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Thread: Borates and Nature 2

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    Borates and Nature 2

    I noted another borax site stated that it was not recommended to use borax with the Nature 2 catridge. Is this true? Of course, I just put the catridge refill in place. I currently have Poolife Endure in the water but lost half my water over the winter due to a small leak. It is time to tweek it.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Borates

    Adding borates using borax and acid results in large PH swings. Nature 2 adds copper to the water, and if the PH swings up the copper can stain the pool. Because of that it is better to add borates using boric acid. Better still would be to stop using Nature 2, since copper can stain even without borax. Also, using borax for routine PH increases as required is alright, it is just the large amounts used when raising borates that can sometimes cause problems.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Borates

    ptblues2, Welcome to TFP!
    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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    Re: Borates

    I am also using Poolife Intensive Stain Prevention. I have 2 new bottles. At this point, I can pull the Nature 2, whats a $60 refill at this point. I have ordered the LaMott test strips for the borates. I also love the Aquacheck 7 strips. They are easy for me and prove accurate if they are new (current season). They lose something is they are a year old. Back to the copper problem, I can remove the Nture 2 and treat the water for metals. Would this be effective to allow me to use Borax. If I should use boric acid, how can I determine the amount using your calculator? I can alway run to the pool supply and get a water analysis and go from there.....

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Borates and Nature 2

    On the Pool Calculator there is a popup that lets you select boric acid instead of borax in the borates section.

    The best thing to do about the copper is to get a copper test to see if your current level is high enough to worry about or not. If the current level is 0.2 or lower you should be fine.

    Test strips are not very precise even when they are working perfectly. It is much better to get a drop based test kit that can give you precise results.
    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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    Re: Borates and Nature 2

    Will I have the same PH swings with boric acid as borates? As to the copper, I am pulling the Nature 2 unit off today. I will also get a water analysis immediately. My pool supply is very accurate but also very expensive.

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    Re: Borates and Nature 2

    Can you recommend a drop based test kit that is easy to use. I have a chlorine and ph home use drop tester and I cannot determine the colors. It drives me crazy.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Borates and Nature 2

    No, boric acid will not cause a huge swing in the PH. Boric acid is very mildly acidic, so the PH will go down by 0.1 or 0.2, and do so fairly slowly. That will not pose any risk for copper staining.

    The color based PH test is just about the only choice for measuring PH, but the FAS-DPD test is far better for measuring FC and CC. The FAS-DPD test works by adding drops until the sample turns from pink to clear and is much simpler to do (though a little bit more work). It is also much more precise and measures up to much higher FC levels.
    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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    Re: Borates and Nature 2

    I bought a Taylor Pro kit. At this point, I am angry at my local pool supplier because I feel victimized due to the product costs to convert my pool to Nature 2 from Bacquacil and dumb info about my pool cover last year. Thanks to your guidance, I can all but dump them from my life. I am sure that my wallet will greatly benefit for your advice.

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    Re: Borates and Nature 2

    The pool analysis showed 0 metals in the pool although she said some could be present but disolved due to the Nature 2 cartidge. I need to lwer my PH a little and up my stabilizer, no big deal. With this information, do you recommend using borax or boric acid. On your calculator, is boric acid dry acid?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Borates and Nature 2

    You should post the test results the pool store gave you. We might have different or more detailed opinions compared to what the pool store said.

    If metals are zero then you are good and can use either borax&acid or boric acid.

    Boric acid is not the same chemical as dry acid. Boric acid is only used for raising the borate level, while dry acid is only used for lowering the PH.

    Personally, I prefer to use boric acid over borax&acid. It is a little more expensive, and you have to order it over the internet, but it is much much simpler to add to the pool.
    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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    Re: Borates and Nature 2

    I was trying to get the calculator to tell me how much to use. None of the selections list boric acid so it must have a different name. I just read on your site that a vinyl pool does not require CH. I was always told that the vinyl liner would become brittle and the pump would rust without it. Have I been lied to?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Borates and Nature 2

    Essentially, yes. The liner doesn't care at all about calcium unless CH is way too high (which can cause problems). And the only difference it makes to the heater is that some heater warranties require CH in a particular range, the heater it's self doesn't care.

    Boric acid appears in the Pool Calculator in the pink Borate section, just below Salt. There is a popup menu there to choose what form of borates you want to use, and Boric Acid is one of the choices. The default is borax.
    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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    Re: Borates and Nature 2

    My pool is a 33' round above ground. I usually use 25,000 gallons when calculating. My readings came back as follows:
    Free Chlor 1.2 (ok), Total Chlor 2.9 (ok), Combined Chlor 1.7 (high), TA input 91, TA Adjusted 91 (ok), PH 8.0 (high), CH 140 (low) needed?, CA 9 (low), Copper 0.0 (ok), Iron 0.0 (ok), Total Dissolved Solids 0 (ok), Saturation Index 0.23 (ok), Endure 15ppm (low) should be 35ppm.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Borates and Nature 2

    CC at 1.7 is a mild concern. If that doesn't go away soon you should shock the pool. Also, lower PH to about 7.5, and raise CYA to around 40 to 50. CH is fine where it is. Endure is a commercial product that adds borates to the water. Generics are less expensive. Remember to enter 15 as your starting level for borates when calculating how much borax&acid or boric acid to use.
    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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    Re: Borates and Nature 2

    I have shocked it already and lowered the PH. I have 4# of stabilizer hanging form a stocking at the return. I have checked the calculator and Borax and muriatic acid will cost $61 and boric acid off Ebay is only $54. I have will use the boric acid. It is cheaper and less dangerous.

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    Re: Borates and Nature 2

    The pool is looking great. My total opening cost including a $70 Nature 2 cartridge that is thrown out, a Taylor test kit, test strips, ph-, misc. parts, and 25# of boric acid is only $300. I have never entered a season for this little money in six years. In summary, switching to low chlorine, borate pool last year was expensive but left over a lot of chemicals for this season. Now I hope to enjoy massive savings going forward. Thank you JasonLion.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Borates and Nature 2

    You are welcome!
    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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    Re: Borates and Nature 2

    Great to see someone accept the great advice Jason gave and toss their Nature 2 so quickly! That barrier is usually what drags this process out. Fantastic to see this one go so smoothly!.
    IG 24k plaster with overflow spa. Goldline PS-8 SWG. Tristar 0.75 HP filter pump, Polaris 280, large cartridge filter, 400k BTU NG Max-E-Therm HD, SR Smith Turbo Twister, Life Saver pool fence, ORP managed.

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    Re: Borates and Nature 2

    The great news is most of us would think $300 in chems is REALLY expensive! So we should be able to to get your costs way down. If you can find a good source of liquid chlorine - you should be able to get your chem costs down to $20/mo or so.

    Keep in mind "Low chlorine, borate pool" isn't exactly how it works. Adding borates to the pool does have benefits in combating algae - but you will still want to maintain your FC level based on the Chlorine/CYA chart in pool school.

    The Taylor Pro kit - does it have a FAS-DPD chlorine test where you count the drops or is it just the DPD test?
    16K Gal Plaster | Compupool SWG | Intelliflow VF | TF-100

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