Why Does My Pool Discolor When I Add Chlorine
Swimming pool fill-water sourced from the Well is always full of heavy metals such as Copper, Iron, Silver, Magnesium, or Manganese. These metals can also be found in some untreated municipal water, and to avoid metal stains, it’s always advisable to test your fill-water for heavy metals before using any water in your pool.;
Heavy metals when oxidized by chlorine, produce metal stains in a swimming pool. If your pool water has been changing color to green, brown, or black especially after adding chlorine or when pH is high, that is a metal stain and it’s caused by the presence of heavy metals in pool water commonly Copper, Iron, and Silver.;
The good news is that you can get rid of the metal stains and prevent metal staining in the future. The most common types of metals you can find in your pool water are Copper and Iron. However; Silver, Magnesium, and Manganese may also be found in some pools especially when using Well fill-water around regions where these heavy metals are mined.
Copper metal will be oxidized by Chlorine or high pH producing light green stains; Silver is oxidized producing black stains; Iron is oxidized producing brown or rusty stains, Manganese and Magnesium are oxidized producing purple stains that can be seen on the walls, floor, liners, fiberglass, and sometimes on pool equipment.
Acid Washing Your Pool
If there are rust stains all over your pool and spot removal doesnt seem like a good use of your time then acid washing is one of the quickest ways to bring out the natural color of your pool and remove widespread rust staining. We dont have a way to DIY acid washing your pool since that requires draining your pool and thats best left for pool professionals to do it.
What we do have for you is a way to do a no-drain acid wash which you can do by yourself! It involves lowering your pools pH levels down to an acidic state, let it eat through the stains and give it a thorough brushing. Weve outlined the whole process in our swimming pool hack: no-drain acid wash guide here!
Just A Few Cheap White Socks Filter Rust In Pool Water
Theres no need to buy the expensive ones. The cheap ones work just as well. This is actually a good use of your socks that dont have mates. If you have socks that have holes in the toes, you can just tie a knot in the end, and repurpose those as well. Remember our post and video The Taming of the Socks in 572 Easy Steps? We definitely have some mismatched sock issues at The House That Never Slumbers. I later posted the;Taming the Socks Progress Update because I wanted to be completely honest and let everyone know all those promises I made about not letting the socks get like that again were ALL LIES. You should never trust me when I say Im going to stop hoarding something.
I have to save all those socks because I can find good uses for some of those random socks. I can filter the rust from the pool with them. Okay, so I could have used the random socks, but I didnt. I bought new ones instead because I like to see the nice, new white sock go from bleach white to rusty. It helps me see that its getting the job done, and I needed the new white socks to take better comparison pictures for this post.
I bought new white socks from Dollar Tree. I found a pack of two pairs for only $1. They were well worth that $1.
This photo was taken after the first few hours the pump was running this season.
I took this photo right after we filled the pool last year. See I told you our well water was really rusty. I was using a recycled lonely sock that time.
Also Check: Where To Buy Swimming Pools
Will A Sand Filter Remove Iron From Pool Water: Know The Facts
When pool equipment decays, iron particles add up in the pool and affect the water quality. The water turns out red or brown, leaving a dull smile on your face. Now, will a sand filter remove iron from pool water twenty-four-seven?
Technically yes. Relieved right?
Sand pumps help refine the pool water from debris like algae, zooplankton, and even small iron particles. Turns out, sand filters are the easiest system to clean your pond with the lowest expense rate.
Taking a peek below, you will know how to sand pumps work and the processes it uses to clean iron filled pools. In the end, we have a special brain food for you. So, dont miss it.
How To Prevent From Recurring
Usually, the situation may recur, and when it does, you may not be in the position to find a way to fill up your pool. In that case, you shouldnt panic. Regularly add a chelating agent to the water. These agents will remove metal ions from water by collecting the metal at the bottom of the water. A chelating agent will inactivate this metal.
Read Also: How To Build Your Own Swimming Pool
How To Prevent Metal Stains In A Pool
Preventative, proactive pool care is what we at Orenda teach every day. We are fundamental believers in minimalist, meaningful pool care, which includes thinking ahead. We advocate for testing fill water and filtering metals out of the tap water that fills a pool. Also, we encourage plaster crews to filter out metals from the water they use to mix the plaster itself, lest those metals continue to oxidize in the pools surface and cause chronic staining problems.
To prevent metal stains , its about keeping metal levels in the water low, and managing whatever metals you may have in the tap water. This can be difficult when the tap water has high metal content in it. Its even more difficult when using metal-based products by choice .
For the metals that still get into the water, chelation or sequestration are both very effective.;
To recap stain prevention: 1) reduce metals in the water through filtration and removal, as low as possible, and 2) control metals through chelation and sequestration with a product like SC-1000.
Metal Oxidation Creates Higher Chlorine Demand
Perhaps the main consequence of having iron and other metals in your water is increased chlorine demand. Metals are the easiest thing for chlorine to oxidize, and therefore the first things to be oxidized. As oxidants, metals like iron reduce chlorine rapidly. This is why at the beginning of the breakpoint chlorination curve , there is no noticeable increase of chlorine residuals until these chlorine reducing compounds like iron are conquered.
Pool operators with iron issues may notice a higher consumption of chlorine, but often it is overlooked. The cost may not be noticeably higher because the pool might be constantly introducing new water with iron in it. In other words, its the baseline, and nothing to compare it to. But rest assured, iron absolutely reduces free chlorine in water. Below we will discuss ways to control metals like iron, but first, lets talk about where iron comes from.
