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How Do I Remove Rust Stains?


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#1 HydroMan

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 07:56 AM

I have rust stains everywhere! I can easily wipe it off most surfaces, but how do I clean the jets and other parts? I was thinking of dumping in some iron out just before I drain the spa, but I donít know what this might do to my heater or plastic parts. Is there a way to safely remove the stains without removing and cleaning each jet individually????

This is how I got the stains; I have horrible well water with 7.5ppm iron and pH of 5.5. I have a calcite filter to capture the red iron and raise the pH followed by a water softener to lower the hardness and filter the dissolved iron. Normally I bypass the softener and fill the spa through the calcite filter. My last fill must have been loaded with dissolved iron because after adding Spa Frog and shocking with OZ (MPS) my water turned totally brown. I used Leisure Time metal gone while filling and still had this problem. I added a second bottle of metal gone along with defender and bright and clear (not all at the same time) and it cleared up in about a day. My water has remained clear since. I use defender every week but rust stains have formed all over the jets and other surfaces. From now on I will fill through the softener and add calcium later

Iím really only worried about how to get rid of the rust stains without hurting the heater or making any plastic parts become brittle. I did a search through previous posts and believe that I understand how to prevent iron from becoming an issue in the future. I will add the metal gone and then wait 48hrs before adjusting pH or adding any type of oxidizer. If I fill the spa with softened water, I will bring the hardness back up with calcium booster. I will also try drawing the water slower to prevent disturbing any iron that might be settled at the bottom of my well. Thank you for your thoughts.

#2 Brulan1

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 10:44 AM

QUOTE(HydroMan @ May 2 2006, 11:56 AM)  

I have rust stains everywhere! I can easily wipe it off most surfaces, but how do I clean the jets and other parts? I was thinking of dumping in some iron out just before I drain the spa, but I donít know what this might do to my heater or plastic parts. Is there a way to safely remove the stains without removing and cleaning each jet individually????

This is how I got the stains; I have horrible well water with 7.5ppm iron and pH of 5.5. I have a calcite filter to capture the red iron and raise the pH followed by a water softener to lower the hardness and filter the dissolved iron. Normally I bypass the softener and fill the spa through the calcite filter. My last fill must have been loaded with dissolved iron because after adding Spa Frog and shocking with OZ (MPS) my water turned totally brown. I used Leisure Time metal gone while filling and still had this problem. I added a second bottle of metal gone along with defender and bright and clear (not all at the same time) and it cleared up in about a day. My water has remained clear since. I use defender every week but rust stains have formed all over the jets and other surfaces. From now on I will fill through the softener and add calcium later

Iím really only worried about how to get rid of the rust stains without hurting the heater or making any plastic parts become brittle. I did a search through previous posts and believe that I understand how to prevent iron from becoming an issue in the future. I will add the metal gone and then wait 48hrs before adjusting pH or adding any type of oxidizer. If I fill the spa with softened water, I will bring the hardness back up with calcium booster. I will also try drawing the water slower to prevent disturbing any iron that might be settled at the bottom of my well. Thank you for your thoughts.


Try stain magnet. If that doesn't work the best thing to do is add a little ph- over the spot with the rust and some seachlor lithium and let it set in on the spot and take a gentle foam brush to rub off the spot.

#3 Dr. Spa

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 04:38 PM

Anything that's plastic, straight muriatic acid will instantly remove rust stains from.



DANGER ! ! !

READ THE LABEL AND FOLLOW ALL MANUFACTURERS DIRECTIONS CAREFULLY. WEAR RUBBER GLOVES AND A RESPIRATOR.

Did, I mention, muriatic acid and the fumes it may create can be dangerous?


What the heck do I know, I only started in this industry in 1981, and retired from it after 33 years.
(from service tech to co-owner of Roberts Hot Tubs, manufacturer of traditional wooden hot tubs & spa covers)

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If you can't sell it on ebay, it may not even qualify as landfill.

#4 Brulan1

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 12:54 PM

QUOTE(Dr. Spa @ May 24 2006, 08:38 PM)  

Anything that's plastic, straight muriatic acid will instantly remove rust stains from.



DANGER ! ! !

READ THE LABEL AND FOLLOW ALL MANUFACTURERS DIRECTIONS CAREFULLY. WEAR RUBBER GLOVES AND A RESPIRATOR.

Did, I mention, muriatic acid and the fumes it may create can be dangerous?

Do not add Muriatic acid and sodium hypochlorite!!!! You will make what you would call MUSTARD GAS which was used in WW2.

