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Thread: Thinking of adding Borates...

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    Thinking of adding Borates...

    I dont use the pool a whole lot, but the family does. This weekend i did however and noticed my skin feeling really dry. The kids say its always like that. Then i remembered reading about borates.
    So i did some reading this morning.

    My understanding is that it is added once a year?

    I did read the different ways of adding it.

    Would this solve the dry skin issues? Is it worth it to add them nust for this reason? Im sure there are more benefits that we'd notice along the way...

    The water we have is vert hard which im sure contributes to the feel also. CH is around 850.
    My numbers as we speak are
    TC 6
    TA 70
    CH 870+
    CYA 50
    Ph 7.6

    Water looks great, although i did just have to bring TA down a it and aerate.

    Is there anything you all have experienced that you did or did not like about adding them? Most of what i read seems to be positive.

    I see there is an extra test that needs to be purchased also.

    Otherwise, maintenance is the same?

    We dont have any water features regularly, just some we add for aeration for Ph, when adjusting the TA/PH.

    We have an 8 yr old and a 6 yr old that dont intentionally drink the water...so shouldnt be an issue as far as the ingestion numbers go.

    Dog is about 115lbs and occasionally drinks the splash out but not gallons of it...

    Anything maybe i havent thought about or Any pointers/advice welcome!
    13000 Gal rectangle gunite w/Aqua-Glass IG lap pool built in 1987 resurfaced (Aqua-Glass) in 2010, Hayward Max-Flo VS pump (model SP2302VSP)
    Rheem Gas Heater 266,000 BTUH (P-M267A-EN-C), Hayward Pro Grid D.E. Filter model DE3620, ThePoolCleaner, CoverPro safety pool cover, TF-100 test kit w/SpeedStir

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    Re: Thinking of adding Borates...

    check salt first. It's probably the bigger reason for dry skin/red eyes. I added 2000ppm to make mine more saline and comfortable for the eyes and skin.

    Not that borates won't help, they may. I am trying to get my TA and pH stable before adding that to my pool. But in the meantime, I can tell you salt helped more than i think the borates alone would have, based on what I now know.

    17,500 gallon IG Vinyl
    Pentair Tagelus TA60D Sand filter
    Pentair Challenger 1.5HP pump CFII N1 1.5A
    Taylor K-2006-A, Stenner 45MPHP10 auto chlorine feed

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of adding Borates...

    With CH well out of range you need to be managing your CSI in Poolmath. Tweak PH and TA to keep it negative, between -0.3 and 0. This will prevent scale, make your plaster last much longer and make your water feel better. Play with the numbers in Poolmath and note that adding salt and borates also impact CSI. Some salt will definitely make the water feel better.
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    Re: Thinking of adding Borates...

    Ok, i had been going with the "target" range and thought i was good.

    If i bring down my TA to 50 and and ph to 7.5 muly csi is -0.02. If i bring my TA down to 40 and ph at 7.6 it gives me a csi of -0.08. 7.4ph and TA of 60 gets me csi of 0.

    So is it better to loser TA and keep ph up or lower ph and keep ta up?

    I have been going by the recommended levels and didnt really pay much attention to slcsi as ling as it was in the .6 to -.6 range.
    This is all with water temp at 80* per the thermostat on the pool heater.

    As far as testing or adding salt... How do i test that? I dont have salt water pool or system, just standard bleach for chlorine.

    If i should add salt, what effect does it have on the rest of the system, equipment pool, pool cover, etc as far as being corrosive?

    What are the advantages of salt in a non salt pool? How often is it added, etc?
    Thanks!
    13000 Gal rectangle gunite w/Aqua-Glass IG lap pool built in 1987 resurfaced (Aqua-Glass) in 2010, Hayward Max-Flo VS pump (model SP2302VSP)
    Rheem Gas Heater 266,000 BTUH (P-M267A-EN-C), Hayward Pro Grid D.E. Filter model DE3620, ThePoolCleaner, CoverPro safety pool cover, TF-100 test kit w/SpeedStir

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of adding Borates...

    Best is to try to get a TA where the PH stays steady. My PH is pretty steady with TA 50 and PH 7.8.

    Salt will not have any impact on any of your pool equipment, all pool equipment works fine with salt. I use the Aqua Check salt test strips from TFTestkits.net. We typically recommend 2000 ppm of salt to provide improved water feel to skin and eyes. A typical saltwater pool has 3500 ppm and the ocean has 35,000 ppm. Salt does not evaporate so as long as you keep getting no rain you'll never have to add more. Bleach and muriatic acid also add salt so definitely test before adding.
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    Re: Thinking of adding Borates...

    Ok, so first step is to stabilize ph. What is considered stabilized....like for how many days? I didn't think I was "allowed" to get my levels out of the recommended range without causing harm. I'll keep playing with numbers and CSI....so a long as I keep that number in the negative to zero range I'm good no matter what my numbers are?

    My CH is high, and it's just the way the water is here. I've looked into an RO truck coming in, but could never get a commitment. So I've jut tried to keep all the numbers in line, but it sounds like I still need some work.

    I notice temperature of water also plays a factor on CSI. The only gauge I have is if I go turn the heater on for a few minutes and see what it says once the water starts circulating. Is there a better way?

    I should order the salt strips too I guess. I have never tested for salt. If only adding once a year....how long do the strips keep before they go bad? Do you still test regularly for salt once your up to 2000 initially? I'll probably order the borate kit as well, while I'm at it.

    Salt. What kind do you all recommend and how expensive is it?

