pm
    Ph - 7.2 same no change
    FC-1.5
    CC-0.5

    2 quarts of 8.25% bleach added for a goal of 3.
    vacuumed. Very little debris. 5 leaves, about 3 worms and a little bit of broken up leaves.
    Brushed afterward to be sure most areas covered since water is still cloudy.

    Numbers at 4:30
    Ph- 7.2
    FC- 3
    CC-0.5
    Water remains cloudy blue.
    Will retest in a couple of hours or so.
    Have retested Cl each time to be sure correct.
    If numbers change, I will SLAM.
    JoanC--Rome, GA
    18.5 x 41 Grecian IG Vinyl--34,000 Gallons
    Hayward S244T -Sand Filter - design flow rate 62GPM, Turnover 29,760 G/per 8hr
    1 HP-single speed pump motor. TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir
    Presume pool built with house 1989. Owner since 2002.

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: continue to pour time and money into stains

    It's been several days now...why not dose it to just a bit above 4 and not let it drop much below 3 this morning and see if the AA is still fighting the chlorine. Once the AA is gone your FC will hold better. I'm a little concerned that riding you FC below your min. could cause nascent algae.

    Ideally, you want to avoid shock/slam level after a treatment...because shock/Slam level is what oxidizes Metal. But with sequestrant, riding the higher end of FC according to the cya:FC recommendations (see my sig) shouldn't cause re-staining, especially f you kep your ph low.
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    Re: continue to pour time and money into stains

    Numbers last night one hour after dosing for goal of 3.
    Ph-7.2
    FC-3.5
    CC-0.5

    This morning 7:00 before sun hit the pool.
    Ph-7.2
    FC- 2.5
    CC-0.5

    Feeling good that Cl didn't drop more than 1 overnight.
    I'm a little cautious about dosing for a bit over 4 as this was what I was dosing for with the previous treatment just a few weeks ago and got stains back. Realizing all factors would have to be the same to get the same results, my Ph at that time went up to 7.5. It's a balancing act for sure.
    How about I take it slower, since I maintained pretty well overnight, and dose for 3.5 this morning then, ease it on up to 4 by this evening, as I monitor my Ph so I don't lose track of it. Not sure what the sun will do today. Overcast sky helped yesterday. Looking sunny right now.
    And my water is still cloudy. I'm going to brush again too.
    I think we're getting there!
    Thank you so much!
    JoanC--Rome, GA
    18.5 x 41 Grecian IG Vinyl--34,000 Gallons
    Hayward S244T -Sand Filter - design flow rate 62GPM, Turnover 29,760 G/per 8hr
    1 HP-single speed pump motor. TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir
    Presume pool built with house 1989. Owner since 2002.

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    Re: continue to pour time and money into stains

    It's been hectic here and I'm so tired I don't know if I'll make much sense but I'll try.
    Yesterday had good news and bad. Water was very clear . Some stains are back .

    I dosed on Sat. night for goal of FC- 3.5. I checked it after two hours and FC-4.5 CC-0.5. Ph remained at 7.2 That was 10pm Sat night.
    Sunday morning FC- 3.5, CC-0.5 Still holding well, water clear but slight staining in same old places. Not all over (yet).
    I added double the Pink Stuff maintenance dose, brushed and regular weekend pool cleanup. I didn't add Cl at all on Sunday. I just let it drop to see where it would go. It was cloudy off and on with light rain anyway.
    I have failed to mention in previous posts that about 4 days ago I started putting my skimmer socks in skimmer basket hoping they would help clear up some of the cloudy water. They have caught a good bit of pollen and small debris as I change them and wash them out each day. They do keep the pollen and small debris out of the filter.

    Monday morning 7am before sun on pool.
    FC-1.5 CC-0.5 Ph-7.2
    Dosed for goal of 2.75
    Cloudy with only little sun and some rain late today.
    Stains a little darker late today.

    9pm FC-1.5 CC-0.5 Ph-7.2
    Think I'll dose for goal of 2.5 for the night.
    Not sure what to do about the stains. I could add another quart of the Pink Stuff, ( A quart is twice my maintenance dose which I added yesterday) OR change over to the Metal Magic.
    I think I only have 2 quarts of Pink Stuff left and it ain't cheap using this many, even with the new place I found to order it.
    Glad I didn't ever dose for goal of 4.
    JoanC--Rome, GA
    18.5 x 41 Grecian IG Vinyl--34,000 Gallons
    Hayward S244T -Sand Filter - design flow rate 62GPM, Turnover 29,760 G/per 8hr
    1 HP-single speed pump motor. TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir
    Presume pool built with house 1989. Owner since 2002.

