Trying to open the pool without iron this year - what would you do?

lbridenstine

Member
Oct 18, 2016
19
Kalamazoo, MI
I've been battling iron in the water the whole time I've lived here with this pool. I don't have a reading on the amount of iron, but I can tell it's pretty high. I'm on city water, but the source is apparently wells. My house was also built in the 50's, so maybe my pipes are adding to the problem.

I've only been able to swim about 2 times per year and spend the rest of the time cleaning. I don't want to do that again. 😩

Last year I tried Pro Team Metal Magic, vacuuming to waste the iron that dropped to the bottom (or released from staining?), filtered the hose water through a whole house filter with an activated carbon filter to top it back off each time, and repeat. It was a never ending cycle. The filters were definitely caked in orange/brown after a few hours of running hose water through them and I would swap them out and continue, so they were filtering a good amount of iron out, but not enough. I was still vacuuming iron off the bottom in the fall.

20190908_183927 copy.jpg




So, I'm looking into my options before I open the pool this year. I was planning on emptying it and re-filling, but it's looking pretty expensive. My pool is about 40,000 gallons.

Option 1: renting iron filters from the water treatment company across the street = ~$500 + increased water bill (~$100-200)
Option 2: trucking in water = $1500


I wasn't planning on spending quite that much, so Option 3 would be to leave the water that's still in the pool and do a partial refill with one of the above options at a lower price. I think I have a little more than half of the water in there from last year and I vacuumed to waste as much as I could on closing day.




Added info:
Option 1 - I don't have the full details yet, but it looks like their filters oxidize the iron to convert it to solids, which are then filtered out before going in the pool, but they said they only have a few tanks left and they are discontinuing this service once those tanks are empty, so I wouldn't be able to do this again next year.
Option 2 - He said it's city drinking water and I'm not sure if it's actually iron free or not.
I've read through a lot of threads about iron.
I have tried polyfil and didn't get good results. I probably didn't do enough of it, but I have a LOT of water to filter.
I don't really want to have to keep up with sequestarants if I can manage to refill without iron.
I tried to keep the ph at 7.2 - 7.4 the whole season. My TA was high and I was not able to get it down.
My chlorine was around 2.0 for most of the season, but I did have to slam a couple times which obviously didn't help the iron situation.
The filters I used were 5 micron, so maybe they weren't fine enough? I'm still going to need some sort of filter option for topping off the pool throughout the summer.
I understand that filters won't get the non-solid iron, so what's the best option for top offs?

I'd really like to actually be able to use the pool.

What would you do?











Pictures from last year:

Last year I decided to have a pool company drain, acid wash, and scrub the pool. I didn't know about the iron at the time. This picture is when I was a day or two into refilling it after it was cleaned.
20190428_202631_resized copy.jpg

and by the time it was almost filled it was green. It was still cold out and it snowed while I was filling the pool, so I was sure it wasn't algae. I sent pictures to the pool company that did the cleaning and they told me it was iron.

20190502_172333_resized copy.jpg

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I vacuumed the bottom
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I used Metal Magic and this was the result after 24 hours...
59503052_10215716444276970_782223783527186432_o.jpg

But then I stupidly brought the chlorine to shock level and had to start over.
 
Last edited:

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
16,162
Northern NJ
Proteam Metal Magic is phosphonic acid which is a Sequestrant - Further Reading

You should put an Iron Fill Water Filter - Further Reading at the end of your fill water hose.

As shown in that wiki eliminating iron is all about filtering, filtering, filtering.

If your wallet allows I would do Ascorbic Acid Treatment - Further Reading to get iron off the surface and then drain the water and immediately refill it with iron free water trucked in. Then use some filters on your fill hose to not add iron back into the pool.
 
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lbridenstine

Member
Oct 18, 2016
19
Kalamazoo, MI
Proteam Metal Magic is phosphonic acid which is a Sequestrant - Further Reading

You should put an Iron Fill Water Filter - Further Reading at the end of your fill water hose.

As shown in that wiki eliminating iron is all about filtering, filtering, filtering.

If your wallet allows I would do Ascorbic Acid Treatment - Further Reading to get iron off the surface and then drain the water and immediately refill it with iron free water trucked in. Then use some filters on your fill hose to not add iron back into the pool.
I forgot to say that I did the ascorbic acid treatment (except I used citric acid) before the Metal Magic last year. My pool is not filled currently, so I can't turn the pump on to do that treatment at the moment. I'm currently draining rain/snow water off of the winter cover, so I haven't been able to pull back the cover to see if there's any staining waiting for me.

I've read through that iron fill article a few times - I think, but am not sure, that the water treatment company that I can rent filters from might use the greensand method. It's 1/3 the price of trucking in water in this case, so I'm leaning that way, but was mostly wondering if I can get away with doing that for just the top half of the water or if I should completely drain and fill. Sounds like I should completely drain and fill.

I'll try to upgrade my hose filtering method for the top offs too.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
16,162
Northern NJ
Toping the existing water off does not get rid of the iron in the existing water. You have to have iron free water to move forward without these problems. Any iron is too much iron in the water as it will likely begin accumulating again even with good filters on your fill hose.
 
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lbridenstine

Member
Oct 18, 2016
19
Kalamazoo, MI
Toping the existing water off does not get rid of the iron in the existing water. You have to have iron free water to move forward without these problems. Any iron is too much iron in the water as it will likely begin accumulating again even with good filters on your fill hose.
That's good to know. I wasn't sure if having half as much iron would be good enough to help with the issues.

Do you think the filter rental sounds like a decent option for the refill? I need to take a water sample for them to test and I can ask them for more details, but we're currently under a "Stay Home" order so I'm not sure when I'll be able to go.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
16,162
Northern NJ
I have no experience with that type of filter rental.

Do you have a high water table? Is there a risk of your pool popping while being drained and filled? How long will it take to fill the pool with filtered house water?

You are at $700 for filtered house water versus $1,500 for trucked guaranteed iron free water. You sure you can get 40,000 gallons of water trucked in for $1,500? That is 5 or 6 truck loads of water. I have used 7,500 gallon trucks of water.

The advantage of trucking in water is you minimize how long your pool is empty. You can immediately get 7,500 gallons in the pool which will weigh it down.
 

lbridenstine

Member
Oct 18, 2016
19
Kalamazoo, MI
I think it took about a week to fill the pool with hose water (not filtered) last year. I have no idea about the water table.

I asked for a quote and they told me $1500. Apparently they do 10,000 gallons per truck and $400 per truck, but they have a coupon going, so it's be $1500 instead of $1600. He didn't say it was guaranteed iron free, he just said it was city water. Is trucked in water usually iron free? That plus the time saving would definitely be a plus.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
16,162
Northern NJ
You need to get some assurances the water is iron free and better then what you have out of your hose.

It all depends where the water truck is filled up from. It varies greatly around the country.