How To Remove Calcium Scale Deposits From Your Pool Wall


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Scale deposits can form along the waterline of your swimming pool. This is usually caused by either high pH, high alkalinity, or a high calcium concentration. Constant temperature changes along with rapid evaporation will cause deposits to settle along the side your pool wall. If the deposits are not removed soon, it can cause permanent damage to the pool surface.

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Step by Step


Step 1

The first step it to stop all swimming pool use until a water test can be performed. If the test reveals that the levels are within range, you can use a stain and scale remover to remove the deposits from the water line. If the pH, alkalinity or calcium levels are too high, they will need to be lowered before using a stain and scale cleaner.

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Step 2

I recommend starting by lowering the calcium hardness first. Calcium can only be lowered by partially draining and refilling the pool. Your swimming pool needs a calcium level of 200-400 ppm. A calcium level higher than 400 can lead to scale of the pool surface and equipment and can also cause cloudy water.

Step 3

Once the pool has been drained, re-filled and the calcium is back within range, you can adjust the alkalinity. You will want to re-test before doing so because the alkalinity should be lower than before. To lower alkalinity, you can use either dry acid or muriatic acid. The amount needed of either chemical will vary depending on the pool size (gallons) and the alkalinity reading. If the alkalinity needs to be increased, you can follow the instructions on:

How To Maintain A Swimming Pool Part 3 (Adjusting Chemicals)

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Step 4

Once the alkalinity is within range, the pH can be adjusted (if necessary, you can use the same guide as in step 3). Once the pH is balanced, we can move onto the final step.

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Step 5

The final will be to use a surface cleaner to remove the build up. Before adding the product, (following the instructions on the container) make certain to have a pool brush handy to brush down the walls as needed.

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Step 6

Your pool walls should be looking alot better at this point and you can resume swimming.



(1 to 19 of 19)

 Posted: 7/1/2021 

I just replaced my above ground pool liner and just added water. the water in my village is very hard. I have white floating. What can I get for above ground pool/?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/1/2021 

You may use a flocculant or muriatic acid to try to lower the calcium levels. If the water source is high in calcium, it prevents you from doing the normal drain and fill.

 Posted: 1/2/2019 

I have a new pool and I've been following the suggested maintenance of my pool as recommended, but I have the worst build up of calcium on the brand new glass tiles. Will this product help me?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 1/3/2019 

Yes, an acid-based surface or tile cleaner will help remove the calcium build-up. We'd also recommend a product called Scale Free. This will help prevent future calcium scale.

 Posted: 9/19/2018 

Hello Richard - The first thing I would try is a pumice stone. A pumice stone can be used to rub the calcium spots off of the pool surface. You can then use a product called Scale Free to prevent the scale from coming back.

 Posted: 9/13/2018 

I had my pool plastered with Wet Edge plaster (pebble-tec) two years ago. The plaster color is medium to dark blue. This year I have experienced numerous white spots on the wails and floor of the pool. My pool service company tells me it is calcium. My PH level continues to be high but I try to keep the PH level at 7.4 by adding muriatic acid. My water tests perfect for hardness and calcium. What can I do to clear up this problem?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 8/29/2016 

Bruce - The most used way to remove that much calcium from a pool is to drain it as you indicated. Another option is to have a company filter your pool water with a reverse osmosis (RO) system. If you have a company like PuriPool or Calsaway in your area, they would bring a portable system to your pool to filter it. Adding additives to remove that much calcium is generally ineffective.

 Posted: 8/24/2016 

Ok, I have a pool with dark plaster. The pool is about one year old.I notice this white stuff all over the sides of the pool. I also noticed it on the bottom of pool. there are streaks(clean spots) where the pool sweep tail flip around. I have been doing my own chemicals. Well I took some water in to a pool service to have it checked. All chemicals were fine. He then checked for hardness, it was 1100. The pool is 18000 gallons. They sold me two jars of stain clear or something like that. I put it in two days ago, with no change in appearance today. Had the water checked to day no change. I live in California and of course everyone knows we have been in a drought. If I drain 9000 gallons of water my neighbors and the city will freak. Is there any other alternatives or do I just live with Freaky neighbors?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/12/2016 

Robbie - For the scum marks on the upper wall and grout, many people and used half a 3" chlorine tablet to scrub over the affected surfaces. Use gloves. The scale on the bottom of the pool will have to be brushed off with a stiff brush.

 Posted: 7/11/2016 

Hi I have just purchased a house with a indoor pool. The pool has been empty for about a year and a half and is of concrete construction with a tile bottom and top of the wall's.
There is a think scale on the bottom of the pool and like a think scum mark on the wall tile's. I have tried to jet wash off with not much help could some one please advice me on the best way to clean the pool of scum before I start to re-grout..

Thank You



InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 2/24/2016 

remove calcium - Your pool filter cannot remove calcium in your water. You will have to drain part of your pool and replace it with fresh water. If you have very hard water in your area, you might consider installing a water softener.

Anonymous  Posted: 2/23/2016 

Hi. I just used a razor to remove high calcium buildup on the pool tile, it was thick and scraping was the only way to remove it. The pool has not been open since sept, so there is no chemicals added yet. To lower the calcium level now, can I run the filter for awhile? OR do I have to drain half the pool?? I would rather not have to drain any water.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 8/1/2015 

calcium deposits - Your first step is to get your pool chemicals in balance. Take a sample of your water to a local pool store and have it tested. They will print out what is out of range and list what chemicals to add to correct your problems. Most likely your hardness and pH are too high. If your hardness is above 400, you will have to dump some of your pool water and replace with fresh to reduce the hardness level. This will stop calcium deposits and reduce calcium buildup. You may have to brush the bottom of your pool to work the existing calcium off.

Anonymous  Posted: 7/31/2015 

I have calcium deposits on the bottom of my pool. The pool has gray plaste. How do I remove the calcium from the deep end of the pool?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/25/2015 

bitz - Your rough surface is probably calcium which probably means your pool's hardness level is too high. Take a sample of your pool's water into a pool store and have them test the chemical levels of your pool. All chemical should be in balance but pH, Alkalinity and Hardness and critical to resolve this problem. Follow their instructions on what chemicals to add to get your pool in balance. If your pool's hardness level is above 400, you will have to dump some of your pool's water to reduce it to 350 for a little buffer. If the calcium buildup on your pool liner is severe, you may have to replace the liner.

 Posted: 7/25/2015 

I have a rough raspy build up of some sort on the pool bottom and sides of the liner under the water level. Where did it come from and how do I clean it off?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/22/2015 

Calcium Deposits - I would apply the Tile & Vinyl Cleaner on the water line with a long handled sponge, let it sit, and brush it off with your pool brush. Follow detailed instructions on the bottle. I would not leave the calcium deposits on too long. As soon as they are obvious, balance your pool chemicals and remove the deposits. The longer they are on your pool surfaces, the harder they will be to remove and the greater chance they will cause permanent damage.

Anonymous  Posted: 7/20/2015 

How long can the calcium sit there before damage can occur to the pool?

Anonymous  Posted: 7/20/2015 

Can this be done without having to get in the pool?