Copper and Green Hair

kolbajen

Active member
Sep 28, 2007
35
Austin, Texas
First let me be clear, I'm not the chem person in our family.

When we bought our house the existing pool (20 years) had white plaster discolored to blue. I understood from the previous owners' pool guy that this was caused by the heater going bad and copper coming into the pool. The heater was fixed but of course the plaster stayed blue. During the last few years we've battled the green hair issues with my daughter and myself. We've recently discovered that this due to copper in the water chemistry that the copper is actually in the plaster and that it why even after fixing the heater, the copper remains.

We've recently completed a pool remodel and they are plastering/pebbling Wednesday. We are very excited but I wonder... Will this solve the copper issue? Does/can the new heater still hold copper? All of our equipment is relatively new - replaced prior to selling/us buying the house. Do we need to worry about the copper coming through the equipment lines or anything?

Might be silly questions - sorry if they are.

Thanks for the help.
 

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
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Sebring, Florida
I'm a little puzzled by your past experience but that's in the past.

The most surefire way to prevent metal (including copper) issues is to carefully control your pH. As long as you have your pH in the 7.2-7.6 range, you'll never have any copper issues.
 

kolbajen

Active member
Sep 28, 2007
35
Austin, Texas
Our chems are spot on. My husband keeps them perfect.

Where we got this information is the guys at the local pool store. When I complained about fighting the green hair, the first thing they mentioned was metal in the water. My husband jumped in and they had a chem discussion and sure enough, all the levels are right.

Further talking back and forth brought up the old heater and how it had been replaced. That's when the guys told us that while you replace the heater to get rid of the problem the copper is still leaching from the old plaster into the water and turning the hair green. The only way they said to rid the problem was to drain and acid wash the old plaster and if that didn't work - to replaster. Which we are doing anyway.
 

JasonLion

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May 7, 2007
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Silver Spring, MD
The combination of re-plastering with a complete drain should solve the problem completely. The copper in the old water and on the old plaster will be gone and the days of green hair should be over.

Copper won't come out of the new heater unless your chemistry is messed up (typically it takes PH below 7.0 to leach copper). They must have been doing something seriously wrong with the pool before you got it to have as dramatic an effect as you describe.
 

kolbajen

Active member
Sep 28, 2007
35
Austin, Texas
Apparently it was just the heater. Whatever happened to it to dump copper in the water just ruined the plaster. Surprisingly enough, the plaster itself was in excellent condition for being 20 years old. Just the color was mottled. Of course, when we drained it to start demo, it started chipping off immediately.

It is nice to know that the green hair battles are over. The first couple of years in the house we couldn't figure out why our pool did it to our hair but other pools didn't.

Thanks for the help.