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Thread: To add borates or not and other questions.

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    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    New England
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    To add borates or not and other questions.

    First off, I love this place. Our pool has been amazing, 40,000 gallons and it is the clearest pool I have ever swam in.

    My current readings from the TFT-100 are:

    TA = 100-110
    FC = 4
    CC = 0.5
    CH = 75
    pH = 7.2
    CYA = 60

    I've been dropping my pH using muriatic acid to try to get my TA down. It was at 150, and I've managed to get it down to 100-110 after a couple of cycles over a few weeks. Right now the pH is on the low side as I just used acid the other day. The water is noticeably different, it's never bothered my skin or eyes before, but there is a slight irritation and the smell is off. So I think it might be slightly below 7.2 but the pH read looks very orange. I was thinking about throwing in a box of 20 Mule Borax I have on hand to get the pH up a bit. Borates sound very beneficial so I want to use them to help buffer the pH and chlorine even more. If I do, I will order some test strips for borates, but I figured it would be safe to throw a box in since I need like 10lbs of it anyway according to the calculator.

    I go through a lot of chlorine (.5-.75 10% 121 bottles daily), I tend to come in at 1-2.5 FC in the drop test every day I go into the pool. The CC tends to be 0.5 or 0, and seems to vary day to day, but hasn't gone above 0.5. I tend to add in the morning or middle of the day as that's when I go in the pool, I know adding at night is better it just has been when I've been around the pool. I want to try shifting to a later schedule of testing and adding to the pool.

    I originally planned on going SWG but I got scared away as the new liner we had to put on had some issues and I've heard mixed feedback about SWG, but I am seriously considering it now as buying 10-20 gallons of chlorine/bleach every 3-4 weeks and looking around for stock and pouring it in daily isn't fun. A 40K gallon pool will require a huge generator to run for only 4-8 hours and I've heard a lot of people say they only last around 4 years but I'm seriously reconsidering it now that I have the pool in order and working good.

    So my questions are:

    1) Should I add borates and if I do what's the best way to do it. I put a handful in already to see how it reacts to the water. It is very clumpy and looks like it would require a lot of help if I put in boxes at a time.

    2) I have friends and family coming over tomorrow, would adding a box to bring the pH up a little until I get borates strips a good idea? Will it cause any cloudiness or issues in the short term? The eye irritation is extremely minor and nothing like what I'm used to from other pools, but it is noticeably different than it has always been in the 2 months I've been maintaining the pool.

    3) when testing, do I count the drop that takes it from slight slight pink to clear (FC drop) or from light pink to bright pink? A lot of times on those two tests it is clear or pink depending on the test, but I know another drop will amplify the color from very light pink to clear or light/medium pink to deep pink. I've been counting that last drop even though I don't even have to use a drop as I know when it is that close but I am not sure if I should. It hasn't been a big deal but I am curious.

    4) I've been doing the acid thing because I've noticed the pH kept wanting to be at 7.8-8.0, I've brought it down a few times to 7.5 and it was 7.8 really quickly. So I figured out my TA is too high and I'm trying to get it around 50-80. I've heard mixed feedback on 50 or 80. So I'm curious what is a better target so I don't have to constantly add acid.

    Thanks, you guys are awesome!
    Christopher

    21' x 43' IG 40K Gallon vinyl and concrete pool; liner: 2016; Hayward DE7220 filter; Maytronics M400; TFT-100; Speed-Stir

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    domct203's Avatar
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    Re: To add borates or not and other questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirSwimAlot View Post
    First off, I love this place. Our pool has been amazing, 40,000 gallons and it is the clearest pool I have ever swam in.

    My current readings from the TFT-100 are:

    TA = 100-110
    FC = 4
    CC = 0.5
    CH = 75
    pH = 7.2

    I've been dropping my pH using muriatic acid to try to get my TA down. It was at 150, and I've managed to get it down to 100-110 after a couple of cycles over a few weeks. Right now the pH is on the low side as I just used acid the other day. The water is noticeably different, it's never bothered my skin or eyes before, but there is a slight irritation and the smell is off. So I think it might be slightly below 7.2 but the pH read looks very orange. I was thinking about throwing in a box of 20 Mule Borax I have on hand to get the pH up a bit. Borates sound very beneficial so I want to use them to help buffer the pH and chlorine even more. If I do, I will order some test strips for borates, but I figured it would be safe to throw a box in since I need like 10lbs of it anyway according to the calculator.

    I go through a lot of chlorine (.5-.75 10% 121 bottles daily), I tend to come in at 1-2.5 FC in the drop test every day I go into the pool. The CC tends to be 0.5 or 0, and seems to vary day to day, but hasn't gone above 0.5. I tend to add in the morning or middle of the day as that's when I go in the pool, I know adding at night is better it just has been when I've been around the pool. I want to try shifting to a later schedule of testing and adding to the pool.

    I originally planned on going SWG but I got scared away as the new liner we had to put on had some issues and I've heard mixed feedback about SWG, but I am seriously considering it now as buying 10-20 gallons of chlorine/bleach every 3-4 weeks and looking around for stock and pouring it in daily isn't fun. A 40K gallon pool will require a huge generator to run for only 4-8 hours and I've heard a lot of people say they only last around 4 years but I'm seriously reconsidering it now that I have the pool in order and working good.

