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Thread: Dry skin. Salt or borates?

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    Haley's Avatar
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    Dry skin. Salt or borates?

    Hi, all!

    Things are going beautifully with our little pool- boy does it sparkle thanks to you guys. My husband came downstairs in his bathing suit this morning right after waking up. I think he's enjoying having a pool.

    We've all noticed that our skin is super dry after swimming in the pool, and after reading a little on TFP, adding salt seems to help? Or do I add borates to help with softness AND help with buffering the pH? My main desire is to help with the dry skin and the straw-like hair. Chemically speaking, WHY does the TA need to come down before we add borates?

    Here are my issues:

    -My pH loves to creep up and I add muriatic acid about once a week to bump it down. I'm using up the weak stuff and moving on to the stronger stuff soon after I run out.
    -TA stays steady around 140, even after muriatic acid (and after consulting you guys, just kind of left it alone)
    -I have to replace a couple inches of water at least once a week due to kids splashing like maniacs (and the new fill-water sure doesn't help my TA)
    -Attempting to aerate today for the first time to see what it does to my TA/pH.

    Thank you for any advice!!!
    Intex 15'x48" AG metal frame pool (4,440 gal), Krystal Clear (1600) 14" sand filter, Taylor K2006 test kit, Intex Deluxe Maintenance Kit/vacuum (love it!), Intex Deluxe Skimmer, BBB.

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Dry skin. Salt or borates?

    How high are you keeping your FC? I assume you have no CC? Full Test results are always nice Aeration will only raise your PH-doesn't sound like you need to.
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    Haley's Avatar
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    Re: Dry skin. Salt or borates?

    Hi, Woody!

    FC: 7 (been keeping it a little higher since we have lots of swimmers every day and hoooot weather going on)
    CC: 0
    pH: 7.4
    TA: 140
    CYA: 40
    CH: (I only test it once a month since I have vinyl)

    You said, "Aeration will only raise my pH." I know it raises pH, but doesn't it lower my TA as well?
    Intex 15'x48" AG metal frame pool (4,440 gal), Krystal Clear (1600) 14" sand filter, Taylor K2006 test kit, Intex Deluxe Maintenance Kit/vacuum (love it!), Intex Deluxe Skimmer, BBB.

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    Re: Dry skin. Salt or borates?

    Quote Originally Posted by Haley
    FC: 7 (been keeping it a little higher since we have lots of swimmers every day and hoooot weather going on)
    CC: 0
    pH: 7.4
    TA: 140
    CYA: 40
    CH: (I only test it once a month since I have vinyl)

    You said, "Aeration will only raise my pH." I know it raises pH, but doesn't it lower my TA as well?
    Yes Aeration will only raise pH. TA and pH are tied together. Chemically if you change one you will change the other. Some are slight changes, some are more. Lowering your TA is a process. You really lower your pH to the lower limit and that brings down your TA some. Then you aerate to bring the pH back up. Then do it again til your TA is in line. When you add borates that brings your TA up. that's why it needs to be lowered first.
    17500 gallon Doughboy AGP, Hayward DE filter, waiting for the 1.5hp DB pump to go out.
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    Haley's Avatar
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    Re: Dry skin. Salt or borates?

    Okay, gotcha. I went and read through "How to lower TA" with clearer eyes. That's what I get when I fly through chemistry. Thanks, Jcowart and WoodyP!!! So, I've actually been consistently lowering my TA via muriatic acid and it just wants to stay around 140. I'm guessing it's my regular refilling that bobs it back upward. So I guess knowing these things, what do I use? What can I use to soften my water?
    Intex 15'x48" AG metal frame pool (4,440 gal), Krystal Clear (1600) 14" sand filter, Taylor K2006 test kit, Intex Deluxe Maintenance Kit/vacuum (love it!), Intex Deluxe Skimmer, BBB.

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    Re: Dry skin. Salt or borates?

    Hello Harley, fellow Pacific Northwesterner!
    I don't believe I have helped you yet.

    Can you give us the TA and PH of your fill water at the hose bib you fill from? Thx.

    BTW, you'll also loose water when you backwash your sand filter too. Remember to only backwash at a 25% pressure rise over clean. Ignore the whole "X psi" hard number given elsewhere and in your manual.

    Lastly, I'm sure you know this, but just in case. Every time you top off the pool level, you also dilute your CYA.
    Now if you have the kids go around and pick up all the water after they get out of the pool, then throw it back in. No more CYA loss.

    Edit: Do you get any rashes or other sorts of skin irritation, aside from the dry skin that is? How long are you in the water before this occurs Thirty min, an hour, 2? Does it fully subside by your next trip into the pool, or is it compounding?
    Thanks for reading... - Tony
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    Haley's Avatar
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    Re: Dry skin. Salt or borates?

    Hi, Y_not! Ooooh, we used to live in Bend! How we loved it! Redmond sure seemed to be growing when we drove through there a couple of months ago.

