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Thread: I'm in over my head - acid wash gone wrong?

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    I'm in over my head - acid wash gone wrong?

    I posted this thread 2 weeks ago under the construction forum and after spending all day yesterday trying to clean my stairs with muriatic acid, I think i'm completely in over my head and posting a new thread in a different forum to get more advice
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...something-else
    Long story short, I over drained my pool and thought that it would be a good time for an acid wash. I called a few places, got some quotes, while also playing around with it myself. I got it into my head that I could do the acid wash myself. Yesterday, I spent 5 hours just working on the stairs trying to get all the stubborn stains off. I increased the concentration of muriatic acid b/c the stains were awful. I drained the pool 5 more inches to see the shallow end and the staining is awful. It's even worse than the stairs, while the stairs were orange/brownish, the floor has dark/gray stains. I tried to get rid of them with concentrated treatments of MA, but it barely makes a difference. I ended the day feeling defeated. I think I've removed too much plaster and everything looks blotchy. As a last ditch effort, I added 4 vitamin c tablets to the shallow end to see what difference it would make (you can see the staining has gone a way a bit, i think) and while I think nothing will remove the graying other than a replaster, I'm thinking maybe I can still do a AA wash..
    My question now is.. have I done too much damage? Should I call in the professionals? Should I just do a AA soak/wash and call it a day. Should I skip that all, close the pool and get a replaster in the spring?
    I'm regretting everything at this point. How can I save this situation?
    Thanks so much - the anxiety I feel is overwhelming. I woke up with my heart racing b/c I think I've made a huge mistake with my approach.
    Thanks
    IMG_0436.JPGIMG_0437.JPGIMG_0438.JPGIMG_0439.JPG
    25,000 gallon gunite pool with waterfall (built 2000 - owner as of 2009), Aerotemp / Aquacal heat pump AT12000-A, Hayward DE4800 Filter, AOS UST1202 Motor, Hydro-King T104P201 Timer, Meyco pool cover, Pentair Model 320 Auto Chlorine Feeder. Located in Massachusetts.

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    Re: I'm in over my head - acid wash gone wrong?

    Also, If i should go with the AA treatment on this here, I assume I need to fill the pool above the returns, right? - Ascorbic Treatment to rid Pool of metal stains
    Part of me just wants to close the pool and deal with it next spring. I'm just so overwhelmed right now.
    25,000 gallon gunite pool with waterfall (built 2000 - owner as of 2009), Aerotemp / Aquacal heat pump AT12000-A, Hayward DE4800 Filter, AOS UST1202 Motor, Hydro-King T104P201 Timer, Meyco pool cover, Pentair Model 320 Auto Chlorine Feeder. Located in Massachusetts.

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    Re: I'm in over my head - acid wash gone wrong?

    Maybe someone with more knowledge will chime in, but these stains do not look like metal stains. It appears to be algae. MA may not remove them.

    We had a similar problem with stains from organic matter, leaves etc. although not as severe as yours is. MA did not budge them, so I neutralized it with sodium carbonate (washing soda), rinsed it off with water from the hose, and applied 8.25% bleach from a plastic watering can. Left it on for a few minutes, brushed it and rinsed away with water and the stains were gone. Not sure if this will work for your situation, but it maybe worth a try with a small test area first. Good luck.
    Texaspops
    In ground, inherited, 30 yr old, concrete with plaster. 14,100 gals, triangular, 3.5 ft uniform depth. Pool Valet bottom cleaning system. Autochlorinator using 3" tablets (now stopped using!). Spa with overflow into main pool (1500 gals). Jacuzzi Magnum pump.
    Lots of southern live oak trees!

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    Re: I'm in over my head - acid wash gone wrong?

    Thanks for responding. I'll try some straight bleach today. I wouldn't be surprised if it was organic matter, in the past 5 years, we open the pool and there is a ridiculous amount of leaves in the pool due to a gap between the pool cover and the rock wall. Last year, i finally realized I should put a tarp over the rock wall and pool cover to prevent the leaves from getting in and we opened the pool being able to see the bottom, which was the first time ever.
    Thanks again. I'll respond with my results.
    Patty
    25,000 gallon gunite pool with waterfall (built 2000 - owner as of 2009), Aerotemp / Aquacal heat pump AT12000-A, Hayward DE4800 Filter, AOS UST1202 Motor, Hydro-King T104P201 Timer, Meyco pool cover, Pentair Model 320 Auto Chlorine Feeder. Located in Massachusetts.

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    Re: I'm in over my head - acid wash gone wrong?

    Be sure to neutralize the MA first. Don't mix bleach with MA, ever!
    Texaspops
    In ground, inherited, 30 yr old, concrete with plaster. 14,100 gals, triangular, 3.5 ft uniform depth. Pool Valet bottom cleaning system. Autochlorinator using 3" tablets (now stopped using!). Spa with overflow into main pool (1500 gals). Jacuzzi Magnum pump.
    Lots of southern live oak trees!

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: I'm in over my head - acid wash gone wrong?

