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Thread: Intex newbie, iron bacteria in well water

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    Intex newbie, iron bacteria in well water

    (please move this to the appropriate forum if necessary, thanks)

    Hi there, Intex newb here (18' x 48", 5455 gallons, Intex 1/4hp pump/filters).

    STATUS QUO:
    1) Filled pool with well water, was slightly transparent green, as expected (we have tested our well, and most wells around here have high iron content, which causes iron bacteria in the wells)

    2) Shocked with Super Sock It (cal hypo 53%), turned water to iced-tea brown

    3) Found TFP

    CURRENT STATS (Wal-Mart 6-in-1):
    CL >5ppm (although should be going down, as I shocked it last night around 5p, and it's sunny out)
    pH 7.6
    TA 109ppm
    TH 220ppm
    CYA 0 (haven't put anything in yet)

    QUESTIONS:
    After Pool School/looking around here, I realize I should have solved iron problem *before* shocking. So:

    1) Bringing water in is out-of-the-question, best quote I could get was $325(!?!?!?!?!?!). Should I simply drain the thing, refill with a water filter on the hose, hit it with metal-out, let it sit, then shock it? Or is it possible to clear it out?

    2) If I'm going to clear it out: should I wait until the CL is down to 0, then hit it with metal-out, then keep filtering until it's clear? Or should I just keep filtering, *then* hit it with metal-out?

    I think you can see where I'm going here - the real question is: in which order would you recommend I do what?

    As of now, the filter's running, and I'll continue to clean it every few hours - but I'm questioning whether this filter will ever get around to pulling all of that brown out of the water or not. If it's just a matter of time, I'm fine waiting.

    Thanks in advance!

    Ron
    ___________
    5455 gal, Intex 18 x 48 vinyl, 1/4 HP Intex pump
    Northeast US

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    Join Date
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    Re: Intex newbie, iron bacteria in well water

    I'm pretty sure you want to remove as much of the iron as possible before adding the chlorine, but without any CYA in the water, the chlorine will probably burn off in a day or two at most. The first year I had an Intex I had the same issue, but the orange showed up the day after filling without ever adding any chlorine. Mine would actually precipitate out and cover the floor. I added a bunch of metal free and ran the pump non-stop. I completely replaced the pleated filter every day (it was loaded with orange goo). After maybe a week or so of adding metal free and replacing the filters, I reached a point where the orange was gone from the water and the orange stopped appearing in the filter. I know some say that the metal free doesn't really remove the metal from the water, just keep it from staining, but after that initial process, I didn't add any more metal free for the rest of the year, and I never had the orange re-appear. FWIW.

    Tom

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Intex newbie, iron bacteria in well water

    If you can get water for $325 that is completely iron free, it might be worth it. However, beware of trucked in water that ends up containing just as much iron as your well water. Dealing with iron in the water long term can get expensive.

    To work with your current water, get some sequestrant into the water and see if it takes care of the brown color.

    Also, go ahead and get started on adding CYA.
    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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    Re: Intex newbie, iron bacteria in well water

    Thanks for the replies!

    I was thinking the same thing - there's nothing to suggest the pool water delivery won't be the same as the water I have, as it's obviously sourced locally. With that in mind, I'll try and clear what's there.

    Please let be me be clear - I should wait until the CL is down to 0, then add sequestrant, and CYA - but no chlorine? Or can I treat the pool to suggested levels, including chlorine, add sequestrant - and go from there?

    Apologies for the extra q's - but as I've already made things worse once, I'd like to avoid doing it again.

    Ron
    ___________
    5455 gal, Intex 18 x 48 vinyl, 1/4 HP Intex pump
    Northeast US

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Intex newbie, iron bacteria in well water

    Add CYA as soon as possible.

    It is best to have already added CYA and have FC at normal levels, not shock levels, when adding sequestrant. It is also best if the PH is normal or slightly low.
    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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    Re: Intex newbie, iron bacteria in well water

    Thanks - will report back. Test kit ordered and on the way.

    Truly appreciate the help.

    Ron
    ___________
    5455 gal, Intex 18 x 48 vinyl, 1/4 HP Intex pump
    Northeast US

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    Re: Intex newbie, iron bacteria in well water

    Good morning!

