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Thread: To Acid Wash or not to Acid Wash

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Egg Harbor Twp, NJ

    To Acid Wash or not to Acid Wash

    I had a pool put in two years ago (this is my 3rd season with it) with DiamondBrite as opposed to regular white plaster. Last year I had lots of issues with calcium scaling, or ‘crystals’ forming all over the pool surface. My pool went from feeling smooth as silk to feeling like sandpaper. The explanation I was given was that over the wintertime, the pH rose, due to the curing of the concrete. I tried keeping the acid low last year, and tried dropping in some ScaleTec to hopefully break it up. I also brushed it religiously a minimum of 1 time per day, sometimes 2 per day. Throughout the season I saw no progress in removing this scale.

    When it came time to close the pool, I dropped the acid level to 7.0, and dropped some more ScaleTec in there. Throughout the winter, I checked the pH level and adjusted it a couple of times, the last time being 6-8 weeks ago. The hope was that by keeping the pH down, and with the ScaleTec in there it may cause the crystals to break off of the surface. Well, I peeled back the cover a couple of days ago, and low and behold, the pH level is off the charts!! We’re talking a deep, deep purple color in the Taylor tester that came with my TF100 kit. In addition, it seems as though the scaling is still there.
    So I’m looking at possibly doing an acid wash on the pool. A friend of mine who owns a pool business has said that he will do the acid wash and open the pool for $375!! Here are my questions though:

    1. Being as the pH is still going up so much during the winter, am I wasting my time doing the acid wash now? In other words, am I going to do the acid wash only to have it come back again next year? Should I just wait until the concrete is fully cured and stops raising the pH so much?
    2. How long does the concrete take to fully cure such that I won’t see this large pH increase over the wintertime?
    3. Will the scaling come off in time on its own, just with the curing of the concrete, low pH and consistent brushing?
    4. Will acid washing harm the overall quality and lifespan of the DiamondBrite finish?
    5. Are there any other concerns to be had with getting the acid wash done?
    6. Is this scaling common in the Northeast (as my pool builder has told me), or is it likely that the builder screwed something up, which resulted in the scaling?

    Thanks in advance for the assistance!!
    25,000 gallon IG gunite pool with Diamondbrite finish built May, 2012
    All Pentair equipment:
    FNS Plus 48 sq. ft. DE Filter, 1 HP SuperFlo Pump, IntelliChlor IC40 SWG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/HR Heater, Prowler 820 Vacuum
    Test Kit - TF-100

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Tucson, AZ

    Re: To Acid Wash or not to Acid Wash

    The pH goes up when the water is colder ... not likely due to the plaster at this point which is usually done in less than a year.

    If you keep the water balanced, then the scaling will not start and it should reduce if you keep the CSI more negative and brush.

    Acid washing strips off part of the surface, so yes it will reduce the life expectancy some.

    Post up a full set of test results and lets see what you are dealing with.
    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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