ascorbic acid treatment alternative for iron staining!

Strawberryshortcake

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2019
212
Arkansas
Hi all,

First of all i don’t take any credit for this discovery as it’s something I found on these forums while researching my iron issues. Unfortunately i’m having trouble finding the threads I had read as they were years old. I will include them later if I can find them again.

So the best way to deal with iron is to remove it. But for people like me where it isn’t an option (I won’t drain my liner pool until i’m replacing the liner), the only other option tends to be ascorbic acid. Or creating a system with polyfill to remove iron, which I did not personally attempt and so believe requires the iron to be in the water, not stained onto the sides.

Well, the threads I mentioned tried something “new” and skipped AA and treated with only Proteam Metal Magic. For me this has worked fantastic and it’s so much easier then AA treatment. You don’t need to drop your chlorine or ph and you don’t have to add polyquat 60 and there is no fighting to neutralize the aa with bleach afterwards. I could never successfully get through the entire treatment with AA due to “coming out” of it requiring so much bleach. I would get algae even with poly 60. And if I didn’t get algae, I would get stains coming back because of how much bleach I was dumping into the pool.

So for me, what I do is pour 4 bottles into the pool with the filter on. I keep my chlorine level normal. My ph is usually at 7.5+ already, so I don’t need to adjust that but you’ll want it about there because MM will lower it.
And that’s it!
The next morning 98% of the stain is gone. By day 2, it’s entirely gone and sparkling. And my levels are all balanced still, besides low ph, which I just leave my return jet fountain on to bring back up. There is no cloudy water. NO endless chlorine consumption for days.
I think I could probably use 3 bottles, but I’ve not tried that yet. I’ve done this twice so far, my staining had come back due to an algae outbreak hiding in my steps so slamming brought my stains back. I’m not entirely sure how much I need to add for maintaining, still figuring that part out.

MM is expensive but it feels about the same to me by the time you buy AA, poly 60, sequester, and all the bleach / other balancing chems needed to complete an AA treatment. Not to mention the time investment babying the pool afterwards. PoolGeek has a 12 pack of MM on ebay for $150, which is the best deal i’ve found.

I’m just so ecstatic with this method I had to share it again. I did not come up with it but I never see it recommend so I wanted to bring it up again.

And some thoughts to include. As mentioned, I tried AA more then once. So my stains were only months old when doing this. I do not know how they would react to stains that have been present for years without treatment. I imagine you’d maybe need more, and it would need more then 2 days to clear it all. You won’t see instant results like with AA. I don’t see any difference right after putting it in. It takes many hours overnight to work in my case.

Here’s a before and after of my pool. I just did the treatment this past weekend. Before that you can see my pool looked green, due to the orange all over my liner.

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JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
16,033
Tucson, AZ
Proteam MM is just HEDP (an organic phosphonic acid). 4 gallons of MM in a 25,000 gallon pool is going to put your HEDP concentration at around 50ppm which is pretty high (I believe that’s almost twice the typical startup dose). Usually for HEDP, with a reasonable iron concentration (3-4ppm), you want about 12-15ppm HEDP as the maintenance dose, at least that’s what most manufacturers shoot for. There are actually test kits from Taylor that can measure HEDP concentrations if you wanted to be exact about it.

As you’ll no doubt find out, the stuff is expensive, as are many metal sequestrants, so you’ll have to find a dose that works but doesn’t break the bank. Also, with chlorine oxidation, the HEDP breaks down into phosphates. Phosphates are algae nutrients and so your pool water can become a very attractive environment for outbreaks. Phosphates can be removed but that’s another chemical expense to add to the regimen and it’s not cheap either. Obviously if you’re very careful about keeping your FC well maintained, then phosphates don’t matter but, if your FC gets too low, the water can go green pretty quick.

At the end of the day, removing the iron from the fill water is only long term approach that will keep you off the chemistry yo-yo but that too has high upfront costs and on-going maintenance.
 

Strawberryshortcake

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2019
212
Arkansas
Proteam MM is just HEDP (an organic phosphonic acid). 4 gallons of MM in a 25,000 gallon pool is going to put your HEDP concentration at around 50ppm which is pretty high (I believe that’s almost twice the typical startup dose). Usually for HEDP, with a reasonable iron concentration (3-4ppm), you want about 12-15ppm HEDP as the maintenance dose, at least that’s what most manufacturers shoot for. There are actually test kits from Taylor that can measure HEDP concentrations if you wanted to be exact about it.

As you’ll no doubt find out, the stuff is expensive, as are many metal sequestrants, so you’ll have to find a dose that works but doesn’t break the bank. Also, with chlorine oxidation, the HEDP breaks down into phosphates. Phosphates are algae nutrients and so your pool water can become a very attractive environment for outbreaks. Phosphates can be removed but that’s another chemical expense to add to the regimen and it’s not cheap either. Obviously if you’re very careful about keeping your FC well maintained, then phosphates don’t matter but, if your FC gets too low, the water can go green pretty quick.

At the end of the day, removing the iron from the fill water is only long term approach that will keep you off the chemistry yo-yo but that too has high upfront costs and on-going maintenance.
The bottles are 1qt each, not a gallon! This is simply a way to skip over the AA part of the treatment. With my liner being an unknown age, I simply can't risk draining the pool until I know I'll be able to replace it. So, this is much easier then typical AA treatment for the time being. I pretty much gave up on that and had an orange pool for a while.
On the bottle itself it says, at 1 bottle per 10K gallons or 1 bottle per 5k gallons for heavy staining.