    Hi Pat. Sorry you're having trouble. Are you on well water?
    I ask because leaves won't leave a waterline stain like the one visible in your pool...so maybe there's iron too.

    My pools vinyl so I am nervous whenever I see an empty pool which makes me feel like saying fill it up, yes, past the returns, to normal skimmer mode, and do AA treatment before closing to see where you're at. THEN decide whether you need plaster or not. But first make sure you don't have algae after you refill, and make sure your water is balanced...what is your normal sanitation routine?

    Alternately, you could refill, sanitize, prep for closing, and try AA in spring.

    Just not sure leaving it as is would be in your best interest, but is that how low you NORMALLY leave it for winter?
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: I'm in over my head - acid wash gone wrong?

    Hm, I didn't neutralize the MA first, it's been rinsed and dry for about 18 hours. I did try the bleach and unfortunately, it didn't make a different on the gray stains.
    wondering if i should shock my pool so that I can remind myself what color it usually is when it's overrun by algae. This algae has accumulated for about 15 days.
    Can I shock the pool when it's this low? Can I recirculate with the main drain on and have it return through the returns? or would I just scrub and circulate by hand?
    Part of me has given in the towel and part of me wants to fix my mistakes. I'm really not sure what to do so now..
    Btw, here's a picture of the pool a few years ago - you can see the staining more clearly.. it's flows to the main drain. the darkness that is horizontal under the vacuum hose is not a stain.. it's a shadow from the trees. the staining i'm referring to is flowing from the shallow end to the deep end.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/attac...1&d=1308453633
    25,000 gallon gunite pool with waterfall (built 2000 - owner as of 2009), Aerotemp / Aquacal heat pump AT12000-A, Hayward DE4800 Filter, AOS UST1202 Motor, Hydro-King T104P201 Timer, Meyco pool cover, Pentair Model 320 Auto Chlorine Feeder. Located in Massachusetts.

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    Re: I'm in over my head - acid wash gone wrong?

    Hi Swampwoman, thanks for responding.. We are not on well water. I never thought our water had a lot of iron, but i have noticed some water level deposits in one of the toilets, but I thought that was because my boys are notorious for not flushing. To the point where I have to scrap at it with steel wool or a chisel.

    When we close the pool, it is usually just below the returns on the deep end before a closing. If I were to close it now, I would have to raise the water to that level. It's not suppose to rain until Saturday, which is why i decided to try out the acid wash myself this weekend and drained it even further.

    We use pool bleach and have the TFT100 kit. I pretty much just add bleach and manage pH/TA with acid or washing/baking soda during the summer. I've had to add CaCl b/c I had low CA levels. I also used pucks when my CYA was low, but it was high this season, so I went back to liquid bleach exclusively. These stains were all here when we moved in (i linked a picture above).

    Quote Originally Posted by Swampwoman View Post
    Hi Pat. Sorry you're having trouble. Are you on well water?
    I ask because leaves won't leave a waterline stain like the one visible in your pool...so maybe there's iron too.

    My pools vinyl so I am nervous whenever I see an empty pool which makes me feel like saying fill it up, yes, past the returns, to normal skimmer mode, and do AA treatment before closing to see where you're at. THEN decide whether you need plaster or not. But first make sure you don't have algae after you refill, and make sure your water is balanced...what is your normal sanitation routine?

    Alternately, you could refill, sanitize, prep for closing, and try AA in spring.

    Just not sure leaving it as is would be in your best interest, but is that how low you NORMALLY leave it for winter?
    25,000 gallon gunite pool with waterfall (built 2000 - owner as of 2009), Aerotemp / Aquacal heat pump AT12000-A, Hayward DE4800 Filter, AOS UST1202 Motor, Hydro-King T104P201 Timer, Meyco pool cover, Pentair Model 320 Auto Chlorine Feeder. Located in Massachusetts.

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    Re: I'm in over my head - acid wash gone wrong?

    Hey Patty,

    Sorry to hear about your troubles. Given that your in Massachusetts (I lived in MA for 3 years way back in my college days), winter is going to come screaming upon you soon. I don't think you realistically have the time to refill your pool, get it TFP clean (you're likely going to have to SLAM) and then fiddle around with an AA treatment.

    So here's my advice - fill it up to your normal closing level and follow the closing procedure here on TFP. You could try to bring it up to SLAM level for a while but you'll be stuck manually mixing the pool water with a brush and that will be A LOT of heavy labor. I think you should close it and we'll be here in the spring when you're ready to open it to help you get your beautiful pool back! From the looks and description of it, I think you have multiple types of stains - organic, calcium scale and metals. All of those require different treatments and some may never fully resolve. When you open in the spring, do it earlier than you normally would, before the water temps get above 60F. That way we can help you get the water cleared up fast.

    If your plaster is old enough and your wallet is full enough, then you might call around and start pricing out replaster jobs. But I'd hate to throw in the towel now. I don't think you did any major damage to your plaster with the acid wash, so let's see where you are at in the Spring.

