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Thread: Borax add taste to water?

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    Borax add taste to water?

    Ok, I know we aren't supposed to drink pool water, but some will inevitably find its way into the mouth. After I started adding Borax, we began noticing an oily, soapy and very persistent bad taste from the water in the pool. The taste doesn't hit at first, but builds and then persists for hours.

    The pool is a 15'x42" Intex AGP. I have added about three cups of Borax and I was going to slowly increase it to the 30 ppm level. That's the only new thing that has gone into the water in the last week.

    It has an Intex SWG and has 2,600 ppm salt (being increased to 3,000). I have used trichlor tablets the pool store talked me into and will discontinue them when the CYA hits 60 or so. I used acid to reduce the PH. I have used some polymer algaecide, a flocculent and a clarifier, but none of that has gone in for over a week. The only thing in the last week besides the trichlor and some Intex generated chlorine was the borax and about 200 gallons of county utility water which tastes fine.

    It doesn't make sense that just three cups of borax could make 3,900 gallons of water taste bad, so I was wondering if something else might be going on. Could the Borax have reacted with something in the water? Again, I have used all the other products before and never noticed a bad taste from the water. Not until the borax went in.

    Thanks in advance!
    TMG in FL

    15x48 Intex Metal Frame
    Intex SWCG
    Intex 1,600 gph sand filter

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Borax add taste to water?

    You've put a lot of stuff in that pool that would make the water taste bad! Algaecide, floc, Clarifier and even borax all tastes bad and doesn't go away as fast as you might think. I'd even suspect the combination of chems to produce some unexpected things. I hope you've learned better than to put stuff in your water. Why are you adding borax?
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Borax add taste to water?

    There isn't any taste associated with borates in the water at the levels we recommend using.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Borax add taste to water?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    You've put a lot of stuff in that pool that would make the water taste bad! Algaecide, floc, Clarifier and even borax all tastes bad and doesn't go away as fast as you might think. I'd even suspect the combination of chems to produce some unexpected things. I hope you've learned better than to put stuff in your water. Why are you adding borax?
    Borax was recommended here as a way to improve water quality and I thought I would try it. None of the other stuff had given the water any sort of taste (other than the salt which is very weak). And you do have to put stuff in the water or you wind up with an ugly green swamp.
    TMG in FL

    15x48 Intex Metal Frame
    Intex SWCG
    Intex 1,600 gph sand filter

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    Re: Borax add taste to water?

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    There isn't any taste associated with borates in the water at the levels we recommend using.
    That's what I thought too. I did just have one thought and I bet it might be the cause. I was amusing my son and neighbor friends by putting "slipperifier" (liquid dis detergent) on the sliding board. I later observed them jumping into the pool with very sudsy bathing suits. I wonder if that might be the cause. I will have to work up nerve to taste a diluted bit of the dish detergent and see if that it similar. That's more to satisfy curiosity as I am going to just give in a dump some water to get rid of it. Sigh.

    Thanks for the reply!
    TMG in FL

    15x48 Intex Metal Frame
    Intex SWCG
    Intex 1,600 gph sand filter

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Borax add taste to water?

    Since you have a swcg, the only stuff you HAVE to put in your water besides the salt and a little CYA, is some acid once in a while. If you keep the FC in the recommended range you never have to add anything else. I never add anything but chlorine regularly and a very little acid once in a great while.

    My guess is that it's not any one thing that you're adding but the combination of things that's giving you the taste.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: Borax add taste to water?

    tmgoethe - I put borates in my water and I noticed a different taste in the water as well. I asked the same question in another topic on this forum. My family hates it. The only other chemicals I have added to my pool are Chlorine and acid, so the only culprit I can think of would be the borates. I did not have a problem keeping my pool balanced before adding borates, I did it to help the feel of the water. I have a vinyl pool so I do not worry about calcium, so consequently my calcium is low. Maybe low calcium and the addition of borates creates the different taste???? No matter what the cause since I have added borates the water has had a different taste.
    35K IG Vinyl 20 x 40 self built pool, Hayward Pro Series High-Rate Sand Filter 31" 98gal/min, Hayward TriStar 1.85hp, Hayward 400btu heater, BBB method w/Hypo, Jazz light w/matching fiber optic rope lighting around coping w/syncronized color wheels. Concrete Paver deck.

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    Re: Borax add taste to water?

    Three cups of Borax would only be about 5 ppm of borates, so only 1/10 of the level for someone adding borates. The soap could cause some taste depending on how much you used. The N-Alkyl type of algaecide causes the water to have a smell and taste that I don't like. I can always tell when someone has used that just from the smell.

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    Diver's Avatar
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    Re: Borax add taste to water?

    i borated my pool with boric acid and there is no detectable change in the taste. not sure if it's due to boric acid used instead of borax or not.
    26K In-ground Vinyl Pool | Hayward DE4820/SP0710XR50 filter | 1.125 HP Dual Speed Hayward Super Pump | Aquasol Solar

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