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Spa Metal Free


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Hi - newbie here.

We have a brand new hot tub, 290 gal LifeSmart tub. After hook up and initial fill using a hose end filter due to well- water was clear looking and all seemed good.

We added Spa Metal Free by Natural Chemistry, put filter in and turned jets and heat on. Within 5-10 mins the water was a light green and then turned mostly yellow with 15-20 mins.

We did a Spa Purge (foaming and a bit reddish brown flakes appeared), filter also orange/red color. We then drained tub and rinsed filter. Next day, we filled tub again using a hose end filter. Again, water was clear.  Added Spa Metal Free and began circulating and heating the tub. Again within 5 mins water in tub turned greenish to yellow.

My question is, could the Spa Free Metal be causing discoloration? The plumbing in new tub contaminated? Or is our water (3 ppm iron well water) clear and then turns yellow upon heating/aerating? 

Anyone have any ideas. My plan now is to shock to see if the yellow goes away. Ph is about 7.4 and Alk is 115-120 per pool store. On test strips, alk looks lower.

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In case anyone is reading and this may be helpful to your situation-

After about 10 hrs of the dichlor shock, water was still yellow. Right before going to sleep- we added a calcium booster, as we knew it was low. I hated to pour it in, figuring we were going to drain tub in morning due to yellow color.

This morning the water has no yellow! Other than a slightly high ph- things look good per strips. I’m off to the pool store for another test to confirm. I want to order the Taylor test kit- but I’m not sure if we are going to keep using Dichlor method or switch to Bromine.


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The color is from iron in the water. Filter staining is a dead giveaway. IF there is any staining left on the filter it is better to replace it since the iron can redissolve if and when pH drops. MetalFree is not the most effective sequestrant since it is based on EDTA. You want one that is based on Phosphonic Acid such as Jack's Magic or Proteam Metal Magic.

Shocking will not clear the water but can cause the iron to precipitate out and cause staining.

Calcium will not have any effect on the iron.

When asking for help with water chemistry you really need to post a full set of test results so we know what's going on instead of just trying to guess.

FWIW, you can test bromine with a Taylor K-2006 test kit by testing FC and multiplying the results by 2.25 to get total bromine. Are you currently using Dichlor/Bleach method?

I would suggest you read the pinned posts in the Hot Tub Water Chemistry section of the forum.

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