Brown then green...ready to give up

newguyjosh

Well-known member
Jun 6, 2010
92
Central Indiana
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I purchased an intex metal support pool last weekend. 48 inches x 15 feet. I also purchased the intex saltwater system. After setting it up I subsequently filled in with water from my well (big mistake appearently). Everything looked fine at first but as it got fuller the water started looking orange and I couldnt see more then 8-12 inches down through the water. I went ahead and dumped in enough liquid chlorine to get it up to 10ppm to shock which I thought would fix the problem...it didnt...and added the recommended amount of salt to start disloving .I realized this was appearently an iron problem which chlorine would initially make worse?. The folks with HTH online chat and at the local pool dealer advised me to let the chlorine drop below 1 ppm then add a sequestering agent. I did this on Friday (I used HTH metal control and added a little over the recommended amount). I also added HTH Ph minus because the Ph was testing at 8.4 or above on my strips.

On saturday morning the water no longer looked brown but now looked green and I could see to the bottom of the pool. I continued to clean the cartridge filter 2-3 times per day and it was always orange and rusty looking. When I scooped water out in a bottle for a sample it looked clear!?

I took a sample of the water in to the pool place and got the following numbers:
Free Chlorine:0
Cya: 0
Total hardenss: 279
Ph: 7.5
Total alkalinity: 369
iron 1.5 ppm
Salt 1700

The pool place told me the iron may continue to decrease over the next few days with the metal control only being added the day before. They also advised me to wait a while longer on adding any chlorine. They said the biggest thing I needed to do was lower the alkalinity and they advised using muratic acid. 1/4 gallon then 1/4 gallon 4 hours later. If still high add more the next day up to another 1/2 gallon. Based on reading online I realized i would need to aerate to keep the Ph from dropping too much. My return valve from the filter/pump is angled slightly upward and the total water level for the pool is slightly low so water is splashing quite a bit which I think is doing the job of aeration.

Well at this point I have added 3/4 gallons of muratic acid and the pool still loooks greenish but mostly clear (meaning I can see the bottom of the pool). When I test using test strips the Ph still looks to be around 7.2 and the alkalinity looks just slightly darker then the max on my test strips of 240. I have still not added any more chlorine and I hae not started running the salt water system to generate any chlorine. I plan to take another sample to the pool place tomorrow.

So what should I do now? Keep addint muratic acid? When should I put some liquid chlorine or start the salt system? I'm afraid I'm gonna end up with algae soon (it has been cloudy and raining here the last several days so hopefully that keeps the algage at bay. I have been running the filter pump 24/7 except for cleanings.

Is the green water safe to swim in? I feel like this is never going to clear up. Why is the water in the bottle clear but the pool definately not?

Please help... :x
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
You need some CYA, also called stabilizer or conditioner. To work with the Intex salt system you want CYA around 70 to 80, but for now it is best to only go up about half that far to around 40 until the water is completely cleared up. Without CYA, you lose all of your chlorine to sunlight each day and it is nearly impossible to maintain a safe FC level.

You should also get some kind of test kit of your own. The best one is the TF-100 from TFTestKits.net. You can probably make do with a simpler kit, like a WalMart 6 way test kit, but the TF_100 will be better in the long run.

It is dangerous to add that much muriatic acid without knowing what the PH is. Even a very simple test kit would be able to tell you that.
 

newguyjosh

Well-known member
Jun 6, 2010
92
Central Indiana
Ok..I hadn't had any chlorine in it or any cya because HTH and the dealer said let the chlorine stay low to gone until the metals are undercontrol. Since there is no longer brown stuff on the bottom of the pool or floating all over I assume the metal stuff is working?

I put about half the recommended dosage of cya in tonight and I turned to saltwater generator on for 6 hours run time. this shoud get some chlorine going as I have been told that when I add it not to go too fast.

Still trying to get total alkalinty down and will drop off a sample at the pool stool tomorrow and will look for test kit at walmart.

Any idea why the water is greenish colored in the pool but clear in a bottle now? Is it the high TA, is it becasue there is no chlorine? Will the water ever be able to be clear since I put well water in it?

