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Thread: Clear Yellow Water

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    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Spanish Fort, AL
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    Clear Yellow Water

    When I opened my pool (22,000 gallons) this season, it had a lot of leaves and run off from heavy rains over the winter. Even though I knew I had metals in my well water, I elected to use it when vacuuming to waste over several days of getting the junk out. I had used sequestrant in the past with good success, so I figured I would do the same this season.

    However, once free of trash and the water balanced, my water was clear, but brown. I put some water in a white bucket and noted the color was yellow. Over a couple of weeks, I used about a gallon of sequestrant. The color never changed. The local pool stores where all scratching their head. No iron, no copper. Must be manganese. Use more sequestrant, I was told.

    Well I finally decided to drain most of the pool (all except 8 or 9,000 gallons) and start over (with city water). Now the pool is much clearer, but the water still has a yellow tint. The liner is stained brown, but ascorbic acid seems to do the trick with some test spots I have tried. I figure at this point I have diluted what ever well water was in the pool to a point where a sequestrant will be effective. The sequestrant was added 12 hours ago, but it appears it is not going to do the job, again.

    I am posting this to see what other ideas you guys may have as to why the water has a yellow tint, is clear, free of algae, minimum phosphates, but will not respond to a SEA KLEAR sequestrant or any other brand I have tried. I consider this a short term problem, because I will be replacing the liner in the next 6 weeks or so and using 100% city water. But the wife wants a pretty pool in the meantime.

    Currently, the FC is 1, TC is 1, TA is 100, PH is 7.2, CYA is 10 to 20.
    Spanish Fort, AL, 24k gallons, sand filter, and new Rainbow 320 chlorinator and liner April 2016

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Clear Yellow Water

    Welcome to TFP!

    There are two different things that can color the water a clear transparent yellow/brown: iron and organics. (I like to call the organic coloring leaf tea.) Coloring from iron can be removed by adding enough sequestrant. Coloring from organics can be removed by adding enough chlorine.

    From your description it sounds like you have organic coloring. Bring your FC level up to shock level (around 12) this evening and see how things look tomorrow.
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Clear Yellow Water

    Sounds like tannins from the leaves and such. Tannins are what gives tea the characteristic brown color. Over time, chlorine should take care of it.
    10K gallon IG gunite with waterfall; Pentair CC320P filter; WhisperFlo 2 HP pump
    TF Test Kits - Pool Math - Pool School
    "It depends."- JohnT

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Mar 2010
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    Spanish Fort, AL
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    Re: Clear Yellow Water

    Thanks guys, that is what I thought. But when I asked the so called experts at the pool store, they convinced me to add more sequestrant. I have searched the web to find an answer to removing tannins, but never hit on a complete answer. Seems I did find a mild reference somewhere about upping the chlorine. If you have ever been in a quandary like this, it is easy to be lead down the wrong path by the so called experts, that really don't know either because I think this is a fairly rare issue. Most folks don't let their pool get like mine did, but I knew I was replacing the liner (turns out to be later than sooner), so I let it slide over the winter.

    I will give this a shot. But one more question.

    Should I deal with the stained liner first, or go ahead and up the chlorine level first, then deal with the staining later?
    Spanish Fort, AL, 24k gallons, sand filter, and new Rainbow 320 chlorinator and liner April 2016

  5. Back To Top    #5
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Clear Yellow Water

    I would shock first and deal with the stains later. You won't be able to shock for up to several weeks after removing the stains, but you will be able to remove the stains just a few days after shocking.
    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

  6. Back To Top    #6
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Clear Yellow Water

    If your replacing the liner anyway, is it worth the added expense of removing the staining?
    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

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Clear Yellow Water

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    If your replacing the liner anyway, is it worth the added expense of removing the staining?
    Did I mention I have a wife?
    Spanish Fort, AL, 24k gallons, sand filter, and new Rainbow 320 chlorinator and liner April 2016

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Re: Clear Yellow Water

    Quote Originally Posted by firestick
    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    If your replacing the liner anyway, is it worth the added expense of removing the staining?
    Did I mention I have a wife?
    Are our wives related?
    10K gallon IG gunite with waterfall; Pentair CC320P filter; WhisperFlo 2 HP pump
    TF Test Kits - Pool Math - Pool School
    "It depends."- JohnT

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
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    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
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    Re: Clear Yellow Water

    Too bad you drained all that water. You shoulda asked around first to see if anyone had any deerskins or cowhides they needed tanned into leather!

    Dump a cup of chlorine into your bucket of yellow water and see if it bleaches it out - then you'll know before you dump a whole lot of money into your pool.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

  10. Back To Top    #10
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Clear Yellow Water

    Quote Originally Posted by firestick
    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    If your replacing the liner anyway, is it worth the added expense of removing the staining?
    Did I mention I have a wife?
    Let me talk to her.

    Does she realize she probably won't be able to use the pool during the stain removal process?
    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

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Clear Yellow Water

    Using a bucket of water from the pool to do test runs is a great idea.... might come in handy for future reference!

    I'm new to this, and Hubby has no mind for my concern about adding well water to our pool. We have very hard water and filled the pool with city water last fall. I was able to convince him to top off with softened water this spring, but am afraid when we backwash he may get lazy until he plumbs a line to the side of the house for softened water.

    If we do ever end up with brown water, or any other issue for that matter, I may have to try the bucket method
    Indiana, ABG 24'x52" Galveston by Blue Cascade (Craigslist $600 w/part of deck included), 13,500 gallons, Intex SWG, solar panel

    My backyard is like a park... Why then does DH always want to go camping??? I just don't understand.

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