From time to time, even the best kept pools will need to have an acid wash performed. Tiles and plaster may become stained or lose the glorious luster it once had. Algae can grow rampant despite other cleaning methods and eventually, a good acid wash may be the solution to your pool cleaning woes. Do not perform this very often because it can eventually cause excessive wear of your tiles and will speed up the time between re-tiling. This procedure should be used when other cleaning methods either are not working or will not work. Pool cleaning technicians can easily diagnose your problems and proceed with the proper cleaning methods.
Please do not schedule acid washing procedures during seasons with temperatures above 90°. If the procedure is done above that temperature the tile can crack due to the high heat. The process can be done in higher temperatures but it’s a much riskier and laborious task (and will require wavers signed to remove technicians from blame if damage occurs due to temperatures). Fall, winter, and early mornings are the best time for acid washing. Not only are the risks lower, but the worker performing the task will be more comfortable and less prone to heat stroke.
Most acid washing procedures cost around $300 (depending on company, time of year, availability, cost of chemicals, etc). This sounds like a lot, but it includes the draining, cleaning, and chemicals, all of which can be costly individually. Pool owners can acid wash pools on their own to save some money, but the health risks when not handling chemicals properly can be drastic and the damage done to the pool is minimized when done by professionals. Our technicians have been doing this much longer than you have, so sit back, relax, and let Pool Daddy acid wash your pool this winter so it’s clean and ready to go in the spring. Let’s remove all of that algae, build up, stains, and other problems chemical cleaning just can’t fix.
Biggest concerns in Arizona for Acid Washing Processes
- Outside temperatures must be under 90° F.
- Acid concentrations must not be too high.
- Acid cannot stay on plaster for too long.
What You’ll Need:
- Sump pump
- Drain hose
- Garden hose
- Pool brush
- Push broom
- Acid brush
- Trash bags
- Protective clothing (goggles, respirator mask, etc)
- Watering can
- Muriatic acid
- Soda ash
Acid Washing Steps
- Before You Start the Acid Washing: Turn off all power to filtration and pump systems and close the fill valve.
- Drain the pool.
- Initial Cleaning: Rinse as much debris away as possible from the sides of the pool while the water is draining. Using a pool brush, scrub at the walls to aid the removal of debris and sweep it up with a push broom. Remove from area using trash bags and follow local ordinances for proper disposal.
- Safety: Use protective gear (goggles, respirator mask, gloves, boots, and covering suit) and keep water running using a garden hose while cleaning.
- Measure: Add 1 gallon of water to a large watering can or similar container and add one gallon of muriatic acid. NOTE: Never add the water to the acid to avoid dangerous bubbling reactions. The bubbling can splatter acid onto you or other workers.
- Before Acid Application: Working in sections, keep the area wet with the garden hose and pour the acid solution down the side of the pool, getting good coverage in the area you are working.
- Acid Application: Scrub the acid onto the plaster with an acid brush and let it sit for 30 seconds. Rinse the acid from the plaster thoroughly.
- Cleaning the Entire Pool: Repeat steps 5-7 throughout the rest of the pool. A repeat of the acid washing may be needed in some areas or throughout the entire pool. Rinse well until the pool is clean, making sure to scrub while rinsing to remove excess acid to reduce damage.
- Neutralization: Add 2 pounds of soda ash per gallon of acid used to the water remaining in the pool. Stir the mixture with a pool brush until the mixture no longer bubbles or foams. The soda ash will neutralize the acid, making it safe for disposal. Pump out water into the sewer clean-out valve, rinsing the pool while it drains.
- More Safety: Rinse off all protective gear before removal. Dispose of if possible.
- Always wear protective gear when dealing with acid. Do not breathe in around the acid (wear a mask).
- If acid gets on your skin, rinse thoroughly with running water for 15 minutes. If any other contact occurs or problems persist, contact local health care professionals or a poison center, especially if it makes contact with the mouth or eyes.
- Do not allow pets or children to be near the pool during this process. All persons coming in close quarters with chemicals should wear appropriate covering gear.
- Do not perform these tasks by yourself. Make sure someone else is around in case of an emergency.
- Acid that is not properly rinsed will continue to etch the plaster
- Do not acid wash vinyl-lines pools.
After acid washing, some plaster may encounter minor calcium nodules. Most companies will grind these down for little to no extra cost. These are caused by the chemical reactions caused by the acid washing process.
Ask your pool service company about tile sealing to prevent calcium build up. This is usually a low-cost service and should be done more regularly than acid washing.
It is not the responsibility of Pool Daddy (or other pool cleaning services) to inform the appropriate authorities about the proper disposal procedures of the debris and acid. Customers must obtain all permits for draining and refilling of the pool and customers must locate the drain clean outs on the property for proper water (and neutralized water) removal.
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