Iron stains AA plus Metal Magic?

setsailsoon

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Oct 25, 2015
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Folks,

I'm on my 6th year of a crystal clear TFP pool but noticing splotchy light tan stains - classic iron. Failed the chlorine tablet test but passed vitamin C test with flying colors. I read up everything I can find on AA, citric acid, oxalic acid. I'm pretty sold on AA because of so many very positive stories about it. But I don't really like the idea of using sequestrants forever. Trying to figure out why I'm seeing this now. I'm guessing it may be due to concentration very low iron in our city water over the years. Iron is usually reported at "trace" but the source is underground aquifers known to have less than .2 ppm. I also have a water softener and seems to work very well. I always test at less than 1 grain/gal total hardness using my Hach drop test. Never had to dump water since construction in 2013 and we have high evaporation at times. Maybe compounded by the fact I run pH in the high end of the range. I'd really like to get rid of the iron rather than suspend it with sequestrants. Metal Magic claims the capability to do this by "crystallizing" after sequestering it so I can remove in the filter. But there's no real confirmation of this.

I'm leaning toward AA followed by Metal Magic as the sequestrant. Before I take that route, I'd appreciate any advice from our stain experts and any experience with Metal Magic good or bad. If it really does "crystallize" for removal with my cartridge filter the I'm hopeful I'll not be hooked on sequestrants forever.

Thanks.

Chris
 

mguzzy

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Jul 8, 2015
2,336
OV, CA
Hi Chris..
I am in a similar boat and have started a thread to figure out my cumulative iron issue. I noticed mine when my pool was as TFP clear as everyone chirps about.. and it suddenly turned a beautiful emerald green after an acid addition. The Iron oxidized out and I was able to filter it out with poly fill. I traced it back to some iron contaminated salt, but as I think further back I may have had an iron issue long before and never realized it. I don't have any staining on my plaster, but the inside of my pipes are a nice maroon color. I think I still have some chards of piping left over from my 2005 pad redo, I was going to check and see if there was iron staining there. I checked with my local water company and they have a whole brochure on what they test for. Amazingly they don't publish the iron! so I have any idea how much iron is being added from fill water. I have never drained my pool (I did a partial drain in 2005 while repiping the pad) so its the same cumulative water minus the winter rain dilutions since the late 1980's! So..

Like you I am adverse to using a sequestrant.. from what I am reading an AA treatment will pull the iron off the surfaces but it won't be filterable at that stage. A sequestrant can be used at that point to bind it to the sequestrant from whatever the AA has it bound to. Then you have two choices, continued use of the sequestrant or a drain and refill. And that is what my research has gathered up to this point. Someone else suggested that if I am going to do a drain and refill, to skip the sequestrant and do it after the AA treatment. I'm planning on experimenting with that option in the fall when the pool is becoming less swimable. From an economics stand point , and I haven't even checked prices yet, if I have to spend a significant amount of money on sequestrants and crystallizing agents vs a drain and refill, I might go the drain and refill anyway to "restart" my water for the next 30 years.
 

setsailsoon

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mguzzy,

Thanks for the reply. So far not a lot of interest. I hadn't really thought about the salt since I've only used two brands that are widely used on here. Morton's and Diamond. I also think I had a little of this before I even switched to salt.

The AA procedure is very well documented and seems to work well plus vitamin C definitely clears up the areas so I'm really not concerned about AA working. But I've not found any independent verification that the Metal Magic really will not only perform as a sequestrant but also work to "crystalize" it which I take to mean precipitate it as an insoluble large enough to be trapped in the filter. Their website has a lot of positive reviews but they also may be doing the "preventative" monthly treatment. Sounds pretty remarkable if it really works So unless I hear about some reason not to do it I plan to try. If it doesn't work I'll just do an exchange. Other than this one issue my pool is still perfect. Water is crystal clear, no other discoloration. Based on the Vitamin C test I just have some iron that's plating out. Even if I have to replace water every 7 years or so I'm OK with it but I'd just like to see if there's a better way. I'll document my test plus results for a few months and hopefully that may help some others.

Chris
 

mguzzy

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Jul 8, 2015
2,336
OV, CA
So do you know where your iron is coming from? Are you on a well? I think you would have mentioned it if you were. The other thing I read was doing an AA treatment to get the iron deposits off the surfaces and then hit with acid to oxidize it and filter it out with polyfil. But you run the risk of it redepositing it on the surfaces again.

