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Thread: metals in water

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    metals in water

    I copied this text from another pool forum:

    "Here is some information about metals in water:

    Copper is one of nature's elements. It is also used in the equipment and plumbing in most swimming pools. Copper, in its free state, may also be present in cheaper algaecides.
    Corrosive water (low pH, low TA, low calcium hardness) caused by improper water balance or misuse of chemicals can cause copper to be dissolved into the pool water. The water supply you use for topping up the pool may also contain high levels of copper, iron and other metals.
    The maximum level for copper is 1.0ppm, though lower levels are recommended. At high concentrations, the copper deposits out of the water and onto hair, fingernails or pool walls causing green stains. High levels of copper can also cause green water.
    Iron in the pool causes the water to turn brown or green. It can also cause staining of the pool walls. Iron has much the same causes as copper (i.e. corrosive water or high levels in the top-up water). The maximum level of iron is 0.3ppm although iron-free water is desirable.
    Copper and iron can be "locked" into the water using chemicals (chelating agents). This prevents the metal from dicolouring the water or staining the pool.
    Magnesium and manganese in the water increase the hardness and can cause scale. See also calcium hardness.
    __________________
    Marie
    Fibergla s s 16x33, sand filter
    Northeast PA "

    I'm having trouble understanding something....I've put 3 bottles of "metal free" in my pool in the last 2 weeks. I have drained 1/3 of the pool and refilled twice in order to lower the CYA. After this last refill, the copper reading was back up to .21 and the lead reading which had been 0 before was .71. This was the local pool store test. As of now I only have the HTH 6 way test kit to go by, which doesn't test for metals. I don't know if these readings are accurate or if they just want me to buy their "metal free" at $20 a pop.

    Does this sequestering stuff REMOVE the metals? I was told to hose off my cartridge after 24 hours, that the metals can linger in the filter. Is it removing anything? Or does it just work that chemistry magic? Last year we had problems with green (blond) hair, white sections of swimsuits turning green; and when using that "continuous aerisol sunscreen spray" various brands - skin would even turn green, especially if sunscreen was applied heavily on areas not exfoliated...i.e. my daughters back... stopped using that kind of spray.

    Here's my latest tests (my hth 6 way kit)
    FC 0
    TC .5 ( I added 3 - 1.46 gallon jugs of 6% bleach last evening)
    PH 7.2ish
    TA 150
    CYA 70ish (i say ish cause it was yesterday and I'm having a brain cramp, but I remember being pleased it was less than before which was 76-pool store reading)

    Do I need to worry about the metals at this time? I'm frustrated enough trying to master the BBB method getting the chlorine right and the CYA down....any thoughts? THanks!
    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: metals in water

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Does this sequestering stuff REMOVE the metals? I was told to hose off my cartridge after 24 hours, that the metals can linger in the filter. Is it removing anything? Or does it just work that chemistry magic?.......

    Do I need to worry about the metals at this time? I'm frustrated enough trying to master the BBB method getting the chlorine right and the CYA down....any thoughts? THanks!
    It is supposed to "sequester" and you actually remove them when you "hose off the filter" however I don't believe it is all that effective. Chances are, your fill water may have a small amount of iron but it is doubtful that it has any copper. The .71 ppm of lead surprises me and I'd get a second test/opinion. I do not believe that .21ppm of copper will cause problems. Evan (waterbear) knows more about the side effects of copper so maybe he'll chime in. If it were me, Id keep doing partial drains and refills to lower the copper level. After all, 20$ buys a lot more water than Metal Out.... 8)

    Dave

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    frustratedpoolmom,
    I don't have any personal experience with metals, but I'll help where I can here (which may not be much). Metal sequesters do not remove metal, they isolate it from the water. As I understand it, the metals become bound within a protective layer (the sequestrant), so that they don't precipitate out and cause problems. I would be especially concerned about the lead in your water. I have never heard of lead getting into a pool, and I wouldn't have a clue how that happened. I would look into how these metals are getting into your pool in the first place, and see if it can be stopped. Hopefully someone else could offer better answers. Hope you get it taken care of.
    Poor Man's Pool
    Doughboy 18 ft round above ground
    7600 gal with center drain
    Pentair sand filter, 1 HP pump
    50 ppm borates
    "I know just enough to be dangerous"
    Pool Calc Ver 1.41 (Excel)

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    divnkd101's Avatar
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    Have the water tested that you are using to fill the pool. That would be my first guess as suspect. Good Luck.
    MIKE

    21K Inground Custom w/ Spa (Gunite/Plaster), SWCG, Hayward Northstar, Polaris 280, Hayward Color Logics, Jandy PS-8

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    My first thought was their test was off....4 prior tests showed lead was 0.

