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Thread: Want to go with Borates...

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    Want to go with Borates...

    Any comments/suggestions welcomed....I want to start using/adding borates to my 21,000+- gal SWG pool with integrated spa/spillover. My current Taylor K2006 and Lamotte Borate test strips show:

    FAC - 12.6
    TC - 0 - .1
    Salt - 2800
    CH - 400
    CYA - 90
    TA - 90
    pH - 7.8
    Borates - 0-10 maybe? very low. I have not added any during the 3.5 years I have owned the pool.

    Not sure why my FAC is so high. Reading Pool School (again and again) to try to understand. Is there anything so off with these readings that would prevent be from adding the Borax and MA right now? Something need adjusting a little prior to doing this?

    My math shows that I should add about 15 boxes of Mule Team Borax, the 76 oz ones and about 4 gals of acid. I don't know the exact size of the pool in gallons or sure of the exact Borate reading so my plan is to sneak up on it and test along the way. Start with 12 boxes and 3 gallons of MA, something like that. Anything wrong with what I am doing? Thanks in advance!
    2006 IG 18.6K gal marcite saltwater w/integrated 800 gal spa, spillover, 2 Main and 2 Spa Drains, 2 Skimmers
    Goldline Aqua Logic PS-8, Aqua Pod Remote, Hayward GLX-Cell-15-W SWG, Hayward Pool Vac XL, Cartridge filter, single speed pump
    Taylor K-2006, Lamotte Borate Strips

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Want to go with Borates...

    Lower your TA first to 80ppm or less BEFORE your borate.

    Also, consider using the boric acid method not borax/MA. It's A LOT easier.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Want to go with Borates...

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    Lower your TA first to 80ppm or less BEFORE your borate.

    Also, consider using the boric acid method not borax/MA. It's A LOT easier.
    Thanks. So, if I red Pool School correctly, I should add some MA to lower TA and then aerate to bring pH back up correct? Once that is stable it would be ok to add borate in one form or another? Getting my hands on the Mule Team Borax and MA is easy. The ready made product, Supreme Plus I believe it is called, is much more expensive and would have to be ordered online. Not sure where to get straight garden variety Boric Acid locally. I assume this is what you are talking about correct?
    2006 IG 18.6K gal marcite saltwater w/integrated 800 gal spa, spillover, 2 Main and 2 Spa Drains, 2 Skimmers
    Goldline Aqua Logic PS-8, Aqua Pod Remote, Hayward GLX-Cell-15-W SWG, Hayward Pool Vac XL, Cartridge filter, single speed pump
    Taylor K-2006, Lamotte Borate Strips

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Want to go with Borates...

    Yes. Add MA to lower TA and then aerate to raise pH.

    You can get 50lbs of boric acid from Duda Diesel (online) delivered for about as much as the borax and acid will cost you. The boric acid process is much simpler - you simply add all of the granular boric acid powder and brush to dissolve. That's it.

    The borax/MA method is much more complicated because you have to add it in small batches or else you'll spike your pH and cause water cloudiness and calcium scaling. Ask anyone that has done the borax route and they will tell you what a PITA it is.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Want to go with Borates...

    Thanks Matt. Just found Duda online and am ordering a 55 lb container. More than I need (calculator says 48 lbs.) but close enough. Will take me a day or two to make sure TA and pH are good while waiting for delivery. They have granular and powder. I believe it doesn't matter, correct? Both are 99%. Powder probably dissolves a little faster but you have to watch any breeze....
    2006 IG 18.6K gal marcite saltwater w/integrated 800 gal spa, spillover, 2 Main and 2 Spa Drains, 2 Skimmers
    Goldline Aqua Logic PS-8, Aqua Pod Remote, Hayward GLX-Cell-15-W SWG, Hayward Pool Vac XL, Cartridge filter, single speed pump
    Taylor K-2006, Lamotte Borate Strips

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Want to go with Borates...

    Please update your location in your profile so it shows over there <----. I would probably lower TA to more like 60. Does your pH rise? If yes, the lower it to 60 and then add borates. I did the borax and MA route and it wasn't that bad. Add a little borax, add a little acid do a little brushing, repeat.

    Get granular.
    TFP Moderator
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Want to go with Borates...

