First test+ iron stains! Would love some thoughts!

CYAnxious

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Hi there. I got my k-2006 kit and just completed the first test! It was kind of scary but not so bad. My results were a bit iffy and I'm just trying to sort out what my next steps are.
FC:4
Ph:7
TA: 40
CH:130
CYA: about 100
My pool water itself has been crystal clear since we opened 3 weeks ago. I did have tablets in floaters. There is no sign of any algae but I have some pretty significant iron staining. It was on my steps, and I was able to get rid of it with some vitamin c tablets. But, there are spots on the vinyl liner. The previous owners never used the metal pool ladder, and we didn't our first year. Last summer we put it in and the steps would randomly turn orange...and then 2 days later they'd be completely white again. We put the ladder back in when we opened this year and it seems like the liner stains have gotten worse, so I'm going to take it out, as I see some rust stains on it. Otherwise, how can I get rid of staining on the liner itself? And I won't use the floating tabs anymore, as CYA is a concern. I know my Ph and alkalinity is a bit low too. I honestly haven't really used the pool. The weather's been weird. Any suggestions or thoughts are welcome! Thanks!
 

Texas Splash

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Clever username. :) Since you seem to have two items that would benefit form exchanging some water (high CYA and iron), I would recommend exchanging some water. Probably about half but no more than that. We want the pool and liner to remain stable. Lowering the iron content should help reduce the changes in water color and/or staining, and your CYA would be better managed around 50 or so.

Are you able to change some water? Sump pump or vacuum to waste from a main drain? By the way, are you on a well or do you suspect all the iron came from the rusted ladder?
 
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CYAnxious

Member
Jun 9, 2021
10
Western New York
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32000
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Welcome to TFP,

First of all, nice username!

If your CYA showed as 100 you should dilute the test as it's possible your CYA is actually higher. You can read more about it here: CYA - Cyanuric Acid Test - Trouble Free Pool

Either way your CYA is too high and as @Texas Splash said you need empty some and refill.
Hi there! Thanks! I did dilute the test. You mean half tap/ half pool x2 right? In which case, it measured close to 40 but from what I understand, I should round up.

How urgently should I start replacing? I'm going to guess the CYAs been high for years, the previous owner used mostly powder shock and tablets. I occasionally used powder shock but mostly I use liquid chlorine. I know that higher CYA makes it less effective. My pools definitely been green these last few years on occasion and it takes about 2-4 gallons of chlorine to clear it up. Is that too much? Can I keep using my pool and just pumping/replacing as I go?
Clever username. :) Since you seem to have two items that would benefit form exchanging some water (high CYA and iron), I would recommend exchanging some water. Probably about half but no more than that. We want the pool and liner to remain stable. Lowering the iron content should help reduce the changes in water color and/or staining, and your CYA would be better managed around 50 or so.

Are you able to change some water? Sump pump or vacuum to waste from a main drain? By the way, are you on a well or do you suspect all the iron came from the rusted ladder?

Thanks for your answer! I suspect it came from the ladder, as it absolutely wasn't a problem until the ladder was put in. I'm also not on well water. You think the staining will go away as I refill water? Is there something I can do to lift some some it in the meantime?
 
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Texas Splash

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You think the staining will go away as I refill water? Is there something I can do to lift some some it in the meantime?
Typically what people do for wide-spread staining is an Ascorbic Acid (AA) treatment. This process lifts the stains from surfaces and puts it into water form. Then exchange the water. If the stains are only in limited areas, you can do spot treatments.
 
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Cwiggs

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Hi there! Thanks! I did dilute the test. You mean half tap/ half pool x2 right? In which case, it measured close to 40 but from what I understand, I should round up.
Yep you did it correctly!

How urgently should I start replacing?
That is really up to you. With your CYA at 100 you want to keep your FC around 11-13, and never let it get below 8. You can see the FC/CYA Chart for that. But 100 CYA is hard to manage, so we recommend dealing with it sooner rather than later.

