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Thread: Borates next?

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    ultra800_96's Avatar
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    Borates next?

    So, my pool has been up & running, after my citric acid stain treatment the chlorine took quite a bit of tending to, to finally hold so the SWCG can take over, what's next?

    Been thinking of adding borates. No necessary reasons, just would like to try it out. Here in Iowa, usually open in May till mid Sept then it's close time again. I've read alot about it on this site, & really thinking of trying them. Since adding the SWCG, I've gotten lots of comments on how nice the water feels. The pool is in a sweet spot right now although I would need to drop TA first before adding them. I fight high TA fill water, so I I've always thought whats the use, but it still has me intrigued. I have to drain at least 1/4 on close so would it be worth it?

    FC 4 CC 0
    PH 7.2
    TA 180
    CH 360
    CYA 60 (added more to get to 70 today)
    Salt 3200

    Whats your opinions?
    12,900 Gal. 24' X 48" ABG Vinyl Round (17th Birthday)
    1HP Hayward Pump w/S180T Hayward Sand Filter
    AquaTrol RJ SWCG 2011 startup
    TFP Method since '09, TF100
    50ppm Borates, June '12

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Borates next?

    No need to drain to reduce TA! Use muriatic acid to drop the TA (pH will drop too) and aerate the water to bring the pH back up. Get the TA where you want it first, then use the pool calculator to determine how much borax you will need for your pool.
    TFP Moderator
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    ultra800_96's Avatar
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    Re: Borates next?

    yep, gotcha zea.
    I've done that procedure in the past, I've had my TA down well within range, only to have it rise back up from the fill water. It's a never ending battle keeping it down, although it's never caused problems. Last year adding the SWCG, I finally gave up trying to purposely lower it & things still ran smoothly. Just added acid when I needed to. I only drain when it comes time to winterize. It freezes solid here in Iowa, so I have to do a partial drain. So if I do drop it (with Muratic & aerate) in order to add Borates, will it be for nothing next spring with the new fill? Maybe not, as I have to replenish CYA also with the partial drain, I'd just have to add partial borates. I'm just intrigued with the idea of borates, & would like to try it. By the way, thought of a new idea (to me) to aerate. I just bought a new soaker hose for the garden. First, I'm going to attach a quick coupler & sink only the hose part into the water & hook it up to my small air compresser with a regulator. Should get some nice air bubbles with it.

    Thanks for the response.
    Dave B.
    12,900 Gal. 24' X 48" ABG Vinyl Round (17th Birthday)
    1HP Hayward Pump w/S180T Hayward Sand Filter
    AquaTrol RJ SWCG 2011 startup
    TFP Method since '09, TF100
    50ppm Borates, June '12

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Borates next?

    Sorry, I missed the part about draining to close and thought you were draining to lower TA. It sounds like you understand the process of adding borates. When you refill to open next spring how much borax you would need would depend on how much you lost over the season (splash-out and rain over flow) in addition to how much you drained on closing. If you decide to give borates a try, go ahead and order the borate test strips and check the level once a month until closing. That will give you a rough idea of how much you loose over a typical season.

    The aerator idea sounds interesting. Be sure and post some pictures of it in action.
    TFP Moderator
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    ultra800_96's Avatar
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    Re: Borates next?

    No problem, & Yep, I'll do that. I just ordered some refills from Dave S. on Friday & maybe can have them included in the same shipment as well. I'm ready to give borates a try. Kinda excited, actually. Like I said, nothing necessary, & everything is "swimmingly", I'd just like to try them out.

    Also, thanks for the statement about the knowledge on adding borates. I've read & reread. Would it be advisable to to maybe 1/2 or 3/4 way than all the way the first time adding?

    Since finding this site, it's always fun & exciting trying out new ideas I haven't done with my pool (safely of course).
    12,900 Gal. 24' X 48" ABG Vinyl Round (17th Birthday)
    1HP Hayward Pump w/S180T Hayward Sand Filter
    AquaTrol RJ SWCG 2011 startup
    TFP Method since '09, TF100
    50ppm Borates, June '12

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    Re: Borates next?

    Quote Originally Posted by ultra800_96
    Also, thanks for the statement about the knowledge on adding borates. I've read & reread. Would it be advisable to to maybe 1/2 or 3/4 way than all the way the first time adding?
    You need to get up close to the 50 ppm for the algaestatic functionality. If you know you pool I would just go right up to there...but it doesn't hurt anything to do it over time. If you do overshoot a little, it is not a big deal.

    I found using boric acid was about the same price as borax/MA and was a lot easier. My ph has been very stable since adding (I have a swg).
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    ultra800_96's Avatar
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    Re: Borates next?

    Good to know. Thanks both! I'll get pics of my redneck soaker hose aerator in action, get my TA down & get with the action. Now I just gotta find a place to buy the boric around this little "one horse town" lol.
    12,900 Gal. 24' X 48" ABG Vinyl Round (17th Birthday)
    1HP Hayward Pump w/S180T Hayward Sand Filter
    AquaTrol RJ SWCG 2011 startup
    TFP Method since '09, TF100
    50ppm Borates, June '12

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    Re: Borates next?

    Quote Originally Posted by ultra800_96
    Good to know. Thanks both! I'll get pics of my redneck soaker hose aerator in action, get my TA down & get with the action.
    Sounds like a great method!

    Quote Originally Posted by ultra800_96
    Now I just gotta find a place to buy the boric around this little "one horse town" lol.
    55 lb bucket, should do your pool to 50 ppm with plenty for topoffs in future years for $75 plus shipping (maybe $30 for me?)http://www.dudadiesel.com/choose_item.php?id=boric55
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    ultra800_96's Avatar
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    Re: Borates next?



