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Thread: Ben's Phosphate Project

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Ben's Phosphate Project

    A thought... HEDP eventually disappears from the water, right? If so, what if people like JimK that already have HEDP in the water just stopped adding it for awhile? (hmmmm, the winter?) They may get some staining to indicate that levels were low. Then could they try the polymeric recipe?

    Boy, I wish so many people hadn't disappeared from this site. I love this discussion!
    26K gal 20x40 rectangular IG vinyl pool; Apr 2014: New pump, liner, auto-cover, & water; Pentair Whisperflo 1HP pump; Pentair Trition sand filter; Cover/Star CS-500 auto cover; Taylor K-2006C; OTO

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Ben's Phosphate Project

    Quote Originally Posted by Teapot View Post
    Whats the HEDP in there for Jim? If it's for iron, then it's better removed than sequestered as HEDP is at odds with chlorine as the chlorine tries to oxidise it out.

    And a note on closing the pool as Richard mentioned it. With the very clean low nutrient water my pool is put away in early September with water temperature around 14-16 deg C (57-60 F) and not opened up again until the end of May or early June. The winter cover is a heavy grade dark (light obscuring) cover and the water is clear when uncovered. I usually give a little shock 24 hours before removing the covers.
    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek View Post
    As teapot notes, using HEDP for at least the bulk of the iron doesn't make a lot of sense since it precipitates so readily when exposed to chlorine. Now it is true that if you've got a sequestrant in the water then any additional iron or excessive copper (or manganese) can be trapped by the HEDP and prevent staining so it's mostly in pools using well water where there's evaporation and refill so a constant introduction of more metal.

    There are other non-HEDP metal sequestrants, but some aren't so good such as EDTA since the chlorine demand is much higher (chlorine oxidizes EDTA faster than HEDP) but there are some polymer based sequestrants that won't break down into phosphates. An example is Jack's Magic The Magenta Stuff which uses an acrylic copolymer. Just note that this product will be incompatible with most clarifier products since the acrylic copolymer is negatively charged (to bind positively charged metal ions) while most clarifiers are positively charged (to attract negative cell surfaces). Having both in a pool creates a cloudy mess though it will get filtered out (I suppose it's a way of removing the products from the pool).

    So using chlorine alone to prevent algae growth by maintaining the higher FC/CYA ratio is certainly simpler in that you don't have to worry about chemical incompatibilities (well, you still do if you mix certain other chemicals, but there's less to worry about). By the way, it's not that phosphate removers and HEDP are directly incompatible -- nothing bad happens when you have both in the water. It's just that chlorine breakdown of HEDP adds phosphates at a rate that requires use of more phosphate remover so this can get more expensive, defeating the purpose of saving money from using less chlorine. You could certainly test your phosphate level and see how it climbs over time. If it's slow enough, then it could still be economical to use a phosphate remover. Again, this is why this is not the mainline approach -- it takes more care and understanding.
    My apologies for the late reply.

    A little history......
    We had our pool installed in 2004. Having never had a pool before, we relied on the advice of the builder/store. The first season I kept having problems with the liner getting slick (start of an algae bloom). Since my numbers were good according to the store, they suggested I use an algaecide, Bioguard Banish I believe. It did work and the rest of the 2004 season went ok. In 2005, stained started showing up on the steps. The store recommended Jack's Magic Step Stuff to clean the steps (it worked very well). I was told the staining was caused by the impurities in the pool salt precipitating out when running the SWCG. Eventually the entire pool had stains so I hit the Internet for answers. That us when I found this forum.

    I learned that most likely it was the copper algaecide causing the problem. So I did the ascorbic acid treatment to lift the stains and started using Jack's Magic Purple stuff the prevent the stains from returning (the treatment and Purple Stuff worked great). Of course I also ceased use of the copper algaecide and switched to a polyquat.

    Fast forward several years. By this point I'm pretty sure most, if not all of the water in my pool has been changed from pumping out excess water after rain (we get plenty of rain here so it's not unusual to have to pump excess out). Also, there was one year at spring opening the liner came loose in several places and the foam layer behind the liner bunched up everywhere (we had a couple of bad nor'easters back to back which caused the problem). The builder has us drain the water down to 6" in the shallow end so the liner/foam could be repaired.