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    Re: continue to pour time and money into stains

    I decided I could live with the light staining and didn't add more Pink Stuff/sequestrant.
    FC has been maintained at about 2.5 with CC-0.5 Ph stayed at 7.2

    The stain this morning seemed darker and all over the liner.
    FC-1 CC-0.5 which is typical early morn as this is when I dose. Ph-7.2
    I decided to not add Cl.
    I added my last 2 quarts of Pink Stuff and 1 quart of Poly 60.
    3hrs later, stains have lightened a little but not gone.
    When should I try some Cl?
    I know it breaks down the sequestrant.
    I would like to get Cl up enough for swim by the weekend but this may not be possible as today is Thursday.

    After this weekend my intent is to take care of stains AGAIN, sequester with the Metal Magic this time I think, and take the water level down as much as I can without cave in of liner and refill. Put sequestrant in the new water and have a go at it. Perhaps a dilution of the iron content will help. As for the source? Who knows? As was mentioned, it may be a build up in the water.

    So, today added the 2 quarts of Pink Stuff and 1 quart of poly 60. When do you think I should add some Cl? And how slow is slow on the add back?
    CYA is about 25. Will add a little so calculate Cl at 2-4. I will shoot for the Cl-2.5 as before.

    Thank you,
    Joan
    JoanC--Rome, GA
    18.5 x 41 Grecian IG Vinyl--34,000 Gallons
    Hayward S244T -Sand Filter - design flow rate 62GPM, Turnover 29,760 G/per 8hr
    1 HP-single speed pump motor. TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir
    Presume pool built with house 1989. Owner since 2002.

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    Re: continue to pour time and money into stains

    I'm not sure if anyone has said this, but at the risk of repeating others:

    Sequestrants, like Pink Stuff and Metal Magic, are designed to bind to metals in the water and prevent them from forming stains. They are not especially good at removing stains that are already on the pool surfaces. Ascorbic acid is good for getting stains to come off of surfaces and get the metals back into the water.

    Assuming your fill water is free of metals, replacing water will remove some of the metals in the water, allowing lower doses of sequestrant to work, or if the metal level gets low enough, allowing you to go without any sequestrant.

    Assuming you are not going to try using more ascorbic acid, you can start adding chlorine 24 hours after you added sequestrant. You want to raise the FC level by only 1 ppm per day. The amount you need to add to get to that level might be much more than you think, depending on if there is any ascorbic acid left in the water or not. So on day one you would raise the FC level to 1, on day two raise it to 2, and so on until you get to your normal FC level. At first that might mean adding 1 ppm of chlorine, wait half an hour, test the FC level and repeat as needed until you can measure an FC level of 1.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: continue to pour time and money into stains

    Thank you Jason.
    I don't think there is any Ascorbic Acid remaining as I have maintained a FC level well for about a week now.
    I did not add more this morning. As I wrote, I only added the sequestrant and poly 60.
    My experience with sequestrants has been as you said, not very good at getting stains off surfaces. I didn't expect much removal today but had hoped for prevention of further staining.
    As it turns out, now 4 hours after adding sequestrant, the staining is even lighter but not gone.
    I will take this as a blessing!

    Thank you for your specific instructions on adding the chlorine back. I will start early tomorrow morning although it will be erratic additions as I have to go out of town for part of the day.
    As before, if kids get to swim for the holiday weekend ok and if not then, ok too. I can always push it up and let them swim with stains.

    Jason, my TA remains at 50. I have not addressed that due to it raising my Ph. Leave it alone or accelerate the juggling act even more?
    JoanC--Rome, GA
    18.5 x 41 Grecian IG Vinyl--34,000 Gallons
    Hayward S244T -Sand Filter - design flow rate 62GPM, Turnover 29,760 G/per 8hr
    1 HP-single speed pump motor. TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir
    Presume pool built with house 1989. Owner since 2002.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: continue to pour time and money into stains

    You can leave the TA until later when everything else is stabilized. Best to do that on a day when you are not dealing with anything else.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: continue to pour time and money into stains

    Thank you Jason. Beginning to add chlorine this morning. Cl-0 Ph is still 7.2
    JoanC--Rome, GA
    18.5 x 41 Grecian IG Vinyl--34,000 Gallons
    Hayward S244T -Sand Filter - design flow rate 62GPM, Turnover 29,760 G/per 8hr
    1 HP-single speed pump motor. TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir
    Presume pool built with house 1989. Owner since 2002.

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