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Thread: Starting up or closing a pool - Cleaning equipment with acid

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    Starting up or closing a pool - Cleaning equipment with acid

    NOTE: All standard disclaimers about muriatic acid safety precautions apply - they are assumed here - so they are not explicitly described in this post, which is more about curious experimental results than about anything else.

    Being relatively new to pool equipment maintenance, I wasn't sure how to clean up this age-old scale on my pumps:

    Having never done this before, I decided to see if pouring 28% HASA muriatic acid on the pumps would work to remove the hard-water scale:

    Within seconds, almost all the whitish scale had been dissolved off the pool pump:

    Leaving the old pool pump looking relatively clean and shiny again:

    One unexpected problem was that, after a few hours of acid, the spray bottle mechanism inexplicably just stopped pumping.
    The white tip had some kind of odd greenish color to it:

    Looking closer, I noticed the o-ring was also green - so - maybe the acid attacked the rubber o-ring?

    Whatever it was, it incapacitated the spray bottle - necessitating a pour instead of a light spray cleaning:

    Since the pump worked so well, I tried the same acid-bath test on my pump base to see whether it would equally well remove the scale and rust:

    The acid worked well to remove the white deposits on the flat part of the pump base but, inexplicably, not the rust:

    Plus, it needed a few more applications to wholly remove deposits from the sides:

    In addition, I was hoping (without much reason) that the acid would clear up the cloudy pump basket cover:

    But, it had no effect on the clouded plastic.
    Q: What do you use to clear up cloudy pump baskets?
    Silicon Valley, 38,500 gallons in-ground plaster; Sta-Rite System 3 Model S8M150, 259 sqft cartridge 25022-0203S + 191 sqft cartridge #25021-0202S = 450 sqft filter@0.28gpm/sqft = 125 gpm@50psi max. Three 220v Sta-Rite Max-e-Glas II pumps {AO Smith QC1102 1.0x1.65SF for filter + cleaner; SQ1152 1.5x1.47SF for spa jets; square 48Y flange}. 13 Fafco 12'x4' professionally installed "Revolution" solar heating panels + Raypak RP2100 P-R 405A-EP LPG 399,000/hour heater + Compool Lx3600 controller + Infinity 4000 automatic pool cover (120v 3/4 HP motor); both skimmers are NOT filtered & serve only as intake for 9-port water valves (aka cleaner heads) controlling fifteen Paramount PCC2000 3" self-cleaning jets with the optional Debris Containment Canister.

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    Vette's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012

    Re: Starting up or closing a pool - Cleaning equipment with

    If you didn't remove any O Rings from your equipment I would recommend replacing them. Acid doesn't play nice with them.
    11,700 gallon 21' round 54" deep all-resin AGP - June 2012
    Waterway 1HP 2-speed pump / 100 sq ft cartridge filter
    Hayward 150,000btu Natural Gas heater
    I use and recommend the TF-100 for testing

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    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Denton, TX

    Re: Starting up or closing a pool - Cleaning equipment with

    A weak solution of acid, say 10%, does a good job of cleaning up calcium and scale. Just gotta be careful and rinse it off well and not use it on things that you would worry about damaging. Gaskets are cheap enough to replace though.

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    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)

    Re: Starting up or closing a pool - Cleaning equipment with

    About all I could suggest for the basket lid is one of those headlamp restoration kits at the auto parts store. I think they're all polycarbonate, so it should work.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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