Does this look like iron (in the bucket)?

Strawberryshortcake

Bronze Supporter
Apr 22, 2019
281
Hot Springs, Ar
I am replacing my liner soon. It's probably going to be some time in June, as all the companies are really backed up with covid delays, but we signed and put our deposit down today.

In the meantime I am trying to come up with a plan to avoid the issue I've been having since I inherited the pool, which is metal. This will probably be the only chance in a long time I get to do a water change.

I estimate that the pool is 20+ years old, and I have no idea how old the water itself is, but probably at least 10-14yrs. When I bought the house the pool was a swamp full of leaves and it took a long time but we cleaned it and got the water crystal clear.
BUT, it was always green-teal colored. The water itself never seems discolored, but the walls and fittings become pale yellowish (strangely, the steps don't really discolor ever). I did a few AA treatments and they do 100% clear up the coloring and the pool will be almost blindingly blue - so I know what it COULD look like!

IMG_6098 (3).PNG >> IMG_0837.jpg

The very first time I slammed the pool, it went this color...
IMG_0560.jpg >> IMG_0661.jpg
The liner stained to a rusty, DARK, DARK orange...you can just barely see it if you zoom in to the waterline area. It never actually did THAT BAD again.

Eventually I started skipping AA and using high doses of Metal Magic which worked just as well but things were getting to a point where I'd need a whole bottle every 1.5weeks or sooner and it was just too expensive.

So it' usually hanging out around this color, which doesn't bother me much when it's sunny out. When it's cloudy it looks worse...
and again, the water itself seems clear... it's the walls that are light yellow.
I feel like there has been some dilution happening over the years because if you compare this photo to the ones above, it looks a lot better (besides the AA treatment photo). I have to add a lot of water to my pool with the hose, with high evaporation happening here and also I suspect this old liner has a few leaks. I am adding water every couple of days (big reason for liner replacement!)
IMG_6188.jpg

I brought water from my pool/tap and hose to the store with me today where we are having the liner done however they were out of the metal test "disc" for the computers and no vendors have any in stock that they can get, so I was unable to do any sort of computerized testing. I do have my own copper/iron test strips however they have always read 0 which obviously isn't the case. One or the other is there...

I know that the pool was maintained in the past at some point by a local pool company because when I moved in the neighbors told me they had a pool guy come weekly. So I except that they probably had algaecides dumped in the pool a lot (copper?). I actually wish that was the issue because it seems more simple to get rid of then iron. I know things like lawn fertilizer can contain iron so that was a thought at one point. They also had a pool ladder in that had rust on the screws and left a rust-run mark on the liner (disappeared now).

Okay, so since I could not get my water tested I came home and filled up a white bucket from the hose and a small white bowl from the inside tap and dumped bleach in them. It immediately tinted light green however I notice the bleach coming out of the bottle was very yellow, and I am now unsure if the yellow bleach caused the discoloration or a metals reaction. My husband says it's the bleach being yellow (it was very yellow.) It's been about an hour now and the water in the bucket is still green, however, it hasn't left a stain on the edges like it does in the pool.

IMG_6308.jpgIMG_6307.jpg

What was even my purpose of this thread? I feel like I am totally rambling at this point.

#1. Basically, if there is iron in my fill water, how come it appears that over the years dilution has been happening of the amount of iron that is in my pool on it's own (backwashing/splash out/ over 3 years, replacing very often with the same hose water).

#2. Is that discoloration in the buckets metal or the very yellow bleach (of which I added a lot of)

#3. Ideas going forward that do not involve trucking in water (unavailable in this city as far as I can gather), or very expensive filtration systems

Also, I am on city water.
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
7,805
NY
Hang on Strawberry....... lemme call you someone.
220px-Alphorn_player_in_Wallis.jpg
Toooooooooooooooooooot (@mguzzy)

Check out his thread while you wait.
 
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mguzzy

Gold Supporter
What was even my purpose of this thread? I feel like I am totally rambling at this point.
You were doing fine with your post until you got all existential... Ours is not to question why... only why not! Now do like Yoda sez and get the dang X-Wing outta the swamp!

Yes you have iron, the AA reaction pretty much proves it. Adding Cl also changes the pH and hence the reaction. I assume you read all the AA and MM threads and wiki's you could lay your eyes on? Yes? The AA only changes the form of the Iron ions.. It talks about it in the AA treatment wiki and the Iron will change back into the "staining" ion if you don't do anything. It never leaves the water. Most sequestrants will do the same thing. they will bind with the Iron, but when the sequestrants break down the Iron is back in the water.. well it never really left the water. To get the iron out of the pool what you have three options:
-1 Use the AA to pull the Iron off the surfaces and then do a water exchange, Drain and refill or tarp method
-2 MM is the only sequestrant that will supposedly allow you to filter out the Iron. It creates a crystalized by product that you can filter out, but if you don't clean your filters diligently afterwards it goes back into solution.
3- Use a Polyfill filter that can filter the Iron out. I think the iron needs to be in the "green" form to adhere to the Polyfill. At least that was the way it worked for me.

