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Thread: Adding Borates, Check My Starting Point Please

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    john.esher's Avatar
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    Adding Borates, Check My Starting Point Please

    I'd like to give borates a try this year, so I ordered the appropriate weight granules and they're on the way. Having read the pool school article, I'm looking to adjust my numbers before adding the borate. My latest test results are such:

    June 01, 2016 @ 11:27

    Temperature: 74
    pH: 7.6
    Free Chlorine: 2.8
    Combined Chlorine: 0
    Cyanuric Acid: 100
    Total Alkalinity: 80
    Calcium Hardness: 90
    Sodium Chloride: 2200

    I have additional salt dissolving now to bring up to 3400, and I've been vacuuming to waste to do partial water changes to lower the CYA. I will be adding some bleach if today's run of the SWG does not boost the FC. Reading the article on TA, I see I shouldn't necessarily adjust for the sake of a number, yet the borate article indicates it might be better to adjust to the lower end of the range before adding.

    So, what would you do?
    Intex 18' x 52" AG with Sand Filter Pump & SWG (Model ECO15110) about 7,600 gallons tested with a K-2006-SALT.

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    Re: Adding Borates, Check My Starting Point Please

    Is your pH fairly stable? Some pools like different TA. Mine swings at 80, so I'm trying to get mine down to see if it is more stable at 70. You want TA to be correct before you add the borates, because once you add them it is really hard to move TA.

    Always boost FC with bleach unless it's only off a little bit, don't overwork your SWG. I only use my SWG to maintain.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: Adding Borates, Check My Starting Point Please

    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieH View Post
    Is your pH fairly stable?
    Yes, it's been 7.6 since the day after I set it up (25th of May).

    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieH View Post
    Always boost FC with bleach unless it's only off a little bit, don't overwork your SWG. I only use my SWG to maintain.
    I usually follow that advice. I'm trying to dial in the run time on the pump/SWG.
    Intex 18' x 52" AG with Sand Filter Pump & SWG (Model ECO15110) about 7,600 gallons tested with a K-2006-SALT.

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    Re: Adding Borates, Check My Starting Point Please

    Well, that's only a week, but that said I know in a week because mine will swing from 7.2 to 8.0 in a week. If you are that stable already, I say go for it!
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: Adding Borates, Check My Starting Point Please

    Robbie? Aren't borates supposed to help control pH bounce? If I am considering adding borates to help control my bounce doesn't it stand to reason that I am going to bounce during the process?
    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
    You Need: Bleach, a A Test Kit & a Bookmark to "Pool School". Now what's your question?

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    Re: Adding Borates, Check My Starting Point Please

    Quote Originally Posted by mikemass View Post
    Robbie? Aren't borates supposed to help control pH bounce? If I am considering adding borates to help control my bounce doesn't it stand to reason that I am going to bounce during the process?
    Yes, but you want to have TA as close to perfect for YOUR pool before adding them. About 4 years ago I added them when I had a Liquidator. This cleared the problem of "white stuff". But when I discovered a LQ is not a good solution for a pool my size, I went SWG. My pH swings down .8 points in a week, and I have to use a gallon of MA to get it back up to 7.8. The borates in the pool did not help as my TA was 90. I finally got it down to 80, and it still had swings. I'm on new plaster (2 years old now) and new water, and still my TA is 80 with the same swing, but no borates. I'm waiting to get down to 70 to see if it's better, because I already know from experience that even with borates my pH will fall with TA at 80. I may even have to go as low as 60. I want the borates to make a good thing better, I don't want to attempt a band-aid fix on a problem again. Buying that much boric acid (well over 100 lbs) is not cheap.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: Adding Borates, Check My Starting Point Please

    Interesting. I attempted the borates a few seasons ago. Did not notice much of a difference in the pH bounce. But then again I probably didn't have my TA low enough. Considering trying it again as I am sure after 2 full years I am depleted of Borates now.
    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
    You Need: Bleach, a A Test Kit & a Bookmark to "Pool School". Now what's your question?

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    Re: Adding Borates, Check My Starting Point Please

    Quote Originally Posted by mikemass View Post
    Interesting. I attempted the borates a few seasons ago. Did not notice much of a difference in the pH bounce. But then again I probably didn't have my TA low enough. Considering trying it again as I am sure after 2 full years I am depleted of Borates now.
    Borates won't go away over time, only through splash-out and water replacement. But, you found the same thing I did. If TA isn't perfect, borates are not going to help much. They do seem to prevent scaling if pH goes off though.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!

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    Re: Adding Borates, Check My Starting Point Please

    I've derailed this thread enough - Sorry to the OP. But while we are at it. You think my 3+ year old borate test strips will still be accurate? They've been stored in a dark cabinet in my kitchen all this time. I know Borates don't get lost on their own, but this was back in the 2013 season.... That's 3 partial drains for winterizing. Another partial drain for overshooting my salt. And 3 seasons of splash-out. So I am expecting them to be quite low.
    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
    You Need: Bleach, a A Test Kit & a Bookmark to "Pool School". Now what's your question?

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    Re: Adding Borates, Check My Starting Point Please

    They probably work. That's about how old mine are, and they register 15 on my water which is about right. I did go back up to 50 at one point, but then I had a massive leak in my light niche and lost a lot of water.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!

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    john.esher's Avatar
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    Re: Adding Borates, Check My Starting Point Please

    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieH View Post
    Well, that's only a week, but that said I know in a week because mine will swing from 7.2 to 8.0 in a week. If you are that stable already, I say go for it!
    Looking back at my results from last season I see that 7.6 pH is where I was 90% of the time. My TA, however, fluctuated toward the end upward of 120, from a start of 70. I have no reason to believe that it won't go up without careful attention.

    I'll work on getting it down to 70 while waiting for the boric acid.
    Intex 18' x 52" AG with Sand Filter Pump & SWG (Model ECO15110) about 7,600 gallons tested with a K-2006-SALT.

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