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Thread: Added Borates to my pool, now FC reads zero

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    Question Added Borates to my pool, now FC reads zero

    Good morning all,

    I added borates to my pool about 3 weeks ago and we are loving it. I have noticed that my FC readings started to decrease and now they are at zero. This is using aquacheck test strips. When I use my Taylor kit and do the DDP tablets it shows there is chlorine in it because it turns pink.

    My question is, does adding borates affect the cholorine level readings? The water is crystal clear and looks amazing. THoughts on what to do?
    23k IG gunite pool, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Pentair Quad 80 DE filter, Polaris Cleaner, Taylor Testing Kit

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    hoskim's Avatar
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    Re: Added Borates to my pool, now FC reads zero

    Would be interesting to know the answer as I plan to add some - where did you buy borates / boric acid?
    25,000 Gal, in-ground w/ vinyl liner
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    Re: Added Borates to my pool, now FC reads zero

    I think that you are seeing that test strips are worthless. Test with your test kit, not test strips
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Added Borates to my pool, now FC reads zero

    Quote Originally Posted by hoskim View Post
    Would be interesting to know the answer as I plan to add some - where did you buy borates / boric acid?
    Ive been reading up on it. Seems like there's the Borax/Muriatic acid route or Duda Diesel sells it. The Duda Diesel route looks easier, but I have not personally tried either method yet.

    boric | Duda Diesel Alternative Energy, Chemicals & Industrial Supply Store
    Advanced Beginner w/ Inground 25000 gal pool, vinyl liner, Pentair Intellifo var. speed pump, Pentair Sand Dollar filter, Sta Rite Max-E-Therm 333HD heater and an empty Hayward Chlorine feeder. Built in 2015

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    Re: Added Borates to my pool, now FC reads zero

    Adding the borates has been amazing. The water is much softer and does not dry out your skin. It also shines really well with the sun hitting it. I have noticed my PH stays in balance all the time. I am very happy that we added them. We bought boric acid and used the pool calculator to determine how much I needed. I needed 55 lbs and it was a breeze to just pour in. It dissolved quickly and I just ran my pool pump all night to turn over the water. It was much easier than adding borax and acid. I picked up my boric acid from a wholesale place online (bulk apothecary)
    23k IG gunite pool, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Pentair Quad 80 DE filter, Polaris Cleaner, Taylor Testing Kit

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    hoskim's Avatar
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    Re: Added Borates to my pool, now FC reads zero

    Got it and sounds great. Did you receive the acid in a powder form? I actually have an account at Bulk Apothecary but numerous experts suggested granular from Duda as powders may not dissolve well and sit on the surface (and get blown away by wind) - was thinking (if I decide to get the powder since cheaper and I have discount coupon) put the powder in a laundry bag or something and just dump them. We have a SWG so the water is soft but thinking it would help with algae control / cloudy water. Thanks!
    25,000 Gal, in-ground w/ vinyl liner
    Hayward SP2303VSP (1.5 HP) / DE filter (4820)
    Aqua Rite SWG / T-CELL-9 (v1.5)
    Polaris 380, PB4-60 Booster Pump (post-2012) / Aqua Heat Pump (S95)
    TF-100 Test Kit with Speedstir

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    Re: Added Borates to my pool, now FC reads zero

    It was a powder form, but it dissolved quickly. I only had a couple clumps at the bottom of the pool and we brushed them into the water. I usually brush after adding anything anyways, so it wasnt a big deal. It was super easy to add. Just make sure your PH is good before adding.
    23k IG gunite pool, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Pentair Quad 80 DE filter, Polaris Cleaner, Taylor Testing Kit

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    Re: Added Borates to my pool, now FC reads zero

    We use the boric acid "pellets" from Duda diesal in our 900 gallon hot tub after we close the pool in the fall. It takes me all summer to get my TA down to around 50 before adding them. You want to have a lower TA before you add them.
    Inground 22k gallon gunite 15x31 main pool, 15x7 wading pool/sunning deck, hot tub/with overflow (9' octagon with limestone top) & slide NSWG, Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Added Borates to my pool, now FC reads zero

    Borates have no affect on FC. Many folks prefer to read the strips upside down in the trash can.
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    Re: Added Borates to my pool, now FC reads zero

    I add borates to my pool usually a week or so after startup each season. No effect on FC. Now back to the important stuff!! If your FC is at zero you are asking for trouble and need to fix it ASAP. You need to obtain an accurate FC reading (i.e. NOT WITH STRIPS!!). Post your FC and CYA readings here.

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    Re: Added Borates to my pool, now FC reads zero

    My wife took a sample to the pool store, so take it for what it is worth.