Should I dump and start over? The pool company wants 250 to deliver water which is as much as the pool itself cost!
 

jml

Active member
Jul 10, 2009
26
Josh, sounds like you are headed in the right direction. I wouldn't dump it at this point. While Jason will know better than me, I'd guess that the greenish tint may be some algae forming because you have little chlorine in your water. You may want to dump in a jug of bleach to get that under control while the SWG starts producing chlorine. You'll also want to make sure you are spraying out your filter quite often at this point to get rid of the iron or algae guck. Get a test kit ASAP, even if just a wally world one so that you can really take control over your water. Worry first about maintaining good FC and fairly reasonable pH levels, and you can work on the TA over time after you've got rid of the green and made it safe to swim. The only major concern with high TA for your vinyl intex pool is that it may result in quicker scale build up on your SWG cell plates, requiring more frequent cleaning of the SWG cell by soaking it in vinegar.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
In the pool you are looking through a lot more water. The more water, the more obvious the green tint. The green is there even in the jar, it is just too pale to notice.

I suspect the green is caused by the iron turning the water yellow, plus a blue liner, blue+yellow=green. However, at this point jml could be right and it might be the start of some algae.

Yes, the water will clear up eventually. You may well need to continue using the sequestrant regularly because of the metals in the well water. You could have water trucked in, but then what do you do when water evaporates or splashes out? Eventually you will end up with well water in the pool one way or another, so I figure you might as well start dealing with it now.
 

newguyjosh

Well-known member
Jun 6, 2010
92
Central Indiana
Jason and jml thanks for the advice...I doubt it is algae as it turned that way shortly after using the sequesterant. I am assuming the water is yellow like you said.
I am using HTH metal control which contains Hydroxenthlidene diphosphonic acid, is this a good sequesterant or do I need to look for something else?

So what do you suggest my next step is? I added some cya and turned the SWG on. I'll try to get a test kit tomorrow.

I have already added ~24 ounces of the metal control since friday and it recommendeds 32/ounces per 10000 gallons (my pool is only ~4400 gallons so I have went well above the recommended). Do I keep adding more anyways? The filter cartridge continues to be orange. The pool place said my iron was 1.5 on saturday (about 24 hours after I added the inital 16 ounches of metal control)? Will the metal control decrease the iron count or just "hide" the iron?

My girlfriend and I really look forward to swimming. This site has been a lot of help and I really hope you guys can help get my water clean/clear and ready to go!
 

bullweevelus

Active member
Jun 4, 2010
25
Michigan
Josh,
i had the same problem last year, filled my pool with well water and it turned brown, before i found this place, my pool store told to me to add "metal out", some liquid stuff. i added a ton of it and made sure i changed my filter out every four hours or there abouts. if u are just washing out your filter then putting it back in, it will take forever to clean up the water. i had to buy a ton of filters but it cleaned the water that much faster. and i had to run the pump all day every day until it was clear. there was a couple times when i would reuse the filters once the water got better, but i only used them once after that.....i spent a ton of money in filters last year, but found it to work the best....i also made sure i scrubbed the sides down every day too, u want to try to get the stuff off your walls and into the filter so the filter can get it!!!! it took about 1.5 weeks to get my water clear again. MAKE SURE U CHANGE YOUR FILTERS very often and it should get better faster.
this year i paid the 150 bucks for pool water.....it was that or pay 250 bucks in $7 filters again.....
 

newguyjosh

Well-known member
Jun 6, 2010
92
Central Indiana
I turned the SWG on last night and added some cya. So far I have added 3/4 gallons of muriatic acid to lower the alkalinity. Water still green but can see bottom of pool. Havent had a chacne to get my own test kit but the pool store reported the following from todays sample.

Total chlorine 2, Free chlorine 2
Cya: 0
Ph: 7.4
Total alkalinty: 309- came down 60 but still way high
Total hardness 285

They advised continuing to add muraitic acid 1/4 gallon a time ove the next few days and seem to think if the alkalinity lowers the water will turn clear.

I have been cleaning the filter and reusing it several tiems per day but maybe I wil start replacing it more often.

Any other suggestions? Will lowering alkalinity clear it up or do I need to do something mroe about the iron? More metal control? Time with the fitler? thanks
 

bullweevelus

Active member
Jun 4, 2010
25
Michigan
i would suggest scrubbing the sides and bottom and keep changing your filter as much as u can.....another thing i did after the water went from brown to kinda clear was took the hoses apart and used CLR to clean them and get the rust stains out. i soaked them in a 5 gallon bucket for a few then ran a brush threw the hoses and got them nice and clear again. i would have to think u have a nice coat of rust stain inside your pump too, so maybe take a rag to it and try to clean up as much of the stain as u can.....u need to try to get your stuff clean again so when it runs thru your pump and filter it will actaully be doing what it is supposed to....even my hose running from pump to pool was orange colored, so i figured even though the water was being filtered, it was picking up the rust again and just putting it back into the pool.....
i think you are on the right track, it just takes awhile for the water to clean up.....the more u run your pump and filter and the cleaner they are, the sooner your water should clear up.
then u can just worry about keeping it clear......
and when u have to add more well water, make sure u add a lil of the metal out stuff u got, to combat the new water u just put in....i do it even if i'm only adding just a touch of new water.....i can see the stuff floating in my skimmer the next morning.....then i change out my filter.

