Money pit is poop brown

Teresab66

Active member
Jul 7, 2019
41
Elkhart Indiana
Please bear with me I am new to this as I bought a home with an older pool last fall and it was closed when we moved in. I had seen the pool open prior to our purchase and it was beautiful. I hired a pool company to open it in the spring and followed their directions and ended up with a beautiful pool that was Crystal clear, but it was too cold to swim. Temperatures have risen and we were able to use the pool. I have been given instructions that if the pool had been heavily used I should use some nonchlorine shock to sanitize the pool, I did this and immediately had a brown/green pool which I know it was caused from the iron in our water. I added some iron remover And was making headway then I took my water in to be tested and they stated that my chlorine level was at zero that I needed to shock the pool with 6 1 pound bags of shock. I did this and immediately my pool turned back to Brown, so I took my water in to be tested again and they stated for whatever reason I had no chlorine left after 24 hours and that I needed to Shockett again with 12 bags of shock which I did last night. They are not open to test my water today, I have a test kit that will show chlorine up to a five which I will be testing here shortly. If my chlorine is low again I am in bed instructed to put in another 12 pounds of shock. I have named this pool the money pit for a reason I have been to the store multiple times and spent ungodly amounts of money on products for this pool. My neighbor gave me this website yesterday and I’ve been doing a lot of reading and it seems as if I have been ripped off by the store and at this point I am not sure what else to do. I have a curlator ? In my pump basket which is supposed to pull the iron out, I have a filter on my hose and I am adding additional water expecting to backwash sick several times. They have suggested using a product called revival or revive which is spray over the top surface of the pool and turn the pump off and let Fall to the bottom clearing the water and then you will vacuum to waste. I’m at a loss I’m about ready to get a dump truck full of dirt or two to fill it in and make a beautiful garden, please any suggestions I would appreciate. I’m not sure of my pump size I’m pretty sure it’s a Hayward pump and I have a sand filter And a heater that is not turned on as well as a auto vac system. I’m going to test the chlorine etc. shortly but based on my reading should I even use the shock or should I go buy liquid bleach essentially help help help help
 

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IceShadow

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2019
628
Milwaukee, WI
Welcome! Sorry that the pool store has taken you for a ride. We do things differently here, and that starts with buying a test kit that lets you know the balance of your water without bringing it in to a pool store. They’re a little on the pricy side if you’re used to buying test strips, but pretty necessary so that you can know what your pool needs without going to a store that will sell you tons of Crud you don’t need.

It sounds like they sold you a non-chlorine shock which will eat through chlorine you added later. You can keep adding chlorine and get past that, but without a good test kit you won’t be able to be sure how much chlorine is in your pool. The “iron remover” is likely a chemical that makes the iron in your water bind to it instead of visible. It doesn’t take it out, but instead just hides it. It can work, but you have to keep adding it as it breaks down with time and as you’ve seen, chlorine can cause the iron to fall back out of suspension and be visible.

At this point it sounds like you have two problems - the iron in the water and the sanitation levels of the water from all the crud the pool store sold you. To deal with the first, a lot of people put polyfill (like the stuff you get at a craft store for pillows and stuffed animals) in their skimmer and change that out as it gets the iron. For the second, I’d recommend getting a good FAS/DPD test kit. Normally I’d recommend adding chlorine via liquid chlorine until the kit arrives but I’m not sure how that would react with the iron - I’ll let someone more knowledgeable in high iron content speak to it. Most likely you’ll still want to add enough to get to 5ppm daily until the kit arrives.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
22,049
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Welcome! Sorry that the pool store has taken you for a ride. We do things differently here, and that starts with buying a test kit that lets you know the balance of your water without bringing it in to a pool store. They’re a little on the pricy side if you’re used to buying test strips, but pretty necessary so that you can know what your pool needs without going to a store that will sell you tons of Crud you don’t need.

