There are many joys to owning a pool, but as with all things in life, there is some necessary maintenance involved as well. Many people are fine to use test kits, add chemicals and clean out their pool while others prefer to use a service. Either way, at some point in the life of an in-ground pool, the topic of acid washing will probably arise. For those that don’t consider themselves experts in pool care, this subject may raise questions. For instance, “What in the world is acid washing?” and “Do we really need to do it??”
Winter and spring is the time to consider acid washing a pool, so we at ToySplash thought we’d provide some basic information on the subject and hopefully answer a few questions.
What is an acid wash and how is it done?
An acid wash is a procedure done on a plaster or pebble tec pool to remove a very thin layer of the surface in order to remove calcium deposits and stubborn stains. A pool is first drained and the sides are scrubbed. Then a muratic acid and water solution is applied to remove a thin layer of topcoat. This is done with manual scrubbing using an acid brush. The residue is then neutralized with soda ash before being rinsed away.
Why should a pool be treated with an acid wash?
Some pools have discolored surfaces or stains that can develop over time. For example, copper or magnesium stains can turn plaster from white to blue. A black plaster pool may start to look grey from calcium deposits. Oftentimes these types of stains don’t respond to scrubbing and require an acid wash to remove them. Also, pools that struggle with rapid algae growth and/or hard water will benefit from being drained, acid washed and re-filled.
How often should a pool be acid washed?
Because acid washing removes a very thin layer of the pool’s surface, it should not be an annual service. Too many treatments will result in a pool needing to be replastered. Pools with very thin, old plaster are not good candidates for acid washing and sometimes very deep stains will not respond to an acid wash. In these cases, replastering is a better option. A professional could do a test on the pool first to determine the effectiveness of acid washing the surface.
How much does it cost?
Of course, the cost of an acid washing depends on the size of the pool. A good estimate would be $400-700 or roughly $0.60-$0.65/sq. ft.
Helpful Tools for Maintaining Pool Surfaces:
The Pool Stain Remover is an excellent maintenance product that will help to remove stains caused by copper, iron, manganese, tannin, and even rust. A great product to try out before going ahead with an acid wash treatment.
Scrub away gross algae stains with this durable, tough algae brush too. Regular scrubbings with this tool will mean less work, money and hassle in the long run.
And finally, it pretty much goes without saying that the basic pool brush is the first line of defense against scum and stains in any pool. Regular brushings (even between visits from the pool man) will prevent build-up along the surface of the pool.
Let ToySplash help equip and educate you for your upcoming swimming season and all year long!