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Thread: So I added Borates to my pool

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    Tonedeaf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    East of Dallas

    So I added Borates to my pool

    Last weekend I added borates to my pool using the suggested amounts of each and following the directions of the article in Pool School. For my pool, the pool calculator suggested 10.9(11) boxes of 20 mule team and 3 gallons of acid.

    The benefit I was looking for was to help get the pH level more stable. Had previously been adding muriatic acid every 5-7 or so days to get it from 7.8 or 8.0 to 7.5. Since I added the borates last weekend, I have checked the pH levels every day and the pH creeps up to 7.8 or 8.0 without fail. So I add 32 fl oz. of acid per the calculator. Seems I am using A LOT more acid to get it to 7.5 from 7.8. 32 oz vs. 11 oz without borates.

    Am I missing something here or did I do something wrong? Maybe just not patient enough?? Should I give it more time to stabilize?

    Any advice would be appreciated.
    14100 gallon IG Gunite Pool
    Sapphire Smoke Quartz Plaster
    Pentair SunTouch Controller, Intelliflo 4x160 Pump, 520 Cartridge Filter, Intellichlor SWG System
    Legend Platinum Cleaner with booster pump
    My Pool Build

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Denton, TX

    Re: So I added Borates to my pool

    Well, I noticed the same thing after I added borates to my pool last year. Once I got the borates in the pool, my pH wanted to be 8.0 no matter what I did and found that the acid demand was markedly higher post borates than before. Since then, I have had to change water out (unrelated due to high CH) and I let the borates go at that point.

    It may stabilize some as your TA slowly moves down, but I cannot say for sure.

    This is why I am not a huge endorser of borates. At least in my pool, it didn't produce expected results. Others may have had a better experience with borates as it is probably somewhat pool and water specific.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Dallas, TX

    Re: So I added Borates to my pool

    Did you test your borate level to confirm that you are around 50ppm? Most here report positive results from the borate additions, but my pool is an exception to that consensus. My pH rise seems to be on the same schedule as yours with or without borates.

    If your pH will remain steady around 7.8, it's probably OK to let it ride there. I have mild metal staining, as well as calcium scaling issues, so I like to keep the pH on the low side. I have just come to terms with a weekly MA addition.

    Good luck!
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    San Rafael, CA USA

    Re: So I added Borates to my pool

    When you have borates in the pool, it will take more acid or base or carbon dioxide outgassing to move the pH by the same amount. So it is quite expected to have to need more acid to get the pH from 8.0 to 7.8 after adding borates. What is not expected is to have the pH rise faster as the borates should have made such a rise slower, assuming the upward pressure on the pH was the same. So Borates do not normally result in a reduction in actual acid added per elapsed time -- it reduces the frequency of adding acid, but you end up adding more acid less frequently with the total being the same.

    You need to find the source of rising pH itself and deal with that directly. In SWG pools, this is usually the SWG itself and a higher CYA level lets one reduce chlorine loss so turn down the SWG ontime which lowers the source of pH rise. In any pool, lowering the TA level reduces that as a source of rising pH.

    So I don't have an explanation for why the pH is rising more quickly now after the borates. I suggest you lower the TA level of the pool and also look for other possible sources such as increased aeration (in which case, try and lower that).

    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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