Water turned yellow after filling new hot tub

A.O.

Well-known member
Apr 12, 2016
231
Kershaw, South Carolina
So as I started reading this I thought I had your answer...I have the same problem, IRON in my well water LOTs of it, been fighting it in my hot tub for a few years. I now fill my hot tub from my pool because the pool sand filter removes pretty much all the iron out of the water. Then a couple posts ago I see you no longer have the pool. Rats... If you could find a sand filter to hook to your tub for a day or two at fill time it would help, it wouldn't need to be there all the time, just long enough to get rid of the iron.. Also, you can use "Iron Out" in your tub, yes its safe I've done it a lot till I figured out the pool thing. Its also great for cleaning the filter when it looks like a coffee filter! Good luck iron is an ugly fight.
 

A.O.

Well-known member
Apr 12, 2016
231
Kershaw, South Carolina
Thanks! Is this any different than using my whole house water softener?
Water softeners are for removing "hardness" like calcium and such from water, not iron, it does help due to the way it works but not real well. I have very soft water coming from the ground, but with lots of iron. I have an air injection iron remover which helps in my house with keeping toilets and such clean of rust but even so I still had the problem with the hot tub..

Iron Removal - How to Remove Iron From Well Water (uswatersystems.com)
 

JoyfulNoise

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Actually softener resins DO remove iron, it’s just not an easily reversible process. Iron is a “poison” to standard water softener resins which is why in high iron environments, you filter the iron out first using oxidative precipitation before sending it through a mineral softener (calcium and magnesium can be removed through reversible cationic exchange with sodium). So using an RV softener is a perfectly fine way of removing iron but to regenerate the resin you have to use an acidic resin cleaner to strip out the iron contamination. You don’t want to use your household softener because iron will damage it and there’s no easy way to clean it out. Sacrificing a couple of hundred bucks on a small scale water softener that can be easily taken apart and rebuilt is better than wrecking your household unit.
 

jandersen13

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
171
Grand Rapids MI
Very close A.O.! It would have been a perfect solution if we still had the pool.

Joyfulnoise - would I be ruining my whole house softener if I’m taking water after it? The iron from my well water (and all water from well) goes into the Iron Curtain filter, then in to the water softener. I could take it after that to an outside faucet and run into my tub for filling right? Wouldn’t that be the same as the portable one? Or am I missing something?
 

JoyfulNoise

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Very close A.O.! It would have been a perfect solution if we still had the pool.

Joyfulnoise - would I be ruining my whole house softener if I’m taking water after it? The iron from my well water (and all water from well) goes into the Iron Curtain filter, then in to the water softener. I could take it after that to an outside faucet and run into my tub for filling right? Wouldn’t that be the same as the portable one? Or am I missing something?

I wouldn’t bother with only using iron filtered water. Let the water softener remove the mineral hardness as well. My suggestion is you use fully processed water from whatever tap is available and then run the water through an RV filter for a “final polish”. Let your household filter system do list of the work and then try to get the last little bit of iron out before water goes into the tub.

However, the first step is to measure iron levels at all points - before the iron curtain, after the iron curtain and then after the mineral softener to make sure your system is operating correctly. Then you can go on from there to other solutions.
 

A.O.

Well-known member
Apr 12, 2016
231
Kershaw, South Carolina
I wouldn’t bother with only using iron filtered water. Let the water softener remove the mineral hardness as well. My suggestion is you use fully processed water from whatever tap is available and then run the water through an RV filter for a “final polish”. Let your household filter system do list of the work and then try to get the last little bit of iron out before water goes into the tub.

However, the first step is to measure iron levels at all points - before the iron curtain, after the iron curtain and then after the mineral softener to make sure your system is operating correctly. Then you can go on from there to other solutions.
Did he say he had hard water? I don't remember seeing that.. they don't necessarily go together, I have naturally soft water and lots of iron in my well. There was a water softener here when I got here but there was no need, no reason to waste salt non stop.
 

duade

Active member
Aug 11, 2020
27
Chicago
I used to live on a private well. I had the iron curtain system for many years. I noticed that the water immediately after regeneration was good with very low iron. Then after a day and a half or two days, the water quality was much lower with hi iron. Maybe try filling the hot tub right after re-generation of the iron curtain.

I switched to the Iron Breaker from Charger water systems. Far superior filter and media.
 

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JoyfulNoise

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Almost all iron filters operate under the principle of precipitation as there are no inexpensive ion exchange methods. Greensand is a type of manganese containing mineral that acts as a catalyst to help promote the oxidation of iron from its soluble +2 ion form to the largely insoluble +3 ion (rust is iron oxide with the iron in a +3 oxidation state). Introduction of an oxidant (chlorine or potassium permanganate) helps to regenerate the greensand. Sometimes air is introduced through a Venturi inlet to help promote the oxidation of iron water into its insoluble form. Once the iron precipitates, it can be removed by sand filtration (the final portion of the greensand filter is basically a sand filter). The efficiency of the iron removal is highly dependent on many factors (initial iron concentration, water flow rate, condition of the manganese sand, dissolved oxygen content, etc) and and it is very easy to overwhelm an iron filter if conditions are not properly calibrated.