My pools definitely been green these last few years on occasion and it takes about 2-4 gallons of chlorine to clear it up. Is that too much?
2-4 gallons 1 time isn't enough to kill the algae completely, most likely you have had algae for a while and you are just keeping it in a state where it's difficult to see it. If you really want to get rid of the algae you need to follow the SLAM Process
 
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CYAnxious

Member
Jun 9, 2021
10
Western New York
Pool Size
32000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Yep you did it correctly!


That is really up to you. With your CYA at 100 you want to keep your FC around 11-13, and never let it get below 8. You can see the FC/CYA Chart for that. But 100 CYA is hard to manage, so we recommend dealing with it sooner rather than later.


2-4 gallons 1 time isn't enough to kill the algae completely, most likely you have had algae for a while and you are just keeping it in a state where it's difficult to see it. If you really want to get rid of the algae you need to follow the SLAM Process
Sorry for the late reply and thank you for the links! The only reason I'm confused about CYA being so high is how clear my water looks this year. Like, completely transparent. I'm certain though that its only one 4th of July party away from not being that visibly beautiful. I think I'll rent a pump and start draining and replacing sometime next week.

I don't have a test for the iron so I'm not sure. The liner is slightly discolored everywhere, but there are some more prominent stains here and there. My steps were especially bad. I'm assuming AA will drop my PH quite a bit, is this correct? How much would I typically add, and where would I add it? I've seen some treatments online, but was wondering if this could be done with some good old vitamin C, which worked well on the steps.
 

Texas Splash

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If you want to wait until the end of the season to start really treating for stains that's fine. For iron, no need to test if you see staining and it comes off with a Vitamin C tablet or ascorbic acid. You know you have it. Now it's just a matter of getting it out or at least lower the content so it doesn't stain or change the water color. You can do all the localized spot treatments you want this season before going into a full-blown AA treatment. It would be ideal to let the water get cold anyways so that there's less chance for algae growth during the AA treatment since you have to let the FC level fall close to zero.

 
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CYAnxious

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Jun 9, 2021
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Western New York
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If you want to wait until the end of the season to start really treating for stains that's fine. For iron, no need to test if you see staining and it comes off with a Vitamin C tablet or ascorbic acid. You know you have it. Now it's just a matter of getting it out or at least lower the content so it doesn't stain or change the water color. You can do all the localized spot treatments you want this season before going into a full-blown AA treatment. It would be ideal to let the water get cold anyways so that there's less chance for algae growth during the AA treatment since you have to let the FC level fall close to zero.

Fantastic! Thank you! I think ill really work on the few side spots I see, but otherwise I'll mostly worry about keeping my chlorine high considering my CYA, and draining and refilling. I'll also pull the metal ladder. I really appreciate it!
 

Texas Splash

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Since we're talking about iron in water, be sure to consider running your pool water through a homemade polyfill container. Many folks have good success removing iron from water that way. See the thread below as one example.

 
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CYAnxious

Member
Jun 9, 2021
10
Western New York
Pool Size
32000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Since we're talking about iron in water, be sure to consider running your pool water through a homemade polyfill container. Many folks have good success removing iron from water that way. See the thread below as one example.

Woah, this is super cool. It's astonishing how people figure this stuff out! How would I go about doing this with a small filter and in ground pool though? Could I put a polyfill sock in my skimmer and filter? Would I still need to get a sequestering agent once the acid lifts the stain, or can I use this method to catch the iron?
 

Texas Splash

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Could I put a polyfill sock in my skimmer and filter? Would I still need to get a sequestering agent once the acid lifts the stain, or can I use this method to catch the iron?
I wouldn't try to add it to the filter, but you could add it to the skimmer. People get quite creative in ways to get water through polyfill, so anything's an option as long as you don't cut-off water flow. As for water management after that, having to use a sequestrant depends on how much iron is remaining after the filtering process. The more iron you remove, the less dependency on those products.
 
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