Coffee Stain Looking Pool Stain

by Vern

Glad to find your site, as tired of pool stores with $$$$ chemicals to add, then rechecking another $$$ chemical again. in ground, 10,000 gal Marcite/Gunite, with DE filter. We will purchase a kit, but do have a pool store do it, after we do the strip. The last visit, we requested an metal test, as we learned; iron 0.1. Also called the water dept, 28ppm. We know the chlorine level has to be low, so are waiting for that, but they said you should treat in low temps of 65? We cannot stand to see this stain and afraid it will get worse. The last reading from the store was 6/11, FC 5.0, PH 7.6, TA 90ppm, CH 260ppm, Stabilizer 70 ppm, Total Solids 1700 ppm. We read on your site, treat metal stains with ascorbic acid. We want to be able to take care of our own pool without going back and forth with expensive chemicals.

We do use liquid chlorine only, muriatic acid, baking soda, etc. Appreciate any place to get started here. Your videos are impressive and have enjoyed reading a lot of your material.

Thanks for the question Vern. First is your CYA. The range is 30 - 50ppm. It's starting to creep up which means you'll need a higher FC level for the chlorine to be effective. I'd start thinking about doing a 1/3 drain and refill to get the CYA down to the proper level before it gets too high.

I read an iron level of 0.1 but the 2nd reading is 28ppm. Would you possibly mean 0.28? If it is that what you must do a get a good metal sequestrant. Jack's has a good line (Pink and/or Purple Stuff) and can be found on Amazon or possibly Walmart. This is normally not a one shot deal. A metal sequestrant does not remove metal from pool water. It holds it in solution until it can get filtered. Then you backwash the metal out. Because metal sequestrants break down over time and get filtered and backwashed out, you will need to add a bottle once per week or when you pool needs it. The product needs to have 1-Hydroxyethylidene-1, 1- diphosphonic Acid, or HEDP. I believe Jack's also has a metal stain remover product.

You can do a simple test to determine whether it's an organic or metal stain. Place a tab on an affected area for 3 - 5 minutes. If it lightens up it's organic and can be treated with super-chlorinating or even placing granular chlorine on the spot. If the area doesn't lighten or gets darker get some crushed up ascorbic acid, 1/2 lb., place it in a sock and put it on the affected area. If it lightens it's metal stains. If the area is smaller you could fill the sock with ascorbic acid and scrub the area down.

There is no reason to spend tons of money at the pool store. I've written 3 eBook that go into extensive detail about how you can have a perfect pool for about $10 - $15 per month in chemicals per 10k gallons. You live in FL as I do so I'll assume your water is hard. Only in rare cases would you need to use any kind of granular chlorine. Only use liquid chlorine for weekly maintenance. Acid to lower the pH and TA, baking soda to raise the TA, and 20 Mule Team Borax to raise the pH. It's too bad you live so far away I'd love to come over and take a look at it.

If you feel your situation is more complex than this, I do phone consultations. It makes things go much faster and many people have found it extremely beneficial, saving them time and money in the long run. All your questions will be answered. I have nothing to sell you so you know I'm not bias. If you purchase a personal phone consult you'll get all 3 eBooks for free.

Pool Consultation

Clear Blue Pool eBook

How To Clear Up A Green Pool eBook

Swimming Pool Resources

Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


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Aug 14, 2015
by: Vern

Robert, we have written before re: coffee stain pool. We did the drain/refill, ascorbic acid treatment and now trying to maintain ourselves.

We bought your E-books, but can't find anything about---'if you can add chemicals at one time, not together, of course, we know that. For instance, adding chlorine and acid, how far apart. And what about all the other chemical too? Think we pool people need a cheat sheet to get started until we know what we can add at the same time or wait till later. Thank you.

You'll want to wait about 2 hours between adding different chemicals and 8 - 10 hours to retest after making an adjustment. The main chemicals that you'll use to keep the pool balanced and clear are chlorine (liquid and tabs), bicarb for the TA, Borax for the pH, acid for the pH and TA, and calcium chloride to raise the hardness. The big chemicals such as muriatic acid and chlorine you'll want to store separately and when making adjustments. Bicarb and Borax are relatively harmless and you can swim within a few minutes. But it's the chlorine and acid you really want to be careful with. Those can burn and cause staining.

Calcium chloride needs to be added directly to the pool. No mixing. It'll steam up. I touched on that in the eBook. Add around the perimeter and sweep very well. Again, you'll wait 2 - 3 hours before swimming.


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