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Thread: If adding borates now is a good idea?

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    If adding borates now is a good idea?

    Hi all -this is a terrific site. I've been renting a house this season that happens to have come with a pool. My landlord didn't seem to know much about pool maintenance. "Just put these pucks in this floater and keep it full". Um, ok, I'm sure there's a little more to it than that. So, me being the person I am, got a test kit and did a bunch of research and stopped using the pucks (a little late, my CYA is at 90 already), but I've been battling what I think is minor outbreaks of mustard algae. Now that I've got the chemistry under control and can take care of it properly, I have a couple of questions:

    1.) I've only been using washing soda to raise Ph from the very beginning of the season. Is it safe to assume that my borates are effectively zero?

    2.) If I add boric acid now, with the season coming to a close, will the borates remain in the pool through the winter, or are they consumed like CYA?

    I'm trying to determine if adding borates now is a good idea since it will likely help with the very minor algae issues or if I should just wait until next season.
    32x16 13,000 gal AG pool part of a rental home
    Hayward Perflex EC50 DE filter with 60GPM Power Flo pump
    K2006

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: If adding borates now is a good idea?

    I cannot answer your question about borates...I do not use them.

    I can answer your issue of algae outbreaks....keep more chlorine in your pool. Use liquid since your CYA has become almost unmanageable.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: If adding borates now is a good idea?

    Neither borates nor CYA are consumed. Once they are in there, they stay in there. The only way either gets lowered is by splash out and backwashing (not evaporation).
    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: If adding borates now is a good idea?

    Yes, if you have never added borates, you can assume they are 0 since they are not in fill water. Soda ash is sodium carbonate and contains no borates.
    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
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: If adding borates now is a good idea?

    Thank you. I have, however, read on here that CYA will more than likely return to zero over the winter months due to bacteria, etc. I live in the northern climes. The pool is shut tight and untreated all winter. As for chlorine, I've been using the pool calculator to ensure I've got enough FC vs. my CYA level. I'm currently holding it at 10, but I held it at shock levels last week. I've already switched to liquid chlorine after reading pool school. I think the algae keeps cropping up due to the slight shade I get at that end of the pool and what I believe is poor circulation. There's one return nozzle at the sunny end of the pool, just where the end curve stops. I have it pointed straight across and down, but recently I've been experimenting with slightly different angles to see if I notice a difference.
    32x16 13,000 gal AG pool part of a rental home
    Hayward Perflex EC50 DE filter with 60GPM Power Flo pump
    K2006

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    Re: If adding borates now is a good idea?

    If you close the pool correctly, you will not get the bacteria, and your CYA will not go down to 0. Last year I closed with chlorine at shock level, and my CYA went down only from my water replacement. If you want to keep the algae from coming back, you need to SLAM the pool. That will use a lot of bleach with a CYA of 90.
    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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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: If adding borates now is a good idea?

    Although you read about bacteria reducing cya on this forum, it is a very rare occurrence. In addition, when it happens, it is not fun, as it takes a lot of chlorine to remove the resulting ammonia.

    My advice to you is to skip borates for now and deal with the high cya and then the algae this season. Then, as JohnN said, when it is time, close the pool correctly.
    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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    Re: If adding borates now is a good idea?

    Fair enough, thank you. Being that tomorrow is the start of August, I'm wrestling with a partial drain and fill to lower CYA. I don't pay for water, but I'd also rather not have a freezing pool for the remaining few weeks of its use. I think I've got the algae in check now. OCLT shows zero and in testing, my CC has repeatedly been 0 to .2. I think the algae may have started because I was only testing with an OTO test kit which I didn't realize was nearly useless for my situation and that **** trichlor kept adding CYA which was likely present as well from last season. Interestingly, my OTO test never registered above 3 on the color comparator despite the FAS/DPD test showing far higher.
    32x16 13,000 gal AG pool part of a rental home
    Hayward Perflex EC50 DE filter with 60GPM Power Flo pump
    K2006

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