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Thread: can I get rid of calcium scale without have to acid wash??

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    restoman's Avatar
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    can I get rid of calcium scale without have to acid wash??

    I did a search but couldn't find a definitive answer to my question. I have a lot of calcium scale in my pool (along with some algae), and I'm in the middle of draining it because I put too much salt in there. It was a bonehead mistake on my part. I didn't notice the SWG needed cleaning and thought I needed more salt because it said 2200 for the level.

    But anyway, my pool has always had a lot of scale in it. Even from day one. Of course, over time it's gotten a lot worse, so I need to know do I have to do an acid wash to get rid of it, or is there some other way to get rid of it without having to go through the hassle?

    I read a few threads that stated the scale will go away by itself if you keep the ph at the right level, but other threads said it won't, so I'm a bit confused.

    Any help will be appreciated.

    Thanks
    Ed
    1) Pool built 2005, approx 17k gallons (Click HERE for a picture of this money pit!)
    2) Equipment: Pentair Intelli-Touch System i5, Pentair MiniMax NTLN Model 400DV Heater, Pentair CCP520 4 Cartridge filter, Aqua Rite 6D22 Chlorine Generator, Turbo-Cell T-Cell-15
    3) Pumps: Pool - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-8 (2 HP), Spa - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-6 (1.5 HP), Water Fall - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-3 (.75 HP), Vacuum: Hayward Navigator 925C

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    Re: can I get rid of calcium scale without have to acid wash

    You can do it over a long period of time...Richard320 has had success.

    It will require you having the ability to test your own water accurately and then doing so. Keeping your CH, pH and TA in constant check is what's required.

    Without the ability to test accurately (please stay out of the pool store) you will not be able to do it.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: can I get rid of calcium scale without have to acid wash

    A full drain and manual acid wash is a much better solution, even though it is more expensive. A no drain acid wash requires that you either don't have a heater, or can bypass the heater, can take weeks or more likely months, requires quite a bit of water replacement, and is almost guaranteed to damage some of the plaster that doesn't have scale on it.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    restoman's Avatar
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    Re: can I get rid of calcium scale without have to acid wash

    Darn. Ok, thanks guys. I was hoping to get away from having to use muratic acid. I'm scared to death of that stuff. Is there anything else I can use that's a little safer? Like maybe white vinegar??? I got burned really bad a few years ago and now have a phobia on this stuff!

    Ed
    1) Pool built 2005, approx 17k gallons (Click HERE for a picture of this money pit!)
    2) Equipment: Pentair Intelli-Touch System i5, Pentair MiniMax NTLN Model 400DV Heater, Pentair CCP520 4 Cartridge filter, Aqua Rite 6D22 Chlorine Generator, Turbo-Cell T-Cell-15
    3) Pumps: Pool - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-8 (2 HP), Spa - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-6 (1.5 HP), Water Fall - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-3 (.75 HP), Vacuum: Hayward Navigator 925C

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: can I get rid of calcium scale without have to acid wash

    Practically speaking, MA is the only way to go. Vinegar is far too weak to get the job done.

    Have you looked into having someone do this for you?
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    restoman's Avatar
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    Re: can I get rid of calcium scale without have to acid wash

    Yes, but I can't afford the price. Typically it's around $600 for the wash.

    Maybe I'm being too cautious. Take a look at the picture link below and let me know if I really need to wash it or just leave it alone. The pool is actually a dark gray, but over time it's become a light gray (calcium scale I'm assuming...)

    Too much scale?

    (Click on the pictures a couple of times and it'll go high resolution.)

    And if you need some close up specific shots, let me know.

    Thanks again guys

    Ed
    1) Pool built 2005, approx 17k gallons (Click HERE for a picture of this money pit!)
    2) Equipment: Pentair Intelli-Touch System i5, Pentair MiniMax NTLN Model 400DV Heater, Pentair CCP520 4 Cartridge filter, Aqua Rite 6D22 Chlorine Generator, Turbo-Cell T-Cell-15
    3) Pumps: Pool - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-8 (2 HP), Spa - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-6 (1.5 HP), Water Fall - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-3 (.75 HP), Vacuum: Hayward Navigator 925C

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: can I get rid of calcium scale without have to acid wash

    As long as it's not really rough (scratchy) to the touch, I wouldn't worry about it at all.

    Can you post some test results?
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
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    restoman's Avatar
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    Re: can I get rid of calcium scale without have to acid wash

    I don't have one of the kits recommended (heck, I can't even afford that right now), but the report from the pool store shows the following:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    1) Pool built 2005, approx 17k gallons (Click HERE for a picture of this money pit!)
    2) Equipment: Pentair Intelli-Touch System i5, Pentair MiniMax NTLN Model 400DV Heater, Pentair CCP520 4 Cartridge filter, Aqua Rite 6D22 Chlorine Generator, Turbo-Cell T-Cell-15
    3) Pumps: Pool - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-8 (2 HP), Spa - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-6 (1.5 HP), Water Fall - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-3 (.75 HP), Vacuum: Hayward Navigator 925C

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    Re: can I get rid of calcium scale without have to acid wash

    That pH is WAY too high and a major driver for the scaling.

