Something isn’t adding up (metal staining)

bls2019

Member
May 14, 2019
20
Gulfport, MS
I just completed a CA treatment as I couldn’t procure AA, and have pH/Alk at 7.1 and 70, slowly adding chlorine. Made it 2 cups of liquid 12.5% and 2.5 bottles of Jacks blue in (following AA protocol to add more if stains reappear) and I’m still having slight staining starting to reform. What am I doing wrong or do I need to call the water company and have them test my water? Is there any recourse whatsoever if there is this much metal in the water since copper is considered an essential nutrient? 2018 test results posted showed .3ppm copper and I’m thinking there even more than that if I can’t sequester it.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,062
Tucson, AZ
Let’s take this back a bit - are you trying to remove copper stains or iron stains? Ascorbic acid (AA) and citric acid are used to remove iron (brownish colored) stains. Copper stains (blue/green, reddish-brown or black depending on the level of oxidation) are not removed by AA or citric acid.

Please give us more details. Thanks.
 

bls2019

Member
May 14, 2019
20
Gulfport, MS
Working through confirmed copper. Clears right up after CA, then following the protocol listed here add the Jacks and it’s still slowly precipitating.

The AA/CA protocol on this site says the AA/CA will indeed remove copper stains, though CA is more effective on copper than iron. Seen quite a few posts/replies on other posts saying CA works. So now I’m confused.
 

bls2019

Member
May 14, 2019
20
Gulfport, MS
Just found the article about solely removing copper stains and mentions the Jacks says the metals can be removed by backwashing. After 24 hours of 2 bottles of the blue stuff (double for my pool volume because stains kept creeping back) my pump pressure tripled suddenly. So I was forced to backwash and the picture was the result. NEVER had algae or CC above .2 and that was after a high bather load. Assuming because of the high copper and algae hates copper ?‍♀ Side note though, I have NEVER had my backwash look like this even when the water was cloudy green (husband over chlorinated while I was out of town). I even tested the backwash water for good measure and CC was still below .2674DB6A6-CAC2-411F-85C6-284FE828C3FC.jpeg
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,062
Tucson, AZ
Ascorbic acid turns copper stains from brown to black. Citric acid only slowly dissolved copper stains and is usually too slow to be effective (greater chance of developing algae while trying to remove the stains). Sulfamic acid (Jacks Magic #2 scale & copper remover) rapidly dissolves copper stains, even well-aged copper stains. However, sulfamic acid causes major problems with FC/CC testing as it reacts with chlorine and then shows up as high CCs during testing.

It looks like the Jacks blue stuff is sequestering the copper and then it’s precipitating out in your filter. Your filter appears to be loaded up with it. I believe you that it’s copper but it seems that your water is A LOT higher than 0.3ppm.

Have you recently had your pool water tested? Is that the 0.3ppm value you posted?

FYI - copper is not considered an “essential nutrient” in potable water like iron is. The EPA doesn’t require water sources to be iron free because it’s not regulated as a contaminant. Copper, on the other hand, is considered a contaminant and must be held below 0.3ppm for potable waters.
 

bls2019

Member
May 14, 2019
20
Gulfport, MS
I haven’t had it professionally tested because of the cost but I’m coming close. The .3ppm is from the water report the water company posted online. I know it’s higher because the water filled the pool lime green yet crystal clear.
I have noticed it’s precipitating much slower, but most likely due to a combo of Jacks and lower chlorine/pH. I’ve always kept it at 7.2 and quickly added MA to lower when it does aerate above that threshold. Feels like I’m slowly gaining ground after seeing that backwash, hopefully.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,062
Tucson, AZ
At low pH copper is more soluble.

Have you ever opened up your sand filter? If copper is precipitating out, it’s most likely to happen in there. The thing I would be questioning is if the sand has become coated with copper precipitate. If that’s the case, then the filter is acting like a big reservoir of copper and every time you change the pH or add sequestrant, it’s adding copper to the water and causing your pool stains to reappear. You might want to take a look inside the filter and inspect the sand media.
 

bls2019

Member
May 14, 2019
20
Gulfport, MS
So got the LaMottes Copper test today. Tested Dang near every water source in my house. Pool is showing nothing while Some of the house sources show a reading. Even tested the Dang backwash water though couldn’t get a decent reading on it because it was so cloudy and lime green. Pool is still cloudy and I’m wondering if I’m not starting an algae bloom (never had algae before) because I’m getting conflicting CC readings. Last one was just a hue of pink after .4 so .6 put me at completely clear. Technically can’t slam because I just did the CA and Jacks blue or can I assume that the copper has been pulled to a level below the .05ppm on the LaMottes test and won’t precipitate. Picture attached is of the pool now. I have used Polyquat 60 at the beginning of CA and a few days ago since I passed the week mark. CC is being eaten by something and I’m two gallons of liquid 12.5% chlorine (two months old/storage room temp) two cups at a time every hour or two to slowly raise CC. What do you think I should do? I’m having to fight the urge to use clarifier but I’ve seen using HEDP and Clarifiers is contraindicated.
 

bls2019

Member
May 14, 2019
20
Gulfport, MS
At low pH copper is more soluble.

