Even well-maintained pools are not stain proof; and the key is to quickly treat these unsightly visitors and proactively keep them from coming back. There are three things to consider as you deal with unwanted discolorations:
- Identify the stains’ origin
- Treat the stains
- Prevent the stains’ return
Identify The Stains’ Origin:
There are two types of pool stains – those that are derived from an organic source and those that are derived from a metallic or mineral source. Determining the source is vital since any stains’ origin will determine the specific treatment.
Organic stains develop from some kind of plant or animal remains. Some common organic debris would include decayed leaves, dead worms and seeds. Organic stains are, typically, green, brown or black.
Metallic or mineral stains form when chemical reactions take place due to the presence of metal surfaces, such as pool equipment. Iron, copper or manganese stains are common. Yellow, gray and purple discolorations usually indicate a mineral origin.
Is the stain from an organic or metallic source? Once you know the answer, you can begin the appropriate treatment regime.
Treat The Stains:
Organic discolorations are the easiest to eliminate. Often, chlorination, alone, can quickly and effectively remove organic pigments. One can apply a chlorine shock treatment directly on the stains and they should disappear immediately. Specialized pool products are available to target this type of annoyance.
Chlorine-free pools with measurable amounts of oxidizer should show a disappearing of organic stains within 24 to 48 hours due to the oxidizer and/or due to the help of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
What if your stains show no signs of dissipating? If that’s the case, your stains are probably metallic-based. The next step is to determine the type of metal that is causing the problem. Purchase a stain solution kit that can zero in on each stain. These kits contain three test packets of stain fighters; and once each solution is applied to the stains, you will quickly be able to determine which of the three removers works the most effectively. Using the test kit takes only minutes; and once the stain’s origin is discovered, a qualified pool specialist should proceed with a professional stain removal system.
Prevent The Stains’ Return:
Regarding metallic stains-even though metallic stains are more difficult to prevent, there are several things to keep in mind:
- Some water sources, such as well water, use iron or copper pipes which can contribute to metallic staining.
- Low pH and high chlorine levels can erode the copper heat exchanger in a pool heater, causing stains. Maintaining proper chemical balance is vital.
- Metal eliminator products are available which utilize a skimmer basket that absorbs pesky metals. These products are very helpful if metal-based stains become a challenge.
- Contact your pool dealer to evaluate your pool’s ‘health’, once a month. A professional will determine any chemical imbalance as well as metals that might be present.
When it comes to keeping your pool free of stains, being proactive is the name of the game!