    Can anyone say "Aeration"?

    I have my boric acid on the way from Duda Dsl. Now working on lowering the TA. Seems to work very well. I adjusted my small compressor to shut off at about 60 lbs & kick on about 30 PSI and fine tune at the hose end with an air regulator. This seems to give the best, consistent amount of bubbles. It takes about 2 minutes of compressor running, and 8 minutes shutoff time, so doesn't seem too taxing on the compressor. I must have overshot the Muratic addition. It stayed on 6.8 that I was trying to get to initially, thinking in a couple hours the PH would be right back up. Not! I'll go less aggresive on my subsequent additions to see where it ends up. Before adding the boric acid, the TA should be in the 70 range? How far should I take it?
    Thanks
    Dave

    TA currently is at 140, down from 160 from the first addition.
    12,900 Gal. 24' X 48" ABG Vinyl Round (17th Birthday)
    1HP Hayward Pump w/S180T Hayward Sand Filter
    AquaTrol RJ SWCG 2011 startup
    TFP Method since '09, TF100
    50ppm Borates, June '12

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    Re: Borates next?

    wow, lots of aeration.

    Try to get the TA down to between 70 and 80. The process does slow down as your TA gets lower.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    ultra800_96's Avatar
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    Re: Borates next?

    Thanks Jason. Yes it gives me lots of bubbles. Currently the way I have it operating right now, it's almost like an Aquarium airstone. Millions of tiny bubbles. I wish I could get a better pic of it working.
    12,900 Gal. 24' X 48" ABG Vinyl Round (17th Birthday)
    1HP Hayward Pump w/S180T Hayward Sand Filter
    AquaTrol RJ SWCG 2011 startup
    TFP Method since '09, TF100
    50ppm Borates, June '12

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    Re: Borates next?

    Ideally, you want to inject those bubbles as deep as possible, so in the deep end of the pool or at the bottom of the pool where you have this, so that they have a lot of contact time with the pool water before eventually getting to the surface. That will have them get the most carbon dioxide diffusing into them from the pool water. Great job! Tiny bubbles, In the wine, Make me feel happy, Make me feel fine...
    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
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    Re: Borates next?

    HaHa! Good Chem Geek! I did find a couple more heavy rocks, & with Nyties holding them, it is sitting near the bottom.
    12,900 Gal. 24' X 48" ABG Vinyl Round (17th Birthday)
    1HP Hayward Pump w/S180T Hayward Sand Filter
    AquaTrol RJ SWCG 2011 startup
    TFP Method since '09, TF100
    50ppm Borates, June '12

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    ultra800_96's Avatar
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    Re: Borates next?

    Aargh! Just checked TA. Topped off water last night about an inch or so. TA back at 180. This is what I've always fought trying to lower TA. Thought maybe topping off with the softner water wouldn't add back so much TA, unless I did an error in the test. I actually wiped the tip of the dropper with a damp cloth a few times when adding the R009. Ill test again tomorrow nite.

    Wrong! Must have been a testing error. This morning TA tests at 130. Also tested my Softened water for TA & CH. TA=460, so softener does nothing for that. However, CH test goes right to blue when adding R011, no pink at all, so it does do something for the CH. Couldn't hardly believe it, so I tested the pool water. 360 just like it had been.
    12,900 Gal. 24' X 48" ABG Vinyl Round (17th Birthday)
    1HP Hayward Pump w/S180T Hayward Sand Filter
    AquaTrol RJ SWCG 2011 startup
    TFP Method since '09, TF100
    50ppm Borates, June '12

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    ultra800_96's Avatar
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    Re: Borates next?

    My TA is 80!!

    6 days pretty much non-stop acid & aeration, I believe I made it. 4 gallons of Muratic. Maybe one more acid dose this evening depending on PH reading. Sounds backwards, but the PH seems to bounce back faster now the lower the TA fell (from 6.8 - 7.2). Maybe it's my imagination..

    My old, small compressor really got a workout but it made it through. My son thinks I'm nuts.

    Should I aerate back to the mid 7's before adding the boric acid or let it sit on around 7.0 & let it rise naturally with the SWG?

    One more, although I probably already know the answer..will my high TA fill water push the TA back higher at the same rate, or will the borates tend to buffer the TA also?

    Thanks,
    Dave B
    12,900 Gal. 24' X 48" ABG Vinyl Round (17th Birthday)
    1HP Hayward Pump w/S180T Hayward Sand Filter
    AquaTrol RJ SWCG 2011 startup
    TFP Method since '09, TF100
    50ppm Borates, June '12

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    Re: Borates next?

    High TA fill water will raise TA, borates or no borates. Depending on how often you need to top off the pool, you may end up wanting to install an acid feed system.
    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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    ultra800_96's Avatar
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    Re: Borates next? Done!

    Borates are in!!

    And the results are.........




    Thanks for everyone's help & guidance. So far couldn't be happier! Now to get my tomatoes mulched with that bale of hay..
    12,900 Gal. 24' X 48" ABG Vinyl Round (17th Birthday)
    1HP Hayward Pump w/S180T Hayward Sand Filter
    AquaTrol RJ SWCG 2011 startup
    TFP Method since '09, TF100
    50ppm Borates, June '12

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Borates next?

    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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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Borates next?

    Looks great ultra, can I come and swim?
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    ultra800_96's Avatar
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    Re: Borates next?

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    Looks great ultra, can I come and swim?
    Absolutely!
    12,900 Gal. 24' X 48" ABG Vinyl Round (17th Birthday)
    1HP Hayward Pump w/S180T Hayward Sand Filter
    AquaTrol RJ SWCG 2011 startup
    TFP Method since '09, TF100
    50ppm Borates, June '12

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