    To answer your questions:

    - The pH of my hose bib is: 8.0 and TA: 160 (and I wipe my tip; I'm very careful with this test and have watched the Youtube videos to make sure I'm doing it right. )
    -Now why should I wait until the pressure reaches 25% over clean? Just to conserve water in there?
    -Yes, I'm always careful with my CYA and test it whenever I have to do a significant fill. But I like your idea of having the kids put the water back. I think that will put a damper on the "king of the raft" games.
    -We don't have rashes, burning or irritations of any kind. (Not even irritated eyes.) It's just that after we've been in the pool, maybe 2 hours, and shower off, I notice that my hands and feet are just dry. I hate that feeling. My daughter's long hair is a little stiff, but once she showers and conditions, it's fine. This dry thing is all more of an annoyance really.
    Intex 15'x48" AG metal frame pool (4,440 gal), Krystal Clear (1600) 14" sand filter, Taylor K2006 test kit, Intex Deluxe Maintenance Kit/vacuum (love it!), Intex Deluxe Skimmer, BBB.

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    Re: Dry skin. Salt or borates?

    I always have dry hands and feet when I get out of my pool. I never let my pH get below 7.4, so I don't think it is a problem with that. I was going to do borates this year, but I found out I will need to replace my liner, so I am going to hold off. I'll be interested to see what you find out.
    John
    7 year old ~13,500 gal 24' AGP with 1.5 hp Proline pump, 150 sqft Pleatco cartridge, filled with well water with pH of about 4.5.
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    Re: Dry skin. Salt or borates?

    I just went through the process of lowering my TA. Fill water has changed a bit from our local water co, with a huge rise in the pH and TA.

    I find that having the TA around 80 keeps my pH from bouncing around too much.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Re: Dry skin. Salt or borates?

    Hi, Charlie! It would take some serious effort for me to get it down that far, what with all the splash-out and filling that goes on here. I don't know if it's worth it just to make the water softer.
    Intex 15'x48" AG metal frame pool (4,440 gal), Krystal Clear (1600) 14" sand filter, Taylor K2006 test kit, Intex Deluxe Maintenance Kit/vacuum (love it!), Intex Deluxe Skimmer, BBB.

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    Re: Dry skin. Salt or borates?

    Is your PH jumping around alot or raising all the time ?


    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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    Haley's Avatar
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    Re: Dry skin. Salt or borates?

    Hi, Jeff- It's raising all the time. I find that I have to add MA about once a week.
    Intex 15'x48" AG metal frame pool (4,440 gal), Krystal Clear (1600) 14" sand filter, Taylor K2006 test kit, Intex Deluxe Maintenance Kit/vacuum (love it!), Intex Deluxe Skimmer, BBB.

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    Re: Dry skin. Salt or borates?

    Ok. I see you have higher TA fill water. Do have to add water alot ?


    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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    Haley's Avatar
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    Re: Dry skin. Salt or borates?

    About once a week I fill to the fill-line due to the kids splashing it all out. That's why I figure my TA just refuses to go down. You can see it start to dip after adding MA, but then I'll add water a couple days later and it stops the process.
    Intex 15'x48" AG metal frame pool (4,440 gal), Krystal Clear (1600) 14" sand filter, Taylor K2006 test kit, Intex Deluxe Maintenance Kit/vacuum (love it!), Intex Deluxe Skimmer, BBB.

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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Re: Dry skin. Salt or borates?

    You got it. I guess with all the filling your just going to have to deal with it as you are.


    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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    Haley's Avatar
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    Re: Dry skin. Salt or borates?

    Well, going back to my original question, what can I add to my pool (if anything) to make it softer and keep it from drying out considering my TA issue?
    Intex 15'x48" AG metal frame pool (4,440 gal), Krystal Clear (1600) 14" sand filter, Taylor K2006 test kit, Intex Deluxe Maintenance Kit/vacuum (love it!), Intex Deluxe Skimmer, BBB.

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    Re: Dry skin. Salt or borates?

    Only thing I can think of is borates or try a little lower FC level.


    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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    Re: Dry skin. Salt or borates?

    I know salt is supposed to make it feel better, I don't know if that includes less of a drying effect. If you decide to try anything, let me know how it turns out.
    John
    7 year old ~13,500 gal 24' AGP with 1.5 hp Proline pump, 150 sqft Pleatco cartridge, filled with well water with pH of about 4.5.
    Wanda the Whale pool vacuum, home made heater, Taylor K-2006
    Cloudy Pool? 1) Order test kit. 2) Follow SLAM
    New to TFPC? Read Pool School a few times, then post questions. PoolMath will help with chemical additions.

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    Re: Dry skin. Salt or borates?

    Thank you Haley for posting this question. I have the same issue and haven't found a solid answer yet. I have been planning to raise my borate level once I go my TA down to the recommended level but have been struggling with that. I'm a little color blind in red so the test is a bit daunting at times. Then I saw your mention of a you tube video, very helpful. Much to my shagrin, I found I've been doing the test wrong using the 44ml sample, doh. The good news is my TA is good and I can proceed to the borates. Hopefully it helps.
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    Re: Dry skin. Salt or borates?

    I asked my wife who swims for an hour or so every day and she uses a moisturizer every day and also uses sunscreen that has a moisturizer in it. She also uses a chlorine-reducing shampoo that is not hard on the hair (I'll have to find out what it is when we get home -- we're out of town right now). We have 50 ppm Borates in our pool, but I don't think that makes a difference with regard to chlorine oxidizing chemicals on the surface of the skin or hair.

    Probably what would make a difference is to have the active chlorine level be lower. Perhaps you need a higher CYA level to prevent as much chlorine loss so with the same or slightly lower FC your active chlorine level will be lower.
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