    I was draining to lower the CYA. Got the copper down from 1.4 to .6 after the first bottle of metal free. Drained/added water and the copper went back up to 1.29. Added another bottle of metal free and (duh) drained somemore, added more water. Copper up to the numbers shown above. So I litterally poured $60 of metal free down the drain so to speak....

    So my guess for the source was the fill water, which is Lake Michigan (via the overpriced Illinois American Water Company) 6,000 gallons of water used last month cost me $103. Can't wait to get my bill next month for draining/refill twice and watering the grass once.... ouch.... that's another story!

    Could be from the heater....

    Where can I test for metals besides the pool store? Is lead in the water a concern for young kids who accidentally ingest?
    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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    frustratedpoolmom,
    Lead is toxic to anyone, but especially in children under six years of age. I don't know where you can have water tested other than a pool store. You can buy stand-alone test kits for metal, but I've never seen one for lead. As DavidD said, get a second (or third) pool store to test your water, as pool store water testing is sometimes not very reliable. I just noticed something that I failed to notice before. Your pH is "7.2ish" and you have a heater. You pH could very well be acidic. You should bump your pH up. Anything less than 7.0 is acidic, and will corrode metal. What is your calcium hardness?
    Poor Man's Pool
    Doughboy 18 ft round above ground
    7600 gal with center drain
    Pentair sand filter, 1 HP pump
    50 ppm borates
    "I know just enough to be dangerous"
    Pool Calc Ver 1.41 (Excel)

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Poseidon,

    I have an AG vinyl pool and other postings said not to worry about the CH, but last tested it was 173 (pool store).

    I was afraid to raise the PH because my TA was a little high at 150....won't the ph bump also raise the TA?

    Bear with me all, I'm trying....
    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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    frustratedpoolmom,
    I did not realize you had vinyl, so CH is not very important. pH is far more important than TA. In your case, the pH could be acidic, or bordering acidic, so I would recommend raising it especially since you have a heater (with copper, I presume). I have ran my vinyl pool with TA 200+ (my fill water is TA 210) with no ill effects, although I have since gotten it down.
    Poor Man's Pool
    Doughboy 18 ft round above ground
    7600 gal with center drain
    Pentair sand filter, 1 HP pump
    50 ppm borates
    "I know just enough to be dangerous"
    Pool Calc Ver 1.41 (Excel)

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    ktdave's Avatar
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    That lead concentration is worrisome if indeed it is accurate. The EPA's maximum contaminant level (MCL) is 0.015 ppm. Your 0.71 concentration is more than 47 times the MCL.
    11,000 gal. gunite w/midnight blue and white pearl PebbleTec
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    Pentair cartridge filter 420 sq. ft.
    Mastertemp 400K BTU heater
    Legend Platinum cleaner
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    Some test are given in ppb (parts per billion) so I would definitely call the pool stealer to clarify. To be honest, I seriously doubt you have a lead problem unless you have lead pipes in the pool plumbing and you have had very acidic water. Get it tested. If I'm not mistaken, Home Depot sells a drinking water test kit, maybe you should check into that just for peace of mind.

    Dave

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    I'll head over to two "other" pool stealers (I like that) tomorrow and ask them to test specifically for metals... won't offer anything, just saying I have a heater, etc., and I tested myself for the rest, just need the metals...see what they say. I saw those water test kits but I didn't know if it was accurate for pool water only drinking water? I can't believe the lead reading is right, our water is Lake Michigan, if it indeed contained that much lead there would be a huge outcry from the public, right? Does the Laars Lite 2 heater have lead pipes? I had low ph last summer that was able to raise o.k. but maybe the 2 weeks it was a problem was enough to cause a problem? The heater is working fine, just had the repair man out last week and he said it looked like a 3 year old heater and was surprised it was 6.
    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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    FPM,

    i had to fill my pool with well water, so i had to educate myself about metals. Marie @ PF was very helpful. check out this link:

    http://www.poolforum.com/pf2/showthread ... ls+removal

    also used Jack's magic "purple stuff" without problems. i had copper and iron (mild), and the pool looks great.

    read up more on BBB. i think there is a sticky on this forum.
    it will tell you that you can raise your ph without pushing up TA by using 20 mule team borax.
    soda ash (sodium carbonate) will raise both ph and ta. i avoid using this. i use sodium BIcarbonate (arm and hammer baking soda) to rasie ta with mininal change in ph.

    you are on the right track for pool happiness and saving $$$.
    Cal C.

