Got green metal stains(copper?) last year need a game plan

miwitte

Well-known member
Sep 4, 2015
88
Charlotte,NC
hey guys going into my third successful year of using the BBB method the only thing i do is fill up my chlorine buckets and the Stenner injects its really worked very well no issues pools been great. However last year i developed metal staining and using absorbic acid in a sock makes it go away so i know its copper staining(i have a heater as well). I've read a couple things on using sequestrates and things like Jacks magic. I've seen things where you need to bypass the heater when using some of the Jacks stuff, getting chlorine down to zero.

From what i can tell the basic principle is to use something to remove the stain then a sequestrates to bind the metals. Again looking for a game plan of what to use, how to use and how to prevent so i can start working on as it will be warm in a couple months.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,828
Evans, Georgia
Re: Got green stains last year need a game plan

Can you identify where the copper is coming from? That would be a good start in fixing this problem.

Maddie :flower:
 

miwitte

Well-known member
Sep 4, 2015
88
Charlotte,NC
Re: Got green stains last year need a game plan

I would assume its from the heater over the years. Never had this issue until alst year pools been in since 2002.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,828
Evans, Georgia
Re: Got green stains last year need a game plan

Are you interested in draining/refilling to get rid of the copper? There are tricks to getting the metals in to solution then draining. I'm hoping Charlotte water isn't too pricey? The continual use of sequestrants can add up, y'know?

The control of pH is important when you have any copper pipes.

Maddie :flower:
 

miwitte

Well-known member
Sep 4, 2015
88
Charlotte,NC
Re: Got green stains last year need a game plan

is there a test kit to determine how much metals are in the water/ I want to get a handle on this before it gets warm as I think you need to have the chlorine at 0 when you do some of the treatments to remove the stains. If some how I am getting copper into the water from the heater that metal is there and the only way to remove it is draining? Would this be the same as when I had to remove CYA(I had 200-300 when I started the BBB process 3 years ago.)

I think first step is to measure what I have in the pool, any brand of test kit? I saw Hach? I assume its copper as absorbic acid in a sock made the stain disappear.
I have also see a claim by CUlator that their product will eliminate metals. is this Bull?

So sound like
1-measure PPM of copper
2- reduce the metals either by refilling or a "metal eliminator(suggestions and do they work?)
3- reduce FC to below 1PPM
4-remove stains with a stain remover(suggested brand)
5- use a sequestering agent to protect
6-remove and more metals
7-balance water
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
16,041
Tucson, AZ
I don’t think it’s copper. If it reacts quickly with AA, then that’s iron. Copper stains are typically reddish-brown at first and then become black over time. Copper reacts very slowly to AA.

Unless your pH was terribly low (<6.4) and held that way for a long time, then it’s highly unlikely to be your heater.

Further investigation is required.
 

miwitte

Well-known member
Sep 4, 2015
88
Charlotte,NC
No I have been real careful with PH its been 7.5-7.6 all year. FC is good too I keep it at 7PPm with the stenner(CYA 50). TA is usually around 100. Pools been perfect for years, but this year its got the green staining that the absorbic acid cleaned right off. Heater is a LAARS and it appears to be black pipe on the inlet/outlet(iron) not so sure its copper actually now that I think of it.

Again I think first step is testing is there a reasonable test kit(strips) that will give me a good idea whats in there and if its high. Then I can get a better kit to measure accurately.

I know I need to do something soon before it warms up figure I got maybe 6 weeks.
 

borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
3,033
Pacific NW
strips are a guess at best.

I somehow had iron my water beginning of last season, but no problem 2 years prior, that was so weird/odd.

LaMotte sells an accurate metals testing drops kit, but it's pretty spendy.. $ 75 bucks.

I ended up just replacing water til the green went away.
Water had turned green when I added first chlorine of the year.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
16,041
Tucson, AZ
Metal tests can be quite expensive especially for a one-off use. You could simply try to the Jack's Magic Stain ID kit (~$15) and that will give you an indication of what the stain is most likely caused by. Iron and copper have different treatment regimens and the only permanent solution is one that involves finding the source of the stain, eliminating it and then draining and refilling until the stain potential goes away.
 

miwitte

Well-known member
Sep 4, 2015
88
Charlotte,NC
so I cant even imagine what would be causing this as ive never had this issue in the 15 years of ownership. Like I said FC, TA and PH have all been spot on for all the years, however something is causing the staining. Its pretty much the entire bottom of pool and some of the lower sides. Last year I though it was algae but it wouldn't come off until the absorbic acid in a sock. Ill get the jacks kit and try and figure out at least what it is. Also saw the LaMotte 2994 kit which does copper and iron.

Finally once I determine what's causing it, is the only treatment draining and refilling? I have seen some people with luck using the CUlator in the pump basket.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
16,041
Tucson, AZ
The CuLator is a toy in my opinion...a bag of magic beans, literally. It makes no engineering sense whatsoever to stick a bag of metal ion exchange resin in a plastic cage and stick it in the filter basket. The vasy majority of the water will flow around the bag and never contact the resin. That would make it way too slow in my opinion to be of any use.

It's very likely iron from what you have said so far but a $15 Stain ID kit will give you some confidence in that. Iron can be lifted with ascorbic acid and then a sequestrant or some have had great success using ProTeam MetalMagic. The problem is the iron stays in solution and never actually leaves the water so it can re-stain the surface if you FC goes too high or the sequestrant breaks down (which it naturally does over time). But you have to find the source of the metal.

Do you use well water or municipal water for filling and topping off? Have you had either tested for iron content?
 

miwitte

Well-known member
Sep 4, 2015
88
Charlotte,NC
So the water is from the TAP never had a issue, I would say in 15 years of having the pool I could count on 2 hands the amount of times ive had to add. I remove a lot due to rain but rarely have to add. The only place I can assume its coming from is the heater which means it may be at the end of its life. Ill get the stain ID and some of the strips to see how bad and we will go from there.
 

miwitte

Well-known member
Sep 4, 2015
88
Charlotte,NC
no algaecides, been using BBB for 3 years now and nothing else goes in pool. I had to drain and refill a few times as my CYA was unmeasurable when I started BBB. I estimated 300PPM by diluting test sample until I could get a CYA reading. I finally got it to 50 then started BBB. I actually had to add some CYA last year as it was like 30 and was losing chlorine fast (so I guess I did add something other than BBB)
 

miwitte

Well-known member
Sep 4, 2015
88
Charlotte,NC
Hey so I got the Lamatte iron and copper strips and nothing on either one so really puzzled. I do have a possibility about where it came from. My chlorine vat is actually 2 5 gallon paint buckets with lids side by side sitting in a storage bin. I used the Stenner plastic tubing, but to join the two sides I needed a tee then connect to the stenner. the 10 gallons last about 10 days and I used this for the last 2+ years like this. SO here where I think the metal came from. When I first built it I used a plastic fitting from the hardware chain and the chlorine ate it in like 3 days and it leaked. I then tried to find a suitable 1/4" tee fitting that was chlorine compatible and I used a brass tee with compression fitting's and its been like this for years. I do get a reaction and it gets clogged with greenish junk and I need to clean that out. Well brass is made of copper.....

Tomorrow I am going to use the jacks stain kit to determine the stain as the robot is in getting all the dirt and leaves from several storms out. So being that I detect no copper or iron in pool what is next steps after I determine what the stain is. I am still going with copper as I think I shot my own foot off...