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
What Kind Of Fiberglass Pool Stain Is It
All stains can be sorted into two categories: organic or inorganic. Literally everything is one of the two. Sort of like how all people can be categorized as either pro-cilantro or anti-cilantro, but a more useful dichotomy.
You can use a stain identifying kittesting agents you add to the waterto know for sure which kind youre working with.
Side note: We love Jack’s Magic, and if you live for step-by-step instructions, they have a super-helpful identify/remove/prevent program for their products.
Keeping Your Pool In Balance Can Nip Staining In The Bud
To help prevent metals from staining your pool surface it is important to properly balance the water, keeping the pH between 7.4 and 7.6, the alkalinity between 80 and 120 ppm, and the calcium hardness around 300 ppm. Using a product like Jack’s Magic Pink Stuff or Blue Stuff when initially filling the pool or adding make up water to the pool can help remove metals present and prevent staining. When attempting to remove existing stains, it is important to first properly balance the water to prevent the occurrence of more staining.
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What Is The Cause Of Pool Stains
The first step in pool stain removal is determining the cause of the stain. Pool stains generally fall into two main categories:
Organic: Leaves, berries, and other organic debris can leave stains if theyre allowed to settle and left too long on your pools surfaces.
Metal: Several types of metal can accidentally be introduced into your pool. Maybe the copper pipes in your water system have corroded, or perhaps a metal item was left on your pool floor for too long. Rusted metal accessories, parts, and equipment can also cause stains.
Once you determine what type of stain you have, you will know which type of pool stain remover to apply. The best way to identify which type of pool stain you have is to observe the colour.
These are most likely organic stains caused by leaves or other plant matter.
These are more than likely from brightly coloured berries. If you have berry-bearing trees or bushes near the pool, theyre the most likely cause.
These could be caused by organic matter like leaves or berries. But if theres nothing like that around your pool, they were likely caused by copper, which can be present in well water. Or if you have copper piping anywhere in your plumbing system, they may be corroded, which can also cause stains.
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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Stains Broadly Fall Into Four Categories:
Most commonly leaf stains, where a leaf has been allowed to sit in one place for weeks and Algae stains where the pool was allowed to staygreen for weeks. Dirt also gives rise to organic stains. Dirt can be washed in the pool after a storm or if the hydrostatic valve operatesand dirty water enters the pool .
The most common colours are yellow, green and brown.
Metal stains: Most commonly Iron which gives yellow through to brown stains and Black Spots in Fibreglass pools which areCobalt stains.
Oxidation of fibreglass and painted surfaces
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The Only Dedicated Pool Stain Removal Company In Australia
Remember, most of our customers have already wasted money on expensive all-purpose stain removers before calling us. Sadly, they soon learn that these treatments are too weak to remove swimming pool stains. We diagnose your stain properly and then send you our commercial grade stain treatments to remove stains without draining your pool.
- Powerful products that work
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Chlorine Workhorse Of Your Pool
Chlorine is a pool cleaner that works to break down any bacteria in your pool and thoroughly sanitize the water. It is an ideal way to keep the pool clean and fresh. It is available in different forms, and a pool professional can guide you in determining what would work best for you. However, amounts ranging from 1 to 3 ppm must be maintained in the pool at all times.
How To Test The Pool Stain To Know If Its Organic
Lets do a small test to figure out whether or not your pool stain is organic:
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What Causes Brown Pool Stains
If you want to get rid of those embarrassing stains in your pool, you must first diagnose the stain type. Pool stains can have many sources it could be an algae buildup or even just plain dirt. But how do you determine which is the one you are dealing with?
One way to identify the source of the stain is to look at the color of the stain.
If the stain on the walls or floor of the pool is greenish-brown, you might be looking at an organic material present in the pool perhaps an algae buildup or just some leaves, berries, and other organic debris sitting on the floor of the pool. Organic pool stains are not usually hard to get rid of, but over time, they sink down and begin to decay on your pools floor.
If the stains are brown-black, and can be found on the sides of the pool as well, it would indicate a metal issue most often iron or copper buildup. Metal can be introduced into your pool water from corroded copper pipes in your plumbing system or rusted pool equipment.
Shocking The Swimming Pool To Kill Brown Algae
Brown algae are one of the most challenging to eliminate. While they are somewhat chlorine-resistant, high sanitizer concentrations do kill them. Here is how to use a shock treatment to clean brown algae in your pool before using a clarifier.
To clean a green pool fast, follow the directions on the pool shock product and bring the chlorine level up to at least 10 ppm to kill the algae.
Prepare the treatment by diluting it in a large bucket and turn on the pool pump. Pour the shock into the water around the edge of the pool and let the pump filter the water for six hours.
Take out the filter afterward and give it a good pool filter cleaning to eliminate algae particles trapped in it.
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How To Remove Salt Stains From Pool
Salt stains often look like small spots of rust in the pool. This is more likely if the pool salt is low to medium quality. There are some cleaning kits with acids and mineral neutralizers that you can purchase from pool supply stores to reduce the salt. Its also best not to add salt to the pool while the pH of the water is high. When the pH is too high, the salt is not able to hold metals and minerals in the proper suspension.
