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Thread: Removing calcium, etc. from stair rail

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    Removing calcium, etc. from stair rail

    My inlaws gave us wedding cake steps and they had been using pool chemicals, etc. Anyway, the hand rail is aluminum and about 18" of it, the portion that was in the pool, has calcium buildup inside and out. Outside is no big deal, wire brush, sandpaper, then Rustoleum.

    The inside is a little tougher to get. the rail is about 1.5" opening, so I can get a small wire brush in there, but only so far. Is there a chemical way to remove these deposits?
    18' AG pool, 7,646 gallons, Sun from 11:30AM-2PM.
    Pentair Dynamo 1hp pump, Intermatic Timer (6/17)
    Pentair Sand dollar filter - 100lbs, 35gpm
    Pentair Lil' Shark cleaner, TF-100 Kit
    Raypak 206A 200K, BTU gas (6/17)

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Removing calcium, etc. from stair rail

    Are you sure it's Aluminum and not stainless? If it's aluminum you can't use acid on it. You can keep your CH in your pool low and over time it'll dissolve if it's truly calcium. You could also try a Magic Eraser. I was going to suggest CLR but it's not safe for Aluminum.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Removing calcium, etc. from stair rail

    Hmm...it's factory painted white. Doesn't seem to be as heavy as I would expect SS to be. It's not magenetic either.

    I have not yet installed the rail, so it's easy enough to work on. I would rather clean it before I insert into my crystal clear pool!
    18' AG pool, 7,646 gallons, Sun from 11:30AM-2PM.
    Pentair Dynamo 1hp pump, Intermatic Timer (6/17)
    Pentair Sand dollar filter - 100lbs, 35gpm
    Pentair Lil' Shark cleaner, TF-100 Kit
    Raypak 206A 200K, BTU gas (6/17)

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    Re: Removing calcium, etc. from stair rail

    stainless (austinetic, or 300 series) is not magnetic, so magnet doesn't tell you difference between SS and Al!
    Weight is a big indicator- if you now how thick the tubing is! (thin wall SS tubing can weigh less than normal thickness Al!)
    I wouldn't expect SS to be painted though- defeats purpose of having that shiny metal...
    24ft x 52in AGP 18000 gal
    sand filter, 200#,1.5 hp single speed pump
    Wood deck (still in progress...)

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    Re: Removing calcium, etc. from stair rail

    If the rail is aluminum, then the "calcium" might be aluminum oxide.

    You could use a rotating wire brush on a drill to remove the internal calcium (or aluminum oxide). You can get a drill bit extender to reach in deeper.

    You could probably seal the end with epoxy to prevent water from going into the rail and interacting with the inside of the rail.

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    Re: Removing calcium, etc. from stair rail

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW
    If the rail is aluminum, then the "calcium" might be aluminum oxide.

    You could use a rotating wire brush on a drill to remove the internal calcium (or aluminum oxide). You can get a drill bit extender to reach in deeper.

    You could probably seal the end with epoxy to prevent water from going into the rail and interacting with the inside of the rail.
    Your first idea I had thought of last night, as I already have the wire wheel. I could not find an extender in my plethera of tools Might have to pony up for one.
    Capping the rail...duh, that's a good idea as well and I'll do that, once I have everything else complete.

    The local pool store, actually pretty helpful guys, can order a new aluminum rail for about $65. We just need to ensure it will match. I have no problem spending that for a pool that's in its 3rd year of a 12 year tour of duty

    Thanks everyone!
    18' AG pool, 7,646 gallons, Sun from 11:30AM-2PM.
    Pentair Dynamo 1hp pump, Intermatic Timer (6/17)
    Pentair Sand dollar filter - 100lbs, 35gpm
    Pentair Lil' Shark cleaner, TF-100 Kit
    Raypak 206A 200K, BTU gas (6/17)

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