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Thread: Brown water in pool- from Iron

  1. #1
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    Default Brown water in pool- UPDATE-appears water is mostly clear but brown on bottom of pool

    I purchased an 15' by 48" (4400 gallons) Intex metal frame pool this year and filled it up with well water. It looked ok at first but once it got about 1/4 of the way the water started looking brown. Not knowing any better I went ahead and filled it the rest of the way up and it is very brown. Started running the filter and it is continually changed to rust orange. I added some liquid cholirine (just under 1 gallon) and ran the filter which didn't help. I also have the intex saltwater system so I added salt but havent started running the saltwater system yet. At this point it sounds like the problem was iron from the well water. I really want to be able to swim in this thing as soon as possible but don't know what to do. I bought some HTH metal treatment stuff from walmart today. My plan was to drain about 1/4 to 1/2 the water out of the pool and refill it from a hose hooked to my kitchen faucet (has been through water softener) instead of the hose outside. I will also use the HTM metal stuff or soemthing else if you guys can recommend something?

    The pool was only 250 dollars so I don't want to spend all summer and a ton of money on getting clear water..Does a partial drainage and adding HTH metal sound like a good plan? If not what else should I do? Will I have to continue to use metal stuff all year?

    This is my first pool so I also need to know at what point if any I should add more cholorine and when I should turn the saltwater system on.

    I have the strip chemical tests and it looks like my ph is over 8 and my alkalinity is off the scale on the high end.
    Last edited by newguyjosh; 06-03-2010 at 09:19 PM.

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    Default Re: Brown water in pool- from Iron

    Until Marie (our metals expert) gets a look at your post, I would suggest that you go and read some of the other threads in this section. You will learn a lot from hearing what she has told some of the others to do. She'll be along shortly to help, although by then, you may have read enough that you can go ahead on your own. Also read the stickies at the top of the forum. I would also suggest that you go buy the $15 (or thereabouts) 5 or 6-Way test kit at Walmart that is a drops-based kit and use that instead of test strips. You'll get more accurate results. Good luck.

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    Default Re: Brown water in pool- from Iron

    It does certainly sound like you have metals from your well water. You can try the drain and refill, however I would add the sequestering agent (metal out) before you start to add the water from your faucet. You also need to have your other chemistry numbers because if the ph is high - then when you add chlorine, the combination of high chlorine and high ph is what causes the metals to fall out of solution. The sequestering agent is what binds with the metals to keep them in suspension. Some people who have had really badly colored water added a flocculant, turned off the filter and then let the rust fall to the bottom of the pool and then vacuum it out. I have never tried this, but I have not ever had discolored water, just stains. I'm sorry I don't have a better answer for you, but I would try the metal out and the drain first. Let me know how you do, so we can all learn from each other.
    Northeast PA
    16'x32' kidney 16K gal IG fiberglass pool; Bleach; Hayward 200lb sand filter; Hayward pump; 24hrs; Pf200; well; summer: none; winter: mesh; ; PF:7.5

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    Default Re: Brown water in pool- from Iron

    So HTH told me I had to wait until the the free chlorine level was below 1 to add the metal control...is this correct?

    My chlorine is measuring around 10 ppm from the intiall shock dose I added I guess...I do not have any stabilizer in there...how long should this take to return to a low enough level?

    Also waht level of chlorine is safe to swim in?

    Thanks

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Brown water in pool- from Iron

    actually as I look at it more closely it appears the iron/rust has actually collected on the bottom of the pool and walls making the water appear orange...if i brush the bottom of the pool the water below it looks fairly clear..so is there a wait to get this out...the vac that came with the pool sucks and not in a good way
    Last edited by newguyjosh; 06-03-2010 at 09:20 PM.

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    Default Re: Brown water in pool- from Iron

    The only way I know to get it out is to vacuum it out, which I would do if you've managed to get it to fall out in solid form. Without stabilizer in the water, by tomorrow afternoon your chlorine should be just about gone. Safe level for chlorine depends on your stabilizer level, but since you have none I'd say safe to swim at 3-5 ppm.

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    Default Re: Brown water in pool- from Iron

    How long do I have to wait to swim after adding the metal control? How quickly should I see results?

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    Default Re: Brown water in pool- from Iron

    You can swim anytime after using metal control. Just check the ph, some sequestering agents lower the ph and use up chlorine, so make sure both are in balance. You want your ph at the lower end no higher than 7.4 for the metal control to lift the recent stains off. High ph along with shock levels of chlorine will let any metals that are not sequestered to fall out of solution.
    Northeast PA
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    Default Re: Brown water in pool- from Iron

    So how long should I wait from the time I put the metal control in to put a ph minus in? The Ph is about 8.2 now. Whats the highest ph safe to swim?

    HTH I was told to let the chlorine get below 1-2 at the highest before putting the metal control in which I did. I put just above the recommended dosage in about 4 hours ago...The water is less brown looking but is more greenish now and definately not clear.

    Using test strips I get Free Chlorine at ~1, Ph 8.0-8.4, total alkalinity 240 or more thats as high as it goes, cya at 0...

    What do I do next? Is this water safe for myself and girlfriend to get in...had it for a week and would love to get in it. When do I add more cholorine HTH people told me to wait 3 days before adding any more chlorine then another 3 days before shocking..seems like ill end up with algae...

    I have had the pump runnning non stop all week
    Last edited by newguyjosh; 06-04-2010 at 06:27 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Brown water in pool- from Iron

    Thanks for the post...I had not recieved any more replies on this thread in awhile and thought maybe people had considered it dead and stopped looking at it..here is a copy of the new day from the other post..Thanks again...

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    added HTH Ph minus because the Ph was testing at 8.4 or above on my strips.

    On saturday morning the water no longer looked brown but now looked green and I could see to the bottom of the pool. I continued to clean the cartridge filter 2-3 times per day and it was always orange and rusty looking. When I scooped water out in a bottle for a sample it looked clear!?

    I took a sample of the water in to the pool place and got the following numbers:
    Free Chlorine:0
    Cya: 0
    Total hardenss: 279
    Ph: 7.5
    Total alkalinity: 369
    iron 1.5 ppm
    Salt 1700

    The pool place told me the iron may continue to decrease over the next few days with the metal control only being added the day before. They also advised me to wait a while longer on adding any chlorine. They said the biggest thing I needed to do was lower the alkalinity and they advised using muratic acid. 1/4 gallon then 1/4 gallon 4 hours later. If still high add more the next day up to another 1/2 gallon. Based on my readings on here I realized i would need to aerate to keep the Ph from dropping too much. My return valve from the filter/pump is angled slightly upward and the total water level for the pool is slightly low so water is splashing quite a bit which I think is doing the job of aeration?

    Well at this point I have added 3/4 gallons of muratic acid and the pool still loooks greenish but mostly clear (meaning I can see the bottom of the pool). When I test using test strips the Ph still looks to be around 7.2 and the alkalinity looks just slightly darker then the max on my test strips of 240. I have still not added any more chlorine and I hae not started running the salt water system to generate any chlorine. I plan to take another sample to the pool place tomorrow.

    So what should I do now? Keep addint muratic acid? When should I put some liquid chlorine or start the salt system? I'm afraid I'm gonna end up with algae soon (it has been cloudy and raining here the last several days so hopefully that keeps the algage at bay. I have been running the filter pump 24/7 except for cleanings.

    Is the green water safe to swim in? I feel like this is never going to clear up. Why is the water in the bottle clear but the pool definately not?

    Please help...

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