    Clearly you also need to get the FC in there ASAP.

    EDIT: Start using the poolcalculator and pay attention to the CSI at the bottom, with your numbers I get 1.0 ... anything over 0.6 leads to scaling. You should be trying to keep it slightly negative to reduce the continued scaling.

    EDIT2: And with a CYA of 70ppm ... Your minimum FC is 5ppm.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: can I get rid of calcium scale without have to acid wash

    I don't know how you could afford to maintain that pool and not have an appropriate test kit...those test numbers are your proof.

    If the pool store numbers are right (and that is not always a good assumption), you need to get your ph down now It should be in the 7.2-7.4 range since you are having problems with scale.

    Next you need some chlorine in there or you will likely get algae soon. For your cya of 70 ppm, you should not let your FC drop below 5 ppm.

    After you deal with the two above issues, take a look at this: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...alcium_scaling
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: can I get rid of calcium scale without have to acid wash

    Here's what happened (a little long. Sorry...)

    I went out last Sunday to check the salt level and it showed 2200. I was told that it should be between 2800 and 3200 to be optimum so I figured it needed salt.

    Don't ask me why, but I thought each bag of salt increased it by 200 so I added 4 bags! (No, I'm a man and I don't read instructions. Which is why I'm paying for it now!!) In reality, after reading one of the empty bags on Monday, it increased the salt by 480 EACH BAG! So I went over to the control panel and it said "Hi" (Gee, that's nice. A friendly contol panel!) So it was then I also noticed the "Check cell" light. I pulled the cell and it was caked with scale, so I cleaned it. However, by now the salt level was so high that the cell won't produce so THAT'S the main reason I'm draining the pool.

    I figure that since I'm draining it, I may as well wash it, so hense the original question. I'd rather not drain it all the way (the store guy said half way would be fine to fix the salt), but if I have to wash it anyway, I will.

    Ed
    1) Pool built 2005, approx 17k gallons (Click HERE for a picture of this money pit!)
    2) Equipment: Pentair Intelli-Touch System i5, Pentair MiniMax NTLN Model 400DV Heater, Pentair CCP520 4 Cartridge filter, Aqua Rite 6D22 Chlorine Generator, Turbo-Cell T-Cell-15
    3) Pumps: Pool - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-8 (2 HP), Spa - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-6 (1.5 HP), Water Fall - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-3 (.75 HP), Vacuum: Hayward Navigator 925C

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    Re: can I get rid of calcium scale without have to acid wash

    How heavy were the bags? 40lbs would raise the salt in a 25k gallon pool by 191ppm ... not sure what is going on if somehow 4 bags raised it from 2200 to 5000???

    If it is 5000, you only need to drain 1/3 of the pool to get to 3300.

    Anyway, you still need a good test kit as the pool store is just not reliable.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    restoman's Avatar
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    Re: can I get rid of calcium scale without have to acid wash

    Okay, I just pulled an empty bag out of the recycle bin and it says 480 per 10k gallons of water.

    Now, I really have no idea how many gallons my pool actually is. In my signature I'm just guessing it's 25k, but I'm not really sure. Since it's a figure 8 shape, it's hard to calculate. It's approx 40' long and approx 20' wide at the two widest points, but it's only 11' at the middle. As for depth, the middle is the deepest and it's 6'. The two ends are only 3'. So going by that, can someone tell me how many gallons it really is?

    Ed
    1) Pool built 2005, approx 17k gallons (Click HERE for a picture of this money pit!)
    2) Equipment: Pentair Intelli-Touch System i5, Pentair MiniMax NTLN Model 400DV Heater, Pentair CCP520 4 Cartridge filter, Aqua Rite 6D22 Chlorine Generator, Turbo-Cell T-Cell-15
    3) Pumps: Pool - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-8 (2 HP), Spa - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-6 (1.5 HP), Water Fall - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-3 (.75 HP), Vacuum: Hayward Navigator 925C

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: can I get rid of calcium scale without have to acid wash

    I bet you are closer to 20k. Actually adding salt is one of the better ways to estimate the volume if you had a good before and after salt reading.

    So 4 bags would add about 1000ppm of salt ... which added to the 2200 you claim to have started at puts you at 3200 ... care to explain the 5000 reading?

