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Thread: Epsom salt blasting to remove calcium stains

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    Epsom salt blasting to remove calcium stains

    This is probably an Arizona specific question but has anyone out there ever used a company called Arizona Bead Blasting Inc?

    My pool is only a year old but the calcium scaling on the spillway is ugly. My local water is never below 250ppm and my latest pool tests show a CH of 400ppm. My CSI is usually slightly negative so my Ca scaling is really just a function of the wet tile evaporating when to pumps shut down and leaving behind a Ca scale.

    Apparently they specialize in cleaning Ca off tiles by using a special salt blasting process which uses Epsom salt (Mg sulfate). The Epsom salt is a lot softer than the tile surface but hard and dense enough to mechanically remove the Calcium. The process avoids having to use acid to clean off the Ca.

    They say they vacuum it up afterwards but MgSO4 has a very appreciable solubility in water so I imagine Mg levels will rise.

    Any thoughts from those our in the SW with calcium issues?



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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Epsom salt blasting to remove calcium stains

    I am thinking of buying my own setup to blast the tile. Whether with baking soda or crushed salt. I think the cost of a company doing it is about the cost of the required equipment. There are a few threads that discuss the setups.
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    Re: Epsom salt blasting to remove calcium stains

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    I am thinking of buying my own setup to blast the tile. Whether with baking soda or crushed salt. I think the cost of a company doing it is about the cost of the required equipment. There are a few threads that discuss the setups.


    Cool. I tried searching on tile cleaning but came up empty. Any chance you can post the threads you find?

    Thanks



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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Epsom salt blasting to remove calcium stains

    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Re: Epsom salt blasting to remove calcium stains

    Richard,

    Thanks!! You are a master at finding threads...very much appreciated.




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    Re: Epsom salt blasting to remove calcium stains

    So it looks like for about $300 or so you can get a 135psi 3.5 gallon pancake compressor and a 100lbs sandblaster on Amazon.

    The last piece of the puzzle is finding a supplier for the mag sulfate media which is a bit more tricky. You want to use mag sulfate as opposed to soda or sand because it will dissolve in your pool water and not totally hose your chemistry or grind your pump to a halt like glass.

    I think we'd need ChemGeek here to tell us what effect the added sulfate load would have on TA since we don't normally care about sulfate/phosphate contributions. Pool water alkalinity is dominated by carbonate, borates and CYA. Adding pounds of sulfates to the water can't be inconsequential.



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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Epsom salt blasting to remove calcium stains

    Others have used plastic bead blasters. The plastic beads float and are easily skimmed out of the pool. Nothing against epsom salt.
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    Re: Epsom salt blasting to remove calcium stains

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    Others have used plastic bead blasters. The plastic beads float and are easily skimmed out of the pool. Nothing against epsom salt.
    Really??

    Totally would not think that would work given the low density and softness of most polymers. I guess it depends on the polymer...



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    Epsom salt blasting to remove calcium stains

    ChemGeek may stand down ...

    From Wikipedia -

    Ions such as Na+, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+, Cl -, SO42-, and NO3- can be regarded as "conservative" in the sense that their concentrations are unaffected by changes in the pH, pressure, or temperature

    So sulfates will not affect pH.



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    Re: Epsom salt blasting to remove calcium stains

    Great thread
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