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Thread: Downside to Borates?

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    Downside to Borates?

    Perhaps this should be in the advanced section. I'm thinking ahead and one of my chief complaints is the harshness of our pool water. Understandably the numbers were out of whack and I'm on the verge of good numbers and clear, algae free water. Last night I hopped into the pool for a cool off and noted the water did feel much better but I'm never satisfied and since we have a softener in the house I'm spoiled. I read the thread on Borates - Why and How, it *sounds* like Borates would create a feeling similar to softened water, correct? Additionally, there are other benefits but are there any reasons why it might not be for me?

    Thanks
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    Re: Downside to Borates?

    This post covers it well:
    Borates - Why and How
    Matt
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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Downside to Borates?

    Phillip, I would say that borates plus salt and lower calcium combined makes water feel softer
    So you may wish to add salt as well.

    Also, just so you know, i top up my water from a dual softener system plumbed to my pool spigot. In my case, I do it to avoid metals. But in your case, you could do it for the feel of the water...but you've gotta watch your capacity or have a dual system set up to handle regeneration.

    That's why my water is super soft...people used to swg water even comment that mine is "inexplicably softer" I am swg, plus borates, plus softened water.
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    jdoty1977's Avatar
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    Re: Downside to Borates?

    Not sure if this is good or bad, but most of the wasps that used to land on the surface to drink and harass me drown and end up in the skimmer now. Surface tension is just to low for them to float I suppose.
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Downside to Borates?

    Yes, borates around 50 ppm and salt @2000+ ppm can improve the water feel. As for lower CH that is possible but CH doesn't always make the water feel hard, TA also contributes. It is more probable that maintaining your CSI between -0.3 and 0 will improve the water feel. PoolMath will calculate your CSI for you after you enter all of your test results.
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    Re: Downside to Borates?

    Surface tension is just to low for them to float I suppose.
    That's very interesting.......and a possible side benefit. I guess it may make debris sink a little quicker, too, so that might negate the "wasp" benefit.

    Is there enough difference so that you can actually see the water not "bead up" as it does on many surfaces?
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    Re: Downside to Borates?

    Have to check that later because it never beaded up on the flagstone or unsealed concrete around the pool as it is a fairly porous material. I will say the meniscus in the testing tubes is far smaller which is why I think the surface tension is less.
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    Re: Downside to Borates?

    I was wondering as well.....I'm going to be adding borates to my water very soon. Is aeration the only option to raise pH once borates are added?
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    Re: Downside to Borates?

    Thanks for the input, I did read the Borates thread. I reread it to make sure I wasn't missing anything. The Cons that were listed (cost, risk to animals) are not a something we'd need to worry about. I was looking for additional input from people who had added Borates. The comment about the wasps is interesting, we have a lot of wasps and carpenter bees and spiders and crickets. Every time I get into the pool I have to vacuum dozens of crickets and spiders off the floor before I can really enjoy the pool. Our pool is small so it takes all of 5 minutes to do by hand. A few dozen more wasps and bees would not be an inconvenience for me and hey, dead wasps right?

    This is something I'm considering for next season, gotta get the chemistry straight first. Thanks
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