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Thread: HELP with Copper Stains

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    HELP with Copper Stains

    Need advice... I have a 28 ft ABG pool that I have been using a ionzer for sanatation. The pool is four years old last year it developed stains in the bootom of the pool. I almost certain it is from the copper in the ionzer. The copper level is .03 PPM which is where manufacture reccomends. The stains are large and brown almost like a tea or coffee stain color and cover about 25% of the bottom. My pool company told me all my levels were fine and to lower the PH to 6.8 or lower and the copper would go back into the water and the stains would disappear, well the oppisite has occoured the stains are even darker. A week later I shocked the pool and the stains got a little lighter, but still look horrible. I thought the ionzer was a great system till now. I need to know how I can get rid of these nasty stains. Should I just go with the BBB system I read about on this sight and trash my $400 ionzer? Any advice would be appreciated.
    18,800 K
    1 1/2 HP Hayward 200 lb Sand Filter
    28 ft AG

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    Re: HELP with Copper Stains

    to anser your last question this thread might be helpful:
    alternative-sanitizers-and-chemical-free-pools-the-truth-t3025.html

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: HELP with Copper Stains

    Quote Originally Posted by RHP
    Should I just go with the BBB system I read about on this sight and trash my $400 ionzer? Any advice would be appreciated.
    Hi and Welcome.

    Short answer... Yes.

    I too learned the hard way. If the stains faded when the chlorine was up, they are organic stains, and overtime following the BBB method they will go away. Same thing happened to me, and my stains were gone after 3 months of BBB.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: HELP with Copper Stains

    Copper stains are between very difficult and impossible to remove on vinyl. They are the main reason we never recommend ionizers.

    The usual treatment on plaster would be an acid wash, but an acid wash would seriously damage the vinyl.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: HELP with Copper Stains

    Welcome to TFP.

    Can you post a picture?

    I'm so sorry to hear of your stains.
    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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    Re: HELP with Copper Stains

    Here are some pics of stains.







    18,800 K
    1 1/2 HP Hayward 200 lb Sand Filter
    28 ft AG

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: HELP with Copper Stains

    Those look exactly like my old stains! See my pic from two years ago here....I had been keeping the FC up so they weren't as distinct by the time I took the pic. If you keep your FC slightly higher than the recommended level, they should fade in a few months. What is your CYA level?
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: HELP with Copper Stains

    Dont know CYA level yet, have ordered the TF test kit should be here tomorrow. I'll post all levels then. I've made up mine mind to go BBB and I'm removing the ionzer this afternoon. I have 2lbs of absorbic acid that the man at Leslies said to put in the pool and the stains will disappear. Do you think I should try it or take it back and get my $36.00 back?
    18,800 K
    1 1/2 HP Hayward 200 lb Sand Filter
    28 ft AG

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: HELP with Copper Stains

    I still suspect the stains are organic....they remind me so much of my stains when they were at their worst. Lets test first to see what your results are.

    Do you have any trichlor chlorine tablets? You can rub one or hold one (or weigh it down somehow) on the stain, if the stain fades it's organic, and elevated FC levels overtime, will make them go away, just like mine did.

    I'd say let's try this first, because the AA treatment is a slightly more complex process than just shocking and keeping the FC up.

    You have to also have PolyQuat 60 - did he sell you some? You have to stay on top the PH, the chlorine has to be 0 or very low, you do the AA, and you raise the chlorine very slowly, etc. the full process is explained here...
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: HELP with Copper Stains

    Thanks Pool Mom the tablet work on the stain like an eraser! So does that mean it's some type of algae? Can I take back the acid to off set the cost of the test kit I just got I'm going to test the water now and will post results. Once posted please give me your advice on levels to make these stains go away. Thanks again so much for your help!!!!!!!!!!! Test Results...
    CYA less than 20
    PH 6.8
    CHL 0
    CH 480
    TA 40
    18,000 gal
    18,800 K
    1 1/2 HP Hayward 200 lb Sand Filter
    28 ft AG

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: HELP with Copper Stains

    Quote Originally Posted by RHP
    Thanks Pool Mom the tablet work on the stain like an eraser! So does that mean it's some type of algae? Can I take back the acid to off set the cost of the test kit I just got I'm going to test the water now and will post results. Once posted please give me your advice on levels to make these stains go away. Thanks again so much for your help!!!!!!!!!!! Test Results...
    CYA less than 20
    PH 6.8
    CHL 0
    CH 480
    TA 40
    Good! I thought so!

    It's an organic stain, similar to algae, that shocking and high levels of FC will make them go away. Yes, try to return the AA and see if they'll exchange it for store credit, or CYA you will need some...