    Oh, and be sure to exercise grace and give yourself forgiveness! You wanted to do the right thing and fix your pool. You tried hard. You should be proud of the fact that you made that kind if effort because many, many people would not. We'll be here in the spring to help so no worries and enjoy your fall & winter
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: I'm in over my head - acid wash gone wrong?

    deleted and set as quote
    25,000 gallon gunite pool with waterfall (built 2000 - owner as of 2009), Aerotemp / Aquacal heat pump AT12000-A, Hayward DE4800 Filter, AOS UST1202 Motor, Hydro-King T104P201 Timer, Meyco pool cover, Pentair Model 320 Auto Chlorine Feeder. Located in Massachusetts.

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    Re: I'm in over my head - acid wash gone wrong?

    Hi Matt, thanks for the advice, especially that last paragraph. I've been feeling so sad about the outcome and very regretful about yesterday. It's funny.. I did this all in the name of trying to take advantage of all the water I drained. Oh, if I could turn back the clock.
    I think I'm going to shock the pool. I'd like to shock the remaining water without adding more in though - Is that OK? I just remembered, my other option is to recirculate with just the Main Drain and In Floor cleaners on. Is that an OK option - SLAM the water I have left and minimize how much bleach I use? Then I'll fill and shock to closing level? Maybe it doesn't matter?
    btw, as I was back in the pool investigating this morning (because apparently, I like to torture myself ) I discovered some chips in the plaster in the shallow end in an area I hadn't touched yet.
    regarding the plaster age - The pool is 15 years old and has never been plastered or acid washed (prior to my debacle) from what I can tell. I think it's old enough to be replastered, but I was trying to get a few more years before spending the estimated 7.5K for the replaster.
    Thanks again - truly. My heart was racing this morning and your post really allowed me to finally take a breath and try to move on.
    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    Hey Patty,

    Sorry to hear about your troubles. Given that your in Massachusetts (I lived in MA for 3 years way back in my college days), winter is going to come screaming upon you soon. I don't think you realistically have the time to refill your pool, get it TFP clean (you're likely going to have to SLAM) and then fiddle around with an AA treatment.

    So here's my advice - fill it up to your normal closing level and follow the closing procedure here on TFP. You could try to bring it up to SLAM level for a while but you'll be stuck manually mixing the pool water with a brush and that will be A LOT of heavy labor. I think you should close it and we'll be here in the spring when you're ready to open it to help you get your beautiful pool back! From the looks and description of it, I think you have multiple types of stains - organic, calcium scale and metals. All of those require different treatments and some may never fully resolve. When you open in the spring, do it earlier than you normally would, before the water temps get above 60F. That way we can help you get the water cleared up fast.

    If your plaster is old enough and your wallet is full enough, then you might call around and start pricing out replaster jobs. But I'd hate to throw in the towel now. I don't think you did any major damage to your plaster with the acid wash, so let's see where you are at in the Spring.

    Oh, and be sure to exercise grace and give yourself forgiveness! You wanted to do the right thing and fix your pool. You tried hard. You should be proud of the fact that you made that kind if effort because many, many people would not. We'll be here in the spring to help so no worries and enjoy your fall & winter
    25,000 gallon gunite pool with waterfall (built 2000 - owner as of 2009), Aerotemp / Aquacal heat pump AT12000-A, Hayward DE4800 Filter, AOS UST1202 Motor, Hydro-King T104P201 Timer, Meyco pool cover, Pentair Model 320 Auto Chlorine Feeder. Located in Massachusetts.

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    Re: I'm in over my head - acid wash gone wrong?

    i'm anxious to get the pool cleared up and ready for closing tomorrow. I only have a few gallons of 12.5% bleach on hand, hoping that's enough to clear up the water before adding more. If I start with less water, I'll be able to get started in the AM and then run out to the store to get more bleach. Hoping I can use the circulation option with water going from main drain to inground cleaners to clear the water (since my water level is so low). thoughts?
    25,000 gallon gunite pool with waterfall (built 2000 - owner as of 2009), Aerotemp / Aquacal heat pump AT12000-A, Hayward DE4800 Filter, AOS UST1202 Motor, Hydro-King T104P201 Timer, Meyco pool cover, Pentair Model 320 Auto Chlorine Feeder. Located in Massachusetts.

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    Re: I'm in over my head - acid wash gone wrong?

    Have you checked and re-balanced your pH and TA after adding all that acid to the pool?

    Dom
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    Re: I'm in over my head - acid wash gone wrong?

    No, I Haven't.. pool closing is tomorrow. I will try to check it in the morning and add baking soda to bring it up to 7.6. Thanks for reminding me check levels.
    FYI We added approx. 10K gallons of water to the pool today to bring it up to closing level.
    25,000 gallon gunite pool with waterfall (built 2000 - owner as of 2009), Aerotemp / Aquacal heat pump AT12000-A, Hayward DE4800 Filter, AOS UST1202 Motor, Hydro-King T104P201 Timer, Meyco pool cover, Pentair Model 320 Auto Chlorine Feeder. Located in Massachusetts.

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