Water turned yellow after filling new hot tub

JoyfulNoise

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..... Then cleaned filter, added minerals in filter and then added start up chemicals (chlorine)....

Not sure if you saw my previous post but do you mind telling us what these "minerals" are? They could be the source of your problems....

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

You are free to take whatever advice you like but adding a product meant for cleaning out toilet bowls should concern you ....

IronOUT is a chemical formulation of sulfite-based reducing agents and citric acid. The sulfite reducing agents convert iron 3+ ions into iron 2+ ions making them soluble in water again and the citric acid is a complex forming agent that will hold iron in solution. So no, you are not getting rid of the iron, you are simply redissolving it.

Why is that bad? Because, of the various sulfite agents used, one of the main components is sodium dithionite, Na2S2O4 . Dithionite is a powerful reducing agent that converts Fe3+ into Fe2+ and lowers pH (that's why the IronOUT formula contains lots of sodium carbonate to offset the pH drop). Excess dithionite decomposes into sulfur compounds like thiosulfate and sulfides which can cause very aggressive corrosion of stainless steels (like the kinds your tub hardware is made out of including the heater). IronOUT is intended to be flushed down a toilet bowl and into a municipal waste stream, it is not intended for use in a closed recreational water body like a hot tub. Sulfites also reduce chlorine into chloride and will eventually convert into sulfates. Citric acid is also unstable relative to chlorine (they neutralize one another) and so eventually the iron will come out of solution. Where it comes out of solution is not predictable. It might come out in the filter and turn the filter brown or it might stain the tub again. It could also scale out in the heater leaving iron oxide precipitates there. I would not use that product in a hot tub, it's not what it is intended for.

I think you need to more carefully follow the TFP approach to using chlorine in a hot tub and to further investigate your iron sources. Iron test strips are not really accurate, they are no better than pool test strips and TFP never recommends using them. Only a true, reagent based iron test is going to give you exact results but those test kits can be very expensive (over $100) and so don't make a lot of sense unless you are trying to see if your well filters are working properly. Adding lots of "minerals" or other chemicals like Metal Gone or IronOUT is only going to make solving the problem more complicated. In the end, if you can't get the iron out of your fill water, then you're going to have to use some combination of low chlorine, lower pH and a metal chelating agent to hold the iron in solution. Citric acid based chemicals are not very effective because they breakdown too easily in the presence of chlorine. You probably will need a chemical based on HEDP from the Natural Chemistry product line (MetalMagic) or Jack's Magic products. You will also likely have to drain and refill your tub more frequently to keep the chemistry balanced.
 

magiteck

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May 20, 2020
580
Neenah, Wisconsin
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Not sure if you saw my previous post but do you mind telling us what these "minerals" are? They could be the source of your problems....



You are free to take whatever advice you like but adding a product meant for cleaning out toilet bowls should concern you ....

IronOUT is a chemical formulation of sulfite-based reducing agents and citric acid. The sulfite reducing agents convert iron 3+ ions into iron 2+ ions making them soluble in water again and the citric acid is a complex forming agent that will hold iron in solution. So no, you are not getting rid of the iron, you are simply redissolving it.

Why is that bad? Because, of the various sulfite agents used, one of the main components is sodium dithionite, Na2S2O4 . Dithionite is a powerful reducing agent that converts Fe3+ into Fe2+ and lowers pH (that's why the IronOUT formula contains lots of sodium carbonate to offset the pH drop). Excess dithionite decomposes into sulfur compounds like thiosulfate and sulfides which can cause very aggressive corrosion of stainless steels (like the kinds your tub hardware is made out of including the heater). IronOUT is intended to be flushed down a toilet bowl and into a municipal waste stream, it is not intended for use in a closed recreational water body like a hot tub. Sulfites also reduce chlorine into chloride and will eventually convert into sulfates. Citric acid is also unstable relative to chlorine (they neutralize one another) and so eventually the iron will come out of solution. Where it comes out of solution is not predictable. It might come out in the filter and turn the filter brown or it might stain the tub again. It could also scale out in the heater leaving iron oxide precipitates there. I would not use that product in a hot tub, it's not what it is intended for.