It sounds like they sold you a non-chlorine shock which will eat through chlorine you added later. You can keep adding chlorine and get past that, but without a good test kit you won’t be able to be sure how much chlorine is in your pool. The “iron remover” is likely a chemical that makes the iron in your water bind to it instead of visible. It doesn’t take it out, but instead just hides it. It can work, but you have to keep adding it as it breaks down with time and as you’ve seen, chlorine can cause the iron to fall back out of suspension and be visible.

At this point it sounds like you have two problems - the iron in the water and the sanitation levels of the water from all the crud the pool store sold you. To deal with the first, a lot of people put polyfill (like the stuff you get at a craft store for pillows and stuffed animals) in their skimmer and change that out as it gets the iron. For the second, I’d recommend getting a good FAS/DPD test kit. Normally I’d recommend adding chlorine via liquid chlorine until the kit arrives but I’m not sure how that would react with the iron - I’ll let someone more knowledgeable in high iron content speak to it. Most likely you’ll still want to add enough to get to 5ppm daily until the kit arrives.
Exactly that. Strain it out. And until you can get to a craft store, use paper towels. Check out that picture!

When the water looks better, then you can sequester it. The Iron will still be there, but it will be contained in much the same way that the chocolate in an M&M is sequestered by the hard candy shell.

Some more neat pictures: If you’ve got iron in your fill water, use Polyfill to remove it

 

Teresab66

Active member
Jul 7, 2019
41
Elkhart Indiana
I have a pen tar test kit that only allows me to look at chlorine levels to 3 ppm and I would say that my level would be higher than that based on the color change I’m going to try to attach the results I just did. Which kit it is the best to buy As the expense related to the amount of chemicals I’ve put in the pool is relative. I am ready to purchase anything I am told to do at this point.648AF497-A1EA-443D-9037-21C50C943B35.png
 

Arizonarob

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
TFP Guide
Mar 25, 2018
2,503
Chandler Arizona
First and foremost, welcome to TFP.

Step one, stop buying anything from the pool store, step two is to get a proper test kit. There are only 2 we recommend here at TFP. Either the TF100 Here or the Taylor k2006C Here, once you have the proper kit, do a full set of tests and post your results.
I know you feel like it’s a money pit now, but we’ll get you back to enjoying your pool in no time!
For now start reading. ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
 

IceShadow

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2019
628
Milwaukee, WI
I have a pen tar test kit that only allows me to look at chlorine levels to 3 ppm and I would say that my level would be higher than that based on the color change I’m going to try to attach the results I just did. Which kit it is the best to buy As the expense related to the amount of chemicals I’ve put in the pool is relative. I am ready to purchase anything I am told to do at this point.View attachment 109976
I bought the Taylor K2006c and wish I had bought the TF-100 XL for what it’s worth. Same money and more of the reagents that matter to the methods used here.

Try putting a paper towel in the skimmer now and seeing if it gets brown from the iron. :) Just make sure the water can still flow through it.
 

IceShadow

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2019
628
Milwaukee, WI
Do you have a way to get some liquid chlorine? Add 5ppm per day until the test kit arrives. This won’t help the iron and may make it look worse, but if it looks bad, that means the paper towel in the skimmer will catch it. When it’s clear and you have iron it won’t catch the iron.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,431
Tucson, AZ
Do you know how to open your sand filter? If so, it will be interesting to look inside. Depending on what the previous owner did, your sand may or may not be an issue. In a high iron environment like yours, the sand in your filter can go from its normal tan/grey color to mud-brown or even black as iron precipitates out and is captured on the surface of the sand. If your sand filter is compromised with lots of iron, then you’ll need to address that as well because backwashing rarely removes that kind of contamination.

But, as others have mentioned, your first task is to get a test kit and then get your sanitation and chemical balance under control. Then you can address the iron issue.
 

