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Thread: Borax to lock your pH?

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    iggy's Avatar
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    Borax to lock your pH?

    I just read about using Borax to lockdown your pH.
    Does it really work?
    Can someone explain this and why should I consider or not consider doing this.
    In-Ground SWG pool 11,000 gal., Jandy CL460 Filter, 1.5hp Stealth Jandy pump, Paramount PV3 In-Floor cleaning sys., Goldline SWG, Hayward Color Logic 2.5 LED Light

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    50 ppm borates add a secondary borate/boric acid buffer that works with the carbonate/carbonic acid buffer to help lock the pH at arund 7.6-7.7

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    In an SWG pool, a combination of factors can significantly lower the rate of pH rise as waterbear can attest to from his low acid usage. The Borates are not only an additional pH buffer, but they are also an algaecide so can lower chlorine consumption that would otherwise be fighting nascent algae growth. This allows one to turn down the SWG on-time which lessens the amount of hydrogen gas bubbles produced by the SWG that aerate the water and drive out carbon dioxide that raises the pH.

    In addition to using Borates, one can lower the TA level and set a higher pH target, both of which reduce the amount of carbon dioxide outgassing (see this chart). Also, one can raise the CYA level to 60-80 ppm which reduces chlorine breakdown from the UV rays of sunlight even at higher proportional FC levels and this lets one turn down the SWG on-time...

    The net of the above in an SWG pool is lower frequency of acid addition AND lower total amount of acid added "per time period". In a non-SWG pool, the Borates are still a pH buffer so will reduce the rate of pH change, but by themselves won't change the amount of acid one needs to add "per time period" so you'll add more acid less frequently, but the total will be about the same (i.e. the algaecide benefits don't affect the rate of pH change in a non-SWG pool). Of course, in most non-SWG pools, the pH is more stable already, unless there are significant aeration features (or the TA is high or the pH low).

    Richard
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    billyjoeraybob's Avatar
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    How do you test for borates/boric acid? It looks like a good thing for my SWCG pool.
    Bill
    18' x 36' Freeform IG Gunite with 7' spa, Super Blue DiamondBrite, Pentair 1.5 hp circulation pump, Pentair 2.0 hp spa booster pump, Pentair Triton II Sand filter, Polaris 280 with booster pump, Pentair Intellichlor IC40 SWCG, Jandy Laars LX 250k btu NG heater, TF-100 test kit from http://www.tftestkits.com/

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    The most practical test for borates right now seems to be the LaMotte borate test strips.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Sorry.. off topic but related>I thought I read that borates are harmful to pets that drink from the pool. Is my memory correct?

    I am wondering if I should introduce some borates to my pool to aid me in reducing the amount of acid that I am using. I want to "lock" in at 7.5 if at all possible. My PH is always climbing where I have to add about 20 oz of acid every day to keep the PH at or slightly below 7.5.
    20k Gunite/Prism Blue-Pebblesheen, Pentair Tagelus TA-100D Sand Filter, Heliocol Solar Water Heater, 2 bubblers and 2 waterfalls installed 2007, 3hp IntelliFlo VS Pump 011018 installed 2013, Aquabot Turbo T4 RC and Stenner 45MHP10 w/The Liquidator container installed 2012.
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    If a pet gets most of their drinking water from a pool at 50 ppm of borates there are likely to be detectable symptoms. In almost all cases it is possible to teach your pets not to drink from the pool, which is a good idea for other reasons as well, and so in most cases there isn't an actual problem.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    billyjoeraybob's Avatar
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    How do you test for borates/boric acid? It looks like a good thing for my SWCG pool.
    Bill
    18' x 36' Freeform IG Gunite with 7' spa, Super Blue DiamondBrite, Pentair 1.5 hp circulation pump, Pentair 2.0 hp spa booster pump, Pentair Triton II Sand filter, Polaris 280 with booster pump, Pentair Intellichlor IC40 SWCG, Jandy Laars LX 250k btu NG heater, TF-100 test kit from http://www.tftestkits.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by billyjoeraybob
    How do you test for borates/boric acid? It looks like a good thing for my SWCG pool.
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    The most practical test for borates right now seems to be the LaMotte borate test strips.

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    billyjoeraybob's Avatar
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    Thanks Jason! Sorry for the double post. Not reallysure how that happened
    Bill
    18' x 36' Freeform IG Gunite with 7' spa, Super Blue DiamondBrite, Pentair 1.5 hp circulation pump, Pentair 2.0 hp spa booster pump, Pentair Triton II Sand filter, Polaris 280 with booster pump, Pentair Intellichlor IC40 SWCG, Jandy Laars LX 250k btu NG heater, TF-100 test kit from http://www.tftestkits.com/

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