Possible chemical contamination from painting pool steps

Metalman23

Bronze Supporter
Apr 21, 2018
111
Central CT
So a couple weeks ago I drained my pool, and painted the steps with paint designed for the bottom of boats, thinking that it could withstand being underwater, it said you could launch the boat after a day or something, so I started filling the pool right away.

Now after it's filled I've been slamming for a while, at least 2 weeks. The water cleared up pretty fast but it's staying cloudy, I am brushing almost daily, and the filter which runs at 16psi when it's clean , I backwash when it reaches, 20-22 psi, which happens about 2 - 3 times per day, so I know that the filter is filtering dead algae,

But it seems to be taking a while, but when I brush the pool steps a cloud of blue stuff comes off the steps, I'm wondering if it's putting bad chemicals in my water and complicating the slamming process.

I used anti fouling paint.

Any thoughts?
 

Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
527
Orlando
Boat bottom paint typically has heavy metals and algicides and such in it to prevent things from growing on the bottom of boats. I would be very worried about those things leaching off of the paint into the small body of water that is your pool. Especially considering that you will be swimming in that water and ingesting at least some of it.

Many of the chemicals in bottom paint are very toxic and there are some environmental regulations that prohibit certain types of bottom paint in certain bodies of water. If they are concerned about the environmental impact of the bottom paint in an entire lake or harbor, which would have many many times the volume of water that your pool does, I would certainly be concerned with swimming in that water.

Unfortunately now that it’s done though, I don’t know what you can do to mitigate any potential issues.
 

Metalman23

Bronze Supporter
Apr 21, 2018
111
Central CT
I'm pretty sure I read on the can that there's a lot of copper in that paint, I can take a sample to the pool store and have them test for metals.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
18,067
Northern NJ
You know what your water chemistry was before you painted?

The CC of 2 says the chlorine is working on something.

I would keep feeding the water with chlorine and see what it takes for the chlorine to eliminate whatever is in the water.

Is TA 40 your normal TA? You lowered your pH to 7.2 before beginning the SLAM Process? I am wondering if the paint is acidic and affected your TA and pH?
 

Metalman23

Bronze Supporter
Apr 21, 2018
111
Central CT
I don't know what it was before I started, it was a green mess, last year the TA was 60,

I don't know what the PH was before I started, but the other day it looked like it was between 7.2 and 6.8, so I know it's too acidic.

Last week CC was 6, then a couple days later, 0. now it's up to 2 again, not sure what's going on there. Maybe I'll try vacuuming the steps to waste, brushing it like crazy to get rid of anything that'll come off easy

I really hate to think I'll have to drain and refill again.
 

Metalman23

Bronze Supporter
Apr 21, 2018
111
Central CT
Unfortunately the paint is literally designed to wear off in water, it's basically a copper mine.
Screenshot_20200420-070330.png
Well at least when I refill from the well it'll be fresh clean water, no cloudiness, I will need some CYA,
 

setsailsoon

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
2,930
Stuart/FL
Your challenge is going to be removal without damaging your pool shell material. It must be removed. There are two kinds of ablative bottom paints. Traditional kind (like yours I think) flakes off from friction with the water usually over a year of normal use. The other is chemically ablative such as Micron 66 reacts with salt water to slowly dissolve so it maintains an active chemical agent on the surface to prevent algae from attaching even if the boat stays at the dock and is not moved. As pointed out already neither should ever be used in a pool. The paint is usually scraped or heated with a blow tourch and then sanded down smooth and then re-coated. I don't think that's going to work well with your finish but the only other way is paint remover which could be worse which is paint remover. Is there a way you can test some paint remover to a piece of vinyl your pool was made of? Most of the time bottoms are marine plywood or fiberglass. No idea how the methods work on vinyl.

Tough problem. @JoyfulNoise Matt, any ideas?

Chris
 

setsailsoon

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Oct 25, 2015
2,930
Stuart/FL
There's an outside chance it doesn't stick well to vinyl... maybe it will peel off fairly easy? Do you notice any peeling at all?
 

setsailsoon

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TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
2,930
Stuart/FL
Sorry, yes saw vinyl on your pool in signature didn't realize the steps were fiberglass. That may make removal easier. When removing on fiberglass you can add a coat of resin if needed (there are several types make sure you use the one more resistant to bubbling from water migration.

Chris
 

setsailsoon

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Oct 25, 2015
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Stuart/FL
Seems like the water resistant resin was vinyl-ester not polyester but you should check before added in the event you end up needing it.
 

setsailsoon

Gold Supporter
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Oct 25, 2015
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Stuart/FL
The water resistant resin is more expensive so usually there's only a thin layer on the side exposed to the water. Maybe pool steps are the same?
 

Metalman23

Bronze Supporter
Apr 21, 2018
111
Central CT
So I'll drain the pool, sand and clean the offending paint, then recoat with resin? And then paint again with good paint?

Any suggestions for what type of paint to use?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
18,067
Northern NJ
We don’t recommend using paints in pools. No modern paint formulation works well. The chemicals that used to work well in pool paints are no longer used.

Whatever you are trying to achieve is cosmetic and has no functional benefit. I would just leave your steps as is until your next liner replacement when you can replace the steps.

Do you have pics of the steps without its makeup?