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Thread: Introduction/Borate Question

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    Introduction/Borate Question

    Hello everyone, I'm Brian, new to the forum. I love the information provided here. I have been a career lab tech in multiple industries with my current role being QA/FS Tech for a major Cereal manufacturer. The avoidance of the seemingly self perpetuating pool chemical industry greatly appeals to me. SO I have converted to bleach for Chlorine and Borax/MA for ph adjustment. I have a big bag of Baking Soda for TA (though right now I am running quite high in that property).

    I started off reading the precursors to this forum (poolsolutions/poolforum) and this is where my question originates....i think.

    I would love the benefits of going the borate route but I though I read somewhere that if there was any copper in the water that this was a no-no? Any truth to this?

    Background: I drank the kool aid and sprung for one of those mineral systems (Frog Leap) when I bought my pool (21" Round, 54") . I recently came back from 10 days away to algae blooms and I disconnected it for good. I believe it may have imparted at least some copper/silver ions.

    Can I go with the Borate model....or do I need to somehow remove those pesky "metals"?

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    Re: Introduction/Borate Question

    Welcome to the forum,

    Borates or no, you are likely to stain if the levels are high enough, so reducing them Under any circumstances are adviseable. Often the precip of metals is pH induced, but I honestly don't know what function Borate would have in that role. It's likely rhetorical but Borates are totally optional, and many of us don't use them them at all. It's one of the reasons we don't refer to the BBB method, but even more so as in your case the lack of need for Baking Soda. Most in fact don't not need it. In any event, good to have you aboard, hope you enjoy the forum.
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    Re: Introduction/Borate Question

    Welcome to the forum. Just reaffirming what Patrick_B said, I would suggest you not use them at all for at least 30-60 days. You need that time to get used to your pool and understanding how it reacts to different additions.

    Can you post current test results?
    Dave S.
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Introduction/Borate Question

    Welcome to TFP!

    I am a big fan of borates added 3 boxes today. Maybe it is all in my head but in my head my pool water is better with borax.

    But, you need to get your TA down first. More here on Lowering Total Alkalinity

    Have you read this nifty article about borates?
    Borates - Why and How
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    Re: Introduction/Borate Question

    Thanks for the welcome folks. I think I am mixing up things I read. In any event I ran that frog thing through half it's life span, I will have to double check it's active ingredient. It did seem to soften the water but when I returned to the algae I unhooked it and the coil hose "heater" to allow for more direct water flow. My filter was doing bubkus while I was hone because I had a pre vac leak. SO I returned to a mess. I did an abridged SLAM for two days this week using 8 lbs of shock. I switched to bleach and have two gallons in and my FC held overnight last night at 3ppb and it agrees with TC. However water was still cloudy this am.

    My numbers are
    TC. 3
    FC. 3
    CYA 30-50 (HACH)
    pH. 7.5 (was at 6.8 but aerated for 36 hours)
    TA. HIGH 140 OR SO IIRC

    I think the root of my troubles is inadequate filtration. .... I get no significant pressure increase ...i think the dead algae is just being recirculated.....filter upgrade is in my future

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    Re: Introduction/Borate Question

    Just curious, which HACH procedure did you use? I know of one and it shows higher than the Taylor reagents
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    Re: Introduction/Borate Question

    I picked up a K1004 Taylor kit that didn't have reagents for CYA So I went with Hach 7 way strips that covered it from a pool store ....

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    Re: Introduction/Borate Question

    That Taylor kit actually has a borate color gauge next to the Chlorine....don't know how accurate it is....I also just ordered the more precise Taylor chlorine kit. ..i disremember the designation on that one but it's the one with the powder, that reads a much greater range....

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    Re: Introduction/Borate Question

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    Welcome to TFP!

    I am a big fan of borates added 3 boxes today. Maybe it is all in my head but in my head my pool water is better with borax.

    But, you need to get your TA down first. More here on Lowering Total Alkalinity

    Have you read this nifty article about borates?
    Borates - Why and How
    Yes I have read both of those...and I'm sure I will revisit. The TA is high but my pH was low so I was hesitant to add muriatic. The aeration worked wonders and hopefully the pH is holding high enough that I can take it and the TA with the MA.....

    Thanks to you and the others for the warm welcome.....

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    Re: Introduction/Borate Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Irishbri View Post
    That Taylor kit actually has a borate color gauge next to the Chlorine....don't know how accurate it is....I also just ordered the more precise Taylor chlorine kit. ..i disremember the designation on that one but it's the one with the powder, that reads a much greater range....
    The BR is Bromine, not borates. Borate testing is typically done with LaMotte strips.


    Matt
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    Re: Introduction/Borate Question

    Dang....yeah a whole other chapter....thanks for the clarification.

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    Re: Introduction/Borate Question

    AND It was prob Bromine that doesn't play nice with copper I reckon....

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    Re: Introduction/Borate Question

    Latest numbers

    TC...0.5
    FC...0.5
    pH....7.8
    TA...220
    CYA 100

    Water is cloudy and I have tan spots on the bottom.....

    I am considering over night SLAM.....

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    Re: Introduction/Borate Question

    Then muriatic in the AM....

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    Re: Introduction/Borate Question

    With CYA over 100 it could be much higher, 100 is the highest it can read. It could be 200-300. A series of 30-40% partial drains and refill is recommended to get your CYA under control first.

    Chlorine level is set based on the CYA level and the Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart. With CYA that high it is not practical to chlorinate your pool.
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    Re: Introduction/Borate Question

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    With CYA over 100 it could be much higher, 100 is the highest it can read. It could be 200-300. A series of 30-40% partial drains and refill is recommended to get your CYA under control first.

    Chlorine level is set based on the CYA level and the Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart. With CYA that high it is not practical to chlorinate your pool.
    I am using the Hach strips for CYA....they supposedly read to 300 ppb.....

    Dang....I held 3 on FC and TC overnight and thought with a high end CYA it would not be so affected by sunlight....but I lost 2.5 today.....

    So your thinking my CYA is much higher, huh?

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Introduction/Borate Question

    The CYA in the TF100 and K-2006 only read to 100. And we have seen much higher with a reading of 100. Test strips are just not accurate.

    I recommend getting a test kit from the Pool School - Test Kits Compared. I use the TF100 fro TFTestkits.net.

    Click that chlorine CYA chart. Having 3 ppm FC isn't going to help much keeping algae away. Minimum FC level is 7 with CYA 100, target level is 12 and shock level is 39.

    Have a look at this, Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
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    Re: Introduction/Borate Question

    Thanks for getting back. I did browse that article and familiarized myself with the chart. So it sounds like until I can do the drain cycles (which I am really not looking forward to) i will have to keep the chlorine levels up past the point of safe swimming?

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Introduction/Borate Question

    Yes, chlorine level must be maintained based on the CYA chart levels to keep the pool safe, sanitized and algae free. My only concern is that I'm not confident that your CYA is 100. One point, the PH test is not valid when FC is above 10 so be sure to check it only when it is 10 or less.
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    Re: Introduction/Borate Question

    Well, I am glad I didn't pull the trigger and drain cycle my pool....the TF-100 arrived today and gave me a CYA of under 40

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