I think you need to more carefully follow the TFP approach to using chlorine in a hot tub and to further investigate your iron sources. Iron test strips are not really accurate, they are no better than pool test strips and TFP never recommends using them. Only a true, reagent based iron test is going to give you exact results but those test kits can be very expensive (over $100) and so don't make a lot of sense unless you are trying to see if your well filters are working properly. Adding lots of "minerals" or other chemicals like Metal Gone or IronOUT is only going to make solving the problem more complicated. In the end, if you can't get the iron out of your fill water, then you're going to have to use some combination of low chlorine, lower pH and a metal chelating agent to hold the iron in solution. Citric acid based chemicals are not very effective because they breakdown too easily in the presence of chlorine. You probably will need a chemical based on HEDP from the Natural Chemistry product line (MetalMagic) or Jack's Magic products. You will also likely have to drain and refill your tub more frequently to keep the chemistry balanced.
While I’m no scientist, I was thinking the same. The manufacturer themselves say this in their FAQ:

Iron OUT is not recommended for pool water because it is a skin and eye irritant and is difficult to filter out of the pool once added. Iron OUT can also have a negative reaction with chlorine. Iron OUT is safe to use in an EMPTY pool to remove staining from walls, liner, etc. and should be rinsed thoroughly before filling the pool.
 

A.O.

Well-known member
Apr 12, 2016
520
Kershaw, South Carolina
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Not sure if you saw my previous post but do you mind telling us what these "minerals" are? They could be the source of your problems....



You are free to take whatever advice you like but adding a product meant for cleaning out toilet bowls should concern you ....

IronOUT is a chemical formulation of sulfite-based reducing agents and citric acid. The sulfite reducing agents convert iron 3+ ions into iron 2+ ions making them soluble in water again and the citric acid is a complex forming agent that will hold iron in solution. So no, you are not getting rid of the iron, you are simply redissolving it.

Why is that bad? Because, of the various sulfite agents used, one of the main components is sodium dithionite, Na2S2O4 . Dithionite is a powerful reducing agent that converts Fe3+ into Fe2+ and lowers pH (that's why the IronOUT formula contains lots of sodium carbonate to offset the pH drop). Excess dithionite decomposes into sulfur compounds like thiosulfate and sulfides which can cause very aggressive corrosion of stainless steels (like the kinds your tub hardware is made out of including the heater). IronOUT is intended to be flushed down a toilet bowl and into a municipal waste stream, it is not intended for use in a closed recreational water body like a hot tub. Sulfites also reduce chlorine into chloride and will eventually convert into sulfates. Citric acid is also unstable relative to chlorine (they neutralize one another) and so eventually the iron will come out of solution. Where it comes out of solution is not predictable. It might come out in the filter and turn the filter brown or it might stain the tub again. It could also scale out in the heater leaving iron oxide precipitates there. I would not use that product in a hot tub, it's not what it is intended for.

I think you need to more carefully follow the TFP approach to using chlorine in a hot tub and to further investigate your iron sources. Iron test strips are not really accurate, they are no better than pool test strips and TFP never recommends using them. Only a true, reagent based iron test is going to give you exact results but those test kits can be very expensive (over $100) and so don't make a lot of sense unless you are trying to see if your well filters are working properly. Adding lots of "minerals" or other chemicals like Metal Gone or IronOUT is only going to make solving the problem more complicated. In the end, if you can't get the iron out of your fill water, then you're going to have to use some combination of low chlorine, lower pH and a metal chelating agent to hold the iron in solution. Citric acid based chemicals are not very effective because they breakdown too easily in the presence of chlorine. You probably will need a chemical based on HEDP from the Natural Chemistry product line (MetalMagic) or Jack's Magic products. You will also likely have to drain and refill your tub more frequently to keep the chemistry balanced.
And it is also recommended to put in your water softener, don't just tell half the story..
Have you ever actually used it??? It does work great in this situation!!! Done it many time with NO adverse effects!
TFP's approach does work well but it is NOT the only thing out there.. and chlorine and Muriatic acid will not fix this problem.
 

