Cleaning swamp cooler

I've started cleaning my cooler for the summer. First thing, clean out the calcium in the water pan. I scraped off the soft stuff but there's a 1/4" layer of hard calcium in part of the water reservoir (sp?). A putty knife isn't doing much good in some places. I poured some Lime Away on a portion of it to see if it helps; so far it doesn't. I have some "The Works" toilet bowl cleaner. I think it's weak hydrochloric acid.
I've always used a "Fresh Air' white block in the cooler water that's supposed to neutralize the calcium in my well water. I also use that mesh bag of something that's supposed to do the same. Past years these have worked but not last year for some reason. Harder well water?
Any suggestions?
TIA
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wrote:

I bought a gallon of white several years ago but never found a use for it. Now I have. Thanks for the reminder.
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I bought some of the more concentrated stuff at my grocery, designated for cleaning. It was at the soap isle. Probably Heinz 6% . Since then, I don't see it anymore.
I have a humidifier going here. If the tank runs dry, the tops of the pads calcify first, reducing efficiency. I've soaked them in vinegar to renew.
Greg
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wrote:

Tried the white and let it sit for three days. No help. Back to the drawing board. I'm beginning to think I may have to let this stay in the pan; I'm afraid I'll ruin the paint finish if I hack at it with anything more than a putty knife. <Sigh> First time in some 30 years I've had this problem. Something has definitely changed but I'm not sure what.
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On 2/19/2015 12:39 PM, KenK wrote:

If it were my cooler, I'd try small bits (ounce or less) of muriatic acid, see if that helps.
Someone on this list suggested concentrated muriatic to remove rust from steel tools. I did try it on a pair of fence pliers that had sat outdoors for many years. Entirely to my surprise, the acid (and some pounding) freed them up. The pivot joint is as good as new, and maybe better. Some lubrication helped.
I'd not want to acid down to the metal, if possible. Some calcium scale might be covering holes in the pan.
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4ax.com:

Thanks.
Tried Lowes. They didn't have it in the cleaning or swamp cooler section. Trying to find it locally and save shipping costs. Not fond of Home Depot but will try there after I try Tru-Value Hardware.
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