    A few seasons ago the subject of metal staining came up in my discussions with Ben. He walked me through the bucket test for metals which came up negative....not a trace of metals could be seen in the bucket. Thinking my pool was finally metal free, I stopped using The Purple Stuff. But over time stains started showing back up on the steps, so I resumed the use of The Purple Stuff.

    Some things I've noticed;

    1. The staining only occurs when running the SWCG and appears on the steps first (there is a return in the steps, btw)
    2. At spring cleaning (or any other time) when I manually shock the pool with bleach, no stains or precipitate appear.

    It seems to me there are only two possible sources I have for metals; the fill water (city water) or impurities in the pool salt as suggested by the builder (that idea seems to be poo poo'd here). Neither of which I can eliminate from my pool (I'm not willing to give up the SWCG).

    As far as using Jack's Magic Magenta Stuff, I understand that it will make a mess of my pool since I use polyquat (at opening and closing, and maybe when we go on vacation as insurance in case the SWCG craps out).

    It's seems like I always come back to having to use the Purple stuff. And since it adds phosphates, I keep my FC at 6-7 to prevent algae (I keep CYA at 80).

    Btw, these are my typical numbers I maintain throughout the season;

    FC 6-7
    CC 0
    pH 7.5 (it stays stable at this number all season)
    TA 70-80
    Borates 50
    CYA 80
    22'x40' Grecian Lazy L 20K gal IG vinyl pool; Aqua Rite SWCG; Hayward Pro Grid 6020 DE filter; Hayward Superpump 1hp pump; 12 hrs; I put together individual Taylor kits that combined is the same as the Taylor K-2006; city; PF:6

  3. #23
    chem geek is offline PF Supporter Whibble Konker chem geek 4 stars chem geek 4 stars chem geek 4 stars chem geek 4 stars
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    Default Re: Ben's Phosphate Project

    Quote Originally Posted by JimK View Post
    As far as using Jack's Magic Magenta Stuff, I understand that it will make a mess of my pool since I use polyquat (at opening and closing, and maybe when we go on vacation as insurance in case the SWCG craps out).
    You bring up another example of a polymer product that is positively charged and is similar to clarifiers. In fact, Ben had said that Polyquat was first sold as a clarifier before it was later marketed (more profitably) as an algaecide. So yes, it is likely incompatible with a polymeric metal sequestrant.

    Now, that said, the Polyquat won't last that long. After a few weeks in warm chlorinated water it should be at least broken up and no longer a polymer so shouldn't create the cloudiness or precipitate from having two oppositely charged polymers. So a few weeks into the swim season after opening and warmer water, the use of The Magenta Stuff would probably be safe.

    As for HEDP, it too would break down in a few weeks though the rate is dependent not just on the active chlorine level but also on sunlight (not sure why, but there's an indirect relationship -- maybe hydroxyl radicals from chlorine breakdown or maybe something about UV with HEDP when metals are bound to it).

    While you probably could switch to The Magenta Stuff and try removing phosphates (in which case you get your insurance and don't need Polyquat), you've got a situation that is working for you so unless you're into experimentation there's not much point in changing.
    15.5'x32' rectangle 16K gal IG concrete pool; 12.5% chlorinating liquid by hand; Jandy CL340 cartridge filter; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; 8hrs; Taylor K-2006 and TFTestkits TF-100; utility water; summer: automatic; winter: automatic; ; PF:7.5

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Ben's Phosphate Project

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek View Post
    You bring up another example of a polymer product that is positively charged and is similar to clarifiers. In fact, Ben had said that Polyquat was first sold as a clarifier before it was later marketed (more profitably) as an algaecide. So yes, it is likely incompatible with a polymeric metal sequestrant.

    Now, that said, the Polyquat won't last that long. After a few weeks in warm chlorinated water it should be at least broken up and no longer a polymer so shouldn't create the cloudiness or precipitate from having two oppositely charged polymers. So a few weeks into the swim season after opening and warmer water, the use of The Magenta Stuff would probably be safe.

    As for HEDP, it too would break down in a few weeks though the rate is dependent not just on the active chlorine level but also on sunlight (not sure why, but there's an indirect relationship -- maybe hydroxyl radicals from chlorine breakdown or maybe something about UV with HEDP when metals are bound to it).

