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Thread: Borax and CYA

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    mraiteri123's Avatar
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    Borax and CYA

    I am having trouble keeping algae from growing. CYA is way too high 150 range Here is what I don't know and could use some help

    A recommendation from TFP was to add Borax ( 20 mule team ) to save on chlorine and keep the pool sparkling. I have done that and have about 30 - 40 ppm of borax in my water now. I have a SWG pool and have the water looking beautiful but have to keep chlorine very high 5-10 and shocking too often to stop algae from growing on the side. Any ideas

    I also have way too much CYA up at 150-200 level. Could the borax be acting like CYA and causing me to have high readings. Are they two separate items. Something is eating my chlorine and algae wants to form on the side. Today I had too much combined chlorine at .6 so I just super shock the pool and turned my SWG off . I have been gradualy draingong/backwashing to lower the cya. I think it came from using Di and TRi Shock from Lowe's for too long.

    Any ideas.

    Mark

    PH is 7.4 , total A is 100 and hardness is 250

    Pool is gunite and kidney shape about 8,000 gallons 20 feet by (19 -12) average depth about 4 feet--was chloride until I converted to SWG
    10K gal, IG gunite, Installed 2000, 1 1/2 HP pump, sand filter, Aqua Pure Digital 35 K gal SWG, Haywood Cleaner

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    GreatCanadian's Avatar
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    Re: Borax and CYA

    Too much CYA is your problem. 5 ppm is not enough chlorine at that high CYA. Therefore, algae. A CYA level of 150 to 200 is, for all practical purposes, unmanageable. You need it lowered to the 60 - 80 range. Borax is not the issue. You will need to SLAM. And you would prefer CYA lowered for that process as well.

    How did you get those results? What test kit are you using?
    13'x22'x52" 8,000 gallon ProSeries Pool with Borates
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    Re: Borax and CYA

    I used several --one was dip.scan.swim (smart strips), aqua check strips and then a pool supplier. Based on the recommendation from TFP I bought a Taylor Kit 2006.
    I haven't used it yet I have been keeping the pool at aroun 7.0 wile i am trying to reduce the cya by draining a for a few minutes at a time. The cya was over 200 when I started draining. I had ut checked for phospates and don't have any just difficult staying ahead of the algae. I run the pool from 10:00 AM to7:00 PM. I know the cya should be in the 50 range and with it this high, I have been keeping it at around 10. My guess is that I have been adding stablizer for years using the walmart or lowes di and tri.
    10K gal, IG gunite, Installed 2000, 1 1/2 HP pump, sand filter, Aqua Pure Digital 35 K gal SWG, Haywood Cleaner

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    Re: Borax and CYA

    Slamming means double shock?? I just added one pound of super shock to kill the combined clorides. What do you suggest other than draining the whole pool.
    10K gal, IG gunite, Installed 2000, 1 1/2 HP pump, sand filter, Aqua Pure Digital 35 K gal SWG, Haywood Cleaner

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Borax and CYA

    Quote Originally Posted by mraiteri123
    My guess is that I have been adding stablizer for years using the walmart or lowes di and tri.
    Bingo. A FC of 7, or even 10ppm is not high enough if your CYA is over 150ppm.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Borax and CYA

    How are you measuring your borates? I assume you have a test kit but wanted to be sure. It's a bit of a misunderstanding about borates, they won't actually lower your chlorine needs. What it can do is if your chlorine level temporarily drops below recommended levels it can prevent algae. It won't decrease your FC needs and has little to not effect on FC loss.

    Borates do not effect your CYA test, your pool is very overstabilized. Even with an SWG and borates you will need to keep your FC above 9 at all times, and SLAM level is something like 80. It would be a very good idea to get your CYA down to around 60, SLAM it, and then afterwards potentially bring it up to 80 to help your SWG maintain decent FC level.

    And SLAM does not mean double shock, it means this.

    EDIT: Do a full set of tests with your K-2006. Test strips and pool store tests are not to be trusted.
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
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    Re: Borax and CYA

    what do you suggest? How much Hypo Cal super shock do you suggest Slamming seems to be the process of clearing the pool of algae. I have used several added liquid bleach and flocculates and vaccuumed the aglae that resulted on the bottom to waste so that my water is clear and sparkling. My pool looks great but the cya and cc are continuing to eat the chlorine --I must have replace 25% of the water at least. Problem is using shock with stablizer
    10K gal, IG gunite, Installed 2000, 1 1/2 HP pump, sand filter, Aqua Pure Digital 35 K gal SWG, Haywood Cleaner

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    Re: Borax and CYA

    I measured the Borates with the aqua check Borate strips. I need to read up on slam level --that's new to me--just do not see how cya got so high-guess just using two much shock with stablizer
    10K gal, IG gunite, Installed 2000, 1 1/2 HP pump, sand filter, Aqua Pure Digital 35 K gal SWG, Haywood Cleaner

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    Re: Borax and CYA

    You used dichlor and trichlor, that is how you got that CYA. Don't worry, you are not the first person to do it, won't be the last.

