My in ground pool has signs of rust around light, returns, skimmer, and stairs and I’m quite worried! Pics inside, please help!

Rockstead

Well-known member
Sep 2, 2010
304
My pool is about 10 years old, I’ve never had this problem before and I’m worried about what it means for the life of my pool and what my next steps should be.

I have one return that has a broken faceplate and the liner behind it wrinkled a little, I hope this is not where water came in contacts with walls to start this problem?

I’ve attached pictures of my returns and you can see rust on the screws of the returns that are not broken, as well and you can clearly the rust on the return screw that is broken as well as the rust in the skimmer, stairs, and around the light trim.

Am I in trouble in terms of the longevity of my pool? Can it just be a chemical imbalance and can I do something that gets rid of all this rust? What do I do next?
 

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Pool_Medic

In The Industry
Apr 1, 2018
804
Bangor Maine
Replace the broken covers, reinstall stainless steel screws. IMO everything else you see is normal for a SWCG pool. Are you watching your ph?
 

Rockstead

Well-known member
Sep 2, 2010
304
Ok I Will do all that, it doesn’t seem that the return jet covers have seals in them, is that normal? I was told it could be a seal also causing the water behind the liner in that one pic where the return jet cover is completely gone.

I had another thread on changing those covers but it’s still not clear to me how to change it, the pool store said to lower water below returns and other members said I have to make sure to fasten the liner with something as I’m removing those screws, so I’m pretty worried about messing it all up and I have no idea how to fasten a liner.

You mentioned it’s normal but I’ve never had rust like that in my pool, how do I get it to disappear? Shock treatment or another means?

I’ve never had rust like that around the pool light either, so frustrating.

I’ll report back my chemistry readings tonight when I get home.
 

Pool_Medic

In The Industry
Apr 1, 2018
804
Bangor Maine
I change my return covers when the tiny cracks start to appear. I get in the pool, remove screws and quickly place new cover on, the threaded male fitting is where the water comes out, the cover snugs up the liner to form a seal.

Not all stainless steel is truly rust proof. It could be over time the chlorine or low ph has removed some of the protective coating around the light, it happens a lot with stainless steel ladders too. once rusting has started its next to impossible to clean it up, other than new fittings. That rust is also putting metals into your water. IMO that is why your steps aren’t looking very bright and white. Buy some stain remover or vitamin c tablets and watch just how white and bright they can go back to.
 

Rockstead

Well-known member
Sep 2, 2010
304
Ok thanks, so my pool won’t implode if I don’t fasten the liner? Lol, is this generally a concern that something can happen when you undo those return jet screws?

Also what was the pool store talking about, I’m just not seeing a rubber seal around the jet.

I’m hoping the Hayward replacement faceplates I bought have the replacement screws but I’m guessing I have to buy those separately.

I did buy some stain remover, how do I apply it? Can I put it in a sock and just rub away, it comes off that easy?
 

Rockstead

Well-known member
Sep 2, 2010
304
But how would I pour near a wall and have it go to where the stain is? That’s why I thought maybe I could put the stain removing granular in a sock and then rub it on the rust areas?

I’m guessing I should stop the pump so that the water doesn’t circulate when I’m applying stain removal granulars?
 

Chickinvic

Well-known member
Jul 12, 2017
128
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Grounding is grounding.........liquid chlorine or SWG............it is grounded the same.
I only asked because when we had our pool inspected before buying this house the pool guy mentioned something about it (we also had rust forming in places OP mentioned). Said he sees it often in the salt water conversions. He might not know what he's talking about though lol (seems to be common in the industry).
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
39,926
Tallahassee, FL
Ahhh I can see why you would ask that question then! Very interesting both pools have the rust forming in the same place though hummmmmm makes you wonder why.
 
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Rockstead

Well-known member
Sep 2, 2010
304
Here are my current chemical results, seems I’m quite high on chlorine and I reduced my SWG to 25% from 35%

Is TA too high? I see troublefreepool recommendations of 60-80, is it bad to leave it at 130?

Could any of that contribute to the rusting?

FC=10
PH=7.8
TA=130
 

Rockstead

Well-known member
Sep 2, 2010
304
Just curious but why don’t I have to bring the TA in the 60-80 range? For TFTkit recommend a range in the 110 but TFP recommends a range of 60-80.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
39,926
Tallahassee, FL
TA is the last thing we mess with. If your pH is happy aka not pushing up fast aka every other day or so then your TA is fine. TA and pH work hand in hand. Your pH will tell you if it wants a lower TA.
 

Rockstead

Well-known member
Sep 2, 2010
304
Nothing wrong with those readings, place any metal in water for long enough and rust will appear imo.
So I changed my returns and all the screws and now I’m ready to work on stains.

I’ve got a large 2KG bottle of stain remover from the pool store, it’s in granular format.

I was going to spot treat with granulars in a sock, is there a way I can just dilute the bottle in water or just pour it down my skimmer for a full pool treatment, will that lift the stains too? I don’t mind th expense of using the entire bottle.

2nd if I go this route, I read that it is necessary to lower PH and Chlorine when applying to entire pool, is that really necessary? Can I try without doing that to see the results?
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
11,584
Houston, Texas
If you don’t lower the chlorine first the chlorine will oxidize the stain remover and it won’t be very effective. It is formulated to work at lower pH. For best results follow the label directions.
 

Rockstead

Well-known member
Sep 2, 2010
304
If you don’t lower the chlorine first the chlorine will oxidize the stain remover and it won’t be very effective. It is formulated to work at lower pH. For best results follow the label directions.
Ok fair enough, so the label has a few methods and one method for sever stains says to add as much as 300grams per 10,000 litres.

From experience, will adding this to the water remove stains as effectively as adding to a sock and rubbing against the stain?