#5 Dr. Spa

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 02:11 PM

QUOTE(Brulan1 @ May 25 2006, 01:54 PM)  

Do not add Muriatic acid and sodium hypochlorite!!!! You will make what you would call MUSTARD GAS which was used in WW2.


WW2? The signatory nations agreed in the Geneva Gas Protocol of the Third Geveva Convention in 1925 to not use poison gas....When was WW2?


What the heck do I know, I only started in this industry in 1981, and retired from it after 33 years.
(from service tech to co-owner of Roberts Hot Tubs, manufacturer of traditional wooden hot tubs & spa covers)

`````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````

If you can't sell it on ebay, it may not even qualify as landfill.

#6 waterbear

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 02:28 PM

QUOTE(Brulan1 @ May 25 2006, 04:54 PM)  

Do not add Muriatic acid and sodium hypochlorite!!!! You will make what you would call MUSTARD GAS which was used in WW2.

Not quite true or everyone that is using a liquid chlorine or SWG chlorinated pool or spa and adds muriatic acid for pH control would be producing mustard gas. Your neally need to brush up on your chemisty. You do not want to mix CONCENTRATED chlorine and muriatic acid since it will produce toxic fumes.

I've tested more water than I ever care to think about!
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#7 HydroMan

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 03:34 AM

Thank you for the replies everyone. I found a solution to the problem before my post was replied to. Here is how I got rid of the rust stains. Before I drained the tub I dumped a small amount of iron out into it. It did not take long before all of the rust stains disappeared. It worked perfectly! At first I was worried about what it might do to the plastic and metal parts of the tub. I have been using iron out for years in my water softener, washing machine, and dishwasher with no ill effects. I also did some research on the iron out website before I felt comfortable using it in my spa. I would not recommend using it all of the time, but if the need arises it is an option you might consider.

#8 Brulan1

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 11:46 AM

QUOTE(HydroMan @ May 26 2006, 07:34 AM)  

Thank you for the replies everyone. I found a solution to the problem before my post was replied to. Here is how I got rid of the rust stains. Before I drained the tub I dumped a small amount of iron out into it. It did not take long before all of the rust stains disappeared. It worked perfectly! At first I was worried about what it might do to the plastic and metal parts of the tub. I have been using iron out for years in my water softener, washing machine, and dishwasher with no ill effects. I also did some research on the iron out website before I felt comfortable using it in my spa. I would not recommend using it all of the time, but if the need arises it is an option you might consider.

Yeah conquest works great over the stain or ph- and lithium for iron or mineral stains.

#9 waterbear

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 07:13 PM

QUOTE(Brulan1 @ Jun 26 2006, 03:46 PM)  

Yeah conquest works great over the stain or ph- and lithium for iron or mineral stains.

Are you referreing to lithium hypochlorite for iron and mineral stains....and by mineral stains do you mean metal stains?

I've tested more water than I ever care to think about!
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#10 Brulan1

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 11:27 AM

QUOTE(waterbear @ Jun 26 2006, 11:13 PM)  

Are you referreing to lithium hypochlorite for iron and mineral stains....and by mineral stains do you mean metal stains?

Lithium hypochlorite and PH- work wonders for stains (My secret to you). Vitamin C waffers or Rose hips work wonders for mineral stains on steps too. wink.gif

#11 waterbear

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 06:51 PM

QUOTE(Brulan1 @ Jun 29 2006, 03:27 PM)  

Lithium hypochlorite and PH- work wonders for stains (My secret to you). Vitamin C waffers or Rose hips work wonders for mineral stains on steps too. wink.gif

Sorry to burst your bubble but ANY oxidizer will make metal staining worse....this includes Lithium Hypo, cal hypo, sodium hypo....any form of chlorine, in fact.
Sodium bisulfate will work, as will muriatic acid since they will reduce the oxidation state of the iron and it becomes soluable in the water....A seqesterant needs to be added to keep it from staining again.

Ascorbic acid is no secret....It (or oxalic acid) is the ingredient in the majority of stain treatments on the market. They work by reducing the oxidation state of the iron oxide also. Ascorbic acid is the chemical name for vitamin C. Rose hips happen to be an excellent source of vitamin c. Once again a seqesterant needs to be added to prevent restaining.

If the stains are organic (say tannins from leaves) then chlorine will help to remove them but not metal stains such as rust!. BTW, mineral stains (including scaling from calcium) ARE metal stains!

I've tested more water than I ever care to think about!
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