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Thread: Sequestered metal "dust" on bottom of pool

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    Sequestered metal "dust" on bottom of pool

    Hello, I recently inherited a 24,000 gallon in-ground pool (along with a house ). The pool had been laying dormant, uncovered, for 8 years, so my wife and I drained it, cleaned it, and refilled it. That was a VERY nasty job! LOL

    Anyway, the only water we had to refill it with was Florida's notoriously bad iron-laden well-water. The pool is 10 feet deep, and when we first filled the pool, the water in the deep end was actually black! After a couple of weeks of shock, chlorine, and a few other usual chemicals, we ended up with perfectly clear water, but with a catch.

    After we filled the pool, we put in six quarts of "Metal Out" because our local pool store told us that by putting this stuff in, the metal would be sequestered and we would be able to just vacuum it out. Well, that only turned out to be half correct. The chemical definitely did it's job of sequestering, but it goes right through the filter and back out the jets again every time I try to vacuum it up.

    I have a brand new 2HP pump and a new 225 sq/ft cartridge filter. Every morning, the water is crystal clear and you can see right to the bottom of the 10 foot deep end, but across the bottom of the entire pool is a brown dust-like substance. I'm positive it's not algae because I also put in algaecide and some other stuff to take care of that (because that's what I thought it was at first). Like I said, every time I try to vacuum it up, it just goes right through the filter and back out the jets, and the water remains a cloudy green/brown color until it all settles back to to the bottom again overnight.

    Is there any way I can get rid of this stuff? It was suggested that I simply bypass the filter and vacuum the stuff straight out, but the problem is that my 2HP pump moves the water so fast that the water level would be below the skimmer before I could finish, and then I'd just have to use the same well water again to fill it back up and start the process over again.

    If anyone has any ideas or experience with this, I'd be extremely grateful for any advice you can provide.

    Thanks

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    Hmmm. . . perhaps you could buy or borrow a Poolbuster. That's a battery-powered rechargeable self-contained pool vac. It would be time-consuming, but you could get out the stuff with one. You'd need a "sand and silt" filter bag which is an optional extra accessory.

    The basic model costs about $200. It's the only pool vac I use (but I have a small indoor pool, so my situation is very different from yours.) Folks with outdoor pools do apparently find them useful for quick touch-ups. There are a number of comments on the pool buster thread in the "Equipment Reviews" section. The "commercial grade" model is more powerful and thus better for larger pools. It's also substantially more expensive!

    If you do buy one, please note that it will take several charges for the battery to reach full capacity. At first it may only run 20-25 minutes on a charge. That's normal and it should run well for up to an hour after several charges & depletions.

    Good luck!
    ~Jules~

    My pool: INDOOR 13x27 rectangular fiberglass, built ~2001, BBB, TA-60 sand filter, Hayward two speed pump (1 hp/0.33 hp), 3/4 hp booster pump for solar heater
    Taylor K-2006 test

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    You could try a filter aid, something like Fiber Clear, or a similar cellulose based filter aid. That might enhance the filtering enough to get the fine particles the filter is currently missing. Another approach would be to try a clarifier, which is supposed to get the particles to clump together so they can be filtered. Neither of those work every time but if you are willing to experiment a little the odds are fairly good that one of them will work.
    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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    Of course, the long term permanent solution is to fill your pool with iron-free water. You said that was your only source but did you pursue finding water without iron content?

    In the long run, your pool will be easier to maintain and cost less money if you can locate an iron free source.

    The next best approach is to remove the iron from your water with a water softener. I would only consider this if you already owned one and were willing to do the frequent chemistry changes you'd need if you took this approach.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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  5. Back To Top    #5
    Thanks for the tips, I really appreciate it.

    I did try a clarifier, but perhaps I didn't use enough of it, I'm not sure.

    Would hooking up a sand filter instead of my current cartridge filter do a better job for the metal dust?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    No, sand lets through larger particles than a cartridge filter will. DE filters catch the smallest particles, sand is the worst, cartridge filters are in between.
    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

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Forgive my "newbiness", but then that begs the question, why do people use sand filters at all? If they do a poorer job than the other two kinds, plus they have to be backwashed which empties some of the pool water in the process, I don't understand.

    For obtaining iron-free water, does anyone have any information on water delivery in north-central Florida? Would having the water trucked in be cheaper than getting a water softener?

    Thanks

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Sand filters are very low maintenance and easy to use, all you need to do is backwash occasionally. In some areas losing water while backwashing is problematic, but in many areas it isn't an issue. Though sand filters let through larger particles than the other kinds of filters, the difference in water quality is not usually significant enough to be an issue. There are no ongoing costs as there are for the other two (replacement cartridges or DE). And finally, it is possible to add small amounts of DE to a sand filter to improve the filtering to right around the level of cartridge filters.
    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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    Would having the water trucked in be cheaper than getting a water softener?
    Almost surely. Water softeners are simply not designed to handle the volume of water in a pool so, while it's doable, I bet you'll find it much better to haul in good water.

    Sorry I can't help you with a source for water in your locale. but I'll bet others will be along soon who may be able to give you an indication of cost.......it varies widely within the US.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  10. Back To Top    #10
    I spent a long time searching the net for prices, but I can't seem to find anyone in my area that will deliver water for a pool. I know that there's got to be one, though, because everyone and their brother has a pool here in FL.

    I did come across this, any thoughts? http://metaltrap.com/

  11. Back To Top    #11
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    You could try the Bulk Water Delivery Directory, though they only list two in Florida.
    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

  12. Back To Top    #12
    A follow-up to this. I finally got the problem taken care of. I ended up just vacuuming the metal straight out. I was hesitant to do this at first, because I thought that a 2HP pump combined with a 3" valve would drain the pool below the skimmer before I could finish, but surprisingly it only took about 3 inches of water level to do the job.

    I am going to purchase one of those metal traps from my previous post, they are $99 for a 25,000 gallon filter, and it hooks straight up to the garden hose, so it's perfect for pool top-offs.

    Thanks everyone for the help and suggestions, I appreciated it very much

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