Metal removal, algae, calcium?

guytanatz

Member
Jun 17, 2021
7
CT
I apologize in advance as I anticipate this thread may be all over the place!

I just completed my third metal treatment for what I am rather sure is iron staining. My first two unsuccessful tries were AA and a sequestrant, however, I used CuLater the second time only and did not use an algaecide either time (Leslie's neglected to tell me I may need those). The metal came back both times and I blame it on the fact that I brought the chlorine up too quickly because my water began to turn cloudy (beginner's mistake). My third try was with a new product call Phoenix Super Erace which claims to be a metal remover and sequestrant all in and this time I did use polyquat 60. It worked fairly well, there is still mild staining, but it is improved and my water does look clearer and more blue. My first question is, could it have been the polyquat that made the water look clearer and more blue and that the Phoenix product did nothing? My pool previously had a green tint to it, but I figured it was the yellow staining + the blue water = green tint. Now I have a suspicion that maybe it wasn't metal all along but it was algae instead. Note: the AA worked wonderfully the first two times, but like I said it came back in a few days so this is why I am "fairly" sure I have an iron stain. Another note: water reports from my town mention no iron contamination whatsoever, and I have used my hose to fill the few times I've had to drain. I'm having a hard time finding what the active ingredient is in the Phoenix product but it requires a high PH and TA, unlike AA which requires you lower the PH.

My current readings are as follows after cleaning the filters twice which leads to my 2nd question:
FC: 0.5
CC: 1
PH: 8.2
TA: 130
CYA: 40
CH - the Taylor kit says that if calcium is present in your sample it should turn red initially, but mine is more like a magenta. Furthermore, when adding drops of 12 and counting drops the color very gradually changes from magenta to a soft blue, and I'm having a hard time nailing down what the reading is. I'd say it's between 200 and 300, maybe closer to 250. Is this how the CH test with the Taylor kit is supposed to work? It's not very clear.

I appreciate the info in advance, I can't wait to get a handle on this!
 

Texas Splash

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Magenta for the CH is more accurate. Go until you see the light baby blue. You have an elevated CC level which is concerning. It means the pool is trying to eliminate an excess amount of organics. Iron and algae are two completely different beasts, so we need to narrow that down - or maybe you have both. Two things I would recommend right away:
1 - Do an Overnight Chlorine Loss Test to see if you have algae. Increase your FC to about 7-8 ppm with liquid chlorine right away and try to ensure it is there after dark falls. Then take your second test in the morning before the sun hits the water.
2 - Do you have any staining on the pool shell? If so, rub a Vitamin C tablet on it to see if it comes off (iron).

In addition, your pH is much too high. Use some muriatic acid to lower the pH to about 7.6 - 7.8. Somewhere in that range. Let's start there and see how you do with the OCLT tomorrow.
 

guytanatz

Member
Jun 17, 2021
7
CT
Magenta for the CH is more accurate. Go until you see the light baby blue. You have an elevated CC level which is concerning. It means the pool is trying to eliminate an excess amount of organics. Iron and algae are two completely different beasts, so we need to narrow that down - or maybe you have both. Two things I would recommend right away:
1 - Do an Overnight Chlorine Loss Test to see if you have algae. Increase your FC to about 7-8 ppm with liquid chlorine right away and try to ensure it is there after dark falls. Then take your second test in the morning before the sun hits the water.
2 - Do you have any staining on the pool shell? If so, rub a Vitamin C tablet on it to see if it comes off (iron).

In addition, your pH is much too high. Use some muriatic acid to lower the pH to about 7.6 - 7.8. Somewhere in that range. Let's start there and see how you do with the OCLT tomorrow.
I added PH minus and the vitamin C tablet melts the stain away, all but confirming it's iron staining. Don't I want to wait to raise the chlorine quickly since I just did a metal removal treatment?

edit:

I also realize I made a mistake in my OP with my readings, they should have been:

FC: 0.5
CC: 0.5

PH is now 7.6, I haven't tested any of the others, I wanted to get the PH in check before bed.
 
