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Thread: rust on stainless steel rail and ladder

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    rust on stainless steel rail and ladder

    I placed my stairs and ladder in my shed along with my 3 inch tabs. It appears the tablets were a bit wet. The stairs and ladders had quite a bit of rust on them. They were perfect when I stored them. I can polish them with Noxon and they will look ok but I can still see some pitting. They look ok to me but am concerned with rust getting into the water and causing water problems down the road. Is it time for new stairs and ladder or will I be ok. On a side note what may have caused this?? Pool is vinyl, no heater 18 X 36 inground.
    18 X 36 inground vinyl
    3ft-8ft deep

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: rust on stainless steel rail and ladder

    You should never store trichlor tabs or any solid form of chlorine in a location that has metal parts (garage, shed with lawn equipment in it, etc). Solid forms of chlorine emit chlorine gas even when completely dry and none of the containers are sealed (they are designed to breathe to avoid vapor build up). The chlorine vapors will oxidize and corrode anything metallic.

    If you can polish the steel back to bright & shiny that would be good. A good way to remove rust stains is with Bar-Keeper's Friend cleanser. It's a mixture of mild abrasives and oxalic acid. Oxalic acid is very good at dissolving rust but leaving a clean metal surface behind. Unfortunately, if the pitting is severe, then you'll need to be careful in managing your pool water pH to make sure it stays in a balanced range (not less than 7.5 and definitely no lower than 7.2) to avoid further rusting.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: rust on stainless steel rail and ladder

    pool rail.jpgHere is my pool rail, i assume stainless steel, probably 30 years old. I had never thought about this until i had my pool replastered in white last year and then this year noticed what appears to be iron stains forming. You think Bar Keeper's Friend can save this rail? I use tabs and bleach to chlorinate. thanks

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: rust on stainless steel rail and ladder

    Once the corrosion has started, it will continue and reoccur. BKF works great above the water line but will not help with submerged metal. It’s likely when replastering the pool that the contractors got a little rough with the ladder. Once you scratch a stainless steel surface, you open it up to corrosion.

    If you do replace it, 316/316L stainless steel is the best material choice for chlorinated pools.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: rust on stainless steel rail and ladder

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    Once the corrosion has started, it will continue and reoccur...
    and the corrosion adds iron to the water, via oxidation?

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: rust on stainless steel rail and ladder

    Quote Originally Posted by rhthompson View Post
    and the corrosion adds iron to the water, via oxidation?
    It depends. Iron is an interesting element because the ferrous form (2+ oxidation state) can be very soluble (especially at lower pH) while the ferric form (3+ oxidation state) forms mostly insoluble compounds (like the rust you see on that rail). So iron can enter the water in a 2+ oxidation state but quickly oxidize further to 3+ and then come out of solution as iron hydroxides and iron oxides. This is often how well water that has iron in it is treated to remove the iron - the well is injected with air (or sometimes an oxidizer like chlorine) and the iron is converted into itís 3+ state where it falls out of solution and is mechanically filtered out. Pool owners with high iron wells can sometimes treat fill water that way where they run the water through a filter material while chlorinating it and thus can capture iron before it makes it into the pool.

    You probably donít have much iron at all in the water. If you did, youíd see staining or the water would look greenish colored. Replacing that hand rail is more of just an aesthetic choice.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: rust on stainless steel rail and ladder

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    Once the corrosion has started, it will continue and reoccur. BKF works great above the water line but will not help with submerged metal. Itís likely when replastering the pool that the contractors got a little rough with the ladder. Once you scratch a stainless steel surface, you open it up to corrosion.

    If you do replace it, 316/316L stainless steel is the best material choice for chlorinated pools.

    Thatís not the result of mishandling.

    OP letís see some more metallic elements please.



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    Re: rust on stainless steel rail and ladder

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolguyinCT View Post
    Thatís not the result of mishandling.

    .
    i didn't mean to imply that it was due to mishandling. Probably had begun earlier. Its just that i had never focused on it until recently.

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: rust on stainless steel rail and ladder

    Quote Originally Posted by rhthompson View Post
    i didn't mean to imply that it was due to mishandling. Probably had begun earlier. Its just that i had never focused on it until recently.
    I think he was referring to my post where I said the plaster resurfacing crew may have allowed chemicals to get on it. Was the plaster redone with the ladders removed? Was the new plaster acid washed after application or ever? If it was acid washed, were the ladders removed?

    The circular nature of the pattern (looks like rosettes on a tiger’s fur) looks like chemcals were splashed onto it. Muriatic acid will easily destroy the passivation on stainless steel and allow corrosion to start.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: rust on stainless steel rail and ladder

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    I think he was referring to my post where I said the plaster resurfacing crew may have allowed chemicals to get on it. Was the plaster redone with the ladders removed? Was the new plaster acid washed after application or ever? If it was acid washed, were the ladders removed?

    The circular nature of the pattern (looks like rosettes on a tigerís fur) looks like chemcals were splashed onto it. Muriatic acid will easily destroy the passivation on stainless steel and allow corrosion to start.
    I took your mishandling comment differently.
    I thought you meant it was thrown on the deck, gouged & causing the finish fail.



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