Pool maintenance is fairly routine. However, some of the chemicals you use to treat the water can have some additional effects on the water and the pool in general. One of these is calcium buildup. If you have emerged from a dip and notice how dry your skin seems, you should take note.
What causes calcium build-up?
Excess calcium comes from changing the pH quality of the water. Most areas of the country have “hard” water, which leaves calcium deposits. You may notice on the sides of the pool a white or a white/gray stain. Besides dry skin, your eyes may burn.
There are two types of calcium buildup:
Calcium carbonate, which is white and flaky and easily removed.
Calcium silicate, which is grayer and is more challenging to get rid of.
As soon as you notice the calcium accumulating, take action. If you leave it too long, the staining will be permanent.
How to deal with it?
After completing a water test for water hardness and finding they are within normal range, use a stain or scale remover on the deposits. If the pH levels are too high or low, you must balance the pH before using a scale and stain remover. Draining and refilling the pool will help lower the calcium. If you need lower pH, use muriatic or dry acid. If the pH needs to rise, add chlorine slowly and retest the pH.
If you have significant buildup and it is difficult to remove, use a heavy calcium releaser.
You will probably want to use some materials to help remove the calcium, like a pumice stone or stain eraser. Pumice should only be used on hard surfaces and if you need to scrub. Prevent scratching by keeping both the pool surface and the pumice wet. Stain erasers are more gentle. Either the pumice or eraser should be used with a cleaning solution. Another option is a reverse osmosis water treatment.
If you are unsure what to use or how to use it, contact your pool professional to do the work rather than permanently damaging your pool.
Once you have dealt with the calcium, you probably won’t want to face that challenge again. If you monitor and maintain the proper pH levels, you should have fewer or no problems. Run the pH to the lower end and reduce evaporation by using a pool cover. Evaporated water will result in calcium deposits.
It isn’t always easy or convenient for the homeowner to continue their own pool maintenance. If so, consider hiring a company specialized in pool services in Ottawa to take care of the details for you and then you just get to enjoy the benefits of your investment.