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Thread: Boring pool water. Time for Borates?

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    Boring pool water. Time for Borates?

    Now that I finally understand pool water and never ever have an issue with it, I would like to add borates to my pool. Please let me know if you think now is a good time.

    TC always between 3-7
    PH always between 7.5-7.8
    TA hovering at 100-110
    No CC's
    Pool clear

    A few years ago, we added salt to make the water feel nice and to get rid of some molding cash in our wallet.

    If I've never added borates, do I assume that my starting point is 0? If so, Pool calculator say to add 79 pounds granular boric acid.

    Is it time? Circle one: YES NO MAYBE
    Theresa and/or Gary

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Boring pool water. Time for Borates?

    TA is higher than I think the article recommends before adding borates.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Boring pool water. Time for Borates?

    Yup. Jason is right. I would get the TA down using this method: Pool School - Lower Total Alkalinity

    When you get TA down to where your pH is stable over a good amount of time, then you can add borates.

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    Re: Boring pool water. Time for Borates?

    Granular boric acid is the way to go.
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    Re: Boring pool water. Time for Borates?

    UGH, it has taken FOREVER to get the TA even to 100. After putting in the muriatic acid, it takes a week to get the PH back up again. And this is with all the water features on and 10 kids splashing and using the diving board. I've also turned the return eyeballs 'up'. I've never had to adjust the pH on its own. The pH is ALWAYS within a great range. I only adjust the pH so that the TA will come down. I have battled this the entire time I've had the pool. Every year the TA starts around 125 and I spend the ENTIRE summer slowly adding acid and the aerating over and over again. I have never ever been able to get the TA under 100. Frankly, I don't really care if the TA is high as it doesn't seem to affect how the water looks. I've only tried every year to get it down because I would like to add borates. Usually, it takes so many weeks that I eventually decide there isn't enough summer left to enjoy it anyway. Thoughts?
    Theresa and/or Gary

    Complete DIY: 20x40' rectangle. Resin walls, vinyl lined. 33000 gallons. Full width steps. 8' deep. Diving board, slide. Hayward pro series super pump, sand filter. Raypack 336K BTU heater. Main drain, 2 skimmers, 3 returns, 2 amerilite lights with quick change lens Aquamatic auto cover and a partridge in a pear tree.
    Breaking our backs in the hopes that one of our six kids will care for us when we are old ;)

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    Re: Boring pool water. Time for Borates?

    Since your pH and pool has been stable, is there a particular reason you want to add borates?
    20k IG vinyl liner/Aqua Rite SWCG, T-15 cell/Hayward Pro Grid 6020 DE filter/Polaris 280 with booster pump/Hayward Superpump 1 hp/city water/pool installed March 2004

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    Re: Boring pool water. Time for Borates?

    Mainly because people on here just rave about how great it makes the water feel and how the 'sparkle' is amazing.
    Theresa and/or Gary

    Complete DIY: 20x40' rectangle. Resin walls, vinyl lined. 33000 gallons. Full width steps. 8' deep. Diving board, slide. Hayward pro series super pump, sand filter. Raypack 336K BTU heater. Main drain, 2 skimmers, 3 returns, 2 amerilite lights with quick change lens Aquamatic auto cover and a partridge in a pear tree.
    Breaking our backs in the hopes that one of our six kids will care for us when we are old ;)

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Boring pool water. Time for Borates?

    I would not bother if that is your thinking. Plus sounds like you would lose it yearly too.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Boring pool water. Time for Borates?

    Quote Originally Posted by 8corneflakes View Post
    Mainly because people on here just rave about how great it makes the water feel and how the 'sparkle' is amazing.
    I think those descriptions are exaggerations.

    Btw, I do use borates, but for different reasons. I didn't notice a difference in appearance or feel when I started using borates years ago.
    20k IG vinyl liner/Aqua Rite SWCG, T-15 cell/Hayward Pro Grid 6020 DE filter/Polaris 280 with booster pump/Hayward Superpump 1 hp/city water/pool installed March 2004

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    Re: Boring pool water. Time for Borates?

    Regarding your "high" TA, again if your pH is stable and you have no other problems then I wouldn't worry about it.
    20k IG vinyl liner/Aqua Rite SWCG, T-15 cell/Hayward Pro Grid 6020 DE filter/Polaris 280 with booster pump/Hayward Superpump 1 hp/city water/pool installed March 2004

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    Re: Boring pool water. Time for Borates?

