Living in the Antelope Valley can be especially trying on your swimming pool thanks to the hard water. This may be something that impacts Los Angeles and Ventura swimming pool owners throughout Southern California. When not properly treated, this hard water can lead to calcium deposits on your swimming pool tile that starts to adversely impact the beauty of your swimming pool and eventually create problems with your swimming pool equipment. However, there is a way to slow down the process of calcium build-up and also eliminate them completely from your swimming pool. This blog post will show you how.
How Does it Happen?
Without delving into the science and chemistry of it all, there are some basic reasons why this white stuff shows up in the first place. Calcium builds up on the tile of your swimming pool because basically there is too much calcium in your water and it has to find a home. This is usually due to hard water, but the calcium can also come from the chemicals added to your pool whether you have a chlorine or salt system. Most often, the absorption rate can impact any part of the water but it shows up more often at the water line.
Tactic #1: Elbow Grease
There is no way around the fact that getting rid of calcium build-up requires a lot of labor, including brushing the tile line on a weekly basis. This can slow the process of the build-up. Be sure to brush with a wire brush that can be used on plaster or pebble swimming pool surfaces. It does help to use a little tile cleaner as you do this each week to keep the calcium from building up and your elbow from falling off.
Tactic #2: Backwashing
While it is not the final solution, backwashing your pool at the pool filter can replace the saturated water with fresh water as long as you don’t already live in an area where the water hardness is already high. However, if you backwash frequently and have a diatomaceous earth filter, you will need to remember to add in more diatomaceous earth through the skimmer or have your pool professional take care of this for you.
Tactic #3: Chemical Balance
It is important to keep calcium levels below 350 parts per million (PPM). If it gets higher, the water should be replaced. You can also choose to use sequestering agents, but this can become expensive.
Also, you will want to make sure the pH levels in the swimming pool are between 7.4 and 7.8. Regularly check your chemicals or have your pool professional take care of this for you. This will also ensure that a chemical imbalance is leading to increased calcium in your pool water.
Treatments for Calcium Build-up
If you already have calcium build-up, get ready to do some real work. You can take 2 parts muriatic acid to one part water and sponge this directly onto the calcium. From there, you will need to take that wire brush mentioned earlier for maintenance and start scrubbing. However, a pumice stone works well as well along with products like Calcium Killer or a tile cleaner. You will be there awhile, especially if the deposits have gotten very thick. You can also take a razor and start scraping it off, but be careful as this might also take off the surface of your tile.
There are some other alternatives, including glass bead blasting and sand blasting. This can get expensive as it requires a professional with special equipment. However, it does do the trick and usually does not impact your tile’s appearance.
Taking preventative measures is your best strategy. By staying on top of your pool chemistry and knowing the hardness of your water along with regular brushing of your tile. Whether you do it yourself or rely on your pool professional, this is an important maintenance item to stay on top of to maintain the beauty of your swimming pool and spa investment.