Have you ever opened up your sand filter? If copper is precipitating out, it’s most likely to happen in there. The thing I would be questioning is if the sand has become coated with copper precipitate. If that’s the case, then the filter is acting like a big reservoir of copper and every time you change the pH or add sequestrant, it’s adding copper to the water and causing your pool stains to reappear. You might want to take a look inside the filter and inspect the sand media.
I have no shame in saying you were right! Even though I just opened the pool and put new zeosand in the filter, I finally opened it again today. Didn’t think it would be as bad but Dang. I even backwashed for five minutes before opening the filter. Here’s what it looked like.85F5BDCE-2E06-4327-A697-FFA18C0A5A7D.jpeg1676F3BC-C3FE-4C3C-A706-8EF6BEE52A01.jpeg8BE62852-5AC3-457A-A566-258D04674571.jpeg
After over an hour of washing the debris and what I can only describe as slimy globs of guessing grass that blew in from my neighbors yard. He’s the type that mows it with the side chute and doesn’t have a problem pointing it in my direction ? going to get a slimmer sock to prevent that hopefully. While I was in there I also checked the laterals and took that assembly apart to clean. An hour later and not a speck of dust between them. Here’s what they looked like and wondering why my return pressure was getting low without the filter pressure rising. All ten of these little ******** were full. Should e probably cleaned them when I made the switch to zeo before opening the pool ??‍♀87F47F32-BBEF-475C-981C-91753782B322.jpeg
Just for good measure I put a sock over the return to keep any fine sediment the filter wanted to throw out even though I backwashed once I put everything back together. Hoping this works bc my husband is getting impatient to get in, we live in South MS so it’s plenty warm with water between 75° and 84° ????
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,062
Tucson, AZ
If you have sequestering agents in the pool water (Jack's Blue), then you are not going to get a copper reading. The sequestrants interfere with the copper test.

That filter does look like it's a mess...not sure what that green stuff is, maybe grass but maybe also algae? I don't know a lot about converting regular sand to zeosand but I do remember it being said that the zeosand needs to be backwashed and rinsed many times in order to get all of the fine powder out of it. Usually you have to cycle between backwash and rinse until the discharge water is clear.

Definitely DO NOT ADD CLARIFIER with metal sequestrants around. It will cause a cloudy mess that will be impossible to get rid of. Your zeosand should be able to give you good filtration but I know regular sand filter owners will add a small amount of DE to their filters to improve fine filtration...not sure if that's ok to do with zeosand.....
 

bls2019

Member
May 14, 2019
20
Gulfport, MS
Yea I did the full backwash cycle while I was still filling up the pool with two hoses to keep up with the backwash outflow. Took 20 min with a 60 settling period then another 20 min backwash. Pretty sure it’s a mix of grass and copper precipitate. I’m waiting for a neighbor behind me to ok testing his pool with the DPD and copper test because his cartridges are getting nasty everyday. I kinda figured the Jacks would interfere with the test.
 

bls2019

Member
May 14, 2019
20
Gulfport, MS
Quick update. After running the filter overnight, for one I didn’t lose as much chlorine and CC reading went down negligible, and the water turned to cloudy blue and much clearer. Before I couldn’t clearly see the liner pattern now I can see it in the middle of the pool 11’ away ? so hopefully in a few days she will be good to go. Will probably vacuum it today to clean the bottom which has a little sediment on it. Thank you! I would’ve never thought to check the filter after just having it open only a month ago. Apparently the grass and copper made its home in there and just created a giant green tea bag for the rest of the pool.
 
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bls2019

Member
May 14, 2019
20
Gulfport, MS
I have a few previous threads about my problems with copper. Well I went out of town for a week and when I left I had a pool that would make any TFP owner blush (see pics). Well, even leaving my husband explicit directions on how to perform my TFP testing with Taylor’s AND the Jacks Sequestrant test kit, I returned to water that looked like the second picture. Short of draining it, again, what is the best way to redissolve these stains.
 

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bls2019

Member
May 14, 2019
20
Gulfport, MS
Somewhat confused now. Spoke with one of the Jacks Magic techs and the way he explained it to me is that Jacks Magic Blue stuff (not the vinyl but regular blue) is not meant to keep metals dissolved. He said it’s designed to cause the metal particles to clump together to be caught by the filter. So according to his explanation, it’s a glorified flocculant designed for metal. Explains why no matter what I do, metal keeps coming out of solution and clouding my water and leaving stains on the sides and bottom of the pool.
He’s sending a stain ID kit free of charge because he thinks that there’s another metal with the copper creating a compound and making it harder for the blue stuff to do it’s job.
Side noted that since I am having copper from a city water source, that if it’s from a lake or reservoir they most likely added copper sulphate to the original source of water to combat an algae bloom and the remnants of that trickled down to my pool.
Hopefully this info helps someone in future searches of the forum since this thread is basically dead.