I suspect what is going on in the OP’s tub is simply the result of a small amount of iron making it past the household filter system. It’s not enough iron to cause issues in the house (water taste, stained toilet bowls, etc) but it’s enough for chlorine to react with and cause the yellow/brown tea colored water.
 
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A.O.

Well-known member
Apr 12, 2016
231
Kershaw, South Carolina
Almost all iron filters operate under the principle of precipitation as there are no inexpensive ion exchange methods. Greensand is a type of manganese containing mineral that acts as a catalyst to help promote the oxidation of iron from its soluble +2 ion form to the largely insoluble +3 ion (rust is iron oxide with the iron in a +3 oxidation state). Introduction of an oxidant (chlorine or potassium permanganate) helps to regenerate the greensand. Sometimes air is introduced through a Venturi inlet to help promote the oxidation of iron water into its insoluble form. Once the iron precipitates, it can be removed by sand filtration (the final portion of the greensand filter is basically a sand filter). The efficiency of the iron removal is highly dependent on many factors (initial iron concentration, water flow rate, condition of the manganese sand, dissolved oxygen content, etc) and and it is very easy to overwhelm an iron filter if conditions are not properly calibrated.

I suspect what is going on in the OP’s tub is simply the result of a small amount of iron making it past the household filter system. It’s not enough iron to cause issues in the house (water taste, stained toilet bowls, etc) but it’s enough for chlorine to react with and cause the yellow/brown tea colored water.

I would agree as I have the exact same problem. I get a very little staining in my toilet bowls over time but not much (again IRON OUT saves the day) but once I put it in my hot tub it gets ugly real quick. Hence filling from my pool works perfect!
And I know this WITHOUT Chia Pet hair!!:ROFLMAO:
 

jandersen13

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
171
Grand Rapids MI
Update here. I drained the tub through a sump pump and then got the bottom part out with towels so all I could see in the tub was dry. Iron “stains” throughout acrylic shell, so I wiped the entire shell with microfiber towels and around each jet. Completlely clean.


I then filled up like this:
Iron curtain to outdoor faucet. Through to a Portable On The Go water softener. From there it went through to a Hot Springs Spas Freshstart Clean Screen water pre-filter. It’s made to take iron out. It says levels above 5ppm run water through slowly. Did that and took 10 hours to fill the tub (400 gallons).
The water came in clear and look good. I then put in metal gon and ran for 24 hours. Then cleaned filter, added minerals in filter and then added start up chemicals (chlorine). Came back and hour later and have yellow water again....not super mustard dark this time, but it’s yellow / brown.


Do you think it’s possible not all the iron got out when I drained it? There was still water in the pipes.

So now I have the sump pump back in, but pumped to Portable On the Go tank, then the hose pre filter. Hoping to filter any remaining iron out that was in it still. What do you think?ED21C8F9-882C-4788-92E0-3F6BBF90E94A.jpeg
 

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JoyfulNoise

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What “minerals” are you adding to the tub?? The only thing you should be adding is chlorine. You don’t need any other “potions” or “magic minerals” from the spa store ...
 

A.O.

Well-known member
Apr 12, 2016
231
Kershaw, South Carolina
Still iron in your fill water, as soon as you added the chlorine it oxidized the iron and turned it yellow. Very familiar with this whole process!!! IF you don't have a way to remove ALL the iron (I tried everything) Try and add 1/4 - 1/2 cup Iron Out, after the chlorine and the water turns yellow. Give it a try!!!
 

jandersen13

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
171
Grand Rapids MI
i just added just under a 1/2 cup of iron out. If that works do I need to do that often or just on a fill?

As for iron still in the fill water, maybe, but I put an iron test strip (made just for iron test)in the tub yesterday once it was half filled. It showed no iron at all....
 

A.O.

Well-known member
Apr 12, 2016
231
Kershaw, South Carolina
i just added just under a 1/2 cup of iron out. If that works do I need to do that often or just on a fill?

As for iron still in the fill water, maybe, but I put an iron test strip (made just for iron test)in the tub yesterday once it was half filled. It showed no iron at all....
Normally just at a fill, but also if you need to add water, and you will need to add water for evaporation, splash out etc. But you wont need as much.

I do not know about the test strip, never used one. It might not read till the iron has oxidized (turned yellow) but I do not know for sure.
 

jandersen13

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
171
Grand Rapids MI
Well that was quick. The iron out cleared it all up and it’s crystal clear now. But next time I add chlorine will it turn again? Or does that iron out truly take it out? I thought I read here that there’s no way to take iron out with a chemical
 
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