Pool Stain Rainbow: What Each Colour Indicates About Your Pool

Jun 24, 2024 | Pool

Maintaining a pristine swimming pool is a point of pride for pool owners. However, the appearance of stains can be both an eyesore and a cause for concern. At Benson Pools, with decades of experience in pool installation and maintenance in Ottawa, we’ve seen it all. Understanding what each colour stain indicates can help you […]

Maintaining a pristine swimming pool is a point of pride for pool owners. However, the appearance of stains can be both an eyesore and a cause for concern. At Benson Pools, with decades of experience in pool installation and maintenance in Ottawa, we’ve seen it all. Understanding what each colour stain indicates can help you address the problem swiftly and effectively. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through identifying, diagnosing, removing, and preventing pool stains.

Identification of Pool Stains by Colour

Green Stains

Green stains are most commonly caused by algae growth. If your pool water turns green and there are green spots on the pool surfaces, it’s likely an algae issue. Algae can flourish in pools that haven’t been properly chlorinated or have ineffective filtration systems.

Brown Stains

Brown stains typically indicate the presence of iron or manganese in your pool water. These metals can enter your pool from the water source, especially if you use well water, or from corrosion of metal components in the pool.

Black Stains

Black stains are often caused by black algae, a stubborn variety that can be tough to remove. They appear as small, black spots on pool surfaces, particularly in porous materials like concrete or grout.

Blue or Blue-Green Stains

These stains are usually due to copper, which can enter your pool through certain algaecides, corroded copper pipes, or even from a heater that uses copper components.

Red or Rust-Coloured Stains

Red or rust-coloured stains are frequently the result of iron or sometimes, bacteria. These can form from metal objects left in the pool, such as hairpins or toys, which rust over time.

Pool Stain Rainbow infographic listing colours and causes.

Causes of Pool Stains

Understanding the causes of these stains can help in both treatment and prevention:

  • Metals in Water: Iron, manganese, and copper can dissolve in water and then oxidize, leading to stains.
  • Organic Matter: Leaves, algae, and other organic debris can cause stains, particularly if not removed promptly.
  • Improper Chemical Balance: An imbalance in pH, alkalinity, or chlorine levels can encourage staining.
  • Poor Maintenance: Lack of regular cleaning and inadequate filtration can lead to the build-up of debris and algae.

Removing Pool Stains

Removing pool stains involves different approaches depending on the stain’s origin:

For Metal Stains:

  1. Ascorbic Acid Treatment: Applying ascorbic acid (vitamin C) directly to the stain can help lift it. This works particularly well for iron stains.
  2. Sequestrants: Using a sequestrant, which is a chemical that binds to metal ions, can make them easier to filter out. Regular use can prevent metal stains from recurring.

For Organic Stains:

  1. Shock Treatment: Super chlorinating your pool can eliminate organic stains. This involves adding a high dose of chlorine to the pool.
  2. Scrubbing: Manual scrubbing with a pool brush can help remove surface stains, especially when combined with a shock treatment.

For Algae Stains:

  1. Algaecide: Applying an algaecide specifically designed to target black or green algae can help.
  2. Brushing and Vacuuming: Thoroughly brushing the affected areas and vacuuming the pool to remove the dead algae.

Prevention Measures

Preventing pool stains is far easier and more cost effective than removing them. Here are some expert tips from Benson Pools:

  1. Regular Maintenance: Regular cleaning and vacuuming prevent the build-up of debris and algae.
  2. Chemical Balance: Keep your pool’s pH, alkalinity, and chlorine levels balanced. Regular testing and adjustment are crucial.
  3. Use a Pool Cover: A proper pool cover can prevent leaves, dirt, and other debris from entering the pool, especially during the off-season.
  4. Proper Filtration: Ensure your pool’s filtration system is running efficiently. Replace filters as needed and consider upgrading if your system is outdated.
  5. Sequestrants: Regularly use sequestrants if your water source is known to have high metal content. This can prevent metal stains from forming.

Need Assistance?

Stains can make a beautifully maintained pool look unappealing and neglected. By understanding what each colour indicates, you can quickly address the issue and restore your pool to its pristine condition. At Benson Pools, we’re committed to helping Ottawa pool owners enjoy their pools to the fullest. For professional assistance or more tips on pool maintenance, don’t hesitate to contact us. Happy swimming!

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