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

restoman

Well-known member
Dec 24, 2010
97
0
Murrieta, CA 92563
#1
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
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Platinum Supporter
TFP Expert
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
31,263
3
Sebring, Florida
tftestkits.net
#2
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.
 

JasonLion

LifeTime Supporter
Platinum Supporter
TFP Expert
May 7, 2007
37,879
5
Silver Spring, MD
#3
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.
 

restoman

Well-known member
Dec 24, 2010
97
0
Murrieta, CA 92563
#4
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
 

Melt In The Sun

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Oct 29, 2009
3,899
0
35
Tucson, AZ
#5
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?
 

restoman

Well-known member
Dec 24, 2010
97
0
Murrieta, CA 92563
#6
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
 

Melt In The Sun

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Oct 29, 2009
3,899
0
35
Tucson, AZ
#7
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?
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
May 19, 2010
41,193
4
Tucson, AZ
#9
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.
 

linen

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Jul 30, 2010
8,649
0
48
Twin Cities, MN
#10
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-school/calcium_scaling
 

restoman

Well-known member
Dec 24, 2010
97
0
Murrieta, CA 92563
#11
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
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
May 19, 2010
41,193
4
Tucson, AZ
#12
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.
 

restoman

Well-known member
Dec 24, 2010
97
0
Murrieta, CA 92563
#13
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
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
May 19, 2010
41,193
4
Tucson, AZ
#14
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 ...
 

danivdp

Well-known member
Mar 16, 2011
91
0
Sunny Central Florida
#15
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.
 

restoman

Well-known member
Dec 24, 2010
97
0
Murrieta, CA 92563
#16
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
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
May 19, 2010
41,193
4
Tucson, AZ
#17
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?
 

restoman

Well-known member
Dec 24, 2010
97
0
Murrieta, CA 92563
#18
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
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
May 19, 2010
41,193
4
Tucson, AZ
#19
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 :)
 

restoman

Well-known member
Dec 24, 2010
97
0
Murrieta, CA 92563
#20
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