Jack’s Magic Stain ID Kit and Periodic Products No-Drain Metal Stain Eliminator Kit

Pool Stain Eliminator Kits

Here is a question we were asked by Glenn in Orlando:

In the past, I used “Jack’s” stain test kit. With that kit, I needed to use their “O2 Safe Shock” in addition to the copper stain remover, in order to get a reaction.
Will your stain remover kit work for copper without this added product?

Good question!  If you have a fresh stain, our No-Drain Metal Stain Eliminator Kit will work on removing the iron and copper stains and eliminating the metals from your pool water.  If you have had a stain for a long time, your stain may be calcified over and then you need to do a treatment like the Jack’s Magic “O2 Safe Shock” to remove the calcium layer and THEN do the stain treatment.

Don’t forget that when doing our stain treatment, you don’t have to do a stain test kit first because we have both types of stain treatments to remove iron stains and copper stains from your swimming pool surface.

The most important part of doing a stain treatment is to remember there are three parts:

  1. Treat and remove the metal stain
  2. Sequester the metals in the water
  3. Eliminate the metals with CuLator Metal Eliminator

pool stain treatment

CuLator Metal Eliminator — The Final Step In Pool Stain Treatment

No Drain Metal Stain Eliminator Kit

When treating a metal stain in a swimming pool or spa, there are three steps you must follow:

  1. REMOVE THE METAL STAINS FROM THE WALL:  This process is usually the easy step because when you pour the stain treatment (generally ascorbic acid and/or citric acid into the pool, the stains “magically” disappear.  What is happening is a chemical reaction where the acid is a reducing agent and allows the metals to go back into the pool water.  The trick is that you have to take your chlorine level  below 1 (or zero) or the acid will just go after the chlorine first before it goes after the metals on your surface. Ascorbic Acid Metal Stain Remover (Rust + Iron)

Acid Metal Stain Remover
  2. SEQUESTER THE METALS TO KEEP THEM IN SUSPENSION:  Pour a sequestering agent into the water.  Generally, these are liquids that come in quart sizes.  Just pour directly into the water around the edge of the pool.  Make sure that the sequestering agent you use does NOT have phosphonic acid.  Chlorine, sun, and time break phosphonic acid down into phosphates.  Phosphates are algae food!  Sequestering agents allow the metals to stay in suspension long enough for the next step to work.  Often, the phosphates from your sequestering agent is the reason you get algae during a stain treatment.  Food for thought!
  4. USE CuLATOR METAL ELIMINATOR TO REMOVE AND ELIMINATE METALS FROM THE WATER:  To finish the stain treatment, always use CuLator Metal Eliminator to remove and eliminate the stain-causing metals from the water.  I recommend using a CuLator Ultra 4.0 for every 20,000 gallons of water.  If you do not use CuLator, your stain will reappear quickly.  Sequestering agents are a temporary fix.  CuLator is the CURE!                                    CuLator Ultra PowerPak 4.0


To make life easier, we have packaged all these products together, with full instructions, into our NO-DRAIN METAL STAIN ELIMINATOR KIT:

Metal Stain Eliminator Kit

Is Salt Water Bad For Your Swimming Pool?

This is a wonderful article I came across.  Please note, this information comes from Swimming Pool Steve:


Contents of Steve’s article are below:

Is Salt Water Bad For Your Swimming Pool?
Is salt water bad for your swimming pool? In a word, yes. This is information that most pool guys will not tell you. There are many different reasons that they might not tell you in clear terms like this why salt is bad for your pool. The most common reason is simply that they just don’t know any better. Also, if selling a salt water system to a customer any mention of damage to the pool as a result of salt would likely spoil the sale. In these cases the risks associated with salt water in pools is conveniently neglected during this conversation.

Sadly, there is also a wholesale lack of knowledgeable pool technicians within the industry. Of all the problems that can exist within a pool system, the problem of salt water being bad for your pool is probably the single most complicated one. In order to understand this problem your pool guy would need to have an advanced understanding of electrical theory, building standards and water chemistry and the reality is that most pool guys simply do not have these qualifications. Galvanic corrosion is the name of the electromechanical process that deteriorates your pool as a result of adding salt to it. If you want to make an informed decision about adding salt water to your pool then you need to learn as much as you can about this subject.

How Does Salt Water Damage Pools?

Galvanic corrosion is an electromechanical process where current will travel between two (different) metals within a galvanic couple. In simple terms, a swimming pool is just like a giant battery. To make a primary battery you would submerge differential metals within an electrolytic solution. An electrolytic solution is essentially water with salt in it…just like your pool. Since your pool is an electrolytic solution (since it has salt in it) and you also have differential metals within the system (such as galvanized steel, stainless steel, aluminum, titanium, brass and copper) then your pool actually becomes a giant battery.

The amount of current generated between metal components in a swimming pool is very small. It is not enough to feel shocks from the water, nor enough to be a concern for electrocution. The electric current generated is tiny. You could only detect this current with sensitive electronic testing equipment, or by virtue of seeing the damage as a result of this problem. The nature of the pool battery is such that the current being generated might be small, but it runs 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. The cumulative effect of this is a dramatically reduced service life for integral metal components of the pool.

The reality is that all swimming pools have this problem with galvanic corrosion if they use chlorine sanitizer. Chlorine is salt based so by adding chlorine to your pool you are actually adding salt. A salt water pool however has approximately ten times the salt level of a traditional chlorine pool. This is specifically significant since there is a linear increase in galvanic activity between 0 PPM salt all the way up to ocean water levels of 25,000 PPM of salt. If a salt water pool has ten times as much salt as a traditional chlorine pool then this means that the rate of galvanic corrosion also increases ten times when you switch to salt water. Doesn’t this sound like the kind of thing that someone should have mentioned to you when you asked about adding salt water to your pool? I sure think so, but even today you don’t need to look very far to find a pool guy boasting all about how “salt water pools are maintenance free” or “salt water is better than chlorine”. Salt water is not better than chlorine. Salt water is chlorine. Any person who tells you salt water is better than chlorine simply has no idea what they are talking about and fundamentally does not understand how salt water in swimming pools works.

How To Prevent Damage From Salt Water In Pools
So now you understand a little more about how salt water can damage your swimming pool and you can begin to ask the correct questions. Salt water can damage swimming pools but there are a number of things you can do to help prevent this problem (or at least dramatically reduce the amount of damage). Every swimming pool has something called a bonding grid. A bonding grid is different from grounding however this is another area where most pool guys can not explain the difference since they do not fully understand the difference between bonding and grounding for a pool. The bonding grid connects every piece of metal in and around your swimming pool (and equipment) with a heavy gage, low resistance conductor (copper wire). To understand why this is done you need to understand some basic electrical theory:

Voltage (volts) is equal to the current (amps) multiplied by the resistance (ohms)

If you rearrange this equation to solve for current it becomes current is equal to voltage divided by the resistance. This equation is called Ohm’s Law and is the fundamental basis of the relationship between electrical variables. This equation is incredibly important in both the world of electricity as well as in swimming pools as they relate to galvanic corrosion.

When you add salt to the pool what you are doing is changing (reducing) the electrical resistance of the water. Water, at least in a theoretical pure form, does not conduct electricity. It is the impurities in the water that increases the conductivity of the water. As you add impurities such as salt, the ability for the water to conduct electricity increases since the resistance in the water is reduced. This in turn affects the current being generated. As the resistance of the water goes down, the current goes up. Since current and resistance are inversely proportional, when you lower the resistance of the water with salt you are directly increasing the current passing between differential metals within a galvanic couple.

So if you have a bonding grid in your pool (you better!) then all metal components in and around the pool are connected with a low resistance wire. If every piece of metal is connected directly then it is not theoretically possible for a voltage to exist. To understand why this is, you need to understand that another way of saying “voltage” is to say “potential energy difference”. If there is a potential difference between any two points then it can be said that there is a voltage differential. By connecting all metal points within the pool system with a low resistance wire you are forcing them to have the same potential difference. Going back to the Ohm’s law equation and solving for voltage, voltage is equal to the current multiplied by the resistance. If the resistance is equal to zero, then at least theoretically the voltage will be equal to the current multiplied by zero…which is zero. In the real world it is not quite that simple, but you can see where this is going with the bonding grid.
How Bonding Reduces Galvanic Corrosion
So the bonding grid connects all metal components in the pool and prevents current from transferring, problem solved, right? Not so fast. In theory the bonding grid prevents voltage differential which means no current can flow. In theory. In practice, the bonding grid does not have zero resistance…it just has a very low resistance. The difference between zero resistance, and low resistance, is very important. With a low resistance the current is not zero, it is just lower than it would be without a bonding grid. Low levels of current, applied constantly 24/7 still has a cumulative negative effect on the metal components in your pool. To combat this there is another electrical theory that we can utilize.

Metals within a galvanic couple will act in a predictable way. The weaker metal (less noble) of the two will become an anode, and the stronger (more noble) metal will become a cathode. Since galvanic corrosion only occurs on the metal that is the anode in the galvanic couple, you can manually add a metal that is even less noble and this will become the new anode. The cathode metal in a galvanic couple experiences an enhanced protection from corrosion called cathodic protection. A sacrificial anode is a metal that is less noble than any metals currently in the galvanic couple. Most commonly sacrificial anodes are made from zinc or magnesium since these two metals are extremely low on the noble scale of metals. When you add a zinc anode to a pool system the zinc becomes the new anode and is the metal that will receive the brunt of the damage from galvanic corrosion, where the more noble metals of your pool system experience cathodic protection against corrosion.

