The Low-Down On Acid Washing For New Pool Owners

Posted on: 9 February 2018

If you are new to in-ground pool ownership, you've probably realized there is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to maintaining your pool. But never fear -- with the guidance below, you will get over that curve in no time. The following is a guide to acid washing, a special type of maintenance you should provide for you pool every five years or so. 

What is acid washing?

Acid washing involves using a strong solution of hydrochloric acid to clean your pool's sides and bottom. The pool needs to be emptied for this maintenance to be conducted. Some people acid wash their pools by themselves, particularly if they have had the pool for a long time, but most often this is best left to a professional since it involves a lot of equipment and takes so long.

How do you know the pool needs acid washing?

You could just have the pool acid washed every five years; few pools need acid washing more often than this. However, if you really want to keep costs low, you can instead watch out for signs your pool needs acid washing and only schedule this maintenance as needed. You may have seven or 10 years between washes depending on the condition of your pool. Signs your pool needs acid washing include:

Algae in the sides of the pool. You can scrub little bits of algae off the sides of the pool, but when it starts to accumulate faster than you can remove it, you need to have the pool acid washed.

Inability to see the bottom. If your pool stays cloudy and green no matter what you do, then the algae count may be too high, which calls for an acid wash. 

Problems with pH balance. If the pool is falling out of pH balance very quickly, the chlorine may be being used up by the algae.

How does algae washing work?

After your pool contractor empties the pool of water, they will spray and then scrub the sides of the pool with strong HCl. This acid solution can be harmful if it comes into contact with your skin or eyes, so you'll want to stay away when this is being done. Once the acid has worked its magic and killed the algae, the pool contractors will apply soda ash or another compound to neutralize the acid. Your pool can then be filled up again, and you can use it after a day or two once the pH has time to balance again. 

Contact a company like Clean Touch Pool Service for professional acid washing.