    22k ig vl, hayward 2sp northstar, hayward pro series sand filter, aqua logic ps-8 wireless controls with swg, hayward (eus) heat pump, polaris 280 cleaner.

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    Cal C.

    22k ig vl, hayward 2sp northstar, hayward pro series sand filter, aqua logic ps-8 wireless controls with swg, hayward (eus) heat pump, polaris 280 cleaner.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Okay, I had a blonde moment.... it wasnt lead, it was iron....(everyone laugh here)

    I'm shaking my head at myself....

    Copper was .64 at the pool store. This is 3 times what the other pool store told me 3 days ago. They say the max is 0.3ppm. Iron was zero...3 days ago the Iron was .71. I'm going to guess they just want to sell me the metal free. If my dog turns green I'll know what to do!
    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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    Your Cartridge Filter.

    Hi there. In my experience cartridge filters won't remove copper at any kind of measurable rate. Sprinkling some D.E. , Sparkle Up, or Jack's Magic Filter Aid will help remove the Copper or Iron faster, but it won''t happen overnight. You definitely needed some metal free to sequester those metals until they can be removed or you would likely get staining, but Metal Free or other sequesterants won't remove the Copper/Iron. It is up to the filter to do that. Thanks.
    Matthew Austin
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that adding DE to some cartridge filters will destroy the cartridge. Some appear to be fine with it, others have problems. Adding DE to a sand filter is a great idea, cartridges require a little care/research.
    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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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    I did a search but couldn't find:

    Um, what's DE? I don't want to destroy my cartridge. So if I understand it right....I put the sequestering agent in, and over time the filter removes it. Cleaning off the filter removes the metals the filter caught.

    Question 1: We have always just hosed off the filter - never used the store-recommended "filter magic". Is it necessary to "treat" the filter?

    Question 2: Will sequestering agent also lower my CH which the pool stealer says is 70 but my HTH 6 way says is 460? (I have a vinyl pool)

    Question 3: My pool store sells three kinds of "metal out"....Malibu for $5.99, Seaklear for for $17.99 and Proteam for $19.99. The bottles don't list any ingredients, just says what it does. I asked the "expert" and he said the cheapy one is cheapy "cause it's not as good" and they only use it if the others are out of stock. He recommended the $17 which I did not buy because the check-out line was 8 deep - no thank you. Any thoughts on these mystery bottles of unnamed incredients and why the price difference?
    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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    Well, this is a little above my pay grade, but I am under the assumption that NOTHING (short of a water softener) will remove metals from your pool water as long as they are in solution.

    Now, when they precipitate out into solids, they can be removed. Unfortunately, they usually preciptate out on your hair or your pool walls.

    Placing a puck(s) in the skimmer to lower the pH and precipitate the metal out of solution and into the filter is a thought. That makes sense in theory but I would question it would be very effective.

    My take on "Mom's" issue would be to ignore the metals (for now) and concentrate on maintaining correct pH and Cl levels for the rest of the season. The metals and high CH (double check that test) will work themselves out over time with rainwater and refills to the pool.

    "Mom", take all this with a grain of salt, I have no personal experience with metals and am only parroting and summarizing things I have read over the years......possibly being wrong on all counts
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    I also have little experience with metals issues. I do know that Jack's Magic products are very highly recommended. Some products claim that they will bind to the metals and clump over time, allowing the filter to remove the metals. To the extent that this actually happens it must be quite slow.
    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

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    Metals

    Your cartridge filter by itself is not filtering out any significant level of metals, but adding a charged cellulose (Jack's Magic Filter Aid, or BioGuard Sparkle Up) will help it catch the super fine metal particles. There is no way to lower CH, sorry, but have it professionally tested elsewhere to confirm 460 or 70, someone is definitely incorrect and either way it needs to be treated for being too high or too low. Also, Filter Aid or Sparkle Up are safe for your cartridge.

    Thanks,
    Matthew Austin
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