A drain and acid wash is a necessary maintenance pool care procedure that only needs to be done every 3-5 years. So why should you do it?
Every 3 to 5 years pool water becomes saturated with too much calcium, conditioner (CYA or cyanuric acid) and Total dissolved Solids (TDS). These elements inhibit the absorption and effectiveness of chlorine and other maintenance products. The only way to correct this issue is to drain and replace the pool water.
While changing the water will remove much of the calcium and other contaminants, some calcium is still clinging to the pool surfaces where it has deposited as scale. An acid wash removes this calcium scale along with other stains (such as rust) on the pools surface.
This may also be a good time to do a chlorine wash if the pool finish is rough and/or the pool has had repeated problems with algae formation. Rough plaster or pebble interiors are a friend of algae and chlorine washes help destroy algae in those areas.
In the Arizona environment, drains and washes should be done during the cooler fall or spring months to avoid potential damage to the pools finish from high heat and rapid evaporation .
The cost to refill the pool is likely much less than you think, usually less than $150 for as average size play pool. You may check with your city to find out exact costs.
This is also the time to look at the waterline tile for calcium and heavy scum lines that also form over time. If these are present, glass beading the tile is a good step to having the pool ready for next season. Glass bead blasting uses an ultra fine stream of beads of soda lime glass. The process cleans built up oil, grit and calcium of the tiles and grout of the tiles. The glass beads are easily cleaned up after the blasting is complete.
Remember, after the pool has been washed, and refilled, the pool must be properly balanced with the correct products.
These are important steps to ensure your pool will look great and be less prone to problems next swim season.