Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Borates

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    La Porte, Texas
    Posts
    37

    Borates

    I will be switching to BBB method

    Have not used any Borax yet how critical is the Borate
    test and what does that influence beyond increasing the Total
    Alkilinity?
    17' x 35' x 8' in ground Vinyl lined, 24400 gal, age unknown
    Pentair Cartridge Filter
    Hayward Super II Pump
    ( liquid bleach)
    Richard

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Shallotte, NC
    Posts
    693

    Re: Borates

    The Borate test is a color match and isn't all that critical. Don't worry about TA, but have enough MA on hand to balance the pH....

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Divin Dave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Longview, Texas
    Posts
    4,926

    Re: Borates

    You might not even need Borates. Although the acronym of BBB is still fairly popular, TFPC would prefer the acronym we use be TFPC (TroubleFree Pool Care).
    This because 2 of the B's may not even be needed and BBB seems to suggest that they are.

    TFP official recommendation, is not to borate the pool until you have a decent grasp on the chemistry, and have successfully kept your pool balanced and self maintained for about 3 months.

    Borates can be an optional enhancement, but by no means is it required to balance the pool water.

    Quote Originally Posted by rick458 View Post
    I will be switching to BBB method

    Have not used any Borax yet how critical is the Borate
    test and what does that influence beyond increasing the Total
    Alkilinity?
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

  4. Back To Top    #4

    TFP Guide

    chiefwej's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Tucson
    Posts
    2,853

    Re: Borates

    Borax is frequently used by many pool owners to raise pH. When it is used in this manner no borate testing is ever needed.

    A much less common situation is the use of borates added (in much larger quantities) to help buffer rapid pH changes. This is where borate tests come into play.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    La Porte, Texas
    Posts
    37

    Re: Borates

    In TFP management the Baking Soda / Total Alkalinity controls the PH swing am I right?
    17' x 35' x 8' in ground Vinyl lined, 24400 gal, age unknown
    Pentair Cartridge Filter
    Hayward Super II Pump
    ( liquid bleach)
    Richard

  6. Back To Top    #6

    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sebring, Florida
    Posts
    30,077

    Re: Borates

    Baking Soda / Total Alkalinity controls the PH swing am I right?
    Not quite. I always think of it like this..

    pH up - 20 mule team borax

    pH down - Muriatic acid

    TA up - Baking soda

    TA down - aeration and acid...it's process found in Pool School that you must read to make TA change quickly and permanently
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  7. Back To Top    #7
    robdac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Weston, FL
    Posts
    232

    Re: Borates

    Quote Originally Posted by rick458 View Post
    Have not used any Borax yet how critical is the Borate
    test and what does that influence beyond increasing the Total
    Alkilinity?
    I have never used borax beyond adding borates to my pool. The only difference I can tell with borates is the water is subjectively shines more. It's not usually part of TPFC. My pH usually rises so all I need in muratic acid.
    11K gal IG screened-in plaster pool w/ spa
    pentair 150 cartridge filter, Pentair Intelliflow VS pump,
    Aquarite AQR15 SWG, AquaCal Heatwave Heat Pump, TF-100 test kit

  8. Back To Top    #8

    TFP Guide

    chiefwej's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Tucson
    Posts
    2,853

    Re: Borates

    Most pool owners will find that their pH has a natural tendency to keep moving in one direction. So you will need to add either acid to lower it, or borax to raise it, but not both. Most will find they use acid, few ever need borax to raise pH.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    49

    Re: Borates

    i added the borax to my pool and the ph stayed stable for longer, but its again drifted upwards ... and now i have to add a whole bunch MuriaticAcid at a time to fix it ... so i dont know what it saved me ... it supposedly might serve as a secondary pool sanitizer along the chlorine
    TX/Dallas | 18K ? gal. | Plaster | Jandy valves, Jandy panel, Aqualink RS4
    Pentair Challenger Fixed 2hp | SWG AquaPure PLC1400*repl 2015 | Pentair Clean & Clear 420
    ThePoolCleaner 2wheels

  10. Back To Top    #10

    TFP Guide

    chiefwej's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Tucson
    Posts
    2,853

