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Pool Acid Wash

Pool Acid Washing Service

Pool acid washing is a process for cleaning a swimming pool by draining it and washing the surfaces to remove oils, body fats, sunscreen residues, and other contaminants through a series of treatments with muriatic (hydrochloric) or sulfuric acids. After using the chemical treatment the water is thoroughly vacuumed from the floor and walls before refilling.

To avoid corrosion of your pool’s steel components such as ladders or handrails you should test your water first to determine if you need an acid wash. The “old” method was to use 20% muriatic acid at 100-150 PSI applied pressure via hose and brush. Most problems can be solved simply by skimming out leaves and debris and vacuuming the bottom at least weekly. If you have a problem with your pool’s walls and tile and if the stains persist, then it may be time to do an acid wash.

If there has been heavy use of chlorine or other oxidizing chemicals, especially on plaster pools, then some form of metal corrosion inhibitor should be used after draining and refilling (such as Metal Gon) to protect against corrosion of metallic components such as steel wall frames and fittings. This will also help minimize any pitting of the surface that otherwise might result from placing too great a concentration of muriatic acid on bare concrete. On vinyl-lined pools, only non-chlorine shock is required (eg: calcium hypochlorite).

Acid washing may NOT be necessary:

1. If the pool has a fiberglass or gunite (concrete) finish and it is not pocked, pitted or ruined by heavy calcium scaling;

2. If the pool’s finish is vinyl liner and there are no stains on walls;

3. If there are light stains which can be brushed off with a suitable brush;

4. If using the correct chemicals at routine times prevents such staining from happening in first place (see Cleaning Stains From Auto Body Shop Vehicles). The old school of thought was to drain your pool and apply muriatic acid to all surfaces until you see cleaned areas that represent about 1/8th of its surface area then vacuum out the acid and re-fill. This method can indeed work if you get the correct concentration (20%) and don’t get too impatient with the process, applying more acid than necessary to speed up the process or allowing it to dry on your pool surfaces.

Since muriatic acid is a hazardous material we suggest that you try other methods before resorting to this one:

1. Use of chelating agents such as Metal Gon which help remove iron and copper stains; use weekly.

2. Algae removal by light shock doses of chlorine in combination with brushing can often do an acceptable job at much lower cost.

3. If staining is due to exterior concrete then pressure washing may be just what’s needed – depending on the nature of the stains, their degree of clarity and repointing or plastering may also be necessary.

4. If your pool is heavily stained by body oils etc., then a “Scotch Brite” pad can be used with bleach for fast cleaning.

5. If you are considering acid washing because of scaling problems that require frequent replastering or major wall repairs then consider heading off that expensive scenario by using Muriatic Acid Drain Cleaner to remove the heavy scaling first and use twice as much non-chlorine shock than usual – it will save you money in the long run and produce just as good results as an acid wash if not better (and safer). There’s no reason to take chances with unknown products when using Muriatic Acid is even more effective and we’ve been in business longer than most pool stores.

6. Use a pool cover when the pool is not in use (but pay attention to safety ).

7. Add PhosFree monthly at start up then weekly thereafter (or add CYA).

8. Keep pool clean by vacuuming; keep pump, filter and heater running 24/7 if possible; check water balance weekly when you test for chlorine or bromine residuals – if your pH is too low (below 7) then use PH Up to raise it to proper level or adjust with muriatic acid rather than sodium bicarbonate because the latter will affect oxygen levels at night which fish require for healthy gills.

9. Add  2″ (5 cm) of Diatomaceous Earth to bottom of pool weekly with professional backwashing; an ounce or two per foot is all that’s required – this will keep your filter from clogging and save you money in the long run.

Does Your Pool Need An Acid Wash?

Swimming Pool Acid Washing strips away the damaged and dirty outer layer surface. Although rare and easy to avoid with proper maintenance, this service can be done up to once every year. Whether your pool’s exterior surface is plaster or pebble-tec, the chemicals Pool Allstars use are abrasive enough to remove dirt and expose a clean layer that makes your pool look brand new all over again.

Phone: 1-800-394-POOL (7665)
Mon-Fri: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
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