    Anymore info I'd like to hear it! Sounds like it will be a good thing!
    13000 Gal rectangle gunite w/Aqua-Glass IG lap pool built in 1987 resurfaced (Aqua-Glass) in 2010, Hayward Max-Flo VS pump (model SP2302VSP)
    Rheem Gas Heater 266,000 BTUH (P-M267A-EN-C), Hayward Pro Grid D.E. Filter model DE3620, ThePoolCleaner, CoverPro safety pool cover, TF-100 test kit w/SpeedStir

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    Re: Thinking of adding Borates...

    Well, we might have to send the TFP by to help you keep your numbers in range! LOL!

    Yes, keeping your CSI in range allows you to manage parameters out of range to compensate for your CH. The heater temp is fine, or a floating ducky thermometer. I use the Aqua Chek salt strips I bought in 2012, mine expired a couple of years ago but they still are close enough for my SWG. I only test salt once or twice a year. I use pool salt from Lowes a 40 lb bag is under 6 bucks I think.

    I would think that lowering your TA to 70 or 60 is going to work fine for you.
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    Re: Thinking of adding Borates...

    Ok just ordered the salt strips from tftkits. Ill play with the numbers this evening fkr now and with salt and see what i come up with.

    So how long should PH and TA stay at there "setting"? What is considered "stable"?

    Ill check Lowes for the pool salt. $6 doesnt sound bad at all! Is this like pellets or rock salt?

    I know i saw it somewhere but was the amount added per gallon of pool (obviously wait for test) just for any idea.

    Maintenance sounds easy as far as only testimg a few times per year!

    Thanks!
    13000 Gal rectangle gunite w/Aqua-Glass IG lap pool built in 1987 resurfaced (Aqua-Glass) in 2010, Hayward Max-Flo VS pump (model SP2302VSP)
    Rheem Gas Heater 266,000 BTUH (P-M267A-EN-C), Hayward Pro Grid D.E. Filter model DE3620, ThePoolCleaner, CoverPro safety pool cover, TF-100 test kit w/SpeedStir

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    Re: Thinking of adding Borates...

    Ideally PH will stay for a week or more. The pool salt is granular. Use Poolmath, it will tell how many lbs to add.
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    Re: Thinking of adding Borates...

    Ok with
    FC 6
    TA 50
    PH 7.6
    CYA 50
    CH 850
    Salt 2000
    Temp 80

    Csi is at 0

    If i drop ph to 7.5, csi is -0.09 all according to pool math.

    Looks like thats what i should be shooting for? Maybe a little less Ta or cya?

    Thanks
    13000 Gal rectangle gunite w/Aqua-Glass IG lap pool built in 1987 resurfaced (Aqua-Glass) in 2010, Hayward Max-Flo VS pump (model SP2302VSP)
    Rheem Gas Heater 266,000 BTUH (P-M267A-EN-C), Hayward Pro Grid D.E. Filter model DE3620, ThePoolCleaner, CoverPro safety pool cover, TF-100 test kit w/SpeedStir

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of adding Borates...

    -0.3 to 0 is Ok. So, 0 is good. I wouldn't lower CYA or TA. Keep it all right there and let's see how it does.
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    Re: Thinking of adding Borates...

    Ok its been 9 days approx and PH is staying at 7.4, TA rose about 10. I received my salt test strips from TFTestkits and tested existing water for salt. The peak of the strip was about 2.8 maybe a touch under which by the chart means existing water has 700-750ppm salt already? Is that normal to have that much if salt has never been added?
    I plan on dumping the bags of salt in spreading them around with a brush or let the kids do it.
    I read the pump has to be ran for 24 hours after adding salt. Does it need to be on high/max speed?
    Thanks!

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    Re: Thinking of adding Borates...

    Hey, that is good on the PH. Yes, totally normal to have salt in the pool. Lots of things add salt, bleach, muriatic acid, could be in the fill water, people.

    Yes , dump the salt in and let the kids play with it. Make sure it is dissolved. If the kids get tired of it then brush it to finish dissolving it. It won't take very long. Once it is dissolved you don't need to leave the pump on. That is more about mixing it for the SWG.
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    Re: Thinking of adding Borates...

    Awesome, then ill do it tomorrow when the kids go swimming! Thanks!
    13000 Gal rectangle gunite w/Aqua-Glass IG lap pool built in 1987 resurfaced (Aqua-Glass) in 2010, Hayward Max-Flo VS pump (model SP2302VSP)
    Rheem Gas Heater 266,000 BTUH (P-M267A-EN-C), Hayward Pro Grid D.E. Filter model DE3620, ThePoolCleaner, CoverPro safety pool cover, TF-100 test kit w/SpeedStir

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    Re: Thinking of adding Borates...

    Well, added the salt yesterday and the kids had it all disolved pretty quickly.
    So now its a matter of maintainjng csi between 0 and -0.3

    My salt numbers are about 2100 according to the test strip. And with my test numbers right now im at -.19 so thats right where i need to be i guess.

    What causes the TA to rise? If TA rises does PH rise as well?

    Now to determine if the borates are worth adding....hmmm
    13000 Gal rectangle gunite w/Aqua-Glass IG lap pool built in 1987 resurfaced (Aqua-Glass) in 2010, Hayward Max-Flo VS pump (model SP2302VSP)
    Rheem Gas Heater 266,000 BTUH (P-M267A-EN-C), Hayward Pro Grid D.E. Filter model DE3620, ThePoolCleaner, CoverPro safety pool cover, TF-100 test kit w/SpeedStir

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    Re: Thinking of adding Borates...

    Have you noticed a difference in the feel of the water since adding salt?

    Btw, I can't say I noticed a difference in the feel of the water after adding borates to my salt pool (I didn't add it for that reason anyway).
    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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