    I am guessing your SWG gave you the 2200 reading and the pool store said 5000 after adding 1000ppm (in 4 bags). Obviously one of them is wrong ...
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: can I get rid of calcium scale without have to acid wash

    I would only acid wash the tile line because it would irritate me, the plaster scaling will go away eventually if you keep the chems balanced.
    IG Plaster 20,000gal, attached spa w/ spillover, hayward C12002 cart filter, 1 1/2hp pump w/ polaris 360
    6/16/12 - PH 7.6, FC 6, CC 0, CYA 30, TA 80, Calcium 310

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    restoman's Avatar
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    Re: can I get rid of calcium scale without have to acid wash

    Obviously one of them is wrong ...
    I agree, but which one??

    By the way, can anyone tell me how I can drain this thing faster? HERE'S A PICTURE of my plumbing as it sits in "normal" operation.

    And HERE'S A PICTURE how I have it set now to drain. Basically the same, but the valve to adjust the amount of water going to the vacuum and skimmer is set all the way to the vacuum since I don't want to suck air from the skimmer. I have a hose attached to the spigot and it's running out okay, but there's still water being cycled back to the pool. Is there any way to kill that path? So far it's been draining for over a day and I still have another 2 feel to go!

    I would only acid wash the tile line because it would irritate me, the plaster scaling will go away eventually if you keep the chems balanced.
    Edit: I was typing when you were posting so if I can't get this thing to drain any faster, I'm gonna shut it down and say the heck with washing it! I really don't want to burn out my pump motor!!

    Ed
    1) Pool built 2005, approx 17k gallons (Click HERE for a picture of this money pit!)
    2) Equipment: Pentair Intelli-Touch System i5, Pentair MiniMax NTLN Model 400DV Heater, Pentair CCP520 4 Cartridge filter, Aqua Rite 6D22 Chlorine Generator, Turbo-Cell T-Cell-15
    3) Pumps: Pool - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-8 (2 HP), Spa - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-6 (1.5 HP), Water Fall - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-3 (.75 HP), Vacuum: Hayward Navigator 925C

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: can I get rid of calcium scale without have to acid wash

    That looks like all you can do with your plumbing setup. Or rent a sump pump.

    You want to make the SWG happy ... so you should have had to add 1000ppm to go up from 2200ppm which is what you did add. Now in reality, it could be at 5000ppm, and a low salt reading by the SWG is one of the signs the cell is going bad ... how old is it?

    I am not convinced you need to change as much water as you are. I would get at least 1 more test done. What does the SWG say for salt now?

    Oh, when did the SWG say it was high? Did you run the pump for at least 24 hours after adding the salt?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    restoman's Avatar
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    Re: can I get rid of calcium scale without have to acid wash

    Okay, I'm tired of this game so I'm refilling it. To heck with doing the calcium, I just want it back the way it was. I can live with the spotting for now and hopefully after getting it back to "normal" I can concentrait on that. (Oh yeah, I was able to kill the algea using Clorox and scrubbing with the broom.)

    I turned off the control panel and then turned it back on after 30 seconds and it said 4700. After another few minutes it went back to High Salt. The SWG is 8 years old, but like I said, it was really crusty, so more than likely it COULDN'T generate even if it wanted to. Now that it's clean and I'm putting fresh water back in the pool, we'll see what it says after it gets to 3/4 full.

    Ed
    1) Pool built 2005, approx 17k gallons (Click HERE for a picture of this money pit!)
    2) Equipment: Pentair Intelli-Touch System i5, Pentair MiniMax NTLN Model 400DV Heater, Pentair CCP520 4 Cartridge filter, Aqua Rite 6D22 Chlorine Generator, Turbo-Cell T-Cell-15
    3) Pumps: Pool - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-8 (2 HP), Spa - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-6 (1.5 HP), Water Fall - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-3 (.75 HP), Vacuum: Hayward Navigator 925C

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: can I get rid of calcium scale without have to acid wash

    Cells generally have a life span of 3-5 years. So if that is an 8 yo cell that is rare. If the SWG was installed with the pool, More likely it was replaced after around 4 years and could be reaching the end of the second cell.

    Although I may be confused with threads if you have owned this from the beginning.

    Posted with Tapatalk ... sorry if I sound short ... hate typing on phone
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    restoman's Avatar
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    Re: can I get rid of calcium scale without have to acid wash

    Yes, it was installed with the pool (I had the pool installed), but it's never been replaced. I guess I got my money's worth!

    (And if I would have known then that pools would be such a pain in the @$$, I would have told my wife to stick it when she said "let's get a pool"!!)

    Ed
    1) Pool built 2005, approx 17k gallons (Click HERE for a picture of this money pit!)
    2) Equipment: Pentair Intelli-Touch System i5, Pentair MiniMax NTLN Model 400DV Heater, Pentair CCP520 4 Cartridge filter, Aqua Rite 6D22 Chlorine Generator, Turbo-Cell T-Cell-15
    3) Pumps: Pool - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-8 (2 HP), Spa - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-6 (1.5 HP), Water Fall - Pentair Whisperflow WFE-3 (.75 HP), Vacuum: Hayward Navigator 925C

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