A.O.

Well-known member
Apr 12, 2016
520
Kershaw, South Carolina
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
While I’m no scientist, I was thinking the same. The manufacturer themselves say this in their FAQ:

Iron OUT is not recommended for pool water because it is a skin and eye irritant and is difficult to filter out of the pool once added. Iron OUT can also have a negative reaction with chlorine. Iron OUT is safe to use in an EMPTY pool to remove staining from walls, liner, etc. and should be rinsed thoroughly before filling the pool.
Again I have used it many times with no ill effects, no irritated skin or eyes... Why not let him give a try and decide for himself?
 

magiteck

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
580
Neenah, Wisconsin
Pool Size
13600
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Again I have used it many times with no ill effects, no irritated skin or eyes... Why not let him give a try and decide for himself?

Of course he can do what he wants. That said, there’s nothing wrong with him knowing what the manufacturer suggests, and what the chemical composition is, in addition to anecdotal reports.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
18,603
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
And it is also recommended to put in your water softener, don't just tell half the story..
Have you ever actually used it??? It does work great in this situation!!! Done it many time with NO adverse effects!
TFP's approach does work well but it is NOT the only thing out there.. and chlorine and Muriatic acid will not fix this problem.

And when used in a water softener, it is introduced into the regeneration cycle which includes a backwash and rinse before the softener is moved back into service ... in other words, the product is completely flushed out of the system before anyone is ever exposed to it, much like when you flush it out of the toilet bowl after using it to clean the stains.

You are free to throw anything you like in your pool or hot tub, but don't expect this forum to sit idly by while anecdotal evidence is used to justify adding a potentially harmful chemical into a pool or tub. TFP exists to educate people on the very best and safest practices when it comes to pool and spa care ... there are plenty of other social media venues where people can spread all anecdotal advice they want without consequence or concern ...
 

A.O.

Well-known member
Apr 12, 2016
520
Kershaw, South Carolina
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I
Of course he can do what he wants. That said, there’s nothing wrong with him knowing what the manufacturer suggests, and what the chemical composition is, in addition to anecdotal reports.
Absolutely, have to look at ALL angles.
 

A.O.

Well-known member
Apr 12, 2016
520
Kershaw, South Carolina
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
And when used in a water softener, it is introduced into the regeneration cycle which includes a backwash and rinse before the softener is moved back into service ... in other words, the product is completely flushed out of the system before anyone is ever exposed to it, much like when you flush it out of the toilet bowl after using it to clean the stains.

You are free to throw anything you like in your pool or hot tub, but don't expect this forum to sit idly by while anecdotal evidence is used to justify adding a potentially harmful chemical into a pool or tub. TFP exists to educate people on the very best and safest practices when it comes to pool and spa care ... there are plenty of other social media venues where people can spread all anecdotal advice they want without consequence or concern ...
If it were wildly dangerous or something they wouldn't suggest cleaning your dishwasher with it either, it is not just a toilet cleaner as you keep suggesting!. All I know is it works without ill effects anecdotal or not.
 

jandersen13

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
178
Grand Rapids MI
I appreciate seeing all sides here, so thank you all. Hope to not cause a stir, just trying to figure out how to enjoy the hot tub :)

The minerals I put in the skimmer basket are in a case and what was recommended by the hot tub store. They said to put a new pack in each fill.