Teresab66

Active member
Jul 7, 2019
41
Elkhart Indiana
So I’m a very impatient person and I hate sitting on my laurels. So am I better off to use like the poly batting type stuff in my skimmer to pull the rust out of the water or use a flocking solution that will drop the stuff to the floor, or sequester it and every time I add chlorine I know it’s going to change color so keep some of the batting in the skimmer to catch that as it comes through . I live in northern Indiana and our swimming pool season is very short and I would very much like to use this pool.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,431
Tucson, AZ
You can go swimming in a pool with a little bit of iron discoloration AS LONG AS you can clearly see the bottom AND your pool is sanitary. Until you get a proper test kit you have no idea how sanitary your water is and if the water is so brown that you cannot see the bottom clearly then it’s too dangerous to swim. Everyone here understands your frustration but the safety and health of the swimmers in your pool is more important than the number of swim days. Recreational water illnesses (RWIs) and possible injury are simply not worth it.
 
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jkowskidpm

Bronze Supporter
Jul 19, 2017
17
Menomonie,WI
i feel your pain, i deal with very high well water iron. i have had best luck with pulling stuffing out of the cheapest wallyworld pillows and running pool water through a bucket layered with paper towels, stuffing, and cotton towels. i also use a home made slime bag with 1 micron biodiesel filter, and put cotton wash cloths in the skimmer baskets. "pool owner patience" is key.
 

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Teresab66

Active member
Jul 7, 2019
41
Elkhart Indiana
I am a registered nurse so I understand completely the requirements of the sanitary pool for swimming. That’s was not my question my question was whether I should speed up the process by adding something to Sequest to iron a flocking agent or just continue using the batting at/paper towel method to take out the iron. My pool has significant iron in it right now you cannot see the bottom of the pool and I’m expecting that using the batting process in the skimmer is going to take a very long time based on the fact I have 33,000 gallons to process therefore my question is what should I do to get the process started.
 

IceShadow

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2019
628
Milwaukee, WI
Sequestering agents will put the iron into suspension. It will clear the iron but it will still be in your pool and you won’t be able to filter it at all. Then add a high chlorine level or pH changes and boom, there it is again.

We don’t recommend floc - you could get some in your filter and gum it up.
 
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Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
22,049
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
i feel your pain, i deal with very high well water iron. i have had best luck with pulling stuffing out of the cheapest wallyworld pillows and running pool water through a bucket layered with paper towels, stuffing, and cotton towels. i also use a home made slime bag with 1 micron biodiesel filter, and put cotton wash cloths in the skimmer baskets. "pool owner patience" is key.
You need to get in here and answer more of the Iron questions!
 
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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
39,735
Tallahassee, FL
I just wanted to give a HUGE shout out and THANKS to all that have stepped into this thread to help them out! This has all be very solid advice from all! :hug:

Kim:kim:
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,431
Tucson, AZ
Flocculants, assuming the water has the proper chemical balance and they are used properly, drop suspended solids to the bottom where you then vacuum them to waste. In your situation, that’s pointless - if you vacuum to waste such a large pool, you’ll be refilling with water from the very same well that gives you the problem in the first place. So a floc, even if successful, is not the answer.

Sequestering agents, as others have stated, simply “hide” the problem and make removal impossible because the iron goes from being a suspended solids to a dissolve metal ion. Therefore, mechanical filtration and removal is impossible.

Adding the polyfill to the skimmer is a viable but slow option. If you read my initial post you’d see I suggested you open the filter and look at the sand, there’s likely iron in it. That will need to be cleaned out at some point to avoid recontamination. If there is, you could use a filter aid like cellulose fiber (Jacks Magic sells a product called “The Filter Fiber Stuff”) or DE to act as a “batting material” in your filter. It could help speed up removal but it can also cause more frequent backwashing which leads to the same issue as floccing the pool.

So there’s still lots of questions to answer. Patience is a virtue with pool ownership....
 

jkowskidpm

Bronze Supporter
Jul 19, 2017
17
Menomonie,WI
I agree with "joyful noise" on checking the sand filter. i found mine was full of "rust: (have owned house/pool 2 years now) could literally see the brown particles come out the returns after backwashing etc. T he sand filter deep cleaning process discussed in TFP was quite easy and removed an amazing amount of other crud as well.