Test The Pool Water Chemistry
First, you must determine that the copper stains come from the pool. If you have copper plumbing at home, they could easily come from there.
Use a special copper water tester or test strips to determine the levels of copper in the pool.
This will help you remove the cause and solve this problem faster.
If it is indeed your pool that causes the stains, try to determine whether they are caused by too much chlorine or high levels of algaecides.
You should also test the pH level because a low pH level makes the water acidic and may result in copper stains.
Liner Pool Stain Colors
Its not always easy to tell whats causing the stains by looking at the color. Sometimes, theres a dead giveaway next to your stain that tells you where it came from , but much of the time youre going to have to look for other clues to find out whats causing it.
Here are a few of the colors that you may see and their usual causes:
- Teal or blue-green stains indicate that you have an issue with copper. The copper stains could be originating from pipes or they could be leaching from the pool heater due to improper chemical maintenance.
- Reddish-brown stains typically come from iron in the pool. Sometimes, the pool liner will also be stained yellow. These rusty patches on the liner can come from metal parts, like handrails or ladders, but they can also be caused by corroded iron pipes or well water.
- Green or brown pool liner stains usually come from organic matter like algae, leaves, bugs, and mud.
- Red or purple stains often come from berries or fruit falling into the pool from nearby bushes or overhead trees. Light pink stains can also be a sign of bacterial buildup.
- Black stains on a pool liner also often come from metals like manganese which usually comes from well water.
Tips On Lowering Your Swimming Pool Copper Level
Unless your water is continually corrosive, you should not have to test for cooper too often. In one summer season, for example, you should test copper at the start, a couple times mid-season, and one last time when the season is over.
If your pool walls are stained, then you may detect very little copper in your pool. All of the testable copper has found its way to the walls of your pool as stains.
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Closing Thoughts On Pool Stain Removal
Getting rid of pool stains is simple when you know which tools to use for the job. And when you start by identifying what kind of stain youre dealing with, removing it becomes much easier. Follow the steps that were outlined in this post, and youll have spot free pool in no time.
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What Is The Best Way To Clean Copper
Vinegar and Salt
Rub a mixture of 1 tablespoon of table salt and 1 cup of white vinegar onto the copper with a soft cloth and rinse. Or, immerse the tarnished copper into a pot of 3 cups of water and the salt-vinegar mixture, bring to a boil and boil until the grime and tarnish comes off.17 2020 .
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Lower You Waters Chlorine Levels
While effective at removing algae, chlorine can add to your stain problems. Since chlorine oxidizes areas of your pool, like the bottom, you should lower chlorine levels down to 0 parts per million. You can do this by partially draining the pool and filling it with fresh water. You can also purchase a chlorine neutralizer to quickly bring down the chlorine levels.
Building And Using Your Own Stain Removal Device
Building your own, homemade stain removal device is easy and takes less than an hour to construct. This is a great tool to remove stains and discoloration on your white plaster pool. Do not use this method of stain removal for dyed plaster or vinyl pools as it could bleach dyed materials or remove liner patterns. To construct the device, you will need the following items that can be found at a local home improvement store:
- 2 square scrubbing pads
- 1 sure seat wax ring cap
- 1 metal hose clamp that will fit a 1 ÃÂ½ inch PVC pipe
- 1 12 foot section of 1 ÃÂ½ inch PVC piping
- 1 6 inch section of 3 inch PVC piping
- 1 3 inch x 1 ÃÂ½ inch PVC reducer 1 3 inch x 3 inch x 1 ÃÂ½ inch PVC reducing wye
- 1 3 inch cap 1 1 ÃÂ½ inch coupling
- 1 can PVC glue 1 can PVC primer 4 small screws
Next, follow these easy steps to assemble the device:
Your stain device is ready to use!
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Acid For Pool Cleaning
Pool acid wash is definitely not the type of thing you want to try yourself. We donât recommend pool or spa owners acid wash their own pool or spa. Reasons for this include potential dangers involving the materials required.
While we have nothing against DIY, given the chemicals that are used in the acid washing process, we recommend leaving this to a professional. At Elite Pool Service, we are patient and careful during the whole procedure. We make sure that the pool is properly drained and during the application of the solution, we are attentive to every detail.
When its time to scrub, no spot is left behind. Our service technicians have been thoroughly trained and will safely drain and wash your pool.
As for the safety of your poolâs surface, there is a limit on how many times it can be acid washed. We highly recommend taking good care of your pool through a regular pool maintenance program.
Dealing With Pool Stains Identify Before You Treat
Iron in pool water can precipitate out easily, causing a brown stain like this one. Note how the deposited iron thickens with increasing depth on these pool steps.
With the hectic opening season behind us, it’s a good time to review pool stain strategies. Remember, not all stains are the same, so it’s important to diagnose the stain before providing a broad-spectrum treatment. This article will give you a quick refresher on staining and stain removal.
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Put That Stain To The Real Test
Again, that ascorbic acid test will certainly help you determine that its a metal, not organic matter, thats leaving its mark on your pool. But an even better way to determine which metals are at work in your pool is to use good old water test strips. Make sure you get one that tests for metals like iron, copper, and manganese. If you really want to prevent this from happening again, itll help to know exactly which metal is to blame. Not that were pointing fingers or anything.
Fixing A Swimming Pool’s Metal Stains
Swimming pools with water sourced from a well are prone to developing stains due to the presence of heavy metal compounds like iron, copper, silver, and manganese.
Oxidized iron turns pool parts and water to a brown or rusty color, copper turns pool parts and water to light green, silver turns pool parts and water to black, and manganese turns pool parts and water to purple.
Metal stains occur mainly when chlorine is added to water, oxidizing these heavy metals to produce different stain colors, depending on the metals present in your water. These stains might occur at different places inside and around your pool, including:
- In the pool water
- Along the bottom or walls of the pool
- Along a vinyl liner or on fiberglass surfaces
- Across the steps or on various pieces of pool equipment
In this article, we will break down how to:
- Test the water for metal stains,
- Get rid of metal stains in five steps
- Prevent staining in the future
Metal Stains Before and After Removal
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How To Get Rid Of Organic Pool Stains
As the identification test indicated, chlorine is the solution here. But because the amount you use for regular sanitizing isnt enough to remove stains, youll need to super chlorinate the water. To do that, youll use pool shock.
Important: Remember always to shock at dusk, or at night, for best results.
Note: If youre not sure of your pools volume, you can use a pool calculator to figure it out.
Looks Like A Smurf Exploded
Increasing the pH with caustic soda or soda ash in a pool with a copper level could result in teal-colored staining about the pool. This is known as Copper hydroxide. This is not uncommon in saltwater pools due to by-products from the chlorine production process, raising the pH.
The Technobabble: If we were to add a dose of caustic soda to the pool to increase pH, the hydroxide ions would then strip the hexaaquacopper ions of hydrogen ions, leaving us with the neutral compound copper hydroxide: Cu2. This complex would precipitate from the solution leaving a blue/green stain. Okay, so we do not typically use caustic soda in pool care nowadays. Still, we add other chemical balancing items that will create hydroxide ions upon addition , phosphates, although they do not contain a hydroxide ion, etc.). For those applications where a saltwater generator is used, remember that sodium hydroxide is also produced in the production of chlorine .
Cupric Oxide Note: when adding alum as a stain treatment, only use products labeled for pool use, make certain your water chemistry values are in balance, and that you only add enough alum to cover the stain lightly.
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Get Ph And Alkalinity Back To Normal Levels
Ascorbic acid is strong and will definitely bring down pH and TA levels. If the pH and TA are not way out of balance, you can use 20 Mule Team Borax to raise the pH without affecting TA and an alkalinity increaser to bring the TA up to recommended levels when it gets low. Add these chemicals slowly while testing until they get to recommended levels since you dont want pH or TA to get out of balance.
Remember that pH should be maintained between 7.4 and 7.6 to avoid metal staining. I prefer using LaMotte ColorQ Pro 7 digital pool water test kit since it is very accurate and fast in taking all chemical readings. If you get your pH and TA out of balance by mistake or they get troublesome to balance, here is more about how you can balance pH and TA.
Is That Really A Metal Stain
Pool stains are caused by one of two possibilities: either organic matter like berries and leaves, or metal. One quick way to determine if your stain is in fact metal is to rub a bit of ascorbic acid on the stainvitamin C tablets you might already have lying around should work great. If the tablets remove or at least lighten the stain, youve got metal on your hands. And if youre ready to get serious about understanding the stain, you can determine what kind of metal has invaded your pool based on its appearance. You know what they say: judge a stain by its color.
Interested in maintaining clean pool floors and wallswithout hurting yourself in the process? Try the patented 360-Degree Bristles Black & Decker Pool Brush, developed by long-term pool professionals to eliminate the hip and back pain associated with one-sided brushes.
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Lower The Free Chlorine Level To 00 Ppm
Before adding ascorbic acid, ensure that you take down the chlorine level to 0.0 ppm using a neutralizing chemical, direct sunlight, or partially draining and refilling your pool with fresh water. Lowering chlorine to 0.0 ppm is necessary, as chlorine will cause more stains, and you may need more ascorbic acid to clear the stains.
Important Note: Since clearing all-metal stains may take a couple of days with zero free chlorine, you can use ProTeam Polyquat 60 Algaecide. I recommend this because it has no copper compounds that may worsen the stains, has no ammonia that can cause extremely cloudy water that is not easy to clear and can effectively fight and prevent any algae that might thrive in your water.
Examine Your Pools Water Chemistry
The first thing to do is to test and know the pH balance of your pools water. Use pool test strips to do the testing and adjust the pools chemicals accordingly. Sometimes, you may not have to clean after the test because the pool balancer may lighten some stains if they are not so bad.
Also, note that incorrect pH levels may cause the vinyl layer to stain or fade, so its necessary to test the water regularly.
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Why Does My Pool Have Brown Stains
algae, metal, or dirt buildupRecipe for a No Drain Acid Wash
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Remove Copper From Pool Water
There are various ways to remove copper from pool water. The most common way is to add a chelating agent to the water. This gathers the copper ions together which makes them easier to capture in the filter. Generally these products contain phosphoric acids as the primary ingredient. Consequently, this will mean that you will need to remove phosphates from your pool after using these products. Also, these products are readily available in most pool shops.
The other method used to remove copper is to drain the entire swimming pool. This is not required in most cases unless the copper has reached extreme levels. It would be a good idea to check with your local pool before making this decision.
Remember, that these products will not remove copper staining in pool surfaces. In other words, they remove copper from the water, not from the pool surfaces. Many people buy these products expecting the stains to be removed only to be disappointed. They may help with very mild staining but most often the stains are left behind.
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Remove Metal Compounds From Your Fill
Some years back, before the CuLator metal eliminator was available, there were no practical ways of removing metallic compounds from pool fill-water before entering your pool. The only possible way was to treat water inside your pool, which is hard work and expensive to maintain.
CuLator Ultra Power Park is now my best option for this because you can use it in the skimmer or pump basket to remove up to 4 ppm metal compounds from 20,000 gallons of fill-water before entering your pool. If your pool is more than 20,000 gallons, you can increase your parks and use them both in the skimmer and pump basket.
CuLator should work up to 30 days or longer depending on the metal level in your water and is replaceable once worn out.
However, the easiest way to avoid stains in your pool is to avoid filling the water with metals. Before installing your pool, it is important to test your water source for metal content and avoid water sources with metals in it at all costs because maintenance will be relatively hard and expensive in the long run.
Moreover, you need to be careful with the chemicals you add to your pool since copper may find its way in your pool from chemicals such as algaecide or ionizerand eroded pool parts with copper. If you can’t use CuLator for any reason, detailed below are more ways to control metal stains in your pool.