Stainless steel SR Smith pool ladders

dw9000

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2014
199
NW Ohio
I have two SR Smith pool ladders. Last year when I pulled the ladders out, I noticed a rough sort of calcium coating on the ladders. I pulled them out of the pool and laid them along the side. I was out and about this afternoon and I noticed the outer coating, is now a crisp flaking type shell. The actual stainless steel isn't flaking, but there is a thick coating of 'calcium' or something on the entire parts that were below water.

I think using a steel scrapper, would scrape the coating right off, but probably would scratch the ladder tubing. Any idea or recommendation? I though maybe a stiff nylon brush.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,279
Laughlin, NV
If calcium a diluted muriatic acid will work.

You may want to monitor your water chemistry next season for CSI. Was the scale only at the water line?
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,058
I would be cautious about using hydrochloric acid.

Maybe try a stainless steel cleaner like 3M 14002 Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish or CLR Pro Stainless steel cleaner.

Distilled white vinegar would be safer than muriatic acid. But try a test spot to see if the vinegar causes damage.

Heinz All Natural Cleaning Vinegar might be a good choice.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,349
Tucson, AZ
I would use undiluted CLR and a stiff Tampico brush or brass wool (fine). After it’s all cleaned off I would use Bar Keepers Friend liquid cleanser on a soft sponge to polish up the stainless steel surface.

Both CLR and BKF are none chloride or sulfate based acids and will remove calcium scale and rust without attacking the steel surface. As always, test in an inconspicuous area first.
 

dw9000

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2014
199
NW Ohio
If calcium a diluted muriatic acid will work.

You may want to monitor your water chemistry next season for CSI. Was the scale only at the water line?
No, it wasn't just at the water line. Even my smooth vinyl liner has a rougher feel to it. Its not noticeable by eye, but you can feel it.

I was thinking about the ladder, its only 3 seasons old and I bought one of the commercial heavy duty ones. I think I might first try to blast off the peeling layer with a pressure washer. If that doesn't doe it, I'll try CLR, vinegar or some other recommendations. I didn't spend more than a minute looking at it, but I could actually peel off pieces with my finger nail, and the metal behind it looked brand new.

So next year I should watch out for high PH? Calcium? I tested my water, but not as often as I should have. I use the troublefreepool chemicals, household bleech, muratic acid to lower PH, etc.

Thanks for the recommendations everyone