How to Get Metal Out of Pool Water

How to get metal out of pool water

Different metals in water such as iron, copper, and silver are natural minerals that you will find in every pool. It creates a problem when the amount gets higher.

Oxidized iron will turn your pool water and other parts brown or rusty. Similarly, the copper turns the water and parts into light green, silver makes it black, and manganese makes it purple.

Along with discoloring the water, it degrades pool water quality. Nobody wants to swim in greenish or brownie water. To prevent all those from happening, knowing how to get metal out of pool water is highly important.

We are going to discuss how you can get metal out of your pool. Also, how metal gets in the pool and signs of the metals as well. So let’s dive into the main part.

How do Metals get in a Pool?

Metals get into the pool in many ways and different metals have different ways to get in. Here are some common ways.

  • Iron and copper are commonly found naturally in well water or municipal water. These can also come through the deterioration of metal pipes in the water supply. Even some pools use heaters with iron headers or copper exchangers that mix iron and copper in water.
  • People use algaecide which consists of copper and silver as well. Using floating solar ionizers can also lead to water discoloration due to copper and silver ions.
  • Heavy rain or flooding can also let metals get into the pool through the lawn. Other common ways are hair clips, pool toys, and others.

How to find out whether it is organic metal or metal stains

Before getting into the solution, you need to know whether it is natural metal or metal stains. Without identifying the right type, you might not be successful in removing it. The best way to find out is to perform a few tests. 

  • Use Ascorbic Acid Test for Metal Stains

Using ascorbic acid for pools is the fastest way to identify whether it is organic or stains. Rub some ascorbic acid in the affected area of your pool. If stains come out or get loosened, you are dealing with the metal stains. These are not any organic stains caused by algae or any other organic matter.

  • Chlorine Tablet (Trichlor) Test for Organic Stains

When ascorbic acid pool stain remover is not available, use a chlorine tablet. Simply put the tablet on the affected area. If you see the stains getting lighter and clearer, it is an organic stain. You can use shock to remove this organic stain.

  • Overnight Chlorine Loss Test (OCLT)

The overnight test is another great test to find iron stains in the pool. To do that, chlorinate your pool in the afternoon after sunset and wait for the entire night. Take a Free Chlorine reading before and after the test. If the result shows 0-1ppm of FC change, you are dealing with metal staining.

By doing these tests, you can be sure about the type. If you want to know how to remove iron from pool water, you must test the water. Now it is time for action.

How to get metal out of your pool water

Removing metals out of your pool is the best and most effective way to prevent metal staining. For that, nothing can be a better pool metal stain remover than ascorbic acid. But you need to apply it by following the methods below. 

Step 1: Lower Free Chlorine Level to 0ppm

The first step to getting metal stains out of your pool is to lower the level of free chlorine to 0ppm. It is important because chlorine will absorb most of the ascorbic acid. This will take more acid to clear metals. For that, you can do three things.

  • Apply any chlorine neutralizing agent to your pool water
  • Drain all the water away and refill your pool with fresh water
  • Wait to get free chlorine down to 0ppm naturally

However, waiting is not a good option since it will take enough time to grow algae in your pool. 

Step 2: Lower your pH Level to 7.2

A high pH level causes more metal stains in your pool. Also, ascorbic acid does not work perfectly in water having more than 7.2 pH levels. In that case, lowering your pH level down to 7.2 is the only option. To lower pH levels, you can use either pH minus or muriatic acid.

Step 3: Add ascorbic acid

Now use ascorbic acid in your pool water. Apply 1-pound acid to 10, 000 GALLONS pool water. Use a cup and put the right amount of acid into the pool to see if stains are going. The acid will circulate throughout the pool and remove stains. If you see more stains are available, apply more in the affected area until you see all stains are gone.

Step 4: Turn on the filter

Turning on the pool filter will ensure better water circulation which will improve the effectiveness of ascorbic acid. So if you want to speed up the process, turn your pool filter on.

Step 5: Use a metal sequestering agent for pools

After removing the stains from the water, don’t be a fool to think that all stains are gone. These are still in your pool. Whenever you chlorinate the pool, these will come up again. For that, you need to use the best metal sequestering agent for pools. The agent prevents the oxidation of iron or copper with chlorine.

Step 6: Wait for 24 hours

After cleaning up, turn on the filter once again. Now, wait for 24 hours before you apply chlorine or any other chemicals to your pool for the best result.

Step 7: Get pH and Alkalinity levels back to Normal 

Though ascorbic acid is not that strong, it will lower the pH level and alkalinity. You need to get those levels back to normal. To do that, simply use 20 Mule Team Borax which will increase the pH level of your pool water. Also, use an alkalinity booster to increase TA or alkalinity level. Make sure you bring back the pH level to 7.4. Apply those increases slowly and test the levels consistently for the best result.

Step 8: Get Chlorine Levels Back to Normal 

Similar to pH and Alkalinity, bringing chlorine levels back to normal is essential. Use liquid chlorine bleach to improve the chlorine level. However, make sure you keep your eyes on the pool water to see any stains.

Now your pool is completely free from metals. 

Preventing measurements for metal

Preventing is always better than cure and preventing metals is always better than removing them. But how can prevent metals from getting into your pool? Well, follow the steps below.

  • Try to avoid any metal piping in your pool
  • Use pool iron stain remover to remove iron
  • Filter well water before filling up your pool with it since it consists of more metal naturally than others.
  • Use Add Metal Sequestrant that binds the metals’ particles and prevents reaction to chlorine.
  • Regularly check your watercolor and test water with acid properly.
  • Avoid baking soda for balancing the pH or alkalinity level
  • Use a Stain Preventative to prevent metals stains 

Frequently Asked Questions

Have more questions to ask? Then have a look at these questions.

  1. Will baking soda remove iron from pool water?

    Not exactly. Baking soda can remove algae from water but cannot remove iron.

  2. How to get brown pool water clear?

    The brown color is the result of excessive metal in your pool water. Use ascorbic acid to remove metals and to get rid of brown water.

  3. Will a sand filter remove iron from pool water?

    Sand filters remove a particular portion of iron from pool water. However, it is not capable of removing iron completely from your pool water.


Knowing How to get metal out of pool water can help you keep your pool and pool water safe. No one loves to swim in brown or greenish water. We have portrayed some ways to remove metals from your pool. Also, now you know how to test metal types and prevent metals from growing.

When you follow the guideline we have mentioned above, protecting your pool from metals will be easier.  Metals are not safe and hygienic for swimmers. As a pool owner, keeping your pool water safe from metals should be an utmost priority.

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