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Thread: Getting ready to add borates.....

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    lka674's Avatar
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    Getting ready to add borates.....

    So I've decided to take the plunge with borates.

    Quick questions....I've got my dogs trained to pretty much stay out of the pool as their watering hole, however they every now and then will still take a quick sip (even with their fresh cold water bowl right there....I've started shooting them with a water bottle when I catch them doing it and it's pretty much been working)....I understand that a tiny amount shouldn't hurt them...but I have a 2 year old little girl who is just learning to swim and while she is getting good at holding her breath under water, she still does ingest a bit more of the pool water than I would like in general both on accident AND thinking it's cool to put it in her mouth and spit it like a water fountain. This being said....should I really wait till she is older and understands better that the water is not meant to go in her mouth BEFORE I make this addition?

    Also, during the 48 hour waiting period before testing to check the borate levels.....is the pool closed? Meaning, should no one be swimming while I'm getting the levels straightened out?

    Thanks!
    Pool grand opening Sept 2010. 100% sun exposure. Beach entry with fountain, IG gunite pool, approx 11,000g. Hayward HK sand filter. Intelliflow VS 350 pump w/ max flow rate 160 gpm. Dolphin (cordless) M5 Liberty pool cleaner. The pool has waterfall at one end with a tanning ledge and a spa at the other end that has a spillway into the pool and there is a water shear falling from the pool equip wall into the spa. DH did a beautiful job of designing it himself!

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    Re: Getting ready to add borates.....

    I have two little ones, and so I do not add borates as I did prior to them in my life. Borates are not necessary, nice, but not necessary. Give it a year or two, play it safe.

    No you do not need to close the pool until you check borate levels, as long as you used the pool calculator, you should be pretty close at your end point! Too close to worry. Swim on!
    20k gal, IG Vinyl, IntelliFlo VF Pump, 60 GPM sand filter, Jandy Aquapure Ei 35, 2 skimmers, one main drain, two returns, Dolphin Diagnostic cleaning robot, Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Getting ready to add borates.....

    It's totally your choice, but if you read the research out there, you will find that borates are less toxic to humans than salt, for example, and that some people actually take borate supplements. Borates are actually a nutrient used in agriculture. So if you eat an apple, you're usually consuming borates.
    One study in the US attempted to determine if handling high volumes of borates in the plant had adverse effects on fertility, because at super high doses, that was observed in lab mice. They discovered instead that the plant workers actually had higher fertility rates

    Boric acid is also mild enough to use in eye washes and skin care products where it performs a mild anti-fungal function.

    That said, like ANY substance, caution is a good thing, and handling large volumes of a substance requires care. I personally wouldn't hesitate to have young children swim in my pool, but at the same time respect the fact that you're being conscientious and appreciate that a trouble free pool should also be a worry-free pool I did, however, want to share some of what I found because I did read a lot of boring and hodgepodge material to arrive at my own comfort level with borates.

    You can wait, as the other poster advises, or read up, but either way, I'm sure you'll be fine
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    GreatCanadian's Avatar
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    Re: Getting ready to add borates.....

    My girls are 4 and 8 years old. My borates are around 50 ppm and I have no hesitation with letting them swim in that. The youngest is always filling her mouth and spitting it out. Also, she swims without a float, but struggles. This causes her to ingest water sometimes. Obviously I wish that didn't happen, but I don't worry too much about it.

    GC
    13'x22'x52" 8,000 gallon ProSeries Pool with Borates
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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Getting ready to add borates.....

    To give you context on concentrations, according to Merck, a lethal dose to rats is the equivalent of 5400 ppm (5.4g/kg) -- while the lethal dose of chlorine for rats is 3750 ppm (3.75g/kg). In each case, were talking at least 100 times the amount used in a pool solution.

    So in small concentrations, borates can be helpful; in some much higher concentrations, like table salt, boron
    can be toxic. Just like iron, niacin, etc.

