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Thread: Low alkalinity maintenance, could borates be used ?

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    susa's Avatar
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    Low alkalinity maintenance, could borates be used ?

    on my weekly testing schedule, TA is 60 and I like to keep it at 80 (although for SWCG it is still inside normal range, at bottom).

    could I use borate instead of baking soda?

    I need to add a total of 2 boxes (wallyworld 20 mule team..) to reach about 40 ppm and had planned on adding it slowly over next couple months. since I have the Simpool, it automatically keeps pH at 7.4

    If there is some compelling reason to stay with BS, will do and add the borates separately later.

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Low alkalinity maintenance, could borates be used ?

    The issue with using Borax is that borax raises PH and TA to a lesser degree while muratic acid decreases PH and TA, leaving youin sort of a yo-yo state. Baking soda raises TA much more than the effect it has on PH.
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    susa's Avatar
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    Re: Low alkalinity maintenance, could borates be used ?

    IOW, I was after a very slow rise in TA and meant that I don't have to do anything with ph since it's fully automated, no matter how slow or fast the change is for either TA or pH

    just wondering if there is some technical reason to be aware of when using borates in this manner.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Low alkalinity maintenance, could borates be used ?

    To raise TA a useful amount you need to use really really large amounts of borates, enough to overwhelm you PH regulation system. If you do add borates to 50 ppm it will help stabilize the PH, just as TA does, while having only a fairly small impact on the TA test result.

    Why do you like to keep TA at 80? That is too high in my book. With a SWG 60 is just about ideal.
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    susa's Avatar
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    Re: Low alkalinity maintenance, could borates be used ?

    Why you ask?

    Someone, Somewhere wrote these words on this very site (...and I have been reading which we are all encouraged to do...), no doubt the person *intended* this as *important*

    direct quote:

    "...Adjust your Total Alkalinity to 60-90 ppm. (This is IMPORTANT!)..."

    Source of Quote

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Low alkalinity maintenance, could borates be used ?

    True, when that was written we were recommending 60-90 and now we tend to say 60-70. But in both cases there is a range and you shouldn't worry about 60 or aim for 80 in particular based on either range.

    TA, more than many of the other numbers, has several different reasons for being several different levels depending on details of the situation. Ideal for your pool isn't going to be captured exactly by anything we say generically for all pools. You need to explore what works in your pool, taking our ranges as a starting point. If you have problems with PH going up, you need to head to the lower end of the TA range.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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