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Send Those Metal Stains Packingin Three Steps
Did you confirm that you in fact have a metal stain making a home out of your pool? Well, get ready to use some muscle. Once you spend a little time prepping your pool, that stain will be coming off in no time. And of course, youll need to restore your pools chemical balance again once thats donebut do it quick and youll be in the clear.
Restoring your chemical balance is all the easier with a powerful pump. If a larger horsepower will turn over your water volume at a sufficient rateand wont overwhelm your filtration systemthen a unit like this Blue Torrent 2 HP Variable-Speed Pump is the one to try. As customer Dave Schmidt says, My pool has never looked cleaner. I am pleased with my new pump!
How Does Iron Get Into Pools
The majority of your pools iron comes from its fill water. If your fill water originates from a well, it needs to be purified, and purification may cause its metals to build up in pipes and other spaces before reaching your pool, thus deteriorating them and any other surrounding equipment that it passes through in the process, leading to copper being released into your pool water.
Read Also: How To Build An Inground Pool For Cheap
No Vitamin C Tablets No Problem
Have rust spots that you want to take out but vitamin C is at a premium? Then no problem, you can use some Zodiac pH down tablets in place of vitamin C tablets. Zodiac pH down tables are made with Sodium Bisulphate which is basically an acid and works just as well as vitamin C on rust stains! Just be careful and use appropriate protection like gloves and dont touch your eyes without washing your hand as sodium bisulfate is a lot more corrosive than vitamin C.
How To Identify Pool Stains
Pool stain removal starts with identifying the types of stains youre dealing with. Most pool stains fall into 3 main categories:
- Organic pool stains
- Caused by everything from leaves, dirt, bugs, and berries, to algae, worms, and bodily oils
There are also waterline stains and mineral stains . Well explain how to remove these later in the post as well.
The color of a stain indicates what type of stain it is. And by recognizing a few color combinations, you can diagnose your pool stains faster.
To identify the type of pool stain youre dealing with, match its color to one of the descriptions below:
Green or green-brown pool stains
Usually caused by decomposed leaves, twigs, algae, or other plant life. Sometimes caused by decomposed bugs or critters.
Red or blue stains
Bright red or blue stains are usually the leftover remains of decomposed berries
Blue-Green or Teal stains
This distinct color combination is produced by copper.
Dark red or Brown stains
Dark wine colored splotches are the result of iron.
Black or purple-ish stains
This coloration is only produced by manganese
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I Treat My Pool Water With Chlorine Every Time I Have Treated It But The Color Remains Rusty Brown What Should I Do
First of all, stop chlorinating the water. Adding more chlorine will worsen the coloration. Pool water will stay rusty brown until you remove the iron. Go to a pool shop with your water sample,;and they will recommend the best approach to treat your water.
Alternatively, you can get an iron remover to reduce the level of iron in the pool water.
What Is The Best Way To Remove Iron From Swimming Pool Water
While Iron is a mineral that occurs naturally in water, the erosion of your pool’s equipment adds extra Iron to your swimming pool, which in turn affects the quality of your water. Over time, corrosion occurs and is sped up by high levels of chlorine and low pH levels.
High iron levels in your pool show up in the appearance of cloudy water or red, brown, gray, black, or green stains. Removing Iron from your pool water quickly saves you money and time in the long run.
An iron test kit explicitly made for pool water will let you know whether Iron is indeed the problem with your pool. Staining and clouding occur when Iron is present at 0.2 parts per million . A sample of your pool water taken into your local pool supply store for testing will give you the quickest answers.
Shock is available in both non-chlorine and chlorine types and can be added to your pool and followed up with a clarifier treatment to reduce the look of iron buildup. The shock should always be used in a manner appropriate for your specific pool type. Vinyl pools require one type of shock, while gunite pools require a different type. Your pool store experts will be able to help you choose exactly the correct type of shock for your type of pool and walk you through the specific instructions that need to be followed.
Once the shock, clarifier, and flocculent treatments are complete, you’ll need to run your pool’s vacuum over the bottom of your pool to pick up the Iron that has made its way to the bottom.
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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.
How To Test For Which Type Of Pool Stain You Have
Cant decide which stain youre dealing with?
Do a little testing to find out.
Testing the stain to see if its Organic
Testing the stain to see if its Metal
Testing the stain to see if its Rust
Once youve identified your pool stain, its time to start the removal process. Dont worry, its much faster and way simpler than you think. Its all about the technique.
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How To Remove Metal Stains In A Pool
Removing existing stains is a different issue, but similar steps to remedy.
Pool stain removal can take minutes or it can take weeks. There are too many variables that impact the process to discuss here. Moving forward from stain removal, follow the steps above for prevention, which should help eliminate the problem long term.
In full disclosure, stain removal is not Orenda’s specialty. We are far better at preventing them than removing them. If you already have stubborn stains, consider more specialized products and techniques.
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.
Recommended Reading: What To Use To Raise Cyanuric Acid In Pool
Symptoms Of Excessive Iron In Pool
Having too much iron in pool water can bring some terrifying problems like skin rashes, allergies, cloudy water, etc.
If your pool water is unclean without any reason, the iron content is largely to blame. First, you will have no idea what is going on except the light reddish color.
In some cases, the color turns brown and even black.
Once in a blue moon, you will find a bright green or black hue covering your pool water. In fact, the water will appear dirty and uninviting.