Is it just that simple – add a sacrificial anode to your pool and no more galvanic corrosion, right? Not exactly. Again when we get deeper into the practical application of this theory we discover that it is not a perfect system. While a sacrificial anode dramatically reduces pool equipment damage from galvanic corrosion, it does not 100% stop the process. There is no silver bullet that will absolutely stop galvanic corrosion since localized anodization can still happen.

One of the factors that impacts the strength of galvanic corrosion is the proximity of the differential metals. The closer the metals are to each other, the stronger the current transfer. If you have a brass screw installed into an aluminum or stainless steel light niche, which is tied into galvanized steel walls (or steel rebar in the base of a concrete pool) then having a sacrificial anode installed 50 feet away in the pump room will not stop galvanic corrosion from happening between these metals in close contact with each other. In this case using bolt on anodes may help. There are sacrificial zinc anodes that you can install directly on lights, as well as ladder anodes and handrail anodes. You can also buy zinc anodes that are designed to sit inside skimmer strainer baskets or pump strainer baskets.
What Are The Benefits Of Salt Water?

So now you have a much better understanding of the down sides of salt water chlorine in a swimming pool so you can make an informed decision as to whether you want it for your pool. As I have detailed above, adding salt to your pool carries inherent risks and even taking additional steps for protection such as adding sacrificial anodes does not guarantee you will avoid problems with galvanic corrosion. So why does anyone want salt water? Well, a lot of people don’t. Many pool builders have stopped installing salt water systems due to the problems associated with damage to the pool, but pool owners are still very interested in this technology.

When I see someone say that salt water pools are maintenance free this makes me want to remove my skin with a potato peeler. The only difference between a salt pool and a traditional chlorine pool is that in a salt pool you are automating the chlorine manufacture process. A salt water pool still requires every last bit of maintenance, care and upkeep that a traditional chlorine pool needs. The only difference is that you no longer need to buy and transport chlorine products (for the most part). Further to this, some salt water pools require more maintenance than traditional chlorine pools since the specific type of chlorine made from salt water electrolysis has an extremely high pH (above 12) which will constantly cause the pH in your pool to drift high.

High pH in a chlorine pool is very significant. Chlorine technically works optimally at a pH range of near to 5 (similar to strong black coffee). At pH of 7.2 the chlorine is still active enough to be useful for swimming pools. At a pH of 8.2 or higher, which is extremely common in salt water chlorine pools, the chlorine is over 90% inactive in the water. You can still measure the free chlorine value, it simply can not do its normal job of killing bacteria in the water. Salt water pools require constant chemical correction to the pH to keep them within the normal operating range for swimming pools.

The real benefits of salt water is the convenience of adding salt once per year and generating chlorine from this. No more need for weekly trips to the pool store to get chlorine. The water also feels softer on the skin and eyes and you are slightly more buoyant in salt water. Chlorine from salt water is also generated in a slow and even method which results in a baseline level of chlorine in the pool at all times. Traditional chlorine treatments are a constant cycle of peaks of chlorine followed by a slow decay into a chlorine deficit. A salt water system generating a constant and steady supply of chlorine is preferable as opposed to the peaks and valleys of chlorine levels normally associated with shock treatments. Even this however can be replicated by an erosion feeder for chlorine so this benefit is not totally unique to salt water.

Quite honestly, the biggest benefit of salt water pools is the perceived benefit by the user. Which is fine, as long as you are not experiencing this perceived benefit at the detriment of the longevity of your pool. Now that you understand the truth about salt water, and the risks of adding salt water to your pool, you have the information you need to decide whether salt water is right for you or not. If you still want to add salt water to your pool then you should read my salt water chlorinator reviews which compares every brand name salt water system on the market side by side. You will learn which are the best systems to buy, and more importantly which ones that you should avoid.
Salt Water Conversion
So what you really want to know is, can you convert your pool over to salt water? You want the benefits but you are worried about the risks of damaging the pool somehow. This is good. This tells me that you might be OK to convert to salt water chlorine. The fact that you have read this page and now understand the concerns associated with damage from salt water conversion is a good sign that you are making an informed decision, not listening to a sales pitch from a pool store about how salt water is better than chlorine. In my professional opinion salt water is not great for pools, but it is not a hard no either. There are some benefits to some people that are worth the risk. I think if you have a pool that is properly bonded, including all of the equipment, and you have installed an inline anode in the pump room, and you monitor your pool for any signs of localized anodization, then it is OK to convert to salt water. If you go this route then just remember:

The higher the salt level that the system runs at, the greater the concern for damage from galvanic corrosion. Choose a salt chlorine generator that operates at the minimum value, about 3000 PPM. If you live in an area where you can buy a low salt unit that operates at 1500 PPM that is a great option. Avoid the systems that operate at 4000 – 6000 PPM. For a complete list of brand name salt water chlorine generators that I prefer to use, including the PPM salt requirements for each, read my article on salt water chlorinator reviews. If you would like to read a complete comparison review of every salt water system on the market including models from Hayward, Pentair, Jandy, Zodiac, CompuPool, AutoPilot, Intex, CircuPool and Solaxx then read this ultimate guide to salt water systems.


Can I place CuLator in an empty chlorine floater?


Is it possible to use a CuLator packet in an empty, floating chlorinater? (It would have all traces of chlorine removed, of course.)

Our skimmer has a nonstandard design which doesn’t lend itself to having a packet thrown in, and a CuLator cage would make the skimmer too crowded.

The pump basket is an option, but for other reasons we’d prefer not to use it there.

So I was thinking of using an empty chlorinator which would float around the pool and has openings in the bottom. That’s gives the CuLator packet less exposure than having water on all sides, but it seems like it could work. The main downside, as I see it, would be that results would take longer. I could live with that, but I’d like to know if the CuLator packets are made to withstand longer times in the water than the recommended one month or whatever.

Basically, I’d like to know if it would be worth it to purchase a CuLator packet and use it in a chlorinater/floater Instead of in a skimmer or pump basket.




CuLator will be fine in the chlorinator.  Also, if you have a leaf catcher on your pool cleaner, you can place it in there.  So, your answer is yes.  No problem.  The CuLator is very powerful, but it does need flow.


Yes, the CuLator can work for months, but we must say replace after a month because some people place the bag on chlorine tabs and that dissolves the bag more quickly.  If the CuLator bag looks like it is weak or tearing, just replace with a new one.

If you have a low metal level, you can leave the CuLator in longer than a month.  The bag may puff up, but will shrink down as more metals are bound.  Hold it up to the light to see if there is a color change INSIDE the bag (see below).

Used CuLator Copper 1.0  Used CuLator


To Salt or Not to Salt…your pool water…

Here is an interesting discussion about salt water pools:


Everyone loves salt water pools, but they are not “Chemical Free” as claimed. Salt in water is corrosive (just like the ocean water) and makes keeping your pool’s pH low a bit of a challenge. Many pool owners are not willing to test the pH several times a week to keep it under 7.8.
Salt adds TDS to the pool water as well as iron.

If you do decide to go with a salt system, place a CuLator Metal Eliminator Ultra 4.0 in the pump basket every 4-6 months to bind the iron from the salt out of the water. That way, you will prevent metal stains even if the pH climbs up by using salt.

Does CuLator Work With POOLRX?

We have many questions about PoolRx products.  While PoolRx adds metals to the water to cleanse, CuLator Eliminates metals from the water.  So, how do they work together?  PoolRx recommends using CuLator BEFORE starting to use PoolRx in your pool:

poolrx and CuLator

We also recommend using CuLator Metal Eliminator to remove excess metals from pool water after every PoolRx treatment.  If you find your metal levels too high using PoolRx, or any mineral products, just use CuLator at the same time until you get to your desired metal level.

Before CuLator and After CuLator

Fiberglass pool treated with NO-DRAIN Metal Stain Eliminator Kit and CuLator Metal Eliminator


Here are images from a customer who used a No Drain Metal Stain Eliminator Kit on an in-ground fiberglass pool.  The pool was completely stained, but the stains were lifted, sequestered, and eliminated with a CuLator Ultra 4.0


What is interesting about this pool is that we noticed that there is no metal touching the water.  So, we asked the pool owner if the water was bonded (which equalizes the electrical potential) and he found out that his water was NOT bonded.  Once he bonded the water, his metals were not immediately plating out onto the surface.

You not only have ground your pool equipment, you must also bond the water.  Yes, these are two different musts.  Many new fiberglass pools are not bonded.  Please check your pool!

Here is a great site about Pool Water Bonding.

Can I reuse CuLator after it dries?

This question came from a CuLator Metal Eliminator customer:

“I purchased an Ultra PowerPak 4.0 CuLator and currently have it in my pump basket. I was wondering if I am able to take it out, let it dry, and use it again later? I wanted to do a phosphate treatment before I close for the winter and I read not to use the CuLator with phosphate removers. Thanks, C. Christoff “