Last edited:

Texas Splash

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You certainly do want to raise the FC before algae tries to set-in. As the AA instructions state, you start raising it slowly after the stains disappear, then continue to raise slowly monitoring both how well the FC holds (because the AA will try to remove it) and to ensure stains don't start to reappear.
 

guytanatz

Member
Jun 17, 2021
7
CT
Thanks for the insight Tex, I'm slowly adding liquid chlorine until my FC holds steady at at least 3, cloudiness is being kept at bay by the algaecide hopefully. The one thing I'd like to mention is that I don't think this product had AA as an active ingredient (or anything acidic for that matter) since it wanted the PH high and not low, unfortunately the bottle nor the website list the active ingredient. I am not the expert here but I wonder if anyone has used this product or anything like it?
 

Texas Splash

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new product call Phoenix Super Erace which claims to be a metal remover and sequestrant
I'll do some poking around to see if I can find any info on this product. But I am suspicious about any product would claim it can "remove" iron when that can only be done by filtering or water exchange. It may remove the stain, but it's still in the water. And you are correct, a true AA product has specific process requirements, and this Phoenix product doesn't seem to follow that method. As for cloudiness, that concerns me (algae). If your water quality doesn't improve soon, you might need to do an Overnight Chlorine Loss Test soon to be sure.
 

Texas Splash

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It looks like the Phoenix Co claims their product(s) encapsulates the metal partials in an effort to make them easier to capture during filtration. Maintaining a normal pH level tends to aggravate metals which might help with filtration. But at this point, I'm not 100% convinced this product is going to resolve your issue. You can wait a while to see, but if the water remains cloudy, I think it's time to take metal control the TFP way.

Going back to basics, here is what I would suggest:
1 - Do the Overnight Chlorine Loss Test as noted above. #1 priority is to ensure there is no algae. Algae requires a SLAM Process which overrides any metal removal process. In fact, you had initial concerns about algae versus metals, so let's make sure the root cause for water color changes isn't algae. Once we know the water is 100% algae-free, if there is water color or staining, we can continue metal treatment as noted below.
2 - Confirm which metals may be present (iron or copper). Iron is usually from a well, copper from pool store products, bad copper heater core, etc. If you have a stain on the pool wall or steps, rub with a Vitamin C tablet to see if it's iron. If that does nothing, test the stain with some dry acid in a thin sock or nylon (copper).
3 - If it's coper, you almost have to exchange water. You can't filter it. If it's iron, you can keep the FC and pH elevated to aggravate the iron in an effort to help filter it with polyfill. If you had to elevate the FC level to kill algae as noted above (SLAM), then that's a perfect time to try and filter iron. The more you remove via polyfill filtering the better.
4 - If iron was confirmed as the issue and filtering exhausted, there may be residual staining. That's when you can consider the AA treatment. Remember the AA only pulls the stains off surfaces and puts it into the water - it's still there. So that's when you try to exchange water or try to filter more.
 

guytanatz

Member
Jun 17, 2021
7
CT
Thanks for all this, right now FC is steady at 2 and CC is 0! Adding more bleach until it holds at 3 (for now). I will get back to you as soon as I see something, either cloudiness or stain coming back. FYI - cloudiness was never the issue, my water was always clear, it was the staining that made the pool "appear" a green tint if that makes sense (but very much different from the green algae pictures I've seen on this site, not nearly as intense as that). The only time I've ever had cloudiness was when dropping the FC for the metal treatments because I wasn't using polyquat 60. Also good to know that the order of operations is algae removal first, metal stain after!
 