    Do a complete set of tests with your k2006 and when you do the CYA test instead of using straight pool water mix half pool water and half tap water. Do the CYA test and double your results to get an accurate reading. Test strips are not going to give you accurate readings.
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    Re: Borax and CYA

    Will do it with half and half
    10K gal, IG gunite, Installed 2000, 1 1/2 HP pump, sand filter, Aqua Pure Digital 35 K gal SWG, Haywood Cleaner

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    Re: Borax and CYA

    Any update on this?
    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
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    Re: Borax and CYA

    Quote Originally Posted by mraiteri123
    A recommendation from TFP was to add Borax ( 20 mule team ) to save on chlorine and keep the pool sparkling.
    Where did you get that recommendation? The use of borates is OPTIONAL, not required and it's most often used in saltwater chlorine generator pools when there is a problem with the pH rising where lowering the TA and then using 50 ppm Borates can help (as well as having the CYA near 80 ppm).

    However, before using borates, one should adjust the CYA down to 80 ppm and since CYA can only be reduced by water dilution it makes no sense at all to add borates before lowering the CYA. The Water Balance for SWGs article talks about adjusting the CYA long before it mentions optionally using borates (it first mentions adding salt, but should probably first say that if the CYA is too high a partial drain/refill should be done even before salt is added).
    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
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    Re: Borax and CYA

    I now have my cya below 100 and letting the rain bring it down. My total a is about 100. Keeping the chlorine high above 7. PH is stable. Gues brotes is below 50 now. I haven't worried about it. The borax came from TFP and strongly recommended. I have a SWG. I am running it now at only 20 % becasue it is a 35,000 gals rated and my pool is only 10 K. Water looks clear and crisp.
    10K gal, IG gunite, Installed 2000, 1 1/2 HP pump, sand filter, Aqua Pure Digital 35 K gal SWG, Haywood Cleaner

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Borax and CYA

    Where did you see borates strongly recommended? Seems that newer members are getting caught up in some magical properties of borates when a majority of us do not add them.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Borax and CYA

    Just to clarify, while individual members might have strong opinions to borates, this is what the Pool School says about borates and an SWG:
    Finally, optionally adding borates to your water in a 30-50 ppm concentration will help with pH stability with a SWG, particularly when the TA is run in the 60-80 ppm range and pH is kept between 7.5-7.8 but can be useful even if you go out of this range somewhat.
    Nothing about saving chlorine or keeping water sparkling. Those statements have been made by various people on the board, but the statements are based on their personal experiences only. They have not been verified by any controlled studies and so are opinions only.

    To try to get things back on topic, and to repeat chem geek a bit, here are the first two steps for an SWG:
    First step is to adjust salt to the manufacturer's recommended range.

    Second adjust CYA to between 70 and 80.
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    Re: Borax and CYA+mustard alge

    I am still working on getting my pool in harmony and balanced. The water is clear and sparkling. However, I seem to be still getting algae on the walls of the pool. I have been told ( year round Pool co) that if everything is balanced and algae forms on the pool walls, it must be mustard algae. They said chlorine will not kill mustard algae--is that true? The algae looks like the same light green stuff and brushes off easily. My pool is swg -Kidney shaped, 10,000 gals. free Chlorine is about 7, total a is about 90, borax is about 30, cya is finally down to 80. Ph is 7.6 It is not a lot but seems that my chlorine must be over 10 to keep the algae from forming. Do I need to add this mustard algae product??? Any ideas.
    10K gal, IG gunite, Installed 2000, 1 1/2 HP pump, sand filter, Aqua Pure Digital 35 K gal SWG, Haywood Cleaner

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    Re: Borax and CYA

    Reading from TFP site on mustard algae, it doesn't appear that I have mustard algae--no clumps on surface or walls just light green and not heavy on walls of the pool. Guess I need to get cya down a bit further. It has been as high as 225 and by draining the pool over time it is below 100 for sure.
    10K gal, IG gunite, Installed 2000, 1 1/2 HP pump, sand filter, Aqua Pure Digital 35 K gal SWG, Haywood Cleaner

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    Re: Borax and CYA

    If you have visible algae you need to SLAM your pool. [slam:du1s3o8t][/slam:du1s3o8t]
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    mraiteri123's Avatar
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    Re: Borax and CYA

    That's the answer I keep getting but no one seems to understand that my water is crystal clear--so clear that you can tell if a dime is heads or tails in the 6 foot deep end. It was only cloudy when I started the process of slamming to remove the cloudness. I used so much shock ( the wrong kind--di and tri) that my cya rose to over 200. I have added Borax so that it is about 30-40. Every thing is balanced but my cya is still high --about 90 and I am lowering that some more. Again my water is as clear as you could ask for but when the Chlorine gets below shock level, algae starts to form on the walls--not heavy but light. I am assuming that may quit once my cya is balanced properly so that my swg can handle the algae at 88 degree F.
    10K gal, IG gunite, Installed 2000, 1 1/2 HP pump, sand filter, Aqua Pure Digital 35 K gal SWG, Haywood Cleaner

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    Re: Borax and CYA

    Actually the cya is eating much less of the Chlorine because I turned the SWG off for a couple of days and the chlorine level had only dropped to 7 but algae was beginning to form on the walls. The bottom was clear and the water still very clear.
    10K gal, IG gunite, Installed 2000, 1 1/2 HP pump, sand filter, Aqua Pure Digital 35 K gal SWG, Haywood Cleaner

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