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Thread: Thinking of adding Borates

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    Thinking of adding Borates

    I have a new pool (completed June 14) Plaster, SWG 11,865 gallons. I have constant PH rise and go through a Gallon of MA or more ever couple of weeks. I added acid on Saturday and brought the PH down to 7.4 today when I tested it was up to at least 8 (the test kit only goes to 8) so in hopes of stopping the every other day addition of MA I am planning to go the borates route using Boric Acid.

    My numbers:

    FC 2 TC 2 PH 8 (added acid today to bring it down again)
    TA 80, CH 190 CYA 60. Water temp 86.

    According to the Pool Calculator I need 28lbs of Boric Acid to bring me up to the recommend 50 level. I have ordered the BA from the chemistry store and the test strips from TFTestkit. I understand that I add the BA slowly, brush like crazy and run the filter for 24 hours. I do have a couple of questions though:

    1. Should I turn off the SWG when adding the BA? If so, how long to leave it off?
    2. How long after adding the BA is it safe to swim again?
    3. Since it is getting late in the season (even here in Central Florida) should I just wait to spring to add the BA?

    Thanks for all the help!
    Steve
    12K gallon IGP pebble finish. 1 HP Jandy Flo Pro pump, 100 sqft cartridge filter, Aqua Pure SWG, Taylor K-2005 Test Kit.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    texasdad's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of adding Borates

    Wait for the experts to confirm, bu I dont think borates will change the anoint of ma you use. Just how often you have to add. It will take more to cause a ph change in either direction.

    What is your TA?

    You can add the borates at any time, they don't were off so adding now or in spring won't matter.
    13k gallon IG gunite pool
    Jandy 2 speed pump
    Jandy cartridge filter
    Stenner Pump and tank

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Thinking of adding Borates

    TA is 80. I'm OK with not having to add LESS acid, just really want to add it less often.
    12K gallon IGP pebble finish. 1 HP Jandy Flo Pro pump, 100 sqft cartridge filter, Aqua Pure SWG, Taylor K-2005 Test Kit.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Thinking of adding Borates

    I added borates for the same reason. I don't know if it was worth the trouble. It takes so much acid to lower the PH now that I still add some acid every day. My pool water is beautiful, but it was before I added borates as well, and it is said to have natural algaecidal properties and it may have something to do with the fact that I never see a hint of algae but I am not sure if I will do it again for the ph buffering effect.
    10,800 gallons Gunite/Plaster
    Hayward 244t 24" Sand Filter with Zeo
    1 1/2 HP Challenger
    Digital Pool Pilot DIG-220 SC-48
    Located in NOLA

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    Re: Thinking of adding Borates

    If one has a problem with rising pH, then one should try significantly lower the TA level. That is the main thing to try first to reduce the amount of acid that needs to be added. If that helps, then adding borates will reduce the frequency of such additions. Adding borates without lowering the TA is not the solution to rising pH.

    Now for new plaster that is curing, the pH will rise no matter what the TA. The borates may reduce the frequency from the rate of pH rise, but as was noted it takes more acid when you do add it -- basically, the same amount of acid per elapsed time. So maybe that will be helpful to you if the frequency is more of a problem than the quantity.
    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"

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Thinking of adding Borates

    Thanks everyone for the info.


    Does anyone know the answer to my other two questions about how long to wait to swim again and if the SWG needs to be turned off for any length of time while adding the BA?

    If these have been answered somewhere else, just point me in the right direction.

    Thanks again!
    12K gallon IGP pebble finish. 1 HP Jandy Flo Pro pump, 100 sqft cartridge filter, Aqua Pure SWG, Taylor K-2005 Test Kit.

  7. Back To Top    #7
    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of adding Borates

    Borax dissolves pretty fast, almost immediately. We just broadcast it and brush. You can swim when your pH is adjusted after adding the borax. The pH and mixing of the acid is a bigger issue for swimming than the borax itself. Give the acid half hour to an hour, test pH. If it's all good, swim.

    I honestly don't think the SWG on or off is an issue with borates but I'm not sure. If you want to be safe, just do it when the SWG is off, wait half an hour and then turn it back on. I think borates took us about 2 hours to add last season. Test pH, add borax while brushing, add acid, wait half hour and test/adjust pH. Then do it all again for the second phase. Done. :~}
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

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    chiefwej's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of adding Borates

    The OP is using boric acid to borate the pool. That means he won't need any MA to readjust the pH. The pool should be safe to swim in with no restrictions.

    I would suggest adding borates in two phases. One half of the required amount in each
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Thinking of adding Borates

    Perfect! Thank you!
    12K gallon IGP pebble finish. 1 HP Jandy Flo Pro pump, 100 sqft cartridge filter, Aqua Pure SWG, Taylor K-2005 Test Kit.

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: Thinking of adding Borates

    I just wanted to say THANK YOU!!!! Prior to adding the Borates, I would have told you that my water couldn't get any better, it was already clear. But due to having to add acid almost daily I decided to add borates to see if I could slow down my MA consumption rate. According to the Pool Calculator I needed to add 28 lbs of Boric Acid (I went that route due to its simplicity). I added 15 lbs yesterday morning and by the afternoon my water SPARKLED!!! I tested this morning and was at 30 PPM so I added another 12 Pounds (or so, had to guesstimate how much from the 15lb bucket). My pool has never looked better!

    I would never have known to do that if it wasn't for this forum, so THANK you to everyone that shares their knowledge with us newbies.

    My "Lifetime Member" payment was just sent. Thanks again, hopefully as I learn more I'll be able to give back knowledge rather than just a one time payment.

    You guys ROCK!
    12K gallon IGP pebble finish. 1 HP Jandy Flo Pro pump, 100 sqft cartridge filter, Aqua Pure SWG, Taylor K-2005 Test Kit.

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