When Is It Appropriate To Acid Wash Your Swimming Pool

In the swimming pool industry you will hear the term acid wash a fair amount. There are many swimming pool owners that believe acid washing should happen every time you drain your swimming pool due to high Calcium Hardness and other hardness minerals in your swimming pool. They also believe it should happen when there is staining as well. BUT, BE CAREFUL! This is definitely not the case and acid washes should only occur when absolutely necessary! In this blog post, we are going to talk about when you would need to do it, why you should do it, and some other options that you could do to prevent damaging the interior finish of the swimming pool.

Without the proper regular maintenance, your swimming pool water will begin to look cloudy and develop algae if the chlorine levels are too low or when there isn’t enough filtration. When this happens and depending on the temperature outside a pool can turn clear to cloudy to green quickly especially during the middle of summer. If you don’t add chlorine or remove the algae quickly, it can stain the porous plaster of the pool. Depending on the type of algae; yellow, black, or green it can burrow deep inside the plaster or Pebble Tec and continue to bloom. When this happens an acid wash would be appropriate and should completely eliminate the algae. With that being said, it is extremely important to evaluate the condition of the interior finish before this happens. On the other hand, some pools have discolored surfaces and stains that can develop over time. These pools along with algae-filled pools can benefit from being drained, acid-washed, and re-filled. However, this can’t be done if the interior finish is compromised or older because the strength of the acid could cause damage. Please note, you will only acid wash an inground concrete or gunite pool. An acid wash is not something to perform on a vinyl-lined inground pool, or on an above ground pool. The acid will eat right through that vinyl, and then you’re looking at replacing the interior finish altogether.

in the Southwest United States, we also deal with extremely high Calcium Hardness levels coming out of our tap water. It is recommended to drain and refill your swimming pool (or recycle using Reverse Osmosis mobile filtration) every two years. Calcium will scale the tile, the interior finish, and filtration equipment. The calcium scaling on the interior finish can show up as little nodules that an acid wash could remove!

How Often Should A Pool Be Acid Washed?

Acid washing will remove a very thin layer of the pool’s interior finish, which is why this type of service shouldn’t be performed unless it’s absolutely necessary. If you perform an acid wash too many times, a replaster will need to occur. If you have old plaster, flaking or etching has occurred we won’t recommend an acid wash. Acid washing can be extremely dangerous to do on your own and hiring a professional should be something you consider so we can evaluate the interior finish and make recommendations based on that because sometimes stains can be eliminated using chlorine instead of acid! To learn more about acid washes and alternatives, please contact us today!