i never found any magic chemicals to get rid of my discolored water once the metal out stuff got the majority of the stuff broken down, it just took some extra time and labor cleaning everything alot, and the more i cleaned the hoses and pump, the faster it seemed to work.....
i was just as excited to swim and use my new pool as you are.....hope this helps and good luck.
 

newguyjosh

Well-known member
Jun 6, 2010
92
Central Indiana
Yep I have already read the pool school instructions for lowering alkalnity and have been following it. I just dont know if getting the alkalnity lower will do anything to my green tinted yet clear water or if the problem is iron. If it is iron I dont nkow what else to do
 

esim13

Well-known member
Oct 31, 2009
320
Denham Springs, Louisiana
Any chance you can post a pic?

Also, could you please go to User Control Panel, top left, click on Profile, then Signature and add your pool info (type: vinyl, plaster, fiberglass..., gallons, AG (above ground) or IG (inground), pump and filter info) and anything else you'd like to add. Remember to keep it to 5 lines or less.

thanks!
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,177
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
newguyjosh said:
Yep I have already read the pool school instructions for lowering alkalnity and have been following it. I just dont know if getting the alkalnity lower will do anything to my green tinted yet clear water or if the problem is iron. If it is iron I dont nkow what else to do
Good, I just wasn't sure if you were planning to follow the pool store's advice for the TA. :roll:

Have you tried more sequesterant?
 

newguyjosh

Well-known member
Jun 6, 2010
92
Central Indiana
I have put in almost a full bottle of HTH metal control (28 ounces in the pool, 4 ounces left). I have been adding a little acid daily trying to lower the alkalinity and have the return pointed upwards to aerate and keep the ph ok. The alkalnity is about 280 now so still really high. Water still has a greenish tint but is clear and possilbly better then previous days (hard to tell). I tried taking a pic of the water but it looks a lot worse in the pics then in real life so not sure how helpful it would be. I have the SWG running and keeping the chlorine about 2.
 

newguyjosh

Well-known member
Jun 6, 2010
92
Central Indiana
Well the water is still green...:(

When I got it in yesterday I seemed to stir up more floating orange particles and made the pool look more cloudy.. :(

When I change the filter at least 1-2x/day it is orange

I took another sample in today and they said everything looked normal
CYA 10
Free chlorine 3
Total chlorine 3
Salt 2500
Total AL 160 (finally got this down from the 300s but it didnt help)
Total hardness 300

I have added an entire bottle of HTH metal control..

I dont know what to do now! Please help!
 

crek31

Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 28, 2009
877
Somewhere in some of these threads people have figured out the water is really a little yellow which, when "mixed" with a blue liner, looks green. Perhaps it is the yellowish coloring the metals are causing that appear green and not algae. Sorry I don't have time to link to a different thread where this was discussed. If interested, I'll do so in a couple hours. What color is the water in a bottle? What if you hold that up to a blue background like blue construction paper?? Good luck.
 

newguyjosh

Well-known member
Jun 6, 2010
92
Central Indiana
I figgure you are right and it is the metals making it look green. Problem is I dont know what else to do to get rid of the metals? I have added an entire bottle of metal control which is twice the dosage on the label. So I dont think it is algae either but I dont know how to fix it....
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
You need to get your CYA up to around 40 and you need to get a real test kit. Unless you are very luck, you aren't going to solve this problem until you do both of those things. Without CYA you can't maintain a consistent FC level and without a real test kit you have no real idea what is going on in the water.
 

bullweevelus

Active member
Jun 4, 2010
25
Michigan
josh,
i went out last night and looked in my shed, i found another bottle of stuff i got last year when my water turned brown, it is actaully a iron out type of liquid. i think it said iron myght or something like that....it is specific for iron, which is what u think u might have. i would call your pool store and ask them about just a "iron" out type of liquid.....
i will check aagain tonight, cuz when i googled it for pics or the name, i could not find anything. i'll check and get back with you....