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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I use pool muriatic acid it's little hard to handle so make sure you wear c hemical goggles and chemical gloves go up to your elbows. Get a hose with a nozzle on it keep it handy in case you get it on your skin you can flush i t fast it burns like anything not going to melt you to the bone just leave red mark. The only place you should be really careful is your eyes that's w hy you want the goggles like you ware in chemistry class. Another thing is hold your breath when your pouring it on a spot then step back let it work for awhile. I also mix it 50/50 in a 1 gallon bug sprayer with some dawn di sh soap that is easier then pouring it lot less comes out. Once I get every thing clean I fill up the tank with a gallon of pool acid let it cook for a n hour. Then I add water open the drain let it drain out make sure the drai n isn't going on concrete it will etch it. It's the only thing I found that can break down really thick scale my drain pump broke I used the cooler fo r 2 seasons without doing much but running a quart of cooler cleaner each s eason this year I replaced the pad and had to clean everything was so thick with build up. The de-etch stuff they sell for coolers hardly make a dent only pool acid is strong enough to break down 1/4 inch of calcium. You can use scrapers and wire brushes but then you will scuff up the paint it will rust I didn't want to do that.
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On Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at 9:57:36 PM UTC-7, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

chemical goggles and chemical gloves go up to your elbows. Get a hose with a nozzle on it keep it handy in case you get it on your skin you can flush it fast it burns like anything not going to melt you to the bone just leav e red mark. The only place you should be really careful is your eyes that's why you want the goggles like you ware in chemistry class. Another thing i s hold your breath when your pouring it on a spot then step back let it wor k for awhile. I also mix it 50/50 in a 1 gallon bug sprayer with some dawn dish soap that is easier then pouring it lot less comes out. Once I get eve rything clean I fill up the tank with a gallon of pool acid let it cook for an hour. Then I add water open the drain let it drain out make sure the dr ain isn't going on concrete it will etch it. It's the only thing I found th at can break down really thick scale my drain pump broke I used the cooler for 2 seasons without doing much but running a quart of cooler cleaner each season this year I replaced the pad and had to clean everything was so thi ck with build up. The de-etch stuff they sell for coolers hardly make a den t only pool acid is strong enough to break down 1/4 inch of calcium. You ca n use scrapers and wire brushes but then you will scuff up the paint it wil l rust I didn't want to do that. When you need to really clean like this be st to remove the pads so you can get to everything easier. You can run pool acid in the pads but if it's really bad just replace the pads not worth th e hassle.
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