Water turned yellow after filling new hot tub

jandersen13

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
175
Grand Rapids MI
Hello - new to hot tubs here but previously had a pool.
I filled the brand new tub yesterday and the water was clear at first then turned to a green tint and then yellow tint, pretty strong. I added Metal Gon when first filling and then no chemicals until 20 hours later. Filter was slightly orange but barely. Then an hour after adding start up chemicals it turned mustard yellow and is still there.
Iron in our water is 1.7 and hardness is 700+.
I do have an iron filter for the house that runs to our outside faucet. I ran the water through that and a pre hose filter expecting all iron to be taken care of before hitting the tub.
A few questions - did I run the water too fast and it didn’t take the water out with the iron curtain filter? Should I run it slower?

how should I manage this moving forward? I don’t want to fill and drain and fill and drain while trying to figure out what’s my best approach. Any advice?
Also - is it safe to still get in?
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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Looks like iron to me. Since you don't want to drain, I would say use a small pump to circulate the tub water through a container full of polyfill. See if that helps capture the iron. Balance your tub water as noted on the sticky thread at the top of the Spa and Hot Tubs sub-forum.
 

jandersen13

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
175
Grand Rapids MI
Thanks! I don't mind draining and refilling this time. I just don't want to do it a ton of times to try and find a solution for how I should fill each time. Do you have any recommendations for how I should fill? What can I do to prevent this or at least handle the high iron?

And is it safe to be in it until I drain later?
 

jandersen13

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
175
Grand Rapids MI
Thanks will do. But any recommendation on how to fill better next time? How do I prevent it from happening again? Basically, from what I'm reading, unless I can totally get the iron out (which will be tough as I have 1.7ppm in it right now), how do I sequester it properly?
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
How did you test for iron at 1.7ppm? That would be my first concern. Iron can't hide from chlorine, and the more of it in the water the quicker or more drastic the changes, so I suspect the accumulated iron level in the tub is higher than expected. Even though you seem to have a house filter, I would consider making a polyfill filter as well for all water to go through as it enter the tub. Sequestraunts are an option, but the elevated water temps of the tub could break it down faster than a pool.
 

jandersen13

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
175
Grand Rapids MI
That link is super helpful, thank you! I will keep trying things.

Another question - I have the iron curtain filter for my house and this runs to the outdoor faucet, which I ran my fill water through. This was the first time I ran it through after the iron filter was installed. Do I need to run some water to clear things out from the old pipes (copper)? And then also, next time I fill with this, should I just fill at a slow rate as I had it turned on full last time and maybe it didn't filter out the iron in the Iron Curtain filter?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
37,085
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I doubt any filter will remove enough iron to prevent what you saw. The chlorine is a strong oxidizer. Thus when it is added to water with iron in it the iron turns to rust. That is why you can then see it.
 

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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Honestly, it's hard for us to know how well that Iron Curtain product is working for you since enough got in the water earlier. Would a slower fill rate help? I kind of doubt it. But with nothing else to lose, I would go through polyfill filter set-up as noted above. Even then, enough iron may still make it into the tub which would require continuous circulating through a polyfill filter until enough iron was trapped and removed. Below is an example from a pool, but you get the idea.


 

jandersen13

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
175
Grand Rapids MI
Ok makes sense. So say I get things squared away once tub is filled. Do I then need to worry about filling from the hose weekly / monthly as water levels go down? That has me concerned as well.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
You'll add water as needed from evaporation. Maintaining the proper water chemistry is always most important to keep it clear and sanitized. The links below are great resources.


 

jandersen13

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
175
Grand Rapids MI
Right but when I add due to evaporation - this will bring iron back in if filling from the hose. Any thoughts on what I should do there? I don't want to have to do the polyfill each time.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,720
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Is your iron curtain filter new? What is your raw water iron levels? What did your water filtration company say you could achieve with the IC filter you have on your home? Are you absolutely sure that outdoor spigot is plumbed to the filter (most residential household service loops don’t include the outdoor spigots).
 

Bosley

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Nov 23, 2018
235
Edmonton, alberta
What is your system for topping up your pool without adding iron? Can you not do the same for your hot tub, whatever that may be? I have high iron at my home as well. We tried all kinds of things to get the iron out. Nothing worked. In the spring when we open the pool we have a water truck come and top it up. if the hot tub needs a top up we pump from the pool. For the most part the rain keeps our pool full during the summer. In the winter i have a plastic water tank i put in the box of my truck when the hot tub needs a bit more water.
 

jandersen13

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
175
Grand Rapids MI
Joyfulnoise - the iron curtain is new as of about a month ago. I don't have iron numbers on the raw water, but have an iron test kit coming on Saturday where I can test. I am 100% sure I have the water running to the outdoor faucet post iron filter, pre water softener. I had them set this up specifically and I can see the run in the basement.

Bosley - I need to update my signature as we have moved and no longer have the pool. New home and now on a well. The old home was on city water and I wish I could go back to that water but keep the new house :LOL:

My overall hope is that maybe, somehow, by running the faucet at full strength from the iron curtain, I had it come in too fast to filter out. I'm going to try a few tests as soon as I get my iron filter test this weekend and see if that changes my luck at all. Even if I could just get it down to 0.3ppm or less, then I could use the sequestrant.

I am going to drain tomorrow morning. Hot tub guy is coming back and going to drain with a sump pump that can drain quickly. And then he has what he calls a $1200 "on the go" tank that will let the water run through and filter and then fills the water cleanly. Maybe it's a green sand filter? He has done it with a few other clients in the area that have high iron and it works well he said. He also said I can borrow any time I drain and refill. So if that works, I might have a solution for drain and refills. But my concern will still be for topping off due to evaporation...
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,720
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
You should definitely test your filter by measuring the raw input water (there’s usually a tap near the well head or at the entry into the home) and then the output from the iron curtain. Iron filtration is very difficult and sometimes there’s limited capacity for what an iron filter can achieve. I prefer systems that use greensand and an oxidant (either permanganate or chlorine) over air injection but you’ve got what you’ve got and so you have to work with it.

You could look into getting you’re own RV filter setup. Those are portable ion exchange tanks that are manually operated and manually regenerated. They are designed to filter calcium and magnesium but they will remove iron as well. The only thing iron does to an exchange resin is shorten its life but there are resin cleaning methods to help restore them after iron exposure. They’re designed for RV owners that like to stop at RV parks and hook up to “unknown treated” external water supplies. They can usually process about 800-1000 gallons of water before needing manual regeneration. I suspect that it what your “spa guy” has on his truck. Nice of him to let you borrow it any time but that will prove inconvenient over the long run.
 

jandersen13

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
175
Grand Rapids MI
Ok good advice thank you! I will be testing this weekend once I have the test kit for iron.
As for the portable RV filter. Could you point me to what that is? A link or a name of what to look for?
 

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