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Thread: Which filter/pump better for water with high iron

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Which filter/pump better for water with high iron

    should I stay with a cartridge filter or switch to a sand filter pump. I've heard every time you backwash you lose 2-3 inches of water and when I add water it adds iron back in which makes water orange again and then I have to battle getting the iron back out. Seems like the metal out/ metal magnet / stain remove all those things only last for a while especially if I were to keep adding in 2-3 inches of iron water every week. when would it end? presently I have an 18' x 52" intex ultra frame pool with a 2500 gph cartridge filter pump, is there a bigger cartridge filter pump for the pools? should I go with the 2650 gph sand filter? The reason I am asking is because my water is still green even after a month of shocking and raising chlorine levels to way high (orange on tester instead of yellow) I've put 2 bottles of seaklear stain remover/preventor (pool guy said that would take the iron out, and it does seem to make it clump together so the filter can grab it) and my pool is still green so I thought maybe I need a bigger/different filter/pump how can I get a clear pool like everyone else has? my filter is still rinsing orange/brown stuff off (assuming that is the iron) but why is the green not going away? any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    aylad is offline SuperMod Emeritus Vortex Adjuster aylad 4 stars aylad 4 stars aylad 4 stars aylad 4 stars aylad 4 stars aylad 4 stars
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    Northwest Lousiana

    Default Re: Which filter/pump better for water with high iron

    Hi, and welcome to the forum!!

    When you say that your pool is still green, is it cloudy and green, or clear and green? What is the source of your fill water? Have you/can you have it tested for metals to find out exactly what metals are in it? Can you post a set of test results taken with a drop-based kit (no strips!) to help us identify the problems?

    The metal out/magnet/stain removers don't actually remove the metals from the pool. They just hold them in suspension in the water so that they don't drop out and stain your pool (or people). However, chlorine eventually breaks them down, so that's something that you'll have to do repeatedly if you don't physically remove the metals from the pool. There is a product called a culator that some folks on this forum are trying out--it sits in the skimmer and supposedly absorbs those metals in suspension. Don't know for sure if they actually work as advertised--we're waiting on some definitive reports, but the reports we're getting right now suggest that they MAY work. The other thing you could do would be to put a trichlor puck into the skimmer so that the water hits a high chlorine source right before the filter, which should make the metals drop out on the filter to be washed away (and a cart is probably better than sand for this, because of the water loss you mentioned). One thing that may help in the future is setting up some sort of pre-filter system, where you run your fill water over that same high chlorine source and then through some cotton batting, old socks, etc before it gets to the pool to try to remove some of the iron before it ever gets into the pool. You can use the google search feature linked in my sig to search for pre-filtering ideas--there's a very long thread by a poster called "swamp mistress" that details her journey through this same problem. (Until your registration is upgraded, you might have to log out to be able to see your search results).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Which filter/pump better for water with high iron

    Lets see the green is (was up until 2 days ago now it is a little darker I can't see the bottom) a see thru green (I could see the bottom, but water was green- If I', looking where water blows back into pool the water looked orangish green (if that makes sense)) so last night I got the clorine level up into the orange range well above what my test kit reads (only goes up to 5.0 a bright yellow- it's the test kit with the drops). I know there is high iron in water possibly copper from pipes, pool was filled by outside faucet which is not connected up to my water softner just straight from well.
    so from begining it took a week to fill the pool (water was slightly orange- see thru) by the time the pool was full enough to run filter/pump it was starting to turn green (the see thru green). threw in baking soda, 1/2 bottle of seaklear from last year and a bag of shock plus didn't do anything. had pool store test water, they said add a full bottle of the seaklear and a pound of granular chlorine and filter filter filter after I did that nothing was coming out on my filter cartridge not even the orangish stuff from the iron that I suspected was still in the pool. so my husband said to forget the expensive chlorine and use bleach so I threw in 2 1/2 gal of bleach and 2 box baking soda. still nothing if it's algae it doesn't seem to be dropping no matter how much chlorine/ bleach whatever I put in. so I thought maybe the filter isn't big enough I thought it was an upgrade from the 1600 gph sand filter that came with it (since it suposidly filters 2500 gph and again with my iron issue I figured maybe would be more practical than the sand one, but now I'm not sure. is there a bigger cartridge pump than the one I have I seen a 4000 gph on the web but noone seems to have them to purchase. What should I do? Thanks

  4. #4
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    PoolDoc is offline Administrator Quark Inspector PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars
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    Chattanooga, TN

    Default Re: Which filter/pump better for water with high iron

    Guys, I'm going to have add a rule for new members: "If you are using a mobile device, take the time to use Caps, add periods, and paragraph spacing. It makes it much harder for us to read when you don't!"

    Tina, if you have severely iron contaminated water, there is not a filter that's going to make this "easy". I can help you 'manage' the problem, but with kids splashing out water, that you have to replace, you will be in 'metal management mode' 100% of the time, and a better filter won't change that.

    + Sand filters will lower your water every time . . . and then you have to replace it with MORE iron contaminated water.
    + DE filters aren't an option on Intex pools, without pretty significant refitting.
    + A big cartridge filter would make it easier -- IF you have a pair of high grade cartridges, and have one in cleaning solution all the time.
    + Replacing your Intex brand cartridges with a PAIR or triplet of Unicel brand cartridges, so that 1 - 2 cartridges could be soaking continuously would help.

    + Finally, the only SOLUTION, which would allow you to fill the pool with iron free water, would involve setting up a 2nd, smaller Intex, to do pre-treatment, and then filling your pool from the little pool AFTER the iron settles.

    Think about it. Read through the metals bucket test page, and decide if you want to do that, to see how bad the problem is.

    I'd 'guesstimate' that managing the problem effectively will add $250 to your cost this year, and maybe $150 every subsequent year. 'Solving' it by using a pre-treatment pool would raise that to maybe $400 the first year, but lower it to maybe $100 in additional costs, in subsequent years.

    Lemme know what you want to pursue.

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