Last And Most Accessible Solution
While you are on the swimming pool, carry a towel or microfiber brush with you and scrub that pools wall area. You can do it a minimum twice a week. Regular base cleaning provides a fruitful result to remove all kinds of stain from the pool. Removing algae stain, you should figure out the stain category of your pool. And by maintaining all the above steps, you can solve the algae stain problems accurately.
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How To Prevent Stains In The Future
Pool stains can be ugly and tough to get rid of, so once you have removed them, you will want to keep them from coming back. For that, it is crucial that you stay on top of your pool maintenance. With a little effort, you can keep contaminants from making their mark on your pool literally.
To keep organic stains out of your pool, do what you can to keep the pool clean. This may involve:
- Skimming the pool surface to keep leaves, twigs, and other organic debris from sinking to and settling on the bottom of the pool where they can stain
- Trimming trees or bushes around the pool and
- Investing in a better pool cover or an automatic pool cleaner
Preventing metallic stains from returning involves:
- Keeping the pool water balanced using a good water chemical test kit
- Maintaining your pool plumbing and
- Keeping the pH level in the pool steady.
All of this can go a long way to ensure your pool is beautiful and clean for years to come!
We hope that this blog will help you understand brown pool stains a bit more, so you can perform an effective pool stain removal and keep your pool clean and hygienic.
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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Removing Organic Pool Stains
Hello chlorine, my old friend. As we learned in our testing section, chlorine should always be your go-to cleanser for organic pool stains. Although you use chlorine regularly to sanitize the water, unfortunately, youll need a whole lot more cleaning power than your usual dose to take out rampant organic pool staining.
So, instead of spending your day scrubbing chlorine into every little stain, the easiest way to remove organic stains from around your pool is in one fell swoop. Thats right. Were talking about pool shock.
Pool shock is the strongest and most potent dose of chlorine you can add to your pool for the biggest sucker punch to those problematic stains. But we cant just go tossing in chlorine shock willy-nilly. Lets take it step by step.
Step #1Test and Balance Your Pool Water: As a conscientious pool owner, you know that the number one rule about pool maintenance is to always test and balance the pool water before adding any chemicals or additives.
Were about to add a lot of chlorine here, so dont worry too much about the chlorine levels. Instead, focus on the total alkalinity and the pH of the pool water. You probably already know this, but just as a refresher, were looking for alkalinity between 100-150 ppm and a pH between 7.4-7.6.
Balance and retest until you find the sweet spot.
Pro Tip: For best results, always remember to shock the pool at night so as not to lose chlorine to UV radiation.
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.
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You Dont Have To Drain Or Acid Wash Your Pool To Remove Pool Stains
Acid washing removes some stains but the process is sometimes unsuccessful and in many cases, the stains often return. A typical pool acid wash costs between $550-$2,000 depending on the size of your pool and the severity of the stains. Also, this price does not include the cost of the water needed to refill the pool which is around $145- $195 for most pools in major cities. Additionally, there is the cost to replace all the salt, muriatic acid, buffer, sunscreen and other chemicals needed to rebalance your pool water when it is refilled.
Remember, most of the time, acid washing costs 3-4 times more than our pool stain remover treatment. Fact is, acid washing is rarely needed to remove pool stains. For more information about pool acid washing .
How To Remove Leaf Stains From Pool
If trees surround your pool, youre likely to see some fallen leaves in the water. This is especially common during the fall season. While getting a secure pool cover can help with this, you may find that a few leaf stains may be left behind. When the leaves arent picked up right away, they leave tannin oils on the surface of the pool. A solution of stain-dissolving ingredients is necessary to remove the stain. The cleaning products often contain acid to remove tannin residue successfully.
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Chemical Solutions To The Staining Problem
For light copper and iron stains, BioGaurd Pool Magnet works well on “fresh” stains. For heavier staining, Jack’s Magic Blue Stuff is an effective additive which can also be used in higher chlorine levels, so treating metal in water that also has algae issues can be done at the same time. Products like these are sequestering agents that suspend the metals in solution to prevent them from “plating out” on the surface. As with stains caused by something organic, using an ascorbic or diphosphonic acid based product can help remove metal stains. When treating metal stains and discoloration with products such as these, the results may not be immediate and you may not see the stain lighten or be removed for several days or several weeks. The device discussed earlier that uses scrub pads and muriatic acid can also be effective on metal stains and shows instant results.
What Causes Brown Stains In Pools
Sep 29, 2020 | Uncategorized
Keeping your pool water clean and clear is the key to getting the most out of it. But the undertaking is not as simple as tossing a few pool chemicals and calling off for the day. Balancing the amount is a tough act many times, but it is absolutely essential for a healthier pool experience.
This blog tells you how you can raise or reduce the chlorine levels in your swimming pool. But remember, before adjusting the levels, make sure to test your water first so you can determine the before and after difference.
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What Causes Pool Stains
In order to properly manage and remove a mysterious pool stain, you first have to know what caused it. Once you know that, you can grab the right stuff to clean it correctly.
Pool stains come in two flavors ew. Actually, that sounds pretty gross. Lets say: causes. The two main reasons for pool stains can be traced back to either metal or organic origins.