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Thread: borax lowered pH??

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    borax lowered pH??

    OK, now what did I do wrong? After last post, I was attempting to raise CYA from 27 to around 40, so I added stabilzer (approx 2lbs to start, then will recheck in a couple days), also added 3 jugs bleach to raise Cl from basically nonexistent and finally bring the pH from 7.0-7.2 range up to 7.4, so I added half a box of borax . Planned to see what level was today then add the remainder of box if it didn't get up to 7.4 with the amt given by calculator (which was 2.7lbs, which is about what I added). But today, when I took a reading with the quick check, my CL level was good, but pH was even lower....barely an orangish color in the 6.8 range! What happened? I thought Borx would raise, not lower pH. Had about 1/4" of rain last night, if that matters..

    Levels before I added above chems (I added and waited a few hours between additions):

    FC = 1.5
    TC = 2
    ph 7.0-7.2 (still can't distinguish to well yet!)
    T/A 140
    CYA 27
    temp 72

    What is my next step? Have an above ground vinyl, 22,500 gal, no SWG, use BBB
    22,500 gal A.G., vinyl, sta rite cristal sand filter & pump (1.5 h.p.), BBB method

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Re: borax lowered pH??

    Did you test your pH AFTER adding the three jugs of bleach? High chlorine levels will cause the pH test to read high falsely. Your pH was probably lower than you thought and the borox did raise it but you did not get correct numbers until your FC levels dropped. There is no way that adding borax would have lowered your pH!

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: borax lowered pH??

    No, I tested everything first and got the readings listed (no Cl, lowish pH (but not this low, 27 CYA, etc). This was Tuesday of this week. At that time, the ph was in the color reading more along the 7.0-7.2 range...definitiely had more red-orange to the color. Then I started adding the chems throughout the day...waiting a few hours between with the addition of the stabilizer at the end..and the filter has been running since then. I did not have a chance to test chems yesterday. Then today, I got a very pale orange... if the ph scale went below 6.8, it may have been even lower than that... I know I'm not good at judging the exact pH, however this color was on the extreme low end of the range, and was not that low on Tues...I guess I'll just dump in more borax and see what happens. How long does the borax need to circulate before I can get a true reading?
    22,500 gal A.G., vinyl, sta rite cristal sand filter & pump (1.5 h.p.), BBB method

  4. Back To Top    #4
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: borax lowered pH??

    CYA does lower the PH a little, but it should have been more than canceled out by the borax. Nothing else you have mentioned would lower PH. Unless you have been using acid, dichlor, or trichlor and forgot to mention it, it is probably a testing error of some kind.

    For powdered chemicals, you should give the pool at least an hour with the pump running before retesting. And, in general, you want the pump running for an hour before testing.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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