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Thread: Bulk borax

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    Bulk borax

    I'm interested in adding borates to my customers pools. My dealers aren't stocking any proteam stuff plus it's pricey. Anyways I have 40 customers that I'd like to start adding to and I don't wanna raid every Walmart for 50 miles. So I'm asking to see if any knows where I can buy bulk "borax" so I can save my customers some money. Naturally I can get all the acid I need as my dealers stock plenty of that. Any information would be great!
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    Re: Bulk borax

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    Re: Bulk borax

    Why not use boric acid? You can buy it from Duda Energy in 55lb pails. They may even supply larger bulk quantities.

    I'm not sure how it works out in all regions but for me using boric acid was cheaper than borax/Muriatic acid process ($56 total for boric acid versus $67 for equivalent borax/MA process).



    Matt
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    Re: Bulk borax

    These guys sell borax in 2000lbs bulk form It's a steal at $0.48/lb...You might need your own dump truck and a tanker full of muriatic acid though
    Matt
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    Re: Bulk borax

    Quote Originally Posted by X-PertPool View Post
    I'm interested in adding borates to my customers pools. My dealers aren't stocking any proteam stuff plus it's pricey. Anyways I have 40 customers that I'd like to start adding to and I don't wanna raid every Walmart for 50 miles. So I'm asking to see if any knows where I can buy bulk "borax" so I can save my customers some money. Naturally I can get all the acid I need as my dealers stock plenty of that. Any information would be great!
    Just so you know, in my pool with it's high CH, adding boric acid was a much easier process. I needed 40lbs and I added it by broadcast around the pool in 2 lbs increments and brushed every 10 lbs. It took me less than 30mins to get the boric acid in the water and fully dissolved. If you do the borax/MA process, you're going to have to do it in batches and do pH testing in between additions to make sure you're not spiking the pH. I bet doing it by borax/MA will take you twice as long.

    Also, make sure you get granular form and not fine powder. The fine powdered form of boric acid is really meant for insecticide use and it will float on the water surface and blow all over. Granular just sinks right in.
    Matt
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    Re: Bulk borax

    Is there any disadvantages to boric acid over borax?


    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    Why not use boric acid? You can buy it from Duda Energy in 55lb pails. They may even supply larger bulk quantities.

    I'm not sure how it works out in all regions but for me using boric acid was cheaper than borax/Muriatic acid process ($56 total for boric acid versus $67 for equivalent borax/MA process).



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    Re: Bulk borax

    No disadvantages. Technically the borax and acid result in boric acid but also increase sodium chloride salt levels. Adding boric acid just adds boric acid with no extra resulting salt.
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    Re: Bulk borax

    Quote Originally Posted by X-PertPool View Post
    Is there any disadvantages to boric acid over borax?
    I'm not sure what others think, but the choice of method may also depend on other water parameters. As I stated previously, for my pool which has high CH and a pH that always drifts up, boric acid made more sense as it precluded any possibility of causing calcium carbonate precipitation. If your pool customers have low CH and pools that tend to drop in pH, then borax may be a more desirable approach than boric acid.

    Since this is a service you are providing to your customer base, I'd assume you'd want the fastest and cheapest method possible. In which case, the boric acid route would seem to be the way to go as long as you properly prep the pool water first. Remember that you need to lower the TA before you add borates. Otherwise, it is much more difficult to do after the fact.


    Matt
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    Re: Bulk borax

    The rate at which TA can be lowered is dependent on the rate of carbon dioxide offgassing which does not change with borates. Therefore, the amount of acid that can be added per unit of time should be the same.

    If anything, lowering TA would be easier after borates because you could add the same amount of acid on the same frequency as without borates or you could add more acid at longer intervals, which could be better for someone doing it as a service where they can't be there every day.

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    Re: Bulk borax

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW View Post
    The rate at which TA can be lowered is dependent on the rate of carbon dioxide offgassing which does not change with borates. Therefore, the amount of acid that can be added per unit of time should be the same.
    That doesn't sound quite right to me but perhaps this conversation is headed for "The Deep End"

    The addition of acid is what consumes carbonate alkalinity by converting carbonates to bicarbonates. The bicarbonate is then driven to the formation of aqueous CO2 in equilibrium with carbonic acid. So, when aeration occurs, CO2 is driven from solution and the reaction equilibrium shifts demanding the formation of more carbonic acid from bicarbonate and hydrogen. In all those reaction steps, hydrogen ions are consumed and therefore the pH ultimately rises.

