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Thread: brown water

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    brown water

    hello. i am new to this website but it seems to be helpful so far for others. i am a brand new pool owner as well and obvioulsly need an idiots guide. i have an intex above ground 18 x 48 that we just put up. we filled it with a garden hose from our well. the first couple of feet were crystal clear. i turned the water off so that we could take a shower and then turned it back on, left, and when we came back the water is a brown color. much like chocolate milk. you cant see the bottom. i am not sure if it is mud or iron. i am hoping that i will be able to clear it up because i would HATE to waste that much water, and time that it took to fill it. does anyone have any suggestions for me???? we have left the pump running overnight and put a shock treatment in as well. we also changed out the filter once already and it looked a little lighter today but not much at all. and when i used a test strip ( it only test free chlorine and ph) the reading was very high. it was an aqua chem test strip that came with a starter kit. any help would be appreciated....thank you brandy
    18' x 48" AG cartridge filter 635 pump 6423 gallon model 56951 intex

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    sammm's Avatar
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    Re: brown water

    This sounds familiar -

    well-water-brown-water-test-results-t13384.html

    A full set of test numbers is really needed to diagnose how to fix it.
    WetEdge Satin Matrix, 16K gallon, Pentair NSP-60 DE filter, Pac Fab Challenger, 2HP pump, BBB, Polaris 360

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    Re: brown water

    Welcome to TFP Brandy!

    Lots of people have wells on here that they use to fill their pools with. We even have pools filled with pond water to start. If you treat the water right and balance it well, it can be crystal clear. Learning about what your pool water does and why is the key to figuring things out.

    First off, you need a good test kit. Without a good kit, you are at the mercy of lesser kits or pools stores which are sometimes right, but usually not. Get a TF-100 (link in my sig) or a Taylor K-2006. The TF-100 is the best by far. Only with good testing equipment can you truly know what is happening in your pool.

    You filled your pool with well water. Well water commonly has metals such as iron in it unless you have a green filter on your well system (not common). Metals can stain your pool surfaces and your water. Most folks understand that they can't really get rid of the metals so instead, they just control them by using sequestrants. Sequestrants are chemicals you put into your pool to bind to metals so they won't do the bad things that we don't like. Now pool stores are useful for certain things and having them check your water for metals is one way that they can help you out. Take them a sample and have them check it for metals. Then, you can get a metal sequestrant to add to your water.

    You may have mud and sediment in there too. Because of this, you need to circulate your water and shock the pool. Get rid of the test strips, order you a good test kit, and in the meantime, you can go to Wal-Mart or someplace that sells a simple drop-based 4 way or 6 way test kit to get you through until your big test kit comes. This will allow you to accurately tell whether you have chlorine in the pool and it will also let you check the pH.

    Please read the pool school articles.

    Post back here on this thread with other questions or to let us know of your progress.
    10K gallon IG gunite with waterfall; Pentair CC320P filter; WhisperFlo 2 HP pump
    TF Test Kits - Pool Math - Pool School
    "It depends."- JohnT

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    Re: brown water

    i turned the water off so that we could take a shower and then turned it back on, left, and when we came back the water is a brown color.
    It sounds like you exhausted your well. When the well gets too low, it will suck mud up from the bottom of the well into your pool.

    If that's the case, you would be wise to vacuum the mud into your filter and then backwash it out. Turn off the pump overnight and let the mud settle as much as possible. You will have to vacuum very slowly to not stir it up much.

    If it is not mud, then I am at a loss.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: brown water

    ok so i went to the local pool store and had my water tested. definatley mud. no iron or copper. i'm not sure if this is good or bad. i don't think i exhausted my well only because it started turning pretty early. what i didn't realize is that the water spout i used did not go the same route as the water does in my house. it didn't go through my filter. the water in my house is clear as a bell. but who knows??? so, so far we turned the pump on last night and shocked the water, the pump has been running ever since. we have changed the filter three times now. the chlorine level is at 10 alkalinity is 175 ph is 6.8 calcium hardness is 191 and cyanuric acid is 9. oh yeah saturation index is -0.44. with that said i really have no idea what any of that means except that its not really good. i'm assuming it is all from the shock last night. when duraleigh said to vacuum the mud into the filter, trying not to sound stupid here, but do you mean by just running the pump? and when you say backwash it out, what do you mean when you say that? thank you all very much for your post. it helps like you wouldn't believe
    18' x 48" AG cartridge filter 635 pump 6423 gallon model 56951 intex

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: brown water

    Dave/Duraleigh is used to sand filters, that can be backwashed. Unfortunately you have quite a situation on your hands, with your little Intex pump.

    Okay, those filters are disposable, meant for 1-2 weeks use under "normal" conditions. Your situation is not "Normal". You are going to need to change your's daily until this clears. You can hose it off a few times a day to try to get a couple days use out of one.....

    You must have used "dichlor" shock, if you have a CYA level already....?

    Keep the chlorine level at 10 by adding bleach, or Dichlor, to build your CYA level. Dichlor adds CYA every time....so you don't want to use too much or the CYA will get too high... and keep filtering 24/7 and changing out the filters as frequently as possible.

    Some Intex owners have figured out a way to vacume to "waste" which bypasses the filter entirely. However, you lose ALOT of water that way, and only have the same problem, the water source you started with.

    CSI is nothing for you to worry about....
    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: brown water

    ok so turning the pump off and letting the mud settle to vacuum it out is out of the question right??

    and how much bleach should i keep adding and when you say CYA are you talking about cyanuric acid?

    when i looked at it this morning it's still brown but maybe i'm halucinating, i can't tell, but maybe its a little lighter?!

    this may be a really stupid question but i'm going to ask anyway....how long do you think its going to take to filter this out? are we talking days-weeks or months???
    18' x 48" AG cartridge filter 635 pump 6423 gallon model 56951 intex

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: brown water

    Quote Originally Posted by starr446
    ok so turning the pump off and letting the mud settle to vacuum it out is out of the question right??

    and how much bleach should i keep adding and when you say CYA are you talking about cyanuric acid?

    when i looked at it this morning it's still brown but maybe i'm halucinating, i can't tell, but maybe its a little lighter?!

    this may be a really stupid question but i'm going to ask anyway....how long do you think its going to take to filter this out? are we talking days-weeks or months???
    Right. Letting it settle means you'll have to vacume, and it's very inneffective to vacume with the Intex set-up. Vacuming to waste means water goes out and you have to replace it with fresh, and you'll likely have the same trouble.... There is no way to predict how long this will take. You could try vacuming to waste a little each day and maybe replacing a little water at a time - maybe it won't produce the same muddy result? Not sure.

    If you elect to filter/shock...this is what I'd suggest to raise your FC/CYA levels (yes, Cyanuric Acid.)

    In your pool, 1 lb of shock will raise your CYA about 10ppm. You want at least 30. So if you use one 1lb bag a day for 2 more days, you should be about 30. Then you can switch to bleach. AT that point your shock level will be 12, and if you add 1.5 small jugs or 1 large jug of 6%, it will raise your FC by 12. I'm assuming that your FC will fall to 0 each night because of organics in the mud. If the FC isn't 0, you need to calculate how much to add, using the Pool Calculator. Have you tried the Pool Calc?

    After the pool is clear, you mean need another 1 lb bag of dichlor to increase the CYA level a bit more.

    By the way, if you don't spring for the big kit, at the very least you want a 6-way test kit like the HTH one that Wal-mart sells for about $20.
    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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