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Thread: TA question

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    TA question

    I'm a little confused. I have a SWG and I am about to start the borates "upgrade" routine. The first step says to get your TA right. The Pool School also says with SWG to keep it 60-90, but the aeration page for lowering TA says only do it if you are having problems. I am not having any trouble at all. I would like to add the borates to help keep my pH & FC in check. So do I need to lower my TA or not????
    TA is currently at 120. I assume my tap water is high. I am going to check it today. I understand the only way to lower it is with MA (then aerate to get pH back up) so this is really gonna stink if it is my fill water.
    Any input?

    36,000 buster crabbe inground vinyl aquagenie
    1 hp hayward sand filter

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    reebok's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Lakeland, FL

    Re: TA question

    I would recommend reading through these two posts if you haven't.
    the borates will make your TA rise. your TA may rise enough to start giving you ph rise problems. if it does, the solution (if you want a solution, you could just add acid more often) is lowering the TA following the pool school article you read. but with borates, it's significantly more difficult to lower the TA. so if you do it to begin with, you know it won't become a problem after the borates, and it will be easier to do.
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: TA question

    If you have a SWG then your pH will rise. Lower the TA and then add the borates. This thead on TA might help explain it

    I have never seen a pool with a SWG that did not have a pH rise over time. It is a normal effedct of running a SWG. Keeping the TA low does not eliminate this but does slow it down and adding borates slows it down even more.
    How often are you adding acid now (or more importantly, how often are you testing your pH and at what point are you adding acid--be honest here! ) It is NEVER a good ides to let the pH in a SWG pool rise above 7.8 for many reasons but the first is it will help prevent scaling in the cell and in your pool!

    IF you post a full set of test results it can tell us more.
    Why are you adding borates if not for the pH control? Algae control in a salt pool is a moot point because a properly set up, balanced, and operating SWG pool will just not go green, so this would not be the primary reason to add borates!

    You say that you want to keep your FC and pH in check. Borates will not affect the FC. Your CYA and run time will. Make sure your CYA is 80 ppm for the best results here!
    pH control in a SWG is primarily a function of the TA. Lower the TA and you slow down how fast the pH rises. The bicarbonate buffer we call TA will cause the pH to rise to about 8.2-8.3 over time since this is where it wants to rest. Nature of the beast! The lower the TA the slower this occurs but it will eventually occur in any pool that has bicarbonates in the water unless something else stops it (such as the addition of acid, which could come from many sources, including bathers!)
    The addition of borates adds a secondary buffer system that causes the pH to drop but it is not as strong so the net effect is that the pH will happily hang out at about 7.7 for an extended period of time. The bicarbonate buffer eventually wins out and the pH rises. That is why I say to lower the pH when it hits 7.8.
    Hope this explains it.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: TA question

    I was going by this
    Several companies are selling sodium tetraborate pentahydrate as a pool additive under such names as Proteam's Supreme, Bioguard's Optimizer Plus, Poollife Endure, Guardex Maximizer, and others. Several claims have been made for these products when used in a 30-50 ppm concentration such as:
    1) more stable pH
    2) Algaestatic properties
    3) reduced chlorine usage
    4) silkier feeling water--less skin and eye irritation
    5) clearer, 'sparkling' water
    number 3 is reduced chlorine usage. I understand the pH rise inherent with SWG, but I am just trying to make it less frequent. It sounds like I should just lower the TA and monitor my pH and see where that takes me. That may be all I need. I know my CYA is low which is why my FC goes down every day. I have had to run my pump 24/7 for fear of algae. Once I get my CYA up, I can lower the run time. I just got the impression that borates would tend to make things level out. Besides, I didn't see any reason NOT to add borates. All pluses - no negatives. I get the feeling you all think the borates may not be such a great idea after all. . . . .
    36,000 buster crabbe inground vinyl aquagenie
    1 hp hayward sand filter

  5. Back To Top    #5
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: TA question

    The only negatives with borates are, money, time, possible very minor environmental damage, and a very small risk to pets. Most people consider borates worth it.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Sebring, Florida

    Re: TA question

    Besides, I didn't see any reason NOT to add borates. All pluses - no negatives. I get the feeling you all think the borates may not be such a great idea after all. . . . .
    I don't add it to my pool simply because I don't have to. Without an SWG, the pH rise in my pool is minimal and, for me, it is considerably less expensive to simply add acid 2-4 times each season.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
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