    CYA - 133 (which makes sense why my FC is low)
    FC - 0

    They told her to add 4-5 lbs of shock and it should take care of it. We just moved in to the house in Nov and we are learning the pool world. I believe the problem with the CYA being so high is that they have always used the 3" chlorine tabs and bags of shock that contain cya. It has added up over time. According to the pool calculator it says to drain 70% of the water out of the pool. Hoping I can do something esle instead. I used 10% liquid chlorine to get the FC level back up to 5, so we will see. When I ran my CYA test it didnt break it down to that high of a level. The first reading on my test kit was 100 and I was below that line. I would say the 133 is pretty accurate about where it would have been. Funny thing is the pool store normal levels are 30-200. After reading about CYA I realize that this is way too high. Any thoughts on what I should do next?
    23k IG gunite pool, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Pentair Quad 80 DE filter, Polaris Cleaner, Taylor Testing Kit

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    Re: Added Borates to my pool, now FC reads zero

    Quote Originally Posted by Aggiehunter34 View Post
    My wife took a sample to the pool store, so take it for what it is worth.

    CYA - 133 (which makes sense why my FC is low)
    FC - 0

    They told her to add 4-5 lbs of shock and it should take care of it. We just moved in to the house in Nov and we are learning the pool world. I believe the problem with the CYA being so high is that they have always used the 3" chlorine tabs and bags of shock that contain cya. It has added up over time. According to the pool calculator it says to drain 70% of the water out of the pool. Hoping I can do something esle instead. I used 10% liquid chlorine to get the FC level back up to 5, so we will see. When I ran my CYA test it didnt break it down to that high of a level. The first reading on my test kit was 100 and I was below that line. I would say the 133 is pretty accurate about where it would have been. Funny thing is the pool store normal levels are 30-200. After reading about CYA I realize that this is way too high. Any thoughts on what I should do next?
    You need to do an extended test.

    If your CYA level is 90 or higher, repeat the test adjusting the procedure as follows:
    1. Fill the mixing bottle to the lower mark with pool water.
    2. Continue filling the mixing bottle to the upper mark with tap water.
    3. Shake briefly to mix.
    4. Pour off half of the contents of the mixing bottle, so it is again filled to the lower mark.
    5. Continue the test normally but multiply the final result by two.


    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...Kit-Directions

    Your FC target is approx. 13% of your CYA, you should never let it drop below 7%. Shock level is 40% of your CYA. That 5ppm is doing nothing for your pool.

    If your CYA was 140 (always round up to nearest 10) you would need to maintain a FC target of 18ppm, never going below 10ppm, with a shock level of 56ppm.

    I fear your CYA is even higher.

    Your FC is not low because of your CYA level. It is low because algae/bacteria/virus have taken hold of a pool without sufficient sanitizer for it's (unknown) CYA level and is oxidizing the chlorine as fast as you put it in.

    Dom
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    Re: Added Borates to my pool, now FC reads zero

    Thanks much. I will do that when I get home this evening. If I had algae/bacteria/virus wouldnt my water be murky or wouldnt i see signs of algae? The pool is clear as can be.
    23k IG gunite pool, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Pentair Quad 80 DE filter, Polaris Cleaner, Taylor Testing Kit

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    GreatCanadian's Avatar
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    Re: Added Borates to my pool, now FC reads zero

    Your water would not necessarily be murky, you may not be able to visually detect that there is a problem. Follow what domtc203 said in the above post. It's not impossible to maintain your pool with a high CYA level, but it sure is troublesome enough! Either way you need an accurate CYA measurement.

    GC
    13'x22'x52" 8,000 gallon ProSeries Pool with Borates
    Intex 110 pound Sand Filter with Zeobrite, 2650 gph pump, 0.95 hp
    Bestway SWG
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    GLI Whirlwind Solar Cover Reel, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Added Borates to my pool, now FC reads zero

    Ok I tested and CYA is 140 by doing the test you suggested. My FC is reading 5 and holding. I put chlorine in a couple days ago and have not added any since then. What do you suggest I do now? FC of 5 should not do the trick. Should I add more chlorine?
    23k IG gunite pool, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Pentair Quad 80 DE filter, Polaris Cleaner, Taylor Testing Kit

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Added Borates to my pool, now FC reads zero

    FC is set based on CYA and the FC/CYA Chart. To keep the pool safe to swim and sanitary FC must be maintained above minimum at all times. Otherwise there is increased risk of person to person disease transmission. The recommended CYA level for your climate is 50 ppm.

    Have you done some reading in Pool School?
    ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
    Pool School - Getting Started
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    Re: Added Borates to my pool, now FC reads zero

    Quote Originally Posted by Aggiehunter34 View Post
    Ok I tested and CYA is 140 by doing the test you suggested. My FC is reading 5 and holding. I put chlorine in a couple days ago and have not added any since then. What do you suggest I do now? FC of 5 should not do the trick. Should I add more chlorine?
    See Below

    Quote Originally Posted by domct203 View Post
    ......... Your FC target is approx. 13% of your CYA, you should never let it drop below 7%. Shock level is 40% of your CYA. That 5ppm is doing nothing for your pool.

    If your CYA was 140 (always round up to nearest 10) you would need to maintain a FC target of 18ppm, never going below 10ppm, with a shock level of 56ppm..........
    Dom
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    Re: Added Borates to my pool, now FC reads zero

    What borate works best for above ground?


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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Added Borates to my pool, now FC reads zero

    More info here, Borates - Why and How

    Either method is fine, they both get to the same place.
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