    Comparatively, an eyewash solution of it is 3 percent, otherwise expressed as 3:100 ratio. In pool water, 50 ppm would be 50:1,000,000 or 5:100,000 or .00005/ .005 percent. That said, if you drank a gallon of the eyewash solution, its entirely possible you'd have the runs or be sick
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    lka674's Avatar
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    Re: Getting ready to add borates.....

    Thanks to everyone who responded.....I did use the pool calculator and I finished all the adding and brushing yesterday. I know that I'm supposed to let the pump run 24/7 for 48 hours before testing borates......but what about chlorine?? I couldn't help myself, so I did test for it (had to actually hide the rest of my TF-100 kit so that I wouldn't be tempted to test anything else!! LOL) today at it went from 7 yesterday (which is my PERFECT target for chlorine) before I started to TWO this morning and I also now have 0.5 chloramines when I had NONE yesterday. Should I be ignoring these numbers as well until I do the actual testing for the borate/pH levels tomorrow?
    Pool grand opening Sept 2010. 100% sun exposure. Beach entry with fountain, IG gunite pool, approx 11,000g. Hayward HK sand filter. Intelliflow VS 350 pump w/ max flow rate 160 gpm. Dolphin (cordless) M5 Liberty pool cleaner. The pool has waterfall at one end with a tanning ledge and a spa at the other end that has a spillway into the pool and there is a water shear falling from the pool equip wall into the spa. DH did a beautiful job of designing it himself!

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Getting ready to add borates.....

    No, you wouldn't want to ignore chlorine -- if you dose daily by hand, then do so to get it up to your recommended levels (or whatever you usually do to raise the chlorine.)

    I think people mean simply not to bother confirming your ppm of borate added until its had a chance to circulate etc. If you used the pool calc, you should be golden anyway.
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    lka674's Avatar
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    Re: Getting ready to add borates.....

    Then ANY idea why or how I would have lost so much chlorine overnight? I only loose about 1ppm daily......maybe 2 if we have swimmers....but I dropped 5ppm overnight....makes no sense to me. Urgh!
    Pool grand opening Sept 2010. 100% sun exposure. Beach entry with fountain, IG gunite pool, approx 11,000g. Hayward HK sand filter. Intelliflow VS 350 pump w/ max flow rate 160 gpm. Dolphin (cordless) M5 Liberty pool cleaner. The pool has waterfall at one end with a tanning ledge and a spa at the other end that has a spillway into the pool and there is a water shear falling from the pool equip wall into the spa. DH did a beautiful job of designing it himself!

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Getting ready to add borates.....

    Usually would mean you're fighting something. That said, I believe most people with warmish water and a sunny position loose more like 30 - 50% of their chlorine daily.
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: Getting ready to add borates.....

    Quote Originally Posted by lka674
    .....today at it went from 7 yesterday (which is my PERFECT target for chlorine) before I started to TWO this morning...
    What time yesterday? And what time this morning? If it was after the sun went down, and early this morning, and you lost 5 ppm overnight, then that is definitely a concern.
    13'x22'x52" 8,000 gallon ProSeries Pool with Borates
    Intex 110 pound Sand Filter with Zeobrite, 2650 gph pump, 0.95 hp
    Bestway SWG
    AquaPro ECO500 50,000 BTU heat pump
    GLI Whirlwind Solar Cover Reel, TF-100 Test Kit

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    lka674's Avatar
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    Re: Getting ready to add borates.....

    No...it was mid day and then morning...all is fine now. The borate level was PERFECT after following the procedures listed here and the chlorine thing was not accurate due to the timing of my test. Thanks for all who replied and soooo sorry for the delay. I've been unplugged for the last month!
    Pool grand opening Sept 2010. 100% sun exposure. Beach entry with fountain, IG gunite pool, approx 11,000g. Hayward HK sand filter. Intelliflow VS 350 pump w/ max flow rate 160 gpm. Dolphin (cordless) M5 Liberty pool cleaner. The pool has waterfall at one end with a tanning ledge and a spa at the other end that has a spillway into the pool and there is a water shear falling from the pool equip wall into the spa. DH did a beautiful job of designing it himself!

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