    First, add some Arm & Hammer WAshing soda to raise the PH to 7.2 . This is found in the laundry aisle (you do NOT want the detergent.) If you can't find it, then you want to buy Borax.

    Use the Pool Calculator (do you know how to use it yet?) to figure your dosages.

    Your CH is very high, Calcium is not really need for vinyl pools but if you have too much it can be a problem. Make sure you always keep your PH below 7.8 to avoid problems.

    Raise the TA to 90 using BAking Soda
    - you will need a lot, if you can find a 12 lb bag/box that would be an ideal start - I think you will need about 15 lbs of Baking Soda.

    You need to shock your pool. Right now the CYA is very low, so you need to buy some of that too. Pick up at least 5 lbs. Maybe the PS will exchange the AA for the CYA?

    For now, your shock level is 10....once you add CYA, that level will increase according to the CYA chart (link in my sig).

    You will use the Pool Calc to determine how much chlorine (liquid or bleach) to raise your FC to 10. Once the FC holds doing an overnight test, you can let the FC drop down. Do you know how to do an overnight test?

    Once your CYA is at 50, your normal FC level will be 4-6. Your normal daily target for adding bleach will be 6, and you never want the FC to drop below 4. Ideally, to make sure the stains are gone permanently, for about a month, run with your chlorine at 6-7 daily, so target a bit higher, 8-9.

    Over time those stains should fade away, and if you keep your FC ALWAYS above 4 they won't return.

    Let me know if you have questions on how to add these chems - but you should be able to find the info in Pool School.

    I hope this makes sense, I know it's alot of information all at once.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: HELP with Copper Stains

    Okay, couple questions not sure how to do the overnight test and does it make a diffrence what I adjust first? Can I do all the adjustments at the same time?
    18,800 K
    1 1/2 HP Hayward 200 lb Sand Filter
    28 ft AG

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: HELP with Copper Stains

    Quote Originally Posted by RHP
    Okay, couple questions not sure how to do the overnight test and does it make a diffrence what I adjust first? Can I do all the adjustments at the same time?
    Increase the PH and TA first, you can do them one after the other. Do it soon, you don't want your PH that low.

    Wait an hour after increasing the PH/TA and shock with bleach. You can add the CYA anytime, do you know how to add CYA?

    The overnight test works like this... After sunset, test the FC. Add bleach to get to shock level, using the pool calc to determine your dosing. 30 minutes after you add the bleach, test the FC again to ensure you reached shock level. If you did not, add the appropriate amount of bleach. 30 minutes after the last bleach addition, test the FC again. Record the result. In the morning BEFORE the sun hits the pool, test the FC again, and compare the two results. If you lose less than 1ppm, the FC has held overnight.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: HELP with Copper Stains

    Todays readings
    PH 7.3
    CL .5
    TA 200
    CYA 20
    This what I added {using the the pool calculator}
    4lbs CYA
    160 oz baking soda {calculator said 211}
    1/2 box Borax
    The TA went through the roof and I don't know why being I put in far less than what was recommended. Could the CYA be throwing the test off?
    I plan on shocking next and will check CYA in a couple of days I have a fountain should I turn it on to lower the TA?
    18,800 K
    1 1/2 HP Hayward 200 lb Sand Filter
    28 ft AG

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: HELP with Copper Stains

    Well, that shouldn't be right. I suspect testing error - either this test or the last one. CYA won't affect the TA test result.

    With the TA test, there have been reports of static electricity causing inconsistent drops from the tip, so try this - wipe the tip of the bottle with a damp cloth/paper towel in between each drop, and see if that changes your result.

    If not, and you get 200 again, we'll explain how to lower the TA.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: HELP with Copper Stains

    Right again... re-tested held bottle straight up and down wiped between drops TA is at 70 Thanks!!!!
    18,800 K
    1 1/2 HP Hayward 200 lb Sand Filter
    28 ft AG

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    Re: HELP with Copper Stains

    Update... in only 8 days stains are almost gone. I am so thankfull for the help I got from this site. I am a BBB BELIEVER!!! I still need to raise my CYA from 20 to 50, once I do this will my bleach demand drop? I am using between 70 and 90 oz a day to maintain a 6 PPM CL level, on average I lose 3PPM a day. Pool gets full sun and water temp is 82 deg now.
    18,800 K
    1 1/2 HP Hayward 200 lb Sand Filter
    28 ft AG

  18. Back To Top    #18
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: HELP with Copper Stains

    Quote Originally Posted by RHP
    I still need to raise my CYA from 20 to 50, once I do this will my bleach demand drop?
    Yes, you should see a significant decrease. Thanks for the update!
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: HELP with Copper Stains

    Wha?! No UPDATE pics?

    Shesh!

    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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