So..., you're pool has turned purple.
Well, there are big purple stains all over the walls & skimmer and other equipment. You've tried treating it as Pink Slime, but nothing's happening. You've shocked the pool, added algaecide, and still nothing.
The good news is, you have a treatable problem. The bad news is, you're probably NOT treating it for what it really is.
You have a condition called Purple or Copper Cyanurate. This is purely a chemical reaction that has nothing to do with algae, bacteria or Pink Slime. You have done nothing wrong; this can just happen!
Watch the video then continue reading.
Purple or Copper Cyanurate is caused when the Cyanuric Acid (chlorine stabilizer or conditioner) is allowed to become "high" or over 100 ppm and it then reacts with any copper that may be present in the water.
Purple Cyanurate is a chemical/mineral imbalance problem. It is NOT an "organism" or algae problem.
Purple or Copper Cyanurate can not be easily scrubbed, scraped or removed. It must be slowly & patiently dealt with.
Purple Cyanurate is most often (almost always) seen in the spring at pool opening. Although it has been "noticed" at warmer times of the swimming season, cooler water (under 70 degrees Fahrenheit) helps this reaction more readily occur.
Purple or Copper Cyanurate is further made worse by the following water balance issues or problems (usually in combination):
1. High pH - over 7.8
2. High Total Alkalinity (TA) - over 150 ppm
3. High Cyanuric Acid (stabilizer, conditioner, also known as CYA) level over 100 ppm. For this reason alone it is NEVER a good idea to add CYA or stabilizer unless the water has been properly tested & analyzed. CYA should NEVER be added unless the level is BELOW 30 ppm. At spring opening it is always a good idea to allow the pool water to circulate for at least 48 hours continuously with the return jets or fittings pointing to the bottom of the pool to create better overall circulation.
Also keep in mind that when testing pool water, high CYA levels can & will produce an INACCURATE Total Alkalinity level. Proper testing, analysis & balancing is required to correctly adjust the TA and pH.
4. Copper present in the water - especially if over 0.5 ppm. Copper can come from a variety of sources: home piping, pool heater, certain algaecides & ionizing systems, etc.
When all of these factors come together, you will experience the staining that you see in the pictures. THIS IS NOT PINK SLIME!
Keep in mind that Pristine Blue treated pools (which utilize a copper based product) will almost never encounter this issue due to a lack of cyanuric acid in the pool water. Cyanuric acid is the trouble maker.
Prevention of "Purple or Copper Cyanurate" is preferred over treatment. Follow these steps to prevent Purple Cyanurate:
1. Maintain proper water balance: pH 7.4 - 7.6, TA 80 - 140 ppm, Calcium hardness 175 - 250 ppm.
2. Only add stabilizer in Chlorine treated pools AND only when the CYA level drops below 20 - 30 ppm. If you are using a slow-dissolving type of chlorine tab or stick, those products will naturally release CYA into the pool over the course of the summer.
3. Only use copper based algaecides when treating severe algae problems.
4. If copper or any other metals are present (even trace amounts), consider using a regular monthly application of a good metal stain preventer such as BioGuard Pool Magnet, Jack's Magic Blue Stuff or Naturally Free.
Treatment of "Purple or Copper Cyanurate"
1. Reduce the CYA level to under 30 ppm by partially draining & refilling the pool with fresh water. After a partial drain & refill, allow the water to filter & circulate for 48 hours before testing.
2. Reduce the amount of copper present in the water.
3. Properly adjust the pH & TA
4. Adding an initial dose of Jack's Magic Pink Stuff or Blue Stuff has provided excellent & quicker treatment of the purple staining than any other product we've used.
4. Be patient! The Purple will eventually (sometimes as long as 4 weeks) be re-absorbed into the water. There is NO quick fix.
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Phone: 203-377-0100, Monday - Saturday, 10 - 5 pm Eastern Time, Connecticut, USA.
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