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Thread: Is Borax really necessary?

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    Is Borax really necessary?

    Hi everyone : I was talking to my dad today and he said when I was a kid and had an above ground pool he only used bleach and baking soda and never used borax. Our 15' pool was always sparkling clear. I wonder how he kept the PH in check then? Hmmm. Maybe bleach or baking soda naturally has some PH in it to begin with? I don't know. Just wondering if anyone else only uses bleach and baking soda only. Thanks! Jeannie
    30' above ground pool, 20,000 gallons, BBB method

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    SW Indiana

    Re: Is Borax really necessary?

    No. I never use baking soda or borax. My water has high TA, so the pH is always moving up.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    San Rafael, CA USA

    Re: Is Borax really necessary?

    I can understand using only bleach or using bleach and some acid, but to use bleach and baking soda is a bit unusual since it implies that the TA is getting lowered over time and that only happens from acid addition. The only other possibility is from dilution of the water with fill water that is lower in TA than the pool water, but that is less common than evaporation and refill that adds whatever is in the fill water, including TA and CH, to the pool.
    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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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    SWSuburban Chicago, IL

    Re: Is Borax really necessary?

    So it may have been that your dad's water just had a natural inclination for the PH to be very stable - could have come from the fill water, etc.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    Perfectly Clear Pool Service, Find me on Facebook!

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    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Sebring, Florida

    Re: Is Borax really necessary?

    It's important to note that the only "ingredient" that everyone must add to the pool is chlorine. Chlorine gets consumed and must be replenished. The other "B"s are used to adjust fairly stable parameters and, depending on the condition of your water, you might possibly never have to add anything but chlorine (Bleach).

    You must test to find that out but it is feasible (but not likely) that you never add anything else.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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