Our general rule of thumb for determining the need for an acid wash is: if you can see the bottom of the pool (the floor) then you can bring it back with chemicals, labor and filtering. If the floor is not visible, the cost of the chemicals and labor will generally be greater than the acid wash charge, and take much, much longer. Also, extensive algae blooms will stain plastered pools, making an acid wash desirable.
An acid wash is, put simply, purposeful stripping of a tiny layer of plaster, exposing fresh plaster beneath. Therefore, it is ill-advised to make it an annual custom, which will accelerate the need for re-plastering. Most plaster coats (sometimes called whitecoat or marcite) are in excess of 1/2", so a few careful acid washes should not hurt.
You may also decide on an acid wash not because of swamp conditions, but just to bring out a brighter, whiter finish. Mineral stains and/or deposits, chlorine stains, even dirt stains... an acid wash is always a dramatic aesthetic improvement.
If your pool has had years of algae blooms, and if your pool seems to grow algae overnight or just bloom very easily.... changing the water and acid washing the surfaces algae sticks to can give you an algae free summer.
Acid is a dangerous substance. Pool company personnel are specially trained in its application and wear protective clothing and breathing apparatus during the acid wash. To protect our environment, the acid/water waste should be neutralized with soda ash prior to its being pumped to a safe location.
If your pool is vinyl lined, acid is not used. Detergents, conditioners and good 'ol elbow grease will remove the "slime". The liner must then be "reset" with a vacuum to ensure proper fit during filling. Liner pools are normally not drained completely if it can be helped. There can be problems getting the liner to reset properly, and there is the rare danger of the walls collapsing.
If you would like to discuss further or get a quote for us to acid wash your pool, contact us today!