What has just ruined my pool? Pump? Heater?

Randomguy81

Active member
Jan 1, 2020
39
Jensen beach Florida
My pool heater is less than 8 months old

however -as per my previous post I literally had my neighbor fire it on two days ago and my pool now looks like someone threw a bunch of nails in it

I will be looking into that as soon as I get back
 

mknauss

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Not necessary. Check your pH. If the service person 'shocked' the pool, the inherent rise in pH converted your soluble iron to insoluble, thus you now can see it. That is the most likely scenario.
 

Texas Splash

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If your pH is high resulting in potential aggravation of iron, then you'll want to have muriatic acid to lower the pH. If you find the pH is low, that's another story. But test your levels and post back so we're not all guessing or having you by product you don't need.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
23,456
Heat pumps usually have a titanium heat exchanger.

The problem is probably not from the heat pump.

Water flows through the heat pump when it’s off; so turning it on won’t make any difference.

The problem could have come from added salt, which would have been noticeable when the service person added it.

Shocking with calcium hypochlorite could have oxidized iron and the higher pH could have caused it to drop out as a stain.

I suspect that calcium hypochlorite or salt or both were added.

Most likely the service person knows exactly what caused the iron. Ask them.

Try vitamin C.
 

Leebo

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Question for you,

Do you normally preform tests using your personal kit and adjust chemistry from there? Is the pool tech the only one who’s testing and adjusting the chemicals??
 

ajw22

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when I brushed with my stainless/nylon it removed a lot (hence the cloudy water). My aim was to hit the stubborn rust stains with a harder brush

I recommend you go easy and just use your nylon pool brush until you fully understand your problems. Your profile does not say exactly what finish you have and a stainless brush can physically damage your finish. What problems you have now are just chemically on the surface. Slow down and don’t add to your problems.
 

Dirk

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If it’s a seal leak then the pump is the problem no?
If the pump seal is leaking then water from the pump side could leak into the motor side, which could cause the motor to rust. But that rusty/damp moisture would not work it's way back into the pump side. And certainly not enough of it to cause the amount (any amount) of staining you're seeing in the pool.

Using a steel brush on a pool finish is the absolute last resort, and even then not particularly advised. Removing the rust can be done in other ways (like by applying Vitamin C, if it is in fact rust), without impacting the finish like an aggressive abrasive would. You should first see if it is even rust (with the Vitamin C), and lay off on the steel brushing.

Seems to me the heater is the prime suspect, but first things first. Test the stains to first determine if they're actually rust.

An update post of chemical test readings from a TF-100 or Taylor K-2006c can help.
Here Pat is encouraging you to purchase one of the only two pool water test kits we recommend. Once it arrives, you would do a full suite of tests with the kit, and post the results here. It's not hard to do. From those results the TFP experts can help you plan your next move. Even if you have a "reputable" pool guy, and don't have the time to manage the pool yourself right now, the kit can later be used to double-check what he is doing for you, and to your pool. It will be money well spent.

As this mystery unfolds, you might find some oversight, or taking back control of the pool maintenance, is going to be needed, and the kit will be essential in doing that. And if you really can't take the time right now, then a hybrid approach might work: where you test the water and determine what's needed, and the pool guy can do some or all of the chores. I had the most "reputable" pool maintenance company in my entire county working for me. They destroyed my pool (long story). We'd very much like to help you make sure that doesn't happen to you. Reputable and knowledgable are not always the same thing.

So get the Vitamin C, order the test kit, and we'll go from there. And hold off on the steel brushing for now.

 
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ajw22

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Seems to me the heater is the prime suspect, but first things first. Test the stains to first determine if they're actually rust.

As @JamesW said there is no iron to rust in the water flow of a modern pool heater. Especially a Heat Pump.

Gas heaters may have copper heat exchangers but that does not appear to be what is on this pool.

I would release the heater from custody.
 
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Randomguy81

Active member
Jan 1, 2020
39
Jensen beach Florida
Well

first off I have the test kit. I just lost my mental capacity and went off the deep-end and freaked out - 2 5hr energy’s and irritated kids + wife after a 15hr drive = miniature mushroom cloud in my thought process

there is no chlorine in the pool. Neighbor told me the pump was off with an error code when they switched the heater on so it was not generating any chlorine since the service

its algae

I’m going to bed to get myself together

amazing response from all of you - thank you for bringing me back down to earth. Wife thanks you all also

pump I believe has got a shot bearing - I need to thoroughly investigate but that’s my guess. Maybe that isn’t rust and it’s copper from the bearing - maybe I’m just full of Crud

now To figure out how to clean the pool
 

Dirk

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As @JamesW said there is no iron to rust in the water flow of a modern pool heater. Especially a Heat Pump.

Gas heaters may have copper heat exchangers but that does not appear to be what is on this pool.

I would release the heater from custody.
Roger that. This echos a recent thread about heater bypasses. If the heater had not been used in a while, and the water in the exchanger had been sitting in there a long time, perhaps acidic enough to cause some problems, and then the heater was used, could that spew out some nasty concoction that could stain a pool?
 

Dirk

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Ah, now we're getting down to it! That's not so bad. I'm mean, not good, but not a pool covered with nasty rust stains!

now To figure out how to clean the pool
If you've determined it's algae, then SLAM it.

 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
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If the heater had not been used in a while, and the water in the exchanger had been sitting in there a long time, perhaps acidic enough to cause some problems, and then the heater was used, could that spew out some nasty concoction that could stain a pool?
Some old gas heaters had cast iron manifolds, which can be a problem. The cast iron is usually coated with epoxy to keep the iron from being exposed to the water, but the epoxy can flake off when the heater is really old.

Acidic water sitting in a copper exchanger can cause some issues.

In this case, a titanium exchanger with continuous flow is not going to be related.

If all of the color brushes off, then it’s probably algae.

However, if some of the color does not brush off, then you might have some iron stains.

Iron stains can be diagnosed with vitamin C tablets.

When a vitamin C tablet hits an iron stain, it will usually clear the stain in under a minute.


If the pump is under warranty, file a warranty claim.
 
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JamesW

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Mar 2, 2011
23,456
This is the only thing that changed recently and the neighbor said they did not see any issues with the pool - they would (I hope) have noticed considering how bad it was
They said that there were no issues but they had seen the pump off with an error code?
 

Dirk

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Do you travel a lot? I'm planning to, so I've added a lot of automation to keep the pool in good shape while I'm away. One of the gizmos I added was a pool cam, with a good zoom. I can keep an eye on the water, the water level, how clear it is, if the vac is running (which means the pump is running), anything bad floating in the water, and if any algae outbreak develops. It's cheap "travel insurance" while away, and much more reliable than any neighbor, or once-a-week pool boy.

It's very gloomy today, so the water doesn't look all that great like usual, but it's clear, no algae! It's PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom), so I can "walk around" the pool and even check the sky for clouds and weather.

2021-01-24 11-45-20 Pool.jpg

And by zoom, I mean zoom! I know the water's clear when I can see pebbles on the bottom. Oops, there's a leaf floating by. Time to turn on the skimmer!

2021-01-24 11-51-37 Pool.jpg

Pardon the brag session there, point was: put your mind at ease while you're away with a pool cam...
 

ajw22

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Roger that. This echos a recent thread about heater bypasses. If the heater had not been used in a while, and the water in the exchanger had been sitting in there a long time, perhaps acidic enough to cause some problems, and then the heater was used, could that spew out some nasty concoction that could stain a pool?

Not from a Heat Pump.

Maybe copper from a gas heater, but unlikely.
 

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