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Thread: Ascorbic acid treatment clouded the pool?

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    gtm's Avatar
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    Ascorbic acid treatment clouded the pool?

    I did the ascorbic acid treatment for metal stains over the weekend. Over the past week I let the chlorine drop to zero, and added a quart of Polyquat-60 last Wednesday when the chlorine had dropped to the minimum for my CYA.

    I added the ascorbic acid Friday evening and let it circulate overnight because I didn't see a lot of effect. Saturday evening I tested the water and added Metal Magic and a bit later added a pound of borax to start bringing up the pH a little, as per the instructions. Although the stains were still there, the water was still very clear. The instructions on the Metal Magic bottle indicated a dosage of 1.5 quarts for my pool, but the ascorbic acid instructions said more was better than not enough, so I added 2 quarts.

    I woke up this morning to a pool that was incredibly cloudy. Can't see the third step in the shallow end hardly at all. It's very white, not green at all, and if you look closely you can see very fine white particles floating about. The pump has been on since Friday and the pressure has risen by 2-3 psi since this morning.

    I also added 4 pints of 10% chlorine this afternoon and another pound of borax, but this was after the cloudiness occurred.

    Do you think I got a bloom started and the Polyquat-60 killed it? If so, should I add the remaining quart of Polyquat-60 I still have on hand? According to the instructions for the ascorbic acid treatment it seems you're not supposed to shock for a couple of weeks under any circumstances.

    I'm just dashing this off in hopes of getting advice on adding the additional Polyquat-60. Or maybe hearing that this happens sometimes with the treatment and that I should just be patient. But I can give more information if you can tell me what would help.

    Thanks, Gary
    15,000 gal. IG fiberglass pool w/ 1 hp Hayward Max-Flo and 250 lb. Hayward sand filter
    Located in St. Petersburg, Florida, and enclosed in a birdcage

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Ascorbic acid treatment clouded the pool?

    It is common for the water to get a little cloudy, less common for it to get very very cloudy as you describe, but that does happen occasionally. From your description it doesn't sound like algae, though we won't know for sure if there is algae or not for a little while yet. The sequestrant is causing something to precipitate out of the water, possibly the metals from the stain, more likely calcium.

    Stick with the ascorbic acid treatment process and things will get back to normal slowly. In the mean time, keep an eye on the filter pressure and backwash/clean the filter as needed.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    gtm's Avatar
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    Re: Ascorbic acid treatment clouded the pool?

    Thanks Jason. It doesn't "feel" like algae based on my experience, so I'll stick with the process as you suggest. Hopefully it is the metals, but I think you're right that it's actually sucking out calcium. Thanks again for the feedback ... Gary
    15,000 gal. IG fiberglass pool w/ 1 hp Hayward Max-Flo and 250 lb. Hayward sand filter
    Located in St. Petersburg, Florida, and enclosed in a birdcage

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    Re: Ascorbic acid treatment clouded the pool?

    As you can see from my post here, I had the same experience you had where after adding the metal sequestrant (after an ascorbic acid treatment), the next day the water was cloudy. It cleared up in a couple of days and apparently was not algae as I had plenty of PolyQuat 60 in the pool.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    gtm's Avatar
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    Re: Ascorbic acid treatment clouded the pool?

    Thanks Richard. Yes, I remembered that post. It seems our experiences are turning out to be rather similar. In my case, the water was SO cloudy that I was worried it might be more than you meant by "dull". BTW, the pressure has risen now to the point that I'll need to backwash when I get home from work, so whatever it is seems to be getting caught. Still very cloudy this morning, but we'll see how the next few days go. Thanks again for the help ... Gary
    15,000 gal. IG fiberglass pool w/ 1 hp Hayward Max-Flo and 250 lb. Hayward sand filter
    Located in St. Petersburg, Florida, and enclosed in a birdcage

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    fofa's Avatar
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    Re: Ascorbic acid treatment clouded the pool?

    Mine got so cloudy I could hardly see the shallow end let alone the deep end.
    Running the filter cleared it up after a few days.
    30,000 Gallons, Hayward C5030 cartridge filter, IG, Plaster, SWG

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    Re: Ascorbic acid treatment clouded the pool?

    This is normal and nothing to be alarmed about. It's just the magic of chemistry that is ridding your pool of metal stains! (most likely a metal phosphonate has precipitated out. This is a good thing.)

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