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Old 03-04-2013, 07:06 PM   #31
JamesG
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Yeah it could dissolve the tub's gelcoat. Speaking of... are you sure that it's a buildup of residue? Could it be that the finish has been etched or oxidized somehow and what you are seeing is the remains of the original gel/top coat?
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:19 PM   #32
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Yeah it could dissolve the tub's gelcoat. Speaking of... are you sure that it's a buildup of residue? Could it be that the finish has been etched or oxidized somehow and what you are seeing is the remains of the original gel/top coat?
This is definitely residue - you can scrape it with a metal object to get to the underlying acrylic. Scrubbing with the oxacylic acid has removed some of it, but it still looks like crap.

I did some research today and found there are two kinds of calcium deposits, calcium carbonate which is not hard to remove and calcium silicate which is very hard to remove. I think I have the latter.

I also read that this is a common problem, especially where the water evaporates near the water surface, and especially with hot tubs because they are much hotter than pools.

There are several spots that are much worse than the other, not sure why except one is near the filter.

The basic problem is that the PO didn't do the maintenance on the tub the way he should have. If you keep it clean and under control then you don't have to spend so much time late cleaning it up. This is kind of the way the whole property is; it needs a lot of work because the PO didn't maintain it the way they should have. Not terrible, but obviously not kept up.

I've got a lot of projects to do. *sigh*
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:43 PM   #33
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Lime-A-Way. Get the gel; not the spray.

I use this stuff to clean water bowls, for the dogs. After a couple months, they get scaling. I've tried everything that you have. Lime-A-Way literally dissolves it on contact. The spray product doesn't work near as well as the gel.
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:03 AM   #34
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Lime-A-Way. Get the gel; not the spray.

I use this stuff to clean water bowls, for the dogs. After a couple months, they get scaling. I've tried everything that you have. Lime-A-Way literally dissolves it on contact. The spray product doesn't work near as well as the gel.
Thanks. Home depot has it so i will stop by there tonight and get some to try.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:06 PM   #35
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Well, I am afraid Lime-a-way only worked marginally better, if that, than anything else.

I let it sit, for about ten minutes, on an area that was pretty bad near the filter and then scrubbed on it, then repeated, and it made a dent, but only just.

I guess I am going to have to scrub and scrub and scrub.
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:44 AM   #36
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No shit.

Give it a try.

It'll take anything off. No scrubbing required.
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:27 AM   #37
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Well, I am afraid Lime-a-way only worked marginally better, if that, than anything else.

I let it sit, for about ten minutes, on an area that was pretty bad near the filter and then scrubbed on it, then repeated, and it made a dent, but only just.

I guess I am going to have to scrub and scrub and scrub.
Well, shit! That thing must be horrible.

If the SnoBol doesn't work, I guess, you can use a pneumatic angle grinder with a Scotchbrite disc. The buildup will smell like teeth being drilled at the dentist. Weird, I know.
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:06 AM   #38
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Have you tried or considered mechanically buffing the tub? As one of the other ADV'ers suggested, there are some marine buffing compounds out there, perhaps that applied with a good electric buffing wheel might do the trick? Boats and hot tubs have a lot in common.
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:44 PM   #39
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I can scrape the really heavy layers off with a knife, until it gets down to the texture and then I can't get what is in the texture (it is like the rough surface of Kydex). Buffing with a scrubber won't help on the rough texture portions because the buffer would not be able to get down into the texture any better than I could.

Most of the deposits are on the rough texture portion of the tub which is the upper 8 to 12 inches of the tub, which is at or above the water line where the water evaporates and leaves behind the calcium.

So what I need is something that will chemically remove those deposits as the only way to mechanically remove them would ruin the texture. Maybe a stiff nylon brush on a wheel might do it, but I doubt it; it has to be something harder than calcium silicate which is hard stuff - only metal seems to scrub it away on the heavy layers.

I guess if I can't find anything then I will do the best I can to get the really heavy stuff removed (which you can see whether they are wet or not) and then do the best I can on the rest. When the surface is wet on the lighter deposits you can't see them, and in that case the tub will be full anyway. It just bugs me.
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:51 PM   #40
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Here is a pic of the worst part (after scrubbing it multiple times with multiple cleaners and leaving them on it for 15 to 30 minutes):

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Old 03-09-2013, 06:35 AM   #41
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:06 AM   #42
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Yeah, it is pretty bad.

I think I can make a dent in it. As you can see it looks much worse where the surface is dry, but when the tub is full and running most of it will be invisible - except the really bad spots like those near the filter which don't disappear when wet.

The other thing is that it sits on a pile of railroad ties and those are rotting now. So eventually that will have to be replaced (I would either just remove it and replace the deck area where it is, or put a concrete platform there). At that point I may just replace the hot tub (but they are expensive! And I have lots of other house/property stuff I would rather spend money on).

I would prefer to not spend my days off scrubbing on this thing, I have lots of other stuff to do, especially now that the weather is getting warmer and nicer (it is sunny out and supposed to get up to 60 today). I would rather be working on the landscaping, or organizing my man cave, or cutting up some firewood, or riding my motorcycle, or repairing my truck, or just sitting around doing nothing (which is mostly what I do).
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:52 AM   #43
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or just sitting around doing nothing (which is mostly what I do).
I'm with ya'!
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:33 PM   #44
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It occurred to me today that maybe a pressure washer would make a dent in it. I borrowed one - 1400 PSI electric - and it did make a dent, but only if I used the needle point nozzle and held it about a quarter inch away. And it wouldn't even touch the really bad spots.

At that rate it was not too much better than scrubbing.

So I pressure washed the deck and a few other things. I am thinking about getting a higher pressure gas engined pressure washer. Would be a handy thing to have around - I want to strip the deck later when the weather dries out, and repaint it with non-slip paint (it gets very slick in the winter, especially when wet).
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:00 AM   #45
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Try the Sno Bol. Seriously. It'll eat that lime and scale off there with no scrubbing required.
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