When I Killed The Hot Tub

I killed a hot tub and swimming pool at the Conley’s Hotel and lost my job just because I followed orders and tried to clean them.

I recently bought this stuff the grocery store guy told me would clean the water stains of my tile floor. The name on the bottle is D-Scalin and basically, it is muriatic acid which is some pretty dangerous stuff.

A bottle of D-Scalin that I bought to clean the floors.

A bottle of D-Scalin that I bought to clean the floors.


It’s interesting to note that there are no instructions on how to use the stuff on the bottle. I even did an internet search and found no usage instructions. I only found warnings and precautions. It says to use gloves. Mix with water. Do not use pure. Use with caution. All this but nowhere does it say how to use the product. I asked my FaceBook friends and got a few different instructions from everyone. The only consistent thing they said was BE CAREFUL.

I used a little bit on the tile floor stain and it came right off. I made sure to mop it with my old mop a few times and then again with the regular mop and soap to make sure it was completely off the floor so my dogs didn’t burn their toes.

Here is my floor before and after. I am really happy with the results.

The water stain on my floor before using D-Scalin.

The water stain on my floor before using D-Scalin.

The water stain all gone after using D-Scalin.

The water stain all gone after using D-Scalin.


The Memory

I started thinking after I read the ingredients and I remembered that I did encounter this once before. When I was in High School I got a job as a lifeguard for the indoor pool at Conely’s Hotel on Rt8 in Gibsonia PA. I got my lifeguard certificate at the Mars Public Pool in Mars PA after a few weeks of lessons.

Picture of Mars Public Pool thanks to the Mars Area History & Landmarks Society?

Picture of Mars Public Pool thanks to the Mars Area History & Landmarks Society?

Mars Area History & Landmarks Society FaceBook page.

Mainly, what I did for my lifeguard job at the pool was sit on the lounge chair and watch a few people swimming. Sometimes I would have to tell some kids not to run around the pool or roughhouse. I got to swim when there was no one using the pool. Some of my Mars High School friends were maids and we had fun hanging out. I learned how to get free candy from the vending machines and basically, it was a fun job. The only real chore was having to sweep the pool and the little hot tub daily and clean and scrub the surrounding area. No biggy.

(I wish I could find a picture of Conley’s Hotel or the pool. I searched and found nothing. Sorry)

All the pool controls were underground. I thought it was so cool going down the trap door into the abyss to prepare for pool cleaning and sometimes just to hide out for a little while.

One day they gave me a bottle of cleaning stuff and told me to drain the hot tub and clean it. I really had no idea what to do so I just did what I thought. Emptied the tub. Dried out the little bit of water that was left and dumped the jug of cleaner into the tub. I remember that the stuff smelt really strong and chemical like when I went to climb into the tub to scrub. So I decided against getting inside, which was smart on my part because I would have been burnt. I got a scrub brush on a stick and scrubbed.

One of the kids whose families lived in the back apartments decided he would go inside and help scrub. He stepped in and in a few minutes started yelling. He said he was burning. He jumped into the pool to rinse it off. That’s when we knew that this stuff was bad.

I roped off the hot tub and left the stuff soaking, full strength, overnight. Came back to work the next day and started rinsing out the tub with water, letting it go down the drain. I kept rinsing and draining for a few more days until the smell was gone and it seemed to be clean.

Down in the underground control area, I noticed there was leaking as I was trying to add water to the hot tub. The pipes were leaking. I notified the owners of the hotel and they told me to stop filling the hot tub until they had someone look at it.


I returned the next afternoon to find workers everywhere and the big pool was being drained too. It seemed that the muric acid burnt the pipes or where they connected and some of the pool machines and pipes were leaking. I had no clue. No one told me how to use the stuff. It was their fault, not mine.

I was a 16 year old high school kid with an afterschool job. Well, I did have an afterschool job. Since they had to fix the pool and there was no swimming they told me not to come into work. After a few weeks I went in to see about my schedule and I wasn’t on the schedule. There was a new lifeguard. Huh, go figure, I killed the pool and I guess I was fired.

So this is what this little bottle of D-Scalin brought into my memories. How I killed the Conley’s Hotel Pool and lost my lifeguard job all in one shot.

Some precautions of Muric Acid I found while searching for usage instructions for D-Scalin. https://www.bobvila.com/articles/muriatic-acid/


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