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Thread: Oops...added too much Borax, water turned green overnight?

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    Oops...added too much Borax, water turned green overnight?

    Hi everybody,
    So, I'm testing using the TF-100. Here are my results from 2 days ago:
    FC = 1 (quick test - I've been shocking)
    pH = 6.8 or lower
    T/A = 0 (It had been trending down - it was 30 a week ago)
    CH = 330 (trending up - it was 250 a week ago)
    CYA = 40

    The pool water was looking clear and sparkling, and we were just getting the last bits of winter debris out. I wanted it to be ready for my daughter's guests today, so I figured I can't wait any longer , I've got to bring that pH u.p

    According to the Pool Calculator, if I plug in the above values for my 18,600 gal pool, and assume pH of 6.4 and 78 degrees F, I needed to add 52 oz of Borax and 27 lbs of baking soda. I had the wife pick up one large container of each at Costco, and added both to the pool last night, along with the dichlor to continue shocking. That's 76 oz of Borax and 13.5 lbs of baking soda.

    When I woke early this AM, the water had turned green. What happened?

    Ran a full battery of tests at 7 AM, including the FAS-DPD.

    FC = 3
    CC = 0.5
    pH = 6.8 or lower
    T/A = 50
    CH = 310
    CYA = 100

    So, any guesses what the green is? I'm hoping some one will tell me it's a chemical reaction that will go away in a few hours...
    Beautiful, scenic, historic, rural Frederick County, Maryland!
    18,500 gal IG plaster freeform Anthony pool
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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Oops...added too much Borax, water turned green overnigh

    Is your CYA really 100? Stop using Dichlor. Dump at least 1/3 of your water this morning, replace with fresh and recirculate. Retest. Its possible there is metals in the water but if your CYA is 100 and your FC is only 3 that is the more likely culprit. Follow the instructions for shocking the pool, wondering why you were using dichlor? It raises CYA and lowers PH and TA. Its unlikely you will be able to clear it up today.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
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    Re: Oops...added too much Borax, water turned green overnigh

    I hear you, but the high CYA is as of this morning, it was only 40 two days ago...
    I'm looking at the other related posts on the forum, and thinking maybe because the green is clear not murky it could be metals?
    Beautiful, scenic, historic, rural Frederick County, Maryland!
    18,500 gal IG plaster freeform Anthony pool
    48 sf DE American Products filter
    1 HP pentair aquaflo pump

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    ivyleager's Avatar
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    Re: Oops...added too much Borax, water turned green overnigh

    Go get some bleach at the grocery store or liquid shock at the pool store (higher concentration of bleach). Use that only for raising chlorine. Your CYA is too high. Focus on FC, pH, TA. Do not use dichlor or cal-hypo; first one increases CYA, second one increases calcium. Both are high now. Stick with the BBB and dump some water. It's not the quick fix, but it's the right one.

    True it could be metals. Pool store can test for metals.
    CaryB
    36 x 18 IG vinyl, 25K, 1 HP pump, sand filter
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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Oops...added too much Borax, water turned green overnigh

    It could be metals but usually that's associated with high ph and yours is still very low. If you want to spend some additional $$ on sequesterants and see if that makes a difference this morning - you could try a qt or two and hope to see a color change. But for a pool party - where low PH would be an irritant to the swimmers - you have more issues than just the color.

    The Dichlor could very well have raised the CYA to 100 that quickly and honestly however it got there it is now too high and you need to dump 1/3 of your water. If you don't - refer to the CYA chlorine chart for what your "min" FC level needs to be and then add 1-2 ppm to offset the additional swimmers coming to your party.

    Dumping 1/3 of your water first thing this morning could improve things rather rapidly especially if you have more than one hose to refill with.
    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
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    Re: Oops...added too much Borax, water turned green overnigh

    Okay, I hear you. However, I'm still wondering what the green could be?

    How long would it take to waste 6200 gals and refill, you think?
    Beautiful, scenic, historic, rural Frederick County, Maryland!
    18,500 gal IG plaster freeform Anthony pool
    48 sf DE American Products filter
    1 HP pentair aquaflo pump

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Oops...added too much Borax, water turned green overnigh

    If you start now midday? As I said it could very well be a chemical reaction to metals - and a qt or 2 of metal sequesterant would reveal that within an hour or so.

    If its a transparent green it could mean copper in the water. Have you been using any products with copper? I know you said it's not murky but that doesn't mean that the lack of chlorine isn't causing it.
    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
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: Oops...added too much Borax, water turned green overnigh

    OK, added some sequestrant, color is changing back to blue, thanks for the help!

    Still curious, where does one put 6200 gallons of pool water (we're on well/septic) without washing the neighbors away, or at least annoying them severely?
    Beautiful, scenic, historic, rural Frederick County, Maryland!
    18,500 gal IG plaster freeform Anthony pool
    48 sf DE American Products filter
    1 HP pentair aquaflo pump

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    Re: Oops...added too much Borax, water turned green overnigh

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    If you start now midday? As I said it could very well be a chemical reaction to metals - and a qt or 2 of metal sequesterant would reveal that within an hour or so.

    If its a transparent green it could mean copper in the water. Have you been using any products with copper? I know you said it's not murky but that doesn't mean that the lack of chlorine isn't causing it.
    Could be a reaction to metal? in particular boron from the borax you just added, borax flux used in soldering/brazing burns with a green flame. I wonder if it's a reaction with the low Ph and oxidising of the metal..........

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    Re: Oops...added too much Borax, water turned green overnigh

    Quote Originally Posted by b/o 402
    OK, added some sequestrant, color is changing back to blue, thanks for the help!

    Still curious, where does one put 6200 gallons of pool water (we're on well/septic) without washing the neighbors away, or at least annoying them severely?

    you would need a submersible pump with a long hose set to deposit the water somewhere manageable... either the street or (in my case down the hill from the pool and away from the low spots. harbor freight has some submersibles... I would buy a "dirty water" pump so you can use it for other rough jobs for example pumping the swill off the cover when you open each spring, or for pumping water from a muddy ditch etc...

    Harbor freight has them among other places... mine has a smaller diamter fireman style hose set (roll emup etc...)
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    Re: Oops...added too much Borax, water turned green overnigh

    I don't think Boron turns green- it's the copper/boron mix that becomes green in brazing; the borax reacts with the copper oxide and "strips" it away to allow the solder/braze/silver to adhere...
    But the boron could still react with any copper in the pool...
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Oops...added too much Borax, water turned green overnigh

    In this case, chlorine, plus borax, plus baking soda caused the PH and FC levels to go up, which can cause copper (or iron) to precipitate out of the water. Often the metals will form extremely small crystals, which tint the water green (or yellow), and stay in suspension.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Oops...added too much Borax, water turned green overnigh

    Have you had your well water tested for iron, alot of the wells in my area have a high iron content.
    Ej
    24' round AG
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