    CO2 out gassing rates are, in part, pH dependent. Therefore if it requires more acid to lower the pH with the presence of additional solution buffering due to the borates, then that is what I mean by being "harder" to lower TA as it takes more acid to get to a lower pH. Perhaps instead of saying TA I should have specified "carbonate alkalinity" as borates do add to the total alkalinity of the solution (less so than carbonates but still noticeable at 50ppm).


    Matt
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    Re: Bulk borax

    Going to start a separate thread.

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    Re: Bulk borax

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    I'm not sure what others think, but the choice of method may also depend on other water parameters. As I stated previously, for my pool which has high CH and a pH that always drifts up, boric acid made more sense as it precluded any possibility of causing calcium carbonate precipitation. If your pool customers have low CH and pools that tend to drop in pH, then borax may be a more desirable approach than boric acid.
    If one needs to raise the pH, one can use Borax for that which will raise the TA about half as much as using pH Up (sodium carbonate), but one could instead aerate the water which raises the pH with no change in TA though that may take longer. However, I wouldn't mix up the need to raise the pH with the process of lowering the TA. If your point was that one already had 20 Mule Team Borax on hand for the purposes of raising pH generally, then yes one could use that and acid if one wanted to, but personally I find boric acid so much easier and foolproof that I prefer it. It avoids the pH swings during the acid and Borax additions and it doesn't result in extra salt.
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    Re: Bulk borax

    If I have a 20k gallon pool and I add about 50 lbs of boric acid to bring it up to around 50ppm. Assuming the pool was fairly balanced beforehand are there any levels I should specifically watch out for so they don't go out of wack?


    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek View Post
    If one needs to raise the pH, one can use Borax for that which will raise the TA about half as much as using pH Up (sodium carbonate), but one could instead aerate the water which raises the pH with no change in TA though that may take longer. However, I wouldn't mix up the need to raise the pH with the process of lowering the TA. If your point was that one already had 20 Mule Team Borax on hand for the purposes of raising pH generally, then yes one could use that and acid if one wanted to, but personally I find boric acid so much easier and foolproof that I prefer it. It avoids the pH swings during the acid and Borax additions and it doesn't result in extra salt.
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    Re: Bulk borax

    Quote Originally Posted by X-PertPool View Post
    If I have a 20k gallon pool and I add about 50 lbs of boric acid to bring it up to around 50ppm. Assuming the pool was fairly balanced beforehand are there any levels I should specifically watch out for so they don't go out of wack?
    Poolmath says 800 oz of boric acid in a 20,000 gallon pool will raise Borate by 52 and lower pH by .3
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    Re: Bulk borax

    Okay so only a slight decrease in pH not that bad, thanks. Sorry for all the questions. Never messed with borates before but in want to keep my pools in tip top shape. I'm always hesitant when adding large volumes of chemicals
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    Re: Bulk borax

    So the price I got quoted was 1,160 + $413 for freight shipping. Which comes out to about 1.06 per pound of boric acid. How does this price compare to using off the shelf borax and acid?
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    Re: Bulk borax

    Quote Originally Posted by X-PertPool View Post
    So the price I got quoted was 1,160 + $413 for freight shipping. Which comes out to about 1.06 per pound of boric acid. How does this price compare to using off the shelf borax and acid?
    Cheaper I think. Walmart sells a 4lb box for about $5 or so depending on sales and acid, retail and cheapest I can get is $4.75/gal

    So using boric acid at $1.06/lb is a great price-point. Now tell us, how much ya gonna charge your customers


    Matt
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    Re: Bulk borax

    That's a good question. For a point of reference I charge 2$/pound for "alkalinity increaser" But most of my pools will be taking about 50 pounds so I think I may offer a bulk discount rate and then have a higher rate for supplementary additions in the future. I'm not happy with the 400 dollar freight charge and I tried calling around local companies but had no luck finding a local source. None of my pool companies carry it, metal plating, janitorial, chemical supply. no luck local
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    Re: Bulk borax

    Who did you get the quote from? Duda also sells on eBay with free shipping ... Of course they raise the price to compensate
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    Re: Bulk borax

    So if you are looking at 1500 pounds of boric acid, then this would be 27.2 55.12-pound containers from Duda Diesel so say you get 20+ for the price break of $42.95 each so that would be $0.78 per pound of boric acid, but without shipping costs. So you should contact Duda Diesel to find out those shipping costs by using this form.
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