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Thread: Adding borates for the first time

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    Adding borates for the first time

    Assuming borate level of 0 (I have test strips on the way) and 44,000 gallons, I'm working on my calculations for adding borates.

    Last full test follows.

    FC 4
    pH 7.5
    TA 80
    CH 340
    CYA 40
    Temp 76
    CSI -.06

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    As your water temperature rises, your saturation index will rise if you maintain the same pH level. So you might consider lowering the TA level some more.

    Also, with respect to adding borates, note that you can use 20 Mule Team Borax and Muriatic Acid, but can also get boric acid directly though that's somewhat more expensive (though more convenient). If you are going to lower your TA level, you should probably do that before adding the borates since it takes less acid to get the pH lower for the procedure that involves acid addition and aeration.
    So is 80 too high a TA? Poolcalculator.com shows a range of 70-90. I'd like to know more about this! I see I'll need to create some sort of fountain, this is going to be difficult on my pool since they didn't install fittings on the returns back 50 years ago. I truly have no way to attach anything to send water above the surface without making some sort of friction type attachment such as a smaller size of PVC than the copper return, wrapped with some sort of rubber that will fit the fountain by a pressure seal.

    I'm considering adding the boric acid due to the volume we are talking. It should end up being a whole lot easier than messing with a bunch of muratic acid (albeit only 5 or 6 gallons) and 30-35 boxes of 20 Mule Team. Not sure where to get it, I don't see it at Leslie's, and have a request in at Poolplaza.com (they are very close to my home). Even with boric acid, we are looking at 14 gallons of liquid or 100 lbs of powder (if it exists). Of course that's to bring it up to 50, and I'll be shooting for 30 at first so I'll have some extra for a while.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: Adding borates for the first time

    I've added borates to my pool twice (initial dose, then replaced 1/2 the water recently) using MA and Borax.

    Both times I was already maintaining the TA at around 80 and pH was about 7.5. I followed the instructions and added half of each at a time, brush, then the other half. I shorted the Acid on the 2nd half just in case - but both times the math worked out perfect: the calculated volume of MA neutralized the Borax ph rise.

    Smooth and easy-peasy! hardest part was finding the borax: had to call a few grocery stores and get them to pull it aside for me
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    Re: Adding borates for the first time

    so it didn't mess with your TA?

    Any recommendation where to find that much borax in Dallas?
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: Adding borates for the first time

    Personally, I much prefer working with boric acid, no fumes to worry about. You usually need to go to an Internet vendor to find boric acid. DudaDiesel has a good price these days.

    TA at 80 is fine as long as you don't have a SWG.
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    Re: Adding borates for the first time

    No SWG.

    I should mention that another reason I'm doing this is to buffer pH to hopefully get rid of the almost immediate buildup of WS in my Liquidator.
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    Re: Adding borates for the first time

    I measured my chems tonight, don't need to raise pH anymore. That rainstorm that hit us last night (and we had one the night before, and Thursday...) raised my pH from 7.5 to somewhere over 8. Ouch! Does that sound right that a storm could make that huge a difference?

    Off to pick up MA and as much Borax as I can stockpile tonight. Going to get the pH back in range before I start adding the borax.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: Adding borates for the first time

    http://www.20muleteamlaundry.com/store-locator may help you locate the borax. I found mine at the grocery store.
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    Re: Adding borates for the first time

    Yes, rain can sometimes dramatically raise PH.
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    Re: Adding borates for the first time

    Added half a gallon of MA last night and got it back in balance.

    Now here's the question for the day. Estimate to bring my borates to 50 is 30 boxes. I was able to round up 15 boxes last night. Can I start the process with what I have on hand, or do I need to wait until I have all the borax? I have all my MA at hand (9 gallons)
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    Re: Adding borates for the first time

    As long as you use borax and acid in the correct ratio each time you can add borates in as many steps as you want. The only down side is a little extra adjusting of the PH, as you need to rebalance the PH 24 to 48 hours after each addition, really not a big deal.
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    Re: Adding borates for the first time

    Sounds good. In the main borates thread there was mention of being under 30ppm causing risk of increased algae growth instead of being an inhibitor. This had me a little nervous, as I seem to have one of those pools that algae will start back up in anytime the CL gets a little low

    My plan tonight is to get it up to 20ppm. I have enough borax to get to 22. If the wife comes home with enough to get me to 40ppm+, then I'll increase. Either way I'll have both enough acid and enough borax on hand to adjust after 24-48 hours if necessary.
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    Adding borates for the first time

    @Jason. Why would TA be bad if you have SWCG? I am about to do this as well and my TA is 80-90 (80 changed color to grayish, 90 made it blue). Should I lower TA first and why?
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    Re: Adding borates for the first time

    A SWG plus high TA leads to rapid increases in the PH. It is easier to lower the TA before adding borates than it is to lower TA after adding borates.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Adding borates for the first time

    Luckily the rain helped me with that before I had to do anything
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: Adding borates for the first time

    Success! Last night I added 25 boxes of Borax, 7 bottles of MA, along with 3 or 4 glasses of Scotch (for me!). Swept pool, ran robot 3 hours, let pump run all night long. Results this morning:
    Borate test shows 50, but I bet it is closer to 40
    FC 7 (more on that in a bit)
    CC 0
    TH 360
    TA 90
    PH 7.5

    So what is the result? Water is SPARKLING clean. I had a little cloudiness remaining from the recent shock, and it's completely gone. And just as Chem Geek predicted, my scaling in my Liquidator is greatly reduced, ALREADY! The floats and clear lines had tons of build-up on them, and it's already starting to clear away. I believe the LQ is flowing a lot better now, thus my FC creeped up overnight. I'm leaving it as-is and going to check it after a day of 95 degree weather and full sun, if it's still up tonight, I will adjust. I do have a pool party tomorrow, so I don't mind it being a little high. The water feels softer, too. I was tempted to jump in this morning since my water temp is up to 80+, but the 65 degree ambient temperature was a little too low for me, besides I need to get to work.

    I ended up with one box of borax and 1/2 bottle of MA left over for adjustments, but right now it doesn't look like I'll need to adjust

    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: Adding borates for the first time

    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: Adding borates for the first time

    Nice! I just picked up 4 gallons of MA and the 55lb bucket of Boric Acid is set to arrive today!
    16 x 42 x 24 IG Vinyl True-L, 27,000 gallons, full width steel steps, 8' Cuddle cove swimout, 2 X Colorlogic 4.0 LEDs, Hayward Tristar 1 hp 2-speed pump, Hayward SwimClear C3025 Cartridge filter, Hayward Aqua-Plus PL-PLUS Controls + Chlorination, Hayward low-Nox 400K BTU heater, Tigershark QC, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Adding borates for the first time

    I can't wait to get home and see how it looks now! I'm really excited about the results so far!
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: Adding borates for the first time

    Quote Originally Posted by BigJD
    Nice! I just picked up 4 gallons of MA and the 55lb bucket of Boric Acid is set to arrive today!
    BigJD,

    If you are using boric acid to add borates, you don't need to use the muriatic acid. I just want to make sure you know this to avoid a potential problem. Please take a look at the borates sticky under the Chemistry 201 forum for more details.
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    Re: Adding borates for the first time

    Got home and checked everything again. Water is looking better and better! FC is at 4.5, which is what I expected to happen once the sun came out. Liquidator continues to look more and more clean, the scale is almost completely gone. I could not be more pleased with the result of adding the borates.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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