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Thread: Borates too high

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    Chad628's Avatar
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    Borates too high

    Last weekend I added 20 Mule Team Borax to both my pool and my spa to introduce some borates into my water as is recommended in some of the forums here. I very carefully followed the instructions on how to do this and used the quantities of 20 Mule Team Borax and Muriatic acid according the the pool calculator to arrive at a level of 50 ppm borates. I currently have the following readings.

    Pool

    PH 7.5
    TA 90
    FC 3
    CH 280
    CYA 40
    Borates 80

    Spa

    PH 7.5
    TA 70
    FC 5
    CH 130
    CYA 60
    Borates 80

    I used my Taylor K2005 test kit and Lamotte Borate test strips to arrive at those measurements.

    My question is how can I have been so far off in arriving at my target level of Borates of 50 ppm if I used the quantities of borax according to the pool calculator. Should I attempt to correct this problem with a partial drain or can I live with it without any problems?

    Thank you for your help.
    Petaluma, CA., 11K gallon IG pool, white plaster, Nautilus FNS 36 sq. ft. DE Filter, Jandy 1.5 HP variable speed E pump, Pentair Booster Pump with Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 pool cleaner, Jandy Laars LX Pool Heater, Remodeled (new plumbing, plaster, tile, coping, variable speed pump) January 2013. 400 gallon Artesian Island Spa (Ozonator/Chlorine), TF-100 test kit, SpeedStir.

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    Re: Borates too high

    I haven't heard of really any problems with a borate level of 80. Maybe someone else can relate some. Since you have a DE filter, it'll go down over time through backwashing.

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Borates too high

    I too have seen/heard of no problems at 80 ppm. Maybe your pool volume is off? How much Borax did you add?
    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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    Chad628's Avatar
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    Re: Borates too high

    According to the pool calculator I needed 648 ounces. I added 8 boxes of 20 Mule Team Borax plus an additional 40 ounces from a 9th box. Each box has 4 lbs/ 12 ounces of Borax in them. I think my 11,000 gallon pool measurement is accurate. When I add Bleach and Muriatic acid I get the expected changes in FC and PH based on the pool calculator when I use 11,000 gallons as the input. Also I know my spa is 400 gallons (according to the manufacturer) and I also ended up with 80 ppm in my spa. Maybe I am not reading the test strips correctly but it does appear that the color match is closest to 80 ppm.
    Petaluma, CA., 11K gallon IG pool, white plaster, Nautilus FNS 36 sq. ft. DE Filter, Jandy 1.5 HP variable speed E pump, Pentair Booster Pump with Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 pool cleaner, Jandy Laars LX Pool Heater, Remodeled (new plumbing, plaster, tile, coping, variable speed pump) January 2013. 400 gallon Artesian Island Spa (Ozonator/Chlorine), TF-100 test kit, SpeedStir.

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    Re: Borates too high

    You must be better at reading those strips than I am. I just know for sure what my pool volume is and add the correct amount per the Pool Calculator and let it go at that. I find it very hard to differentiate when the strips are just slightly darker or lighter shades of the exact same color.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Borates too high

    Seems unlikely, but it is possible that you had a significant borate level to start with? Had you used a lot of borax previously to raise ph?

    Also, I have never been at 80 ppm, but I know I have a hard time resolving between 30 and 50 ppm on the lamote strips.
    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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    Chad628's Avatar
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    Re: Borates too high

    This was my first time adding Borax to my pool. I have never had to raise my PH. Only lower it.
    Petaluma, CA., 11K gallon IG pool, white plaster, Nautilus FNS 36 sq. ft. DE Filter, Jandy 1.5 HP variable speed E pump, Pentair Booster Pump with Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 pool cleaner, Jandy Laars LX Pool Heater, Remodeled (new plumbing, plaster, tile, coping, variable speed pump) January 2013. 400 gallon Artesian Island Spa (Ozonator/Chlorine), TF-100 test kit, SpeedStir.

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    tcat's Avatar
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    Re: Borates too high

    I just raised mine from 30 (best guess before) to 50 (per pool calculator, 4 boxes). Will know in 2 days how well I can read the "50" color. Is a pH test accurate after a few hours, or is it best to wait the 48 hrs too? OK to swim within an hour or two after adding so much acid? I never had to raise my pH either.
    IG pebble, 15,000 gallon
    48 PentAir DE Filter with backwash valve
    PentAir Whisperflo pump with 1hp 2-speed motor
    Aquabot 4WD, Poolskim
    Intermatic Dual Timeclock with freezeguard
    DIY chlorine feed
    BBB

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    Chad628's Avatar
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    Re: Borates too high

    Before I added the acid and borax I made sure my ph was properly balanced. When I added the acid and borax in the amounts according to the pool calculator my ph was still perfectly balanced. The calculator did a great job of calculating the ratio of borax to acid to keep the ph constant. When I added the acid and borax i set my variable speed pool pump to run at higher speeds 24/7 for a period of 48 hours to give the borax a chance to mix well in the pool water. Also I brushed the walls and floor of my pool with my nylon brush to help the mixing process. I noticed that some of the borax tended to rest on my pool floor in clumps. I agitated those clumps with my pool brush until they all broke up and appeared to dissolve in the water.

    I am no expert but I assume the ph test would probably be accurate after an hour or two and that it would be safe two swim in the pool if your ph is in the proper range. Maybe one of the moderators or experts here can comment on that. I assumed the 48 hour waiting period applies to testing for the borate levels to get an accurate reading and not the PH levels.

    My only issue was that according to my lamotte test strips I ended up with a reading of what appeared to me as 80 ppm even though I strictly used the amounts of acid and borax in the pool calculator. I hate using those test strips because I am never good at judging color. Honestly the color I ended up getting was different from the 50 and 80 ppm reading. So I was scratching my head wondering am I in between 50 and 80 ppm or am I even more than 80 ppm.
    Petaluma, CA., 11K gallon IG pool, white plaster, Nautilus FNS 36 sq. ft. DE Filter, Jandy 1.5 HP variable speed E pump, Pentair Booster Pump with Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 pool cleaner, Jandy Laars LX Pool Heater, Remodeled (new plumbing, plaster, tile, coping, variable speed pump) January 2013. 400 gallon Artesian Island Spa (Ozonator/Chlorine), TF-100 test kit, SpeedStir.

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    Re: Borates too high

    You have a DE filter, so your borates will go down through back washing, over time.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Borates too high

    I know that this is an old thread but if any new users have the problem I had the same problem and found the answer.

    I did the same process but with a tub or boric acid (saved lots of time and it really is not that much more expensive). Mine was up to 79.
    My pool was rated 16,000 gal and several of my measurements had always been a little funky.
    I did calculations for myself of with a calculator for the true depth of my water and my volume was different.
    Pool company gives numbers based on full to rim volume which nobody really has. The volume difference is quite large given that the skimmer is far below the top and turns out all the calculations were dead on if the true volume was used.

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