I did use iron out tonight and it seems to have cleared things up. But I did some more reading as well and wondering if it’s just going to only solve my problem for a bit. I did add chlorine tonight after we were in for a bit as it was at 0. I checked back 20 minutes later and the jets had been on to circulate it. It still showed 0. So is the iron out not allowing the chlorine to take for some reason?

I agree that ultimately I want to figure out my source water and make sure there is no iron in it. I thought I had done that this time with the On the Go tank and iron pre filter with slow flow. I still think it may have been water left over in the pipes from the initial fill. But correct me if I’m crazy thinking this please. Not sure how much is left in the pipes after a drain.

Any suggestions for an iron reagent test kit? I have the TF kit from previously owning a pool but I don’t believe there is an iron test in that.

Tomorrow I’m going to go back to my setup of pumping water out and back through the On the Go pump, into the pre filter screen and back into the tub. Goal here is to get that iron out still.

I’m open to any suggestions and thoughts. And thanks again for everyone’s help here.
 

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YippeeSkippy

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Due to the questionable advice being debated in this thread I have chosen to move it to the "Agree or Disagree" section.
Carry on.
 
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jandersen13

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
178
Grand Rapids MI
Hopefully some people are still following this since it was moved.

Any suggestions for a iron reagent test? I’m having trouble finding one that isn’t test strips.
 

Texas Splash

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J, it's been a while since I first posted here, but I see the threads has taken a few turns. Regardless of the products uses to clear-up water or remove metal stains, remember that even if it works (temporarily) the metal is still in the water. There are only two ways to achieve long lasting success:
1 - Replace water from a new source that has no iron
2 - Design and use a filter of polyfill that (over time) can help to capture iron while it is in the precipitated state (brown, yellow, etc).

Avoid mineral packs at all costs due to copper content. If you add copper to the water, you WILL have to exchange water to remove it.

That's really all you can do. For pools and hot tubs alike, we see this every year. I think I posted early in this thread some links to help you with the polyfill process, or at least checkout YouTube's many polyfill clips. So once you do a tub purge with Ahh-Some and refill (if it's the same source of iron water), that's what I would do. Just recycle that tub water through a polyfill filter. For chemicals, still use only the basic items listed in the Spa & Hot Tub sticky link I gave you as well. Avoid any pool store snake oils or products.

As for iron testing and reagents, I don't personally have a recommendation for you, but perhaps someone else might. But in the end, if you know you have iron from changes in water and/or a reasonably elevated local iron source, testing won't help you very much. Certainly your call though. Good luck.
 

A.O.

Well-known member
Apr 12, 2016
520
Kershaw, South Carolina
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Hopefully some people are still following this since it was moved.

Any suggestions for a iron reagent test? I’m having trouble finding one that isn’t test strips.
Good luck to you I hope you figure something out! The Iron out worked pretty well for me but without a chemistry degree its just anecdotal and worthless information here. See Ya...
 

jandersen13

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
178
Grand Rapids MI
Thanks for the help AO - I appreciate it!

Ran some water tests from my TF-100 today. Here are the numbers:

CC - 0 - 0.5
TA - 140
PH - 8 (maybe higher?) it was pink
Calcium - 1250 (!!!)

Thinking I probably need to drain again now as Calcium is so high. I filled with the Portable On the Go softener and then through the pre filter screen for iron, but my water is super hard. I also don't know when the last time the Portable On the Go softener was regenerated, so that could have been the problem.

So I think my plan is to drain and then fill again. I'm going to fill from my whole house water softener as it sits post Iron Curtain. So water will flow -> well -> Iron Curtain -> whole house water softener (it's sizable - 2 tanks and new last year) -> Pre Filter Screen for iron -> hot tub.

After I do this, I need to test and then add calcium to come to 150 - 200ppm right? I may still have an iron issue after filling, but I sure hope not. If I do, I guess my next option is to add chlorine to oxidize it and try the bucket and polyfill.

Do you see any issue with my setup? To flow through my softener? I can get that to my outside faucet as it's connected with a shut off valve.
 
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