    While you probably could switch to The Magenta Stuff and try removing phosphates (in which case you get your insurance and don't need Polyquat), you've got a situation that is working for you so unless you're into experimentation there's not much point in changing.
    Thank you. I greatly appreciate the input.

    Like you mentioned, I've pretty much settled into just doing what works for my pool. I think I'll leave the experimenting to others more adventurous.
    22'x40' Grecian Lazy L 20K gal IG vinyl pool; Aqua Rite SWCG; Hayward Pro Grid 6020 DE filter; Hayward Superpump 1hp pump; 12 hrs; I put together individual Taylor kits that combined is the same as the Taylor K-2006; city; PF:6

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Ben's Phosphate Project

    [IMG][/IMG]

    This iron staining from the small screws securing the cover over the pit.
    As I said I don't use sequestriants, I remove the iron. The iron is the staining form, using ascorbic acid as the reducing agent I clean the pool. I then add Cal hypo into the skimmer and as the water enters the iron is re oxidised by the cal hypo and the AFM has a weak electrical charge which further attracts the iron to it's surface where it is back washed away and elevated levels of iron can be tested.
    I close down the return valve to slow down the filtration flow to around 25% to give enough time for the process to work rather than just washing it back through into the pool again. I don't know if using sand will work as sand doesn't have the electrical charge and doesn't filter fine enough (maybe why Chem Geek recommends flocculents to aid the sand filtration?). Definitely needs a slower flow to best capture the iron.
    Passivpool Energy A++ rated pool, the most efficient in the world! 24ft x 12ft, 12000 gallons I/G vinyl lined pool, variable speed pump 0.08hp,(30-60 watts) running 24/7. AFM glass media 24" sand filter, Strantrol chemical injection

  6. #26
    chem geek is offline PF Supporter Whibble Konker chem geek 4 stars chem geek 4 stars chem geek 4 stars chem geek 4 stars
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    Default Re: Ben's Phosphate Project

    If you have particles too fine to be caught by a sand filter, you can add DE to it (some use Fiber Clear products) for enhanced filtration to a smaller size. As for whether the oxidized iron particles are large enough to get caught by the sand filter, I don't know.
    15.5'x32' rectangle 16K gal IG concrete pool; 12.5% chlorinating liquid by hand; Jandy CL340 cartridge filter; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; 8hrs; Taylor K-2006 and TFTestkits TF-100; utility water; summer: automatic; winter: automatic; ; PF:7.5

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Ben's Phosphate Project

    I did the cal-hypo treatment with a sand filter and supplemental DE. It worked very well for me. My new fill water was actually orange at the start of the process. 2 years later, I still do not have to use any sequestrant. I am very careful about only using rainwater for top-offs, however.

    Whoa, Teapot. That is a lot of staining!
    26K gal 20x40 rectangular IG vinyl pool; Apr 2014: New pump, liner, auto-cover, & water; Pentair Whisperflo 1HP pump; Pentair Trition sand filter; Cover/Star CS-500 auto cover; Taylor K-2006C; OTO

  8. #28
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    Cool Re: Ben's Phosphate Project

    Quote Originally Posted by FormerBromineUser View Post
    Whoa, Teapot. That is a lot of staining!
    All in a days work
    Passivpool Energy A++ rated pool, the most efficient in the world! 24ft x 12ft, 12000 gallons I/G vinyl lined pool, variable speed pump 0.08hp,(30-60 watts) running 24/7. AFM glass media 24" sand filter, Strantrol chemical injection

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Ben's Phosphate Project

    Hahaha.
    26K gal 20x40 rectangular IG vinyl pool; Apr 2014: New pump, liner, auto-cover, & water; Pentair Whisperflo 1HP pump; Pentair Trition sand filter; Cover/Star CS-500 auto cover; Taylor K-2006C; OTO

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Ben's Phosphate Project

    Metal and/or phosphate laden pool water are definitely things we should continue to explore! Great job everyone! Love the dialogue!
    26K gal 20x40 rectangular IG vinyl pool; Apr 2014: New pump, liner, auto-cover, & water; Pentair Whisperflo 1HP pump; Pentair Trition sand filter; Cover/Star CS-500 auto cover; Taylor K-2006C; OTO

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