    Re: Borates

    Using 50 ppm borates to help stabilize pH won't reduce the amount of acid you need to use, it just delays it. Additions of acid are needed less frequent, but more is needed each time. Borates make the pH harder to move, in both directions, so it takes it longer to rise, and requires more acid to lower.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Shallotte, NC
    Posts
    693

    Re: Borates

    Quote Originally Posted by chiefwej View Post
    Using 50 ppm borates to help stabilize pH won't reduce the amount of acid you need to use, it just delays it. Additions of acid are needed less frequent, but more is needed each time. Borates make the pH harder to move, in both directions, so it takes it longer to rise, and requires more acid to lower.
    This has not been my experience...... with 50 PPM Borates and a TA of 50-60 PPM, my pH has been rock solid at 7.6 and I haven't added a drop of MA in 6 months.

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Rafael, CA USA
    Posts
    12,082

    Re: Borates

    In theory, the borates should just delay the rise in pH but not change the total amount of acid that needs to be added. For some people they find that the borates indeed lessened the amount of acid needed but we don't know why for sure. It could be that without the borates people swung the pH down further since it would tend to rise faster and when the pH is lower there's more carbon dioxide outgassing so more acid would be needed. Or there might be some other effect of borates on the rate of carbon dioxide outgassing relating to surface tension or some other effect, but it doesn't seem to be consistent.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  13. Back To Top    #13
    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    11,584

    Re: Borates

    Perhaps the secondary effects are playing a bigger role - borates do cut down the pH rise inside an SWG cell (reducing scaling) and they do act as a mild algaecide. Perhaps both of those effects together contribute to reduced usage of the cell and a reduction in pH rise? In the case of pools using dosed liquid chlorine sources (manual or automated dosing), I'm not sure one would see enough of a drop in chlorine demand (via-a-vis reduced LC additions) to have a similar effect on pH. The number of factors involved would require a good set of statistics to do a multi-factor analysis to see which ones are significant.

    In my experience with borates, they did lower the frequency of MA additions substantially and reduced the amount needed by a small amount. I also keep my TA at the lower end of the range and target my acid additions so that my pH never really goes below 7.5, so that also helps greatly.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    49

    Re: Borates

    so when my ph goes up it doesnt seem to go higher than 8.2 (electronic ph meter) even if i leave it like that for a month without MA (maybe it follows some kind of logarithmic curve ?)
    TX/Dallas | 18K ? gal. | Plaster | Jandy valves, Jandy panel, Aqualink RS4
    Pentair Challenger Fixed 2hp | SWG AquaPure PLC1400*repl 2015 | Pentair Clean & Clear 420
    ThePoolCleaner 2wheels

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Rafael, CA USA
    Posts
    12,082

    Re: Borates

    This is consistent with carbon dioxide outgassing slowing down at higher pH as shown in this chart where you can see that lower TA and higher pH is less over-carbonated. It actually should stop outgassing somewhat below 8.2, but the borates become stronger pH buffers at higher pH (see pH Buffer Capacity) so that may also be part of what you are seeing. That is, a combination of slower carbon dioxide outgassing at higher pH and stronger pH buffering from the borates at higher pH. With your SWG you may have some undissolved chlorine gas outgassing and that won't slow down at higher pH but the borates will buffer the pH more strongly at higher pH.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    arlington, tx
    Posts
    100

    Re: Borates

    do borates really decrease the overall amount of chlorine consumption in the pool???

  17. Back To Top    #17
    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    11,584

    Borates

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcion333 View Post
    do borates really decrease the overall amount of chlorine consumption in the pool???
    This claim is probably the hardest one to nail down. There is no direct chemical interaction between chlorine and borates. But borates at 50ppm do act as a mild algaecide similar to what one might experience by using Polyquat-60. So, if the borates help to keep the algae levels down, then you indirectly affect the FC demand.

    In my own pool, this is my experience - when my borates fall below 30ppm, I notice my SWG needs to be run at a higher % output to maintain constant FC. When I first borated my water, I did not adjust my SWG at all and I measured an immediate 2ppm increase in FC and it stayed that way so I had to turn down my SWG output.

    That being said, other users do not report consistent enough results in this area to make the broad claim that borates will reduce chlorine consumption.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •