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"Rusting Stainless Fitness Center"



2004

We are responsible for the cleaning of 105,000 Sq. Ft. fitness center & office complex. Part of what we clean is an aquatics area. Two separate pools [Therapy & Lap] There are stainless heater covers, stainless trim between the tile & pool ,a stainless ledge in the pool, stainless ladders in and out of the pool, and stainless chair lifts. We have trouble with rusting, and in the therapy pool where it is much warmer it seems to almost caramelize [like someone spilled a coke or something]. The therapy pool is much more constant than the lap pool, but both are problem areas. The stainless trim around the pool & tile is more of a shiny finish and the stainless that seems to rust the least is more of a matte finish. Any suggestions, comments, or questions would be greatly appreciated. thanks, rob

Rob Collins
Cleaning Contractor - Columbus, Ohio
^


2004

Different grades of stainless may be involved, as well as different surface finishes. It may be that the owner needs to have the stainless steel passivated, and it may be that rust is unavoidable for these grades of stainless in these exposures.

As the cleaning contractor, though, the single most important thing your crews need to know is to never touch stainless steel of any grade or finish with 0000 steel wool [affil. link to info/product at Rockler] or other plain steel; it will begin rusting like crazy no matter what you do after that short of having it repassivated.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
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2nd request 2004

I am a manager with a large cleaning and maintenance company. We are responsible for the cleaning of 105,000 Sq. Ft. fitness center & office complex. Part of what we clean is an aquatics area. Two separate pools [Therapy & Lap] There are stainless heater covers, stainless trim between the tile & pool, a stainless ledge in the pool, stainless ladders in and out of the pool, and stainless chair lifts. We have trouble with rusting, and in the therapy pool where it is much warmer it seems to almost caramelize [like someone spilled a coke or something]. The therapy pool is much more constant than the lap pool, but both are problem areas. The stainless trim around the pool & tile is more of a shiny finish, and the stainless that seems to rust the least is more of a mat finish. Is the rust coming from our cleaning procedure or even perhaps the chemicals were using to clean with? Would it help if I found out what type of stainless we are dealing with? Is this a common problem with enclosed heated aquatics areas? Any suggestions, comments, or questions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Rob Collins
Cleaning Contractor - Columbus, Ohio
^


2004

Is the rust coming from our cleaning procedure, or even perhaps the chemicals were using to clean with? Would it help if I found out what type of stainless we are dealing with? Is this a common problem with enclosed heated aquatics areas? We use a clean & scrub course grade pad dark green 6x9 made by bear-tx. The chemical we use to clean it is C.S.P.[i.e. Ceramic, Stainless, and Porcelain]. But, we never started this application until the rust started appearing. Would just chemical residue or spillage from a floor scrubber, or just plain mopping be a problem?

Thanks,

Rob Collins
Cleaning Contractor - Columbus, Ohio
^


First of two simultaneous responses 2004

Watch your pH and chlorine levels closer. You may have to empty the small pool more often than you would like to as things grow well at the higher temps. I would try some other biocides. Copper based ones are very effective, but a low pH-high chlorine-high copper-high temperature will promote rust and pits.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida
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Second of two simultaneous responses 2004

As Ted already mentioned, the cleaning process may have nothing to do with the rust-- the stainless steel grade(s) used for the various components may not have sufficient corrosion resistance in a heavily chlorinated pool environment. Someone should definitely inquire as to the stainless grade(s) used, as well as the manufacturing process (was passivation performed?), as this will have a significant effect on the corrosion resistance.

Toby Padfield
Automotive module supplier - Michigan
^


2004

The green pads you are using almost certainly have iron oxide in them. The only pads you can use are the white ones. Get some Collinite Metal Polish and get to work. If you can remove some of the SS, get it properly passivated by a reputable shop. The rest will have to be done with elbow grease and the metal polish.

Dan Weaver
- Toccoa, Georgia
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2004

This is a very common problem in chlorine environments of pool areas, especially with 304SS and lesser alloys. 316SS is much better. It is especially a problem in recent years with the "apparent" lower quality steels that are on the market. Cleaning and repassivation of the surfaces is relatively easy, but keeping it clean once pitting has begun is a difficult problem. We have been involved in a number of restorations of pool equipment.

lee kremer
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Lee Kremer
Stellar Solutions, Inc.
supporting advertiser
McHenry, Illinois

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