Is This Adding Metals To My Water? (Pics) What Do You Recommend For A Fix?

phappy

Well-known member
Aug 25, 2013
58
Hey there fellow TFPers. I've facing an issue here, and just as I'm going to close the pool. But I think that may work out well, as I have to lower the water anyway. The screws holding the skimmer in place are rusting after 40 years. And yes, I tested and there is metal in my pool water. I'm guessing that just this small rusting can add metals enough to stain in to the water? Must be the case.

So, what are your thoughts to address this? I've thought of a few below options, but not decided yet.

1.) Try to find the correct replacement screws, and replace the rusted screws. What particular type of metal are these types of screws meant for pools called? Where best to purchase them?
2.) Since the rust has stained the white plastic areas...find a way to clean those up. I don't think just using citric acid would work (as I've put that in the water before an these particular rust stains have remained). Perhaps paint them with a marine paint? Or seal them with a marine silicone?
3.) This is the option I thought would be the easiest, but may not solve the issue. Simply use either the above mentioned marine paint or marine silicon and seal cover the screw heads and all areas that show rust.

Well..thank you all for reading this and for any insights & advice. Very much appreciate the help!
 

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ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
38,808
Northern NJ
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I would leave well enough alone and not paint or seal them. The rust areas are very minor. Any of your ideas can make your situation worse.
 
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phappy

Well-known member
Aug 25, 2013
58
Hi Ajw22. Thanks for your reply & help. I was thinking that might be my Option #4...just leave it as is. I guess my concern is that just that level of rusting could taint the water with metals. But I don't know if it takes a a big amount of rusting...or a little amount to affect the water.
 

Hoster

Silver Supporter
May 27, 2016
146
Berkeley Heights, NJ
I would leave it for now as ajw22 indicated and I doubt the rusting is from the screws (I suspected the same a few years ago). However, rusting may get "worse" after a few years because the culprit in the skimmer box (see attached pics). As long as your pool doesnt get the "brown stain" requiring you to pour in ascorbic acid almost on a weekly basis (as I have), you should be fine. I started where you are now, about 3-4 years ago, and I finally decided to "repair" (at least tried) last week before closing the pool, and will see how this works next season (e.g., pour in ascorbic acid just once a month would be nice).

Some details of the work posted here: Rust Around Skimmer Plates
 

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Hoster

Silver Supporter
May 27, 2016
146
Berkeley Heights, NJ
Hey there fellow TFPers. I've facing an issue here, and just as I'm going to close the pool. But I think that may work out well, as I have to lower the water anyway. The screws holding the skimmer in place are rusting after 40 years. And yes, I tested and there is metal in my pool water. I'm guessing that just this small rusting can add metals enough to stain in to the water? Must be the case.

So, what are your thoughts to address this? I've thought of a few below options, but not decided yet.

1.) Try to find the correct replacement screws, and replace the rusted screws. What particular type of metal are these types of screws meant for pools called? Where best to purchase them?
2.) Since the rust has stained the white plastic areas...find a way to clean those up. I don't think just using citric acid would work (as I've put that in the water before an these particular rust stains have remained). Perhaps paint them with a marine paint? Or seal them with a marine silicone?
3.) This is the option I thought would be the easiest, but may not solve the issue. Simply use either the above mentioned marine paint or marine silicon and seal cover the screw heads and all areas that show rust.

Well..thank you all for reading this and for any insights & advice. Very much appreciate the help!
oh..a few answers as I went through the same: 1) amazon - just bought a set of hayward screws (but again, for me, it was not screws)
as for #2, whenever I dumped ascorbic acid (which is stronger than citric acid but more expensive $6+ a lb now), all those brown / rust stain spots turned bright white so...
as for #3, unscrew one of these and see if the entire screw is rusting vs. "middle" (which may mean the rusting is coming from the skimmer box - my screws had rust stain in the middle).
 
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phappy

Well-known member
Aug 25, 2013
58
Hi Hoster. Thanks very much for your helpful insight. Sorry we're both dealing with skimmer box rust issues.

Boy, those photos you posted are alarming. So that entire square frame rusted? Was that behind the plastic? (I don't know what mine is...just that I see the rust on the screw heads). I hope you are able to repair it to your satisfaction. Sometimes pool issues come up where you really don't expect them!

