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Thread: Inter-relation between Borax & Baking Soda...

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    Inter-relation between Borax & Baking Soda...

    Hello all! I've had an above-grnd pool for 4 years, but I decided to do a more scientific job of maintaining it, and I was shown this website by a friend. I decided I should stop using Di-Chlor (with CYA) for normal chlorination all year - and I wonder why my pool was cloudy all last year... I'm convinced this website will help me make better decisions!

    --Above-ground 4,000 gal steel-frame-and-vynl

    --Intek Salt-water chlorine generator

    I've got the required 100lbs of salt in the pool, and the chlorine generator is working. My question is properly getting the TA and Ph in line, and balanced. I understand that Baking Soda raises TA, while Borax just raises the PH. Last nite, I disolved some Borax in the pool, and also dissolved some Baking Soda. My 5-way test kit indicated I should do this. The water for my TA test never even turned purple at all, so that means my TA was zero? (or extremely low?) Anyway, after I did my thing last nite, my Ph test indicates a little high - water is pink, so I'm probably around 7.8 or above. The TA test indicated around 60PPM It took 6 drops of solution to turn the purple water back to clear.

    I know that Ph being too high will make the water cloudy among other things. Question: Given where I am now, how can I properly get TA and Ph in balance? I think I over-did it with the Borax...

    --Alex

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Inter-relation between Borax & Baking Soda...

    Welcome to TFP!

    You need to lower the PH just a little with acid and raise the TA with baking soda. For acid you can use muriatic acid, available at hardware stores, or dry acid, sold as PH Minus and similar names at pool stores.
    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: Inter-relation between Borax & Baking Soda...

    Thanks, glad to be here!

    I'm off to the HW store for the acid.. I have better numbers to post now:

    FC: .7
    CC: .5
    Ph: 8.2
    TA: 70
    CYA: (from my strip-based test) was I think around 30... My liquid tester doesn't do CYA, but I have some strips that do.

    Last nite after the sun went down, I had FC at about 1ppm, then when I woke up this morning (before sun hit the pool), it was zero. (I probably failed the overnite FC test...) My Chlorine generator is running on a 4h cycle now. The owners manual leaves alot of detials out... Does this means it runs for 4h, then off for 4h? Or does it mean it runs for 4h out of a 12h period....?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Inter-relation between Borax & Baking Soda...

    The Intex SWGs run for the number of hours you set each day so 4 hours on and 20 hours off if you are running the pump continuously.

    First you need to make sure you can maintain an FC level, adding chlorine manually if needed. Once that is resolved, you should raise the CYA level up to around 70 to 80, which will make it much easier for the SWG to keep up with chlorine demand.
    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: Inter-relation between Borax & Baking Soda...

    Is it time for shock? Tested pool after sitting overnite - no wind - no rain..

    FC= less than .5

    CC= 1

    This means there's something organic in the pool, that's consuming all the chlorine? Could it be specks of leaves on the bottom, or a filter that has a bunch of skin cells in it etc etc...?

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    Re: Inter-relation between Borax & Baking Soda...

    I'm running the chlorine generator at 11h chunks now. I got up this morning, and FC was .75. CC was probably about .5 even after sitting overnite. Ph was about 7.4. For shocking, I need to maintain about 8-10ppm FC for about 12h, right?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Inter-relation between Borax & Baking Soda...

    How high you need to raise FC while shocking depends on your CYA level. If CYA is still around 30 then shock level is 10 to 12.
    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: Inter-relation between Borax & Baking Soda...

    When going to bed, the Chlorine level is about 4ppm, and when I wake up it was about 1ppm (I have organics in the pool, I know...) Even with these numbers (tested in the morning), at least the CC level was only about .3 or so, so that's better at least. Now that we're coming up on the weekend, I can do a shock -- I can't do that during the week when I'm at work

    Also another question: I needed to raise TA, so I added Baking Soda (Borax is for Ph). Then I measure Ph, and it's way up at 8.0, so I added some acid to bring it down. Am I doing that right?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Inter-relation between Borax & Baking Soda...

    Quote Originally Posted by batsona
    Also another question: I needed to raise TA, so I added Baking Soda (Borax is for Ph). Then I measure Ph, and it's way up at 8.0, so I added some acid to bring it down. Am I doing that right?
    Yes, that is all correct.
    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: Inter-relation between Borax & Baking Soda...

    If how I'm dealing with TA and Ph is correct, then the proper way to raise TA is:


    1.) Add Baking Soda to water, to bring up TA. (Ph also rises as a result)

    2.) Add appropriate amnt of acid to water, to bring down Ph (which leaves TA where it was)?

    So essentially, both come up at the same time, then use Acid to push just the Ph down?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Inter-relation between Borax & Baking Soda...

    In step 2, when you add acid the TA will actually go down just a tiny bit, but not enough that you need to worry about it (unless the PH was way way off).
    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: Inter-relation between Borax & Baking Soda...

    OK -- I must have the CYA in a good spot because my CH doesn't dissapear overnite, and it also doesn't significantly drop in the direct sunlight. Water still crystal clear, which is better than what I was doing this time last year. I still need to pick up a test kit that has a test for CYA, as of right now, the only CYA test I have is a strip in a plastic bottle.

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