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Thread: New pool, iron problems etc.

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Yorkton, SK, Canada eh?
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    13

    New pool, iron problems etc.

    Hi all, first post but I've been learning a ton over the last week or so here - this place is fantastic!

    I bought a fast set pool a couple of weeks ago on a whim, setup went ok although it took days to fill as I'm on well water, using house supply that goes through a Rust Buster and water softener first. Raw output from one of my hydrants looks pretty gross - reddish brown from all the iron here in Saskatchewan.

    Having gone into this on a whim, it didn't occur to me to put *any* chemicals in the pool water at first. I figured I'd have to sort that out eventually but I thought I had a week or two. No pool store anywhere near me to consult and I hadn't found this place yet so don't laugh too hard . Anyway, a few days after I finished filling and we'd used the pool a couple of times I suddenly had, you guessed it, green water. So, I went out and bought some unstabilized chlorine crystals and dumped 'em in - which turned the whole pool a disgusting brown inside 20 minutes. I thought it was dead algea but have since determined it was the iron in the water - in the meantime though I followed the shocking instructions here and am pretty sure the algea is gone.

    After a lot of frustration and research here I discovered AA treatment - once I burned up enough of it to bring the FC down from shock level to 0 (ouch) it worked like magic. I now have cloudy but clear water, I can see the bottom again. However, there are large patches of reddish brown sediment sitting on the bottom - I'd like to vacuum these up, but this (finally) brings me to my first question:

    The vacuum that came with my pool isn't like what I've seen others describing here - it doesn't attach to my filter at all. Instead, you connect a hose to it, turn on the water, and it jets the water around a bend and into a small cloth bag, creating something of a vacuum in the process. While this appears to work for large items, I question the value of using it to vacuum iron sediment. Should I try anyway or am I just going to stir it all up, then have to wait for it to settle again and go buy a different pool vac? I've spent a lot of money on chemicals, etc. lately that I hadn't planned for so hate to spend more on a vac if I can avoid it. On the other hand, I want to use this pool!

    Next question: test strips. I know, I know. I'll buy a proper kit as soon as I can but for now I need to get by with these. What's driving me batty is this: I wait 15 seconds and then compare the colors - and they continue to change before my eyes while I'm trying to get a reading. Should I wait for them to stabilize, or should I be going with the reading exactly at 15 seconds? It makes a huge difference in the readings... for example, just a few minutes ago I got:

    15 secs - 30secs or so
    PH: 6.2 - PH: 7.2
    FC: 0 - FC: 0
    TA: 180 - TA: >240 (off the scale - blue color)
    CYA: 0 - CYA: 30-50

    The CYA especially seem suspicious to me - I got those same results before I ever added any stabilizer, and even now I've only put a very minute quantity of it in - like maybe 10 or 20 grams. BUT - my FC seemed to hold just fine while I was shocking, but of course I couldn't do a very accurate measurement of FC at shock level so maybe I'm mistaken there. Pool is in full sun most of the day though... sigh - I'm confused.

    The PH was 8.4+ when I first started testing, I've dumped a LOT of PH down in the bring it down, which seems to also have helped the obscenely high TA - it used to turn blue as soon as I dipped the strip.

    And, regarding the AA treatment I did last night - I've added plenty of sequestrant (aquarius brand stain preventer) and put in a maintenance dose of algeacide. I'm nervous about adding chlorine again - how long should I wait and how slowly should I bring it up?

    So - sorry about the LONG rambling post, I guess I saved everything up and now it's all burning in my mind screaming out for answers Any thoughts on any of the above would be most welcome and appreciated.

    Thank you!
    Peter Sherwood

    18x48 Bestway (Intex) Easy Set AG
    1500gph cartridge filter pump
    Well water extremely high in iron :(

  2. Back To Top    #2
    tschaefges's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sidney, IL
    Posts
    30

    Re: New pool, iron problems etc.

    I had that same type of vacuum that hooked to the hose and I also fill my pool from our well. Don't use that thing to try to pick the settled stuff off the bottom. It will just stir it all back up again. I found that by using the garden hose as a siphon I could suck the settled solids out of the pool without taking out too much water. It might take a couple of trys, but you can get that gunk out. I used the handle from the vacuum and tied the hose to it so I could reach in to siphon from outside.
    17' x 29.5' x 4' Splash Superpool AGP, 15,000 gal, Hayward S244T sand filter, Sta-Rite ABG4E-2A4BBB 1hp pump, BBB / TF100 test kit
    East-Central Illinois

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    mbar's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ashland PA
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    257

    Re: New pool, iron problems etc.

    As long as you have enough metal sequestering agent in the water, you can start to bring up the chlorine. Do this slowly. Add a cup (or more if you have a large pool) of bleach at a time waiting about 1/2 hour in between each dose until you get up to your minimum chlorine level for the amount of cya in your water. I am not sure how the test strips work. If there is a pool store around you can get your water tested - but don't buy anything they tell you to. You want to keep your ph at the low level - 7.0 - 7.2 while you bring up your chlorine. If you see the stain coming back, add more sequestering agent. With a cya 0f 30 - 50, you can take your bleach level up to 3ppm to 5ppm. The chlorine may get eaten up quickly because the chlorine will attack the ascorbic acid that is left in the water. You will have to test often, and add chlorine as necessary to keep the algae away, so you don't have to shock again. You should not shock for about 2 weeks after the ascorbic acid treatment. Feel free to ask any other questions you may have.
    16x33 fiberglass pool sand filter

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Yorkton, SK, Canada eh?
    Posts
    13

    Re: New pool, iron problems etc.

    Wow - the garden hose siphon vacuum idea worked really well! I'm going to have to have another go at it tomorrow after what I stirred up today settles overnight, but I definitely got at least 80% tonight.

    As I was stirring stuff up and this big brown cloud started to form I had horrifying visions of the whole pool turning brown again - should I hold off on the chlorine until I finish vacuuming the sediment? I'm thinking still having the AA in the water would be a good thing until then... but maybe I'm just paranoid.

    (I never used to be paranoid until they started coming after me though...)
    Peter Sherwood

    18x48 Bestway (Intex) Easy Set AG
    1500gph cartridge filter pump
    Well water extremely high in iron :(

  5. Back To Top    #5
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Location
    SWSuburban Chicago, IL
    Posts
    11,963

    Re: New pool, iron problems etc.

    No, don't hold off on adding the chlorine just do it in small amounts and add more sequesterant if you see the brown coming back. You don't want to wait to add the CL you'll end up with a green algae mess!

    As for the reliability of the strips, exactly at 15 seconds. And I doubt you have any CYA in there, less than 20. So check out the CYA chart for your FC targets.....and then dose accordingly, this will help you get your pool cleared up. I recommend the TF-100 test kit (when you can) worth every penny.

    You'll need some stabilizer soon, or you'll go thru alot of bleach due to sunlight.
    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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