Thanks also for the answers to my questions. Very, very helpful. I do not have much of a brown stain. There isn't much metal registering in the pool. But there is a small amount b/c I see slight "cream" color on the white steps. I tried the citric acid and CuLator bags for a month+. And the CuLator bags didn't seem to work at all. The bags are supposed to show some sort of reaction in them if they are collecting metals...and I mine show zero reaction. They look just like they did when I first put them in. So that was a bust. But thankfully don't have to put in a stain treatment often. Once a season at most.

Thanks again my friend. And good luck with your project!
 
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Hoster

Silver Supporter
May 27, 2016
146
Berkeley Heights, NJ
Hi Hoster. Thanks very much for your helpful insight. Sorry we're both dealing with skimmer box rust issues.

Boy, those photos you posted are alarming. So that entire square frame rusted? Was that behind the plastic? (I don't know what mine is...just that I see the rust on the screw heads). I hope you are able to repair it to your satisfaction. Sometimes pool issues come up where you really don't expect them!

Thanks also for the answers to my questions. Very, very helpful. I do not have much of a brown stain. There isn't much metal registering in the pool. But there is a small amount b/c I see slight "cream" color on the white steps. I tried the citric acid and CuLator bags for a month+. And the CuLator bags didn't seem to work at all. The bags are supposed to show some sort of reaction in them if they are collecting metals...and I mine show zero reaction. They look just like they did when I first put them in. So that was a bust. But thankfully don't have to put in a stain treatment often. Once a season at most.

Thanks again my friend. And good luck with your project!
Took awhile and will see if my work will pay off next season. Don't bother with citric acid and go buy a pound of ascorbic acid powder and see how it works for you. Plus our water also has some copper as our toilet tanks also have brown stains (which went away with ascorbic acid powder application). I also use / used Culator bags (up to 4.0) but doesn't help much with copper.

As for your question around the rust / behind the box (if I understand your question correctly), there is a "metal frame" around the plastic skimmer box which seemed to be rusted. I used the POR 15 kit (did some research on this site) to clean, prep and apply 2 coats of POR 15 directly on the frame and the wall (with rust stain - see pics).

Knowing what I know now and if I were you, I would: 1) take the skimmer plate off, 2) inspect the condition of the frame around the skimmer box (you should be able to see without removing the liner off the track, 3) inspect the condition of the gasket(s) and/or replace gasket(s). If the metal frame is rusting heavily, you may be able to just paint POR 15 over the rust.
One thing going for you is that you do not seem to have SWG, and your rusting may be slower than mine as I have a SW pool :) Good luck!
 

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phappy

Well-known member
Aug 25, 2013
58
You indicate "metals" in your water. Iron? Copper?

Replace those screws with stainless steel though I doubt that is the source
Thanks for your help & advice, duraleigh. And great question. I'm dumb not to have addressed this. My water has copper in it. 0.1 to 0.4 or so, but these tests were done when it wasn't in solution (via the citric acid)

I have the worst success with screws. I always seem to end-up buying ones that I "think" are stainless steel and won't rust...but then end up rusting. Would you happen to have a specific brand or name of the screws. Would they be the same ones that Hoster said he purchased from Amazon (Hayward screws)
 

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duraleigh

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Most any independent hardware store can help you get the the appropriate screws. I think it's 316 stainless but that is a guess.

Remove one of your old screws and take it with you for sizing.
 

phonedave

Well-known member
May 30, 2012
1,399
Montville NJ
Pool Size
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Most any independent hardware store can help you get the the appropriate screws. I think it's 316 stainless but that is a guess.

Remove one of your old screws and take it with you for sizing.


This. Does not need to be an independent either. HD has them in the bags - says "STAINLESS" in big capital letters across the front - costs an arm and a leg.

I have had to use stainless hardware on a number of things in and around my pool.
 

Hoster

Silver Supporter
May 27, 2016
146
Berkeley Heights, NJ
You indicate "metals" in your water. Iron? Copper?

Replace those screws with stainless steel though I doubt that is the source
Believe in duraleigh as he is the expert :) Unscrew a few and post pictures. As indicated above (by duraleigh and me in previous posts), I highly doubt the rusting is from your screws (and I went through the same investigation in the past :) )
 
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