Metal Magic efficiency


LifeTime Supporter
Nov 22, 2010
Midland, Georgia
As many of you may remember (SwampWoman?), I'm the guy that had recurring metal (iron) staining and was using only Metal Magic to keep the stains away.

Unfortunately, it seems like using Metal Magic alone may no longer do the trick for my pool. I guess the metal concentration has increased to the point Metal Magic alone is not working.

At the beginning of the season, I drained over a third of the water and it made no difference. I suspect the issue is my fill water (city water, not well) but over the years, I have checked and rechecked anything that could be contributing to my metal problem to no avail. This season, I've been using over two bottles of Metal Magic per week and the stains just keep coming back. Today, my pool is stained after adding two bottles of Metal Magic just 4 days ago. As always, the pool looks amazing about a day after adding MM.

I need a plan B. I can't keep buying cases of Metal Magic from Amazon at $200 a pop.


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
Tucson, AZ
I do remember your posts and wondered whatever happened as there are a number of Georgia pool owners that suffer from high iron.

Your situation is very difficult and, given the large amount of Metal Magic you need to use, your pool water is probably full of spent phosphates. HEDP oxidizes by chlorine and forms orthophosphate (PO4-) which is a primary nutrient for algae growth. The thing to understand about iron is that it is NOT a regulated contaminant by the EPA as it is not considered a "contaminant" per se that can cause health issues. It's considered a "nutrient" and nothing more than a taste/color contaminant. Therefore municipal water suppliers don't have to meet any reduction targets and only need to treat iron in so far as it causes aesthetic issues for their customers. So, in that sense, you could easily be loading the pool up with lots of iron every time you use the hose to fill it.

My suggestion is a long term, high initial-cost suggestion - install a very large capacity iron filter either on your home OR just on the line that fills the pool. Iron specific filters can remove enough iron to bring you down to an undetectable level and then you know that your fill water is free of iron. If you can pair it with a mineral hardness filter as well, then all the better. If you do go this route, then you'll also likely need to drain the pool as much as you can based on your local groundwater conditions and what is safe for your liner.

Chemical solutions based on simply chelating the metal are not going to work in your case. There is clearly too much iron in your water and you're simply fighting the forces of nature at this point. You're going to lose. A filtration system is a big upfront cost but long term it saves you from buying lots of unnecessary chemicals.

Spent years using regular water in my house that was laden with calcium. My pool water eventually got up to 1500ppm CH and it was difficult to maintain the water at a saturation index that kept the calcium from scaling. I bit the bullet and added a whole-house water softener with an extension to my autofill line. My only regret is not adding that softener sooner and saving myself the headache of constantly having to scrap calcium off of everything in my house (ruining plumbing fixtures and messing up my pool tile). My water heaters will never achieve their rated lifespan from all the boiler cake that has likely developed in them but, the next set will last a whole lot longer now that there is no calcium in my household water.


Silver Supporter
May 17, 2018
Eagan, MN
Not sure if this is helpful to you but when I fill from my high iron well I put my cover pump into the pool pumping into one bucket (chlorinated pool water) to mix with well water and then drilled a hole to spill into another bucket filled with poly fill. I can’t say it will work long term but I filtered a ton of iron out and haven’t had any staining but I just got a new liner with water to trucked in to fill all but the last four inches. I also bought some 7” industrial poly sock filters 5 micron that I put into my skimmers and they came out dark orange after I fill and leave pump on for the night. I’m just experimenting as this is only my third season doing pool care.