The product description for MM says it will remove staining as well. Maybe you can do it in one step, remove the iron and iron stains without the AA treatment. Keep us posted!
 

sktn77a

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May 16, 2010
1,887
Chapel Hill, NC
I wouldn't use Metal Magic or your pool will have sky high phosphate levels and be cloudy for a week. AA or CA should work just fine. AA or CA will lower the pH- leave it that way for several days and they correct the pH.
 

setsailsoon

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I think Sktn is talking about citric acid. Very similar just takes a little longer in some cases. Oxalic also works and it is lower molecular weight so it doesn't take as much. Phosphonates are known to degrade and increase phosphate levels which is why regular addition is required. I would have to continue this unless the Metal Magic actually does convert to an insoluble filterable precipitate. If this happens I'll deal with the phosphates either with my normal TFP balance that makes them irrelevant. Phosphates get added at low levels in the normal destruction of algae. If the Metal Magic does not actually convert the iron to a filterable precipitate I'll probably just do a water exchange. I think it's worth the try just to get one documented test even if it doesn't work.

Mguzzy and Keith (Stn77a) thanks much for your input!

Chris
 

mguzzy

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Jul 8, 2015
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Right, I knew that, ;) Citric, ok got it.. I'm thinking the other CA, calcium, or California, or Canada... who knows what I am thinking...

I'm leaning toward trying the same thing.. 2 qts of this stuff is only 50bux, and looks like I can skip the AA treatment before hand since it's also supposed to remove stains.
 

setsailsoon

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Update

Ordered the AA and Metal Magic today from Duda Energy and Pool Geek. I'll take some "before" photos and video today. Probably won't get the chemicals in time to start until next weekend.
 

mguzzy

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Jul 8, 2015
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OV, CA
So.. do you think the MM would deal with the stains on its own.. or are you not trusting its going to be effective enough and going to do the AA anyway.
 

setsailsoon

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More the latter... I really want this iron off my pool surface asap and I know the AA works. I thought about this a lot so good to know you're bringing it up too.

Chris
 

setsailsoon

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Got the metal magic yesterday and the AA should be here tomorrow. Here are some "before" photos.

Overall pool is very clear. OCLT was passed several times to rule out any algae. This photo shows a colored ball inlay at 5.5' deep almost directly over the ball. We have a gemcoat finish that has blue specs in it:


1594891137616.png

In several areas we have the brownish splotches that are difficult to capture in photo because it's been pretty cloudy. They started in the shallow baby ledge here. The stains were removed in seconds with vitamin C:

1594891957106.jpeg
 

setsailsoon

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Brief update. Metal Magic arrived on time last week. No word on AA from Duda Energy. They were fantastic the few times I dealt with them so I called them. Turns out the are swamped from Corona. Normal orders were about 100 per day. Now they deal with 8000 per day! Wow! Glad to see somebody is doing well. Told me they've increased staff 5x. Anyway I finally got my notification of shipment. So, I'll do the AA treatment sometime next week.

Chris
 

ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
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Jacks claims that iron will be filtered out with their sequestrant.

From Sequestrant - Further Reading ...

Can Sequestrant be Filtered?
Jack's said that the combined HEDP-metal molecules will be filtered out of the water by filter media that removes particles 10 microns or smaller in size. This would include D.E. and Zeolite filter media. Coarser filter media, i.e. sand, requires the use of a filter aid like D.E. or fiber. Once the HEDP-metal molecules are trapped in the filter, the filter can be backflushed and the metals physically removed from the pool water.
 
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setsailsoon

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Thanks Allen, I'm hoping Proteam Metal Magic does too. I believe it's the same formulation. I haven't been able to find any real independent verification of this. There seem to be some older posts that Chem Geek was planning to test but never did. I plan to layer poly fill around my cartridge filter and see if I can prove or disprove this claim. My plan is AA then raise pH to 7.5 and add the sequestrant. Hopefully filter will remove the metal/Sequestrant particles so I can avoid monthly sequestrant. Looks like the AA is shipping tomorrow so I turned off the swg today. Will probably take a couple days to get down to the level for AA.

Fingers crossed and I'll post photos either way.

Chris.
 

setsailsoon

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Finally have the AA and Sequestrant. We'll pick up the Polyfill in the morning. Polyquat 60 is to be here tomorrow. I've never had a green pool and don't want this to end that way. Dropping pH today and just a quick couple of questions about Polyfill. Is this the same stuff they sell at fabric stores? My wife is a quilter and says it's readily available there. Also, I plan to wrap around the outside of my cartridge filter and leave it there for a few days after I add the Metal Magic with pump on full speed. Make sense @Swampwoman @ajw22?

Chris

1595447617333.png
 
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borjis

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Aug 19, 2014
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Pacific NW
I'm in the same situation. I just got some vitamin c crushed in a sock and darn near instant lifted the light stain! My 4 year old liner that I thought was premature fading looks brand new where I had the sock.

I'd read that too, that the metal can be filtered.
My plan is to:. Use Jack's magic pink stuff along with fiber d.e. in the sandfilter. And also stuff my skimmer with polyfill to see if that helps. It absolutely did earlier this year when the iron came out of solution. Then once the Jack's does it's job, backwash the filter and cross my fingers the staining doesn't return and water doesn't turn green from adding bleach next spring opening. If it doesn't clear it all up I'll do an AA next opening.

I'd recommend you put the polyfill on your skimmer instead of inside the cartridge filter.
 
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