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Thread: borax for increasing pH question

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    pakrh8r's Avatar
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    borax for increasing pH question

    I have a question regarding adding borax to increase pH. I don't necessarily want to go through the process of getting my pool to a 50 ppm borate level, but I am thinking of using borax to increase pH. If I understand corectly borax will increase pH without significantly increasing TA, is that correct? I have noticed that my TA has risen to about 130 and was wondering why. I searched through some of the posts here and found that my "pH Up" powder (Nature's Way pH up - sodium carbonate) may be the culprit. I've seen a lot of posts about using borates but, at least the posts i've read, seem to mostly focus on bringing the pool up to the 50 ppm level. I wanted to know if I decide to add borax instead of pH up to increase pH will I need to somehow test for borate levels? This is my 3rd season with a pool and I notice the pH always seems to drop between testings. Ph up is the last of the chemicals from the pool store that I am currently using but will probably stop using that as well. My latest test results follow in case you need to know those to better answer this question:
    FC -- 2.5
    CC -- 0.5
    TC -- 3.0
    pH -- 7.2
    TA -- 130
    CH -- do not test as I seem to always have problems with this one
    CYA -- 60 - 65

    I should also note that I already added 13 oz. of the pH up and 14 oz. of 8% bleach the other day. I lent my test kit to a friend who was havng a problem with his pool and needed to get it ready for a pool party today. I haven't tested since Tuesday evening. I've been using the BBB method for about 1 1/2 months after using Trichlor pucks. I also added stabiizer last year so that is probably why my CYA level is high. I am considering draining the pool 1/3 per pool calculator. Thanks.
    5500 gal. Plastimayd & Vynall AG (12' x 18' oval), Hayward Swimpro Voyager Cartridge filter & pump, Hayward H150 heater
    TF 100 Test Kit, converted to BBB in 2013

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: borax for increasing pH question

    20 mule team borax will get your PH up. You are correct. Or, you could just aerate it.
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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Re: borax for increasing pH question

    You can also use the pool calc affects of adding chem's to see how much x amount of borax will raise TA.


    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: borax for increasing pH question

    FC of 2.5 is too low for your CYA. Get that chlorine up above 5 and keep it above 5 at all times!!

    With a TA of 130 plus splashing from swimming, your pH will likely climb on it's own. I'd just keep an eye on it. You probably don't need to add anything.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
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    pakrh8r's Avatar
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    Re: borax for increasing pH question

    Thanks folks. I did add bleach the last time I tested and the number posted was prior to adding the bleach. Hopefully it raised that level and I will know when I get my test kit back later this afternoon. I also saw how you can use the calculator to see how much it will affect the levels. My question is, the next time the pH levels drop, as they always seem to do, do I need to begin testing for borates if I use Borax? Will I need to keep track of how much each addition will add and keep a running total? As far as aerating, if my TA is good but my pH is low, am I better off doing that as opposed to adding chemicals? I haven't tried that yet as it seems it will take a very long time. Thanks
    5500 gal. Plastimayd & Vynall AG (12' x 18' oval), Hayward Swimpro Voyager Cartridge filter & pump, Hayward H150 heater
    TF 100 Test Kit, converted to BBB in 2013

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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Re: borax for increasing pH question

    I don't think you'll be adding enough borax to have to test for borates.

    Areation is another option. Sometimes it will raise PH quicker than you think.


    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: borax for increasing pH question

    I wouldn't worry about the borate level unless you end up using two or more boxes of borax. You have a fairly small pool. I wouldn't expect you to use that much borax any time soon.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    pakrh8r's Avatar
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    Re: borax for increasing pH question

    Thanks fro the help guys, I appreciate it.. Borax here I come !!
    5500 gal. Plastimayd & Vynall AG (12' x 18' oval), Hayward Swimpro Voyager Cartridge filter & pump, Hayward H150 heater
    TF 100 Test Kit, converted to BBB in 2013

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