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Thread: Black Stain on my pool tile.

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    Black Stain on my pool tile.

    I purchased a Pentair Salt System in October 2007 when I had a new pool installed. The Pentair was installed by a professional. In September 2008 I began having a problem with my pool tile being stained with black. I contacted Pentair who told me they never heard of such a thing. My pool has always been maintained by professionals. After much research and cleaning, in November of 2008 my pool looked like new. In September 2009 the black stain came back. I again contacted Pentair who offered absolutely no solution to this problem. They refused to come and look at the unit. I finally hired an independent contractor to inspect the unit and he advised me that the ruthenium on the fins has dissolved. This unit is still under warranty. Pentair has offered no help at all. After I contacted the Better Business Bureau, they responded with some nonsense about underground wires which we do not have. This stain can only be removed with M. Acid. It cannot be scraped off for analysis. I have city water.
    pool size 16,000
    Jandy cartridge filter
    IG with spa and waterfall
    Diamond brite blue
    Jandy 1.5 hp 125gpm
    hayward navigator cleaner

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Black Stain on my pool tile.

    Welcome to the forum.

    Your water is out of balance somewhere. However, without test results, we are unable to help much except for making guesses.

    I assume the black staining is occuring at the waterline.

    Can you post test results?
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Black Stain on my pool tile.

    We did a water analysis on 9-18-09 when the stain came back:

    Free Available Chlorine: 0
    Total Available Chlorine: 0
    Total Bromine: /
    Water pH: 7.8
    Total Alkalinity: 80
    Calcium Hardness: 150
    Cyanuric Acid: 100
    Total Dissolved Solids: 4000
    Copper/Iron: /
    Phosphates
    Salt: 2500

    Recommendations: 1 bag of salt, 3 cups muriatic acid, 20 pounds of Hardness Plus, 1 pound of Chlor Brite.
    pool size 16,000
    Jandy cartridge filter
    IG with spa and waterfall
    Diamond brite blue
    Jandy 1.5 hp 125gpm
    hayward navigator cleaner

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Black Stain on my pool tile.

    Well, with no available chlorine, the stain is likely organic. Usually, those stains (can you post a pic?) will go away with continued use of chlorine.

    If your SWG is not producing chlorine, then I would suggest recontacting pentair to see if you can get some assistance.

    Meanwhile, I would suggest you run the chlorine up to around 30ppm and hold it there for a few days and see what that does to the stains.

    How does your water look?

    Food for thought - If you intend to maintain your own pool, you will have to have a test kit....preferably a very good one. Without it, you are simply guessing at the issues confronting your pool water.

    Actually, with those test results back in September, I am also guessing somewhat.

    Have you put chlorine in the pool since those tests were taken?
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Black Stain on my pool tile.

    At this point, we have disconnected the salt chlorine generator and have gone back to chlorine. We removed the stains with M. Acid. We will let you know if the stains come back (but I doubt it). Pentair has been useless. They offer no suggestions and no help.
    pool size 16,000
    Jandy cartridge filter
    IG with spa and waterfall
    Diamond brite blue
    Jandy 1.5 hp 125gpm
    hayward navigator cleaner

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
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    Hillsborough, NC
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    Re: Black Stain on my pool tile.

    The only thing Pentair will help you with is the cell, which is either producing chlorine or not producing chlorine. The stain on the tile is sort of relevant, in that it's probably due to low chlorine levels, but it's not as if the ruthenium came off and then oxidized on the tile.

    I'm also not sure an independent contractor would be able to tell you so specifically that the coating had come off. That's hard to even guess about if you don't take the fins out completely, which can't be done on the Intellichlor in any non-reversible way. It sounds to me like he heard that explanation once and sticks with it.

    First, you need to know all your warranty info. How much Pentair equipment did you install and when. Then, if you're still covered, call Pentair and ask to have a warranty service center come check the cell. They won't be able to help at all by phone.

    Focusing on the tile won't get you anywhere with them. In their world they create a product that creates some amount of chlorine. It's up to you to determine whether that amount is sufficient and whether supplemental chlorine needs to be added. In the heat of the summer there are plenty of pools with 0 CYA that get algae problems because their SWG's can't keep up. That's not the manufacturer's problem. So not to downplay your issue, but you'll need to keep a narrow focus in order for them to be helpful.

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