So I would try throwing some polyfill in your skimmer basket and see what it catches. Did you find the thread where the pool owner used a drum to create a giant Iron filter? If you have Iron in your fill water then it will be a forever battle and some people will put in a Iron removal system in the fill water line.
 
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Strawberryshortcake

Bronze Supporter
Apr 22, 2019
281
Hot Springs, Ar
No doubt there is iron in the pool! I am just trying to figure out where it comes from before I get to empty the pool and refill.

I have done a ton of reading on managing it once it’s in there and while it works it’s extremely expensive. At least at one point I believe I had a lot of iron. Also wondering if it has become diluted over the years because the look of the water has become better. Which would mean my constant topping off with the hose wasn’t adding more?

02205C8A-1048-42C3-B5C4-E993498CCC9E.jpeg
031E30F1-4D5D-447F-939F-41FF3F6E8BD1.jpeg

Here are my buckets today (sun/shade). While they are still green tinted, there is still NO staining on the walls ( or on the little plastic bowl I had). For more testing, I also dumped PH increaser in. The color didn’t change beyond becoming a bit cloudy... still no outward staining.

Also the buckets sat inside and shaded, so the (high) chlorine level shouldn’t have disappeared much at all.

So...still unsure if it’s just the very yellow bleach? The first photo in particular looks like exactly what comes out of the bleach bottle. I had a couple of bags of shock - I wonder if I should see if that also discolors the water?

I am aware that taking the water for an iron test would be simpler however, everyone in town has run out of those disc needed to preform the test. Covid, I guess. And my test strips show 0 anywhere including the pool I know it’s in, so they don’t work.
 

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borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
3,420
Pacific NW
My fill water from the city has trace iron.
At this point, I'm looking for suggestions for an iron removal filter for the tap. Did my first AA 2 months ago and it looked great, but now is back to lightly stained all over again. Need to filter this Crud out.
 

Snoobug

Silver Supporter
Jun 2, 2020
410
Iowa
Pool Size
21000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I'm planning to take the pool water up to slam level and make a polyfill bucket filter. We already have a submersible pump & the polyfill. Really just need a bucket. What ph should I keep the pool at for best results?
 

sktn77a

Gold Supporter
May 16, 2010
2,096
Chapel Hill, NC
First of all, get your water tested for Iron (it undoubtedly is, but just to confirm). Ascorbic acid (or oxalic acid/citric acid/sulfamic acid) will chelate the iron but the complex remains in solution. As the chelating agent breaks down, the iron is released back into the water.

You may be able to remove some of the iron from your new-fill water by using a pre-filter:


I don't know how well these work but it may be worth a try.
 

kellyfair

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 29, 2016
4,638
Tampa, FL
Pool Size
7000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
No doubt there is iron in the pool! I am just trying to figure out where it comes from before I get to empty the pool and refill.

I have done a ton of reading on managing it once it’s in there and while it works it’s extremely expensive. At least at one point I believe I had a lot of iron. Also wondering if it has become diluted over the years because the look of the water has become better. Which would mean my constant topping off with the hose wasn’t adding more?

View attachment 326401
View attachment 326399

Here are my buckets today (sun/shade). While they are still green tinted, there is still NO staining on the walls ( or on the little plastic bowl I had). For more testing, I also dumped PH increaser in. The color didn’t change beyond becoming a bit cloudy... still no outward staining.

Also the buckets sat inside and shaded, so the (high) chlorine level shouldn’t have disappeared much at all.

So...still unsure if it’s just the very yellow bleach? The first photo in particular looks like exactly what comes out of the bleach bottle. I had a couple of bags of shock - I wonder if I should see if that also discolors the water?

I am aware that taking the water for an iron test would be simpler however, everyone in town has run out of those disc needed to preform the test. Covid, I guess. And my test strips show 0 anywhere including the pool I know it’s in, so they don’t work.
Can you tell us how much bleach you added?
 

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Strawberryshortcake

Bronze Supporter
Apr 22, 2019
281
Hot Springs, Ar
Can you tell us how much bleach you added?
I didn't keep track but I guess I should have!

The bucket is about half full of water, and I probably added a little over half a gallon jug of 7.5% bleach. Rough estimate. It was a lot, though, relative to the water amount.
I did repeat the experiment, this time with powdered shock. Despite the powder being white, it still turned same color. I put a whole bag in the same amount of water. So again, that was a lot.

I let the bleach sit for days - even added PH increaser - and the walls of the bucket are still 100% white. So, I am confused why it isn't staining, if it's iron.