    Quote Originally Posted by 8corneflakes View Post
    UGH, it has taken FOREVER to get the TA even to 100. After putting in the muriatic acid, it takes a week to get the PH back up again. And this is with all the water features on and 10 kids splashing and using the diving board. I've also turned the return eyeballs 'up'. I've never had to adjust the pH on its own. The pH is ALWAYS within a great range. I only adjust the pH so that the TA will come down. I have battled this the entire time I've had the pool. Every year the TA starts around 125 and I spend the ENTIRE summer slowly adding acid and the aerating over and over again. I have never ever been able to get the TA under 100. Frankly, I don't really care if the TA is high as it doesn't seem to affect how the water looks. I've only tried every year to get it down because I would like to add borates. Usually, it takes so many weeks that I eventually decide there isn't enough summer left to enjoy it anyway. Thoughts?
    I'm kinda in the same boat. I did add borax (which currently sits at 30ppm) but TA is back up to 130. Now I want to lower my TA with acid but raise my pH afterwards as well, but with borax you'll raise the TA back again. And like you said, manual aeration takes too long. So quick search for me yield these two potential solutions:
    Aeration and PH
    My DIY Aerator

    I'll be heading to home depot/lowes tomorrow and try to build one myself.
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    Re: Boring pool water. Time for Borates?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saturn94 View Post
    Regarding your "high" TA, again if your pH is stable and you have no other problems then I wouldn't worry about it.
    Agreed. If your PH stays 7.5 to 7.8 on its own then no need to lower TA. I like some borates. They don't make it worse and it seems better to me with borates and salt.
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    Re: Boring pool water. Time for Borates?

    So you're saying I can go for it? What amount is 'some'?
    Theresa and/or Gary

    Complete DIY: 20x40' rectangle. Resin walls, vinyl lined. 33000 gallons. Full width steps. 8' deep. Diving board, slide. Hayward pro series super pump, sand filter. Raypack 336K BTU heater. Main drain, 2 skimmers, 3 returns, 2 amerilite lights with quick change lens Aquamatic auto cover and a partridge in a pear tree.
    Breaking our backs in the hopes that one of our six kids will care for us when we are old ;)

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    Re: Boring pool water. Time for Borates?

    Interesting thread here. I'm in the process of lowering my TA so that I can keep the pH stable for a couple of weeks and then add borates. My goal is softer water. I already added salt to help reduce the red eyes I was getting, but I want softer water too. I live in a very hard water area, so I could see why if you lived somewhere that already had soft water and you didn't care about keeping algae at bay, you may not need or want to worry about borates.

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    Re: Boring pool water. Time for Borates?

    Adding borates does not soften your water.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Boring pool water. Time for Borates?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Adding borates does not soften your water.
    I understand that it does not soften the water in the sense that it does not remove the calcium. But the TFP page on adding borates specifically says it makes the water feel silkier, which translates to softer to me. Sure it may be the marketing version of "soft" vs the technical, but I don't think it changes my feeling on adding it.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Boring pool water. Time for Borates?

    Well as many people have said ... the change in looks and feel seems to be often overstated. There are chemical reasons for adding it, but only for aesthetics seems like a hassle and waste of money to me, especially where there is a large water replacement in winter
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Boring pool water. Time for Borates?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Well as many people have said ... the change is looks and feel seems to be often overstated. There are chemical reasons for adding it, but only for aesthetics seems like a hassle and waste of money to me, especially where there is a large water replacement in winter
    I just wonder how many of the folks that added them and didn't notice much change already had silky water in the first place, or at least didn't have water so hard that it bothered them. More than anything, I'm curious. If I notice no difference, I'll let them fade out of my pool. If I do, I'll keep the levels up as best I can. I needed to get my TA down anyway, as my pH was unstable. I'll admit, I'm in less of a hurry to get them in my pool now, but at the same time I am still curious. And even with the added expense, I'm still saving money over using that stupid Pool Frog system the previous owner left me.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Boring pool water. Time for Borates?

    Realize ... I have a 50 pound box of boric acid in my shed that I have not added yet

    But, I want it for the pH stability due to my SWG raising the pH (my TA is down around 50-60ppm) as well as the inhibiting of scaling in the SWG which I read is a possible side-effect too.

    I did not add it last year or this year because I know either this season or next I am going to have to dump my water due to the CH rise and do not want to add it and then dump it.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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