    Beginning to get somewhere, I added CYA (powder) and liquid bleach last night, and HTH Metal Control, continuing to run the filter 24/7, cleaning from time to time. This morning, the pool was slightly lighter 'iced-tea' brown.

    My question is, how quickly should I expect a difference in pool color after adding the Metal Control? Is this something that should begin to be noticeable quickly (like overnight)?

    I realize I won't change the *pool* overnight, just wondering if the Metal Control should have made a noticeable difference, as I'm wondering if I've added enough. Thanks!

    Ron
    ___________
    5455 gal, Intex 18 x 48 vinyl, 1/4 HP Intex pump
    Northeast US

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    Re: Intex newbie, iron bacteria in well water

    Update:

    Brown is pretty much gone, but water's still pretty green and cloudy. Continuing to filter 24/7, cleaning/replacing carts. Waiting for CL to come down before adding the second Metal Control. Should *not* have assumed anything re: CL levels falling, etc - that was a mistake. Learned my lesson, will test before *any* additions from here on in.

    CL 5 (or more, it's a WalMart test, and it's pretty yellow)
    pH 7.2
    TA 160ppm (down from 190)
    TH 220 (same)
    CYA <30 (it's a little cloudy, but I can see the dot, at it maxes at 30)
    Iron (a separate test I picked up) somewhere between .3 and 1ppm, down from before after the first Metal Control.

    I'd added 12 oz CYA before, to get things started. Added 23oz of CYA last night, to (hopefully) bring it up to 40 over time, as per Jason's recommendation.

    Guessing it's the cloudy days and CYA additions that are keeping the CL up for so long. It's very hard to wait for it to come down, in order to add the rest of the Metal Control.

    1) kit should come in today, I'll post more accurate results
    2) How long should I wait to shock the pool after the Metal Control goes in? Water's pretty green.

    Thanks again!

    Ron
    ___________
    5455 gal, Intex 18 x 48 vinyl, 1/4 HP Intex pump
    Northeast US

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    Re: Intex newbie, iron bacteria in well water

    Got the TF-100:

    FC 2ppm
    CC<.5ppm (1 drop)
    TC 2ppm
    pH 7.3
    TA 200ppm
    CYA 20ppm, but should go up over the next few days

    Added 32oz HTH Metal Control (HEDP-based)

    Pool is currently much clearer, but still green and cloudy (can just make out the third of four steps). Running (Intex cart) filter 24/7, it's picking up orange on each cleaning.

    Suggestions?
    ___________
    5455 gal, Intex 18 x 48 vinyl, 1/4 HP Intex pump
    Northeast US

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Intex newbie, iron bacteria in well water

    I had the same problem starting from day one. I called HTH.

    If the water is not slippery and you fill a clear glass with pool water and it looks clear in the glass it is probably metals. He said to have water tested to be sure. For metals do the following:
    zero out your clorine - don't add anymore and take out tablets.
    balance your ph and alkaline
    add metal out at night and let filter run
    do not add any clorine or shock...
    after 3 days you can add clorine
    after 4 more days you can double shock it.
    check filter everyday - clean or change


    If the water is kind of slippery and green and when you fill a clear glass with pool water and it appears cloudy or merky green, it is probably algae. Do the following:
    balance the ph and alkaline
    double shock it and wait 1 hour for each lb of shock
    check clorine
    add algae treatment (anytime of day)
    check filter everyday - clean or change



    I am trying it, starting tonight. I have been trying everything for the past few days..I didn't know not to shock or add clorine. I had tried the metal treatment before but added clorine and shock soon afterward. I hope I typed the treatments correct as the person talked very fast, but I did repeat it back to him and he said I had it right. Good luck!
    Northwest Ohio climate
    Above the ground 20' x 4' diameter vinyl pool - approx 8000 gallons
    SFS2000 Skimmer pump (2000 gallon per hour) with replaceable filter cartridge

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    Re: Intex newbie, iron bacteria in well water

    Mornin'

    FC 2ppm
    CC<.5ppm (1 drop)
    TC 2ppm
    pH 7.3
    TA 200ppm
    CYA 25(?)ppm, but should go up over the next few days

    Very, very cloudy and green after adding Metal Control (HEDP), filter filled with orange junk. Filtering 24/7.

    Am really wondering what the *green* is - last time I added Metal Control, it turned the water brown, assuming that's the metals precipitating out. Filtering took the brown out. Now, the Metal Control made the already-green water cloudy...?

    With FC at 2, do I need to add algaecide? Clarifier?

    My little guy is pretty upset, I'd really like to get this new pool at least *kind* of looking like something you could swim in

    Thanks in advance for any help you might have,

    Ron
    ___________
    5455 gal, Intex 18 x 48 vinyl, 1/4 HP Intex pump
    Northeast US

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    Re: Intex newbie, iron bacteria in well water

    Have you tried what I wrote in my last post?
    For metal did you let clorine go down to "0" THEN balance the ph and alkaline
    put in metal reducing product at NIGHT and let pump run
    ADD CLORINE AFTER 3 DAYS AND NOT BEFORE
    ADD SHOCK 4 DAYS AFTER THE CLORINE.

    My problem was putting in shock and clorine before I should have and the metal product did not have time to do it's job.
    Check the filter throughout the day and clean or change as needed. (mine was really orange).

    Let me know what happens. Mine is starting to clear up!!
    Northwest Ohio climate
    Above the ground 20' x 4' diameter vinyl pool - approx 8000 gallons
    SFS2000 Skimmer pump (2000 gallon per hour) with replaceable filter cartridge

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Intex newbie, iron bacteria in well water

    I apologize if I'm confused, but I'm getting opposing views - I've been going with Jason's suggestion above (CYA/FC levels at normal, pH slightly low)... and since his avatar's a lion, I figure I should listen...

    That said, yes, the metal control went in at night, I'm running filter 24/7, and I haven't added chlorine. After reading around this and other forums, there seems to be an agreement that with FC below 2 or so, an algaecide is a good idea - should I add algaecide?

    Thanks again in advance for everyone's responses,

    Ron
    ___________
    5455 gal, Intex 18 x 48 vinyl, 1/4 HP Intex pump
    Northeast US

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    Re: Intex newbie, iron bacteria in well water

    I am in the same exact boat as you except I am about 2 weeks ahead of you.
    I'm no expert and have very limited knowledge of pools. I've researched and visited 4 different pool stores in my area as well as surfed the net and found that everyone seems to have a "solution" to your problem.

    I had a brand new pool installed after I was convinced by the pool dealer that having high iron well water wouldn't be a problem to treat....yeah i would love to punch that guy out at this point.... Well I am currently in about $200 in chemicals from pH - minus, metal out, muratic acid, shock, etc you name it I have done it. All of the chemicals that I have put in to date have varied my levels but my pool still looked like complete ****. (greenish brown).

    About 4 days ago I decided to stop adding chemicals and just run the **** out of the filter draining my cartridge filter ever 4 hours. I think this had made the biggest difference. My pool is know what I would call a translucent blue. I can see the bottom and it almost looks like a swimming pool. Every time I clean my filter it is full of Orange material. It looks just like what are toilets look like if my water filter system runs out of salt and the water is basically untreated. Wife doesn't like that.

    I never found a silver bullet (chemical) that would clean my pool. What I did find out is that 99% of the experts "pool stores" didn't have a clue about how to deal with my problem and just kept on shoving chemicals at me with no real explanation or understanding why things were happening. I had one store tell me there wasn't any iron in my water and it was an algea problem due to over shock . It came out of my house that color DA.

    That being said this site is filled with people who know what they are talking about and I frequent it often.
    It is going to take time to get the metal out especially if it is alot like my water had in it.

    Just keep filtering and it will work out it is just something that isn't going to happen fast.. If I had it to do over again I would've had water hauled in because it has been expensive and very time consuming and I STILL AIN'T SWIMMING YET.

    Good luck and hang in there

    fish
    Coronapoolguy
    Corona California
    15,000 gallon IG Plaster salt water with Spill over Spa
    Digital Pool Pilot 220V DE Filter SC-48 Whisperflo 2HP pump

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    Re: Intex newbie, iron bacteria in well water

    I've cleanied the filter 5 times today, It has been very dark orange everytime. I hose it off with a stong water stream. My water is slowly getting clear. I can see the bottom again!! I enjoy this forum and hope others are finding success. I will keep you posted if mine continues to get better. Two more days to go before I add chlorine...
    Northwest Ohio climate
    Above the ground 20' x 4' diameter vinyl pool - approx 8000 gallons
    SFS2000 Skimmer pump (2000 gallon per hour) with replaceable filter cartridge

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    Re: Intex newbie, iron bacteria in well water

    I probably shouldn't be giving advice since I'm still learning, but...
    I would continue to clean your filter several times throughout the day as long as it is catching all the orange. I'm assuming the orange is metals, but I could be wrong. I just know I keep cleaning the orange off the filter and the water keeps getting better. I'm not treating for algae until my filter quits catching the orange stuff.
    I'll keep reading your posts to see what works for you, in case I need to go another route to get clear water. Thanks for posting everyone!
    Northwest Ohio climate
    Above the ground 20' x 4' diameter vinyl pool - approx 8000 gallons
    SFS2000 Skimmer pump (2000 gallon per hour) with replaceable filter cartridge

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Intex newbie, iron bacteria in well water

    Yep that is exactly what I did. It is a very frustrating experience and a big pain in the rear but it will eventually clear if you keep on the filter. I think it took me like 4 or 5 days were I could see the bottom and my pool went to a light green and then to a deep blue (actually pretty cool color).

    Good luck
    Coronapoolguy
    Corona California
    15,000 gallon IG Plaster salt water with Spill over Spa
    Digital Pool Pilot 220V DE Filter SC-48 Whisperflo 2HP pump

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Intex newbie, iron bacteria in well water

    Today the water is clearer than yesterday. It just has a green tint now. I am going to continue to keep spraying off the filter and changing the filter as this is what seems to be working for me. I really think by tomorrow I just might have totally clear water!
    Now my question is, once I have all the metals out and clear water, will this problem come back later?
    Northwest Ohio climate
    Above the ground 20' x 4' diameter vinyl pool - approx 8000 gallons
    SFS2000 Skimmer pump (2000 gallon per hour) with replaceable filter cartridge

  19. Back To Top    #19
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
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    37,887

    Re: Intex newbie, iron bacteria in well water

    The whole lower the PH, stop using chlorine for a couple of days thing is for when there are metal stains on the walls of the pool. If there are metals in the water that haven't deposited on the walls of the pool yet, then you just need sequestrant and filtering and can leave your FC at normal levels.'

    The danger is mixing up lots of iron in the water with having algae. Algae is much more common and requires a completely different treatment. Metals in the water can make the water a clear transparent green and occasionally sediment in the water or adding sequestrant can cause a lot of cloudiness for a while. The net result looks kind of like algae but isn't. The way to tell the difference is to watch what your FC level does overnight. Algae will cause FC to drop dramatically overnight, and metals won't.

    If you are losing all your FC overnight then you need to shock the pool. If FC is holding overnight then it is more likely to be related to metals.

    If you think you have problems with metals, and they aren't clearing up, you should start a topic over in the Chemistry 201 area. Most of the people with experience with metal stains read all of the posts over there, while some them don't read over here as often.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that the Intex filters are usually very slow at filtering things out. So you need to give them extra time and lots of cleanings for the cloudiness to clear up.
    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

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Intex newbie, iron bacteria in well water

    I didn't have any stains in my pool or filter. My water started being green the very next morning while I was still filling it up. I had tried algae product, clarifier, shock, balance, and metal out products and it just kept being green.

    This is what is working so far...I balanced the ph and alkaline levels but zeroed out my chlorine levels and put metal out in the water at night time. They told me the chlorine would interfere with how the metal out works. This is my third day of continuously cleaning the filter every few hours (filter full of orange stuff) and my water went from looking murky, cloudy green to clear. Tomorrow I will add the chlorine and in four days I will double shock it. I am just hoping I don't have to do this again once it is cleared. This is the method hth gave me over the phone for metal.

    I should have known mine was not algae because it didn't have time to grow, I was still filling it up with water. But I saw green and naturally thought of algae.

    My nephew's pool was green and his was algae. Once he put algae product in, it all settled to the bottom and he had to sweep it a lot to remove it.

    It would be easier if each problem had it's own color! LOL
    Northwest Ohio climate
    Above the ground 20' x 4' diameter vinyl pool - approx 8000 gallons
    SFS2000 Skimmer pump (2000 gallon per hour) with replaceable filter cartridge

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