    Updated. Will go with the granular then. Yes my pH is on the rise consistently especially in the summer with the South Florida rains. Regularly battle the chemicals war due to heavy rain and pool draining to keep from overflowing. I have to add MA every weekend to deal with pH...maybe 1/4 gallon or so. Maybe slight less. Thats sort of what lead me to the borate discussion. Would be nice to have a more stable pH as well as the other benefits discussed. Never going to stop the rain and drain though!
    2006 IG 18.6K gal marcite saltwater w/integrated 800 gal spa, spillover, 2 Main and 2 Spa Drains, 2 Skimmers
    Goldline Aqua Logic PS-8, Aqua Pod Remote, Hayward GLX-Cell-15-W SWG, Hayward Pool Vac XL, Cartridge filter, single speed pump
    Taylor K-2006, Lamotte Borate Strips

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Want to go with Borates...

    Powder will be too difficult to work with and will blow around in even the slightest breeze. Get granular.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    MarkTX's Avatar
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    Re: Want to go with Borates...

    I would add the whole 55 lbs of granular in two batches, on two consecutive days:

    a. A little extra will not hurt
    b. You will lose some over time due to splash out / rain overflow anyway
    c. Prevents from having to store a wee bit of chemicals in a big white bucket until next year
    d. Last, but not least, the borate test strips are just about worthless in my experience. YMMV
    30,000 gal free-form IG w/ spa, PebbleSheen Blue Surf, Pentair cartridge filter, Pentair 3 HP Intelliflo, extra pump that is way over-sized for weeping moss rocks, Dolphin Oasis Z5, municipal water, all built Jan-Feb 2016. TF-100, SpeedStir, Liquidator 3/8", borates. My build thread http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...-in-Cypress-TX

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Want to go with Borates...

    Ok, yes, definitely aim for 60 before adding borates.
    TFP Moderator
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Want to go with Borates...

    Thanks Mark. I need another white plastic bucket like I need a hole in the head. Pool calc shows that dumping the whlte bucket would take the level to 58. From What I read in here that doesn't seem like it is too high. Surprised to read your comment on the borate test strips. I thought the Lamotte strips were generally well received? How do you measure? Does Taylor have reagents for testing? Don't think I have ever checked...
    2006 IG 18.6K gal marcite saltwater w/integrated 800 gal spa, spillover, 2 Main and 2 Spa Drains, 2 Skimmers
    Goldline Aqua Logic PS-8, Aqua Pod Remote, Hayward GLX-Cell-15-W SWG, Hayward Pool Vac XL, Cartridge filter, single speed pump
    Taylor K-2006, Lamotte Borate Strips

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Want to go with Borates...

    I agree 58 is fine. I've been using the test strips for quite a few years and it seems ok enough. It isn't a critical measurement really.
    TFP Moderator
    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    MarkTX's Avatar
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    Re: Want to go with Borates...

    I have the Lamotte strips and my problem is the color changes as you watch... might just be me, but I find them less than accurate when all is said and done. I guess my expectation is that they would be as precise as the FC drop test and the strips are not that. But as pooldv said, it is not critical.
    30,000 gal free-form IG w/ spa, PebbleSheen Blue Surf, Pentair cartridge filter, Pentair 3 HP Intelliflo, extra pump that is way over-sized for weeping moss rocks, Dolphin Oasis Z5, municipal water, all built Jan-Feb 2016. TF-100, SpeedStir, Liquidator 3/8", borates. My build thread http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...-in-Cypress-TX

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Want to go with Borates...

    If you want an accurate, drop based test, look at my signature in a browser (not Tapatalk) for the mannitol borate test. It's not as easy a test as the DPD-FAS titration but I get very good results from it whenever I measure borates.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    CypressTXFiberglass's Avatar
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    Re: Want to go with Borates...

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    If you want an accurate, drop based test, look at my signature in a browser (not Tapatalk) for the mannitol borate test. It's not as easy a test as the DPD-FAS titration but I get very good results from it whenever I measure borates.
    Hmmmm.... what do you think of this? Boron Test Kit for Irrigation Water - HI38074 - Hanna Instruments
    Leisure Pool (carbon fiber reinforced fiberglass), Elegance model, 14,000 gallon saltwater pool. Hayward T-CELL 9 chlorine generator. Hayward CS200 SwimClear cartridge filter system. Single speed 1.65 HP Hayward TriStar pump. Hayward H250HDN heater. 4' blade Waterfall.
    Cypress, TX (NW of Houston)

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Want to go with Borates...

    Quote Originally Posted by CypressTXFiberglass View Post
    It only reads up to 5ppm. That's not high enough as pools typically use about 50ppm. You'd have to do dilution of the water sample and that will introduce errors. Also, the Hanna test is designed for irrigation water which will not contain much if any chlorine or CYA in it. It's possible that those could potentially interfere with the test.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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