How To Get Copper Out Of Pool Water?

By now, you must know that I have acquired tons of experience with the pool and pool pumps. Thanks to the frequent common problems with my pool to enhance my learning curve regarding DIY on swimming pools.

According to my wife, I need not worry about getting fired from office, as I already have a lucrative alternative. I did not give it much thought in the beginning. But later, I realized that she has a point. All my neighbors consult me if they have pool or pool pump related issues.

Remember how I fixed my brother’s pump filter?  Well, it seems that he was too eager to tell the story to his buddies. Even they started calling me up to discuss their problems. They refer to me as “friendly neighborhood pool man.” Even I am shocked to discover that I had it within me.

I think I need to charge them for my services from now on. What do you think? I will definitely not charge anything from you. Today, I will discuss the issue of copper in pool water and reducing it.

Having a pool is the easy part. Now that I have one, I realize why some of my buddies advised me to purchase a house without one. A home without a pool would have saved a few thousand bucks. But that was the secondary matter. Now I understand that you need to invest time, and elbow-grease to keep the pool and the pump in top shape.

It was a pleasant spring day when I was chatting with my wife when my son walked in. There was a strange greenish tint in his hair. Both my wife and I started to laugh. I thought his friends played a prank on him and poured color on his head. But he said that was not the case.

My wife told me that he went to the neighbor’s place for a pool party. Immediately I understood that it was no color, but something far serious. I called my neighbor and went to his place.

How does copper get into pool water?

As soon as I went near my neighbor’s pool, I was sure that the level of copper was way higher than normal. I also saw copper staining on the walls and the bottom surface of the pool. My neighbor did not have any idea about copper level in pool water. He thought whether it was dirt or something that was wrong with the filter. I was quick to point it that it was neither.

The pH level of pool water was high, and this caused copper saturation. Due to the presence of high copper content, the water was also dull and cloudy. As expected, the question was thrown at me “will you help me out of this mess bro?” I got yet another opportunity to display my pool fixing skills.

Step 1 – Test The Water For Copper And PH

Before starting the actual process, it was necessary to do some tests on the pool water. No need to raise your eyebrows! These are simple tests, and the kits are easily available in the market. I collected a small water sample it tested positive for copper concentration. An ideal pH must be between 7.2 and 7.3.

Step 2 – Correct The PH Balance Of The Water

The pH reading of my neighbor’s pool water was above 7.8. So, it was time to fix the pH level. With some online search and a quick consultation with the experts, I came to know that muriatic acid was the best solution for this. As the water alkalinity was so high, I used 1.5 ounces of the acid for 1,000 gallons water. In case the pH is between 7.6 and 7.8, 1.25 ounces per 100o gallons will be enough.

On the flip side, soda ash can also come in handy to decrease the acidity of the pool water. 0.75 ounces of soda ash in 1000 gallons will work if the pH is between 7.0 and 7.2. If lower than that, then using 1.25 ounces will be useful.

Step 3 – Checking The Pool Water Heater

Sometimes the copper leaching may be due to the water heater. But as I checked the heater, I was convinced that it was not the cause of the issue.

Step 4 – Backwashing The Water

Once the pH level was restored, I turned on the filter to backwash the water in the pool. After around 5 minutes, I turned it off and allowed it to rise for 40 to 60 seconds. I must confess that I did falter at some steps, but thanks to the ignorance of my neighbor; he was unable to realize it.

Step 5 – Adding Pool Magnet

As the name suggests, it has the power to attract all copper particles towards itself. I added the pool magnet as waited for the prescribed time. The best thing about the pool magnet is, you need not change it each week. An application will keep you sorted for a month or so. I added pool magnet as it allowed the copper to get trapped in the pool filter.

Step 6 – Adding The Filter Aid

After around an hour, I poured Kwik as per requirement. It is a common pump filter aid. Its addition will form a layer on the filter sand. It will, in turn, assist in trapping the copper particles effectively.

Step 7 – Removing The Copper From The Filter

The filter aid requires one full day to work its magic. So, I returned the next day and turned on the pump’s backwash function. Once it was done, it cleared the metal from the filter. Backwashing for 40 minutes was enough, and it required sensing the time of 40 seconds.

Step 8 – Testing Water Sample

After this, I used the home kit to test the copper level in water once again. My neighbor was surprised to see that the treatment method was successful in the first attempt. The copper level dropped below 1ppm, and the water was also crystal clear as it should have been.


When my neighbor talked about my successful attempt, many were not sure how I managed to lower the copper level in the very first attempt. I did not take any extra credit and said that it was only possible as the copper concentration was not too high, to begin with. So, there I was, basking in glory, at another successful pool repair project.


Bryan Mallory

My name is Bryan Mallory and I have over 25 years of experience in swimming pool, spa maintenance and repairs. With my experience and knowledge I can return your pool back to its best and keep it in peak condition.