    So my questions are:

    1) Should I add borates and if I do what's the best way to do it. I put a handful in already to see how it reacts to the water. It is very clumpy and looks like it would require a lot of help if I put in boxes at a time.

    2) I have friends and family coming over tomorrow, would adding a box to bring the pH up a little until I get borates strips a good idea? Will it cause any cloudiness or issues in the short term? The eye irritation is extremely minor and nothing like what I'm used to from other pools, but it is noticeably different than it has always been in the 2 months I've been maintaining the pool.

    3) when testing, do I count the drop that takes it from slight slight pink to clear (FC drop) or from light pink to bright pink? A lot of times on those two tests it is clear or pink depending on the test, but I know another drop will amplify the color from very light pink to clear or light/medium pink to deep pink. I've been counting that last drop even though I don't even have to use a drop as I know when it is that close but I am not sure if I should. It hasn't been a big deal but I am curious.

    4) I've been doing the acid thing because I've noticed the pH kept wanting to be at 7.8-8.0, I've brought it down a few times to 7.5 and it was 7.8 really quickly. So I figured out my TA is too high and I'm trying to get it around 50-80. I've heard mixed feedback on 50 or 80. So I'm curious what is a better target so I don't have to constantly add acid.

    Thanks, you guys are awesome!
    Are you following this procedure to lower your TA?

    Pool School - Lower Total Alkalinity

    You haven't posted a CYA result, but mention that your FC reads 1-2.5ppm when you test. Do you have less than 30ppm of CYA?

    When testing you add drops until there is no further color change. With the FC test this means until there is no pink at all. Once I think it is clear I will always add one more drop to make sure there is no further color change, then omit that drop from the count.

    You should hold off on the borates until you have stabilized your pH as the borates will make it harder to move your pH.

    Dom
    Dom - TFP Guide
    Intex 18' X 48" Ultra Frame AGP 6700 gallons | Two Intex CS8110 SWG's | Hayward Pro Series 21" Sandfilter | Hayward 1.5HP Power Flo Matrix pump | Hayward Thru-wall Skimmer | Wanda the Whale | 72 sq ft of Sungrabber Solar Panels with Hayward GLC-2P-A | Taylor K2006 Test Kit, Sample Sizer & Speed Stir | Click Here To Become a TFP Supporter!

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    98

    Re: To add borates or not and other questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by domct203 View Post
    Are you following this procedure to lower your TA?

    Pool School - Lower Total Alkalinity

    You haven't posted a CYA result, but mention that your FC reads 1-2.5ppm when you test. Do you have less than 30ppm of CYA?

    When testing you add drops until there is no further color change. With the FC test this means until there is no pink at all. Once I think it is clear I will always add one more drop to make sure there is no further color change, then omit that drop from the count.

    You should hold off on the borates until you have stabilized your pH as the borates will make it harder to move your pH.

    Dom
    Sorry, thought I had my CYA posted. 60 is what I think it is at. I have a hard time with that test because even using the standard solution and getting it to 50 I can still see the black dot, it isn't completely disappeared. But I try to bring it to that same level when I test with my water.

    yes, I am using that method for lowing TA.
    Christopher

    21' x 43' IG 40K Gallon vinyl and concrete pool; liner: 2016; Hayward DE7220 filter; Maytronics M400; TFT-100; Speed-Stir

  4. Back To Top    #4


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    domct203's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    CT
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    Re: To add borates or not and other questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirSwimAlot View Post
    Sorry, thought I had my CYA posted. 60 is what I think it is at. I have a hard time with that test because even using the standard solution and getting it to 50 I can still see the black dot, it isn't completely disappeared. But I try to bring it to that same level when I test with my water.

    yes, I am using that method for lowing TA.
    If your CYA is 60ppm, your FC should never be below 5ppm, with a daily target of 7ppm.

    Letting your FC drop to 2.5ppm and lower is allowing bacteria, viruses, & algae to take over your pool.

    Get your FC up to target and perform an OCLT to determine if this has happened.

    Pool School - Perform the Overnight FC Loss Test (OCLT)

    If you fail the OCLT you will need to SLAM your pool.

    Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain

    Once the pool is sanitary and balanced you can proceed with borates if you like.

    Dom
    Dom - TFP Guide
    Intex 18' X 48" Ultra Frame AGP 6700 gallons | Two Intex CS8110 SWG's | Hayward Pro Series 21" Sandfilter | Hayward 1.5HP Power Flo Matrix pump | Hayward Thru-wall Skimmer | Wanda the Whale | 72 sq ft of Sungrabber Solar Panels with Hayward GLC-2P-A | Taylor K2006 Test Kit, Sample Sizer & Speed Stir | Click Here To Become a TFP Supporter!

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Phoenix AZ
    Posts
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    Re: To add borates or not and other questions.

    My two cents:

    Don't add borates until you understand your TA/PH relationship and know where it is stable.
    50,000 gallon plaster in-ground salt pool with two 60 sq ft DE filters, two Intellichlor IC60 SWGs, two Intelliflo VS pumps, two Whisperflo pumps, two Pentair 400K BTU NG heaters, PCC2000 in-floor cleaning system...two everything.

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