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guytanatz

Member
Jun 17, 2021
7
CT
Here is the info the sales rep sent me when I called with my million questions :laughblue: (word document pasted below)



X9Z0w9r6ELGR6Gvx93MKiormRxLERxvSuULUWkcEA0x1Nk8F_NSOB6PdEOE6kHLNB7gtQfT7htOm3y2tbTHXKJNVr9Vbsvq3vKzoqxtXeSeXtK1vJ07DMswRxVyRZL5xBAfLx1MsajIlzr2njg






SUPER ERACE

SUPER ERACE is a highly concentrated chelate with unique dispersing properties. By combining these two properties, SUPER ERACE brings to the marketplace the best metal control, anti-scaling and stain removal product available.

When used properly, SUPER ERACE will prevent staining by completely removing the metal ions from the pool. It preferentially reacts with iron, the most common cause of staining, then copper, manganese and finally calcium and magnesium. By combining SUPER ERACE’S dispersing and chelation properties it will remove most metal stains from concrete, fiberglass and vinyl surfaces. SUPER ERACE can also be used to effectively prevent calcium scaling.

FEATURES:

* Removes metal stains from concrete, vinyl liner and fiberglass pools.
* Prevents staining of pool surfaces caused by iron, copper, manganese and calcium.
* Prevents scaling due to improper water balance.
* Low ppms of Chlorine will not interfere with product performance.
* When used on a maintenance basis, improves the efficiency of pool heaters.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE IN STAIN REMOVAL:

1) Adjust the alkalinity to 125. This minimizes the pH effect of SUPER ERACE.
2) Adjust pH to 7.6 - 7.8 for maximum effectiveness. Very important to Maintain pH level.
3) The pool circulation should be turned off while SUPER ERACE is being added to the pool.
4) To the extent possible, add the product to the pool such that it contacts the stained area.

IMPORTANT: For maximum effectiveness on Metallic Stains, use two quarts per ten thousand gallons. Metals in suspension, use one quart per ten.
Within one hour of addition restart the circulation and let the filter run continuously for at least 72 hours. Backwash as a minimum after 24 hours and after 72 hours. Depending on conditions, additional backwashes may be required. Every 12 hrs. test pH and adjust as necessary.


TIP: For maximum effectiveness, administer the product in late afternoon or early evening.
* If after one week, some staining is still visible, repeat the procedure.
* To prevent recurrence, use a maintenance dose of four ounces per thousand
gallons of new water added. Always make sure that the filter runs continuously
for 72 hours after dosing.

FOR TREATMENT OF WATER CONTAINING METALS

1) Add one quart of SUPER ERACE per ten to fifteen thousand gallons using the entire surface of the pool and with the system running.
2) Adjust the alkalinity and pH as indicated above. Maintain Ph level in the
recommended Range.
3) Run the system continuously for 72 hours, backwashing at the end of twenty-four
and seventy-two hours as a minimum, more if required. Watch pressure gauge.

FOR WINTER SCALE PREVENTION

1) Properly balance the pool water before addition.
2) With the circulation on, add one quart per twenty thousand gallons. Use the
entire surface of the pool to get optimum distribution.
3) Continue running the circulation for as long as possible before closing the pool.

Note: Helpful Information

FAILURE TO REMOVE THE CHELATED METALS BY FILTRATION WILL
EVENTUALLY LEAD TO THE BREAKDOWN OF THE CHELATE COMPLEX AND REPRECIPITATION OF THE METAL IONS ON THE POOL SURFACE.

Cartridge & Sand Filters : To improve the filtration micron level , it may be necessary to add a
“Filter Aid” or a small amount of D.E / Silkleer thru the skimmer . This will shorten the filter cycle . Watch the pressure and backwash/clean as necessary.

Try to pull the pool water from the “Main Drain” / bottom of the pool and decrease your suction from the skimmers. “Pull from the bottom, return to the top”.

Scale/Calcium buildup on the walls: Try “Calcium Reducer” 2-3 Quarts per pool has been successful in eliminating this problem. Follow complete directions on bottle.

January 2018
 

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