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Thread: Will Borates help or make matters worse?

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    N2ition's Avatar
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    Will Borates help or make matters worse?

    I apologize if this has been answered elsewhere but I'm having no luck finding it if it has. We live in the Dallas Metroplex and our tap (and therefore fill) water has a very high pH. When it is tested with the Taylor K-1000 kit the tap water nearly turns the test purple. The TA tests in at around 310 most days...but sometimes goes even up to 330. I spent a LOT of time trying to get both of these levels down which means a lot of MA. (I am envious of those who post they add MA a couple times a month...I add it a couple times a week!) With the Texas heat being what it is, it is not uncommon for me to have to add water to my pool twice a week during the summer. I am going through anywhere from 1/2 to 2 gallons of M/A weekly. I finally think that my levels are at good range but I have to check them daily as even when the TA his goal, running our filter 12 hours a day means that the pool is aerated and therefore the pH is constantly drifting up.

    I know that borates are supposed to help buffer the pH levels in the pool but I have also read that they increase the pH. Obviously having to add water to the pool frequently will always mean that we have to add MA but even on days I'm not filing I have to add it to bring it down from running the filter. Would adding borates to my pool help to reduce this drift in between fill days or will it just raise the pH and help with water "feel"? I don't mind an initial increase if MA will drop it and then have it buffer it so that just running the filter doesn't spike me out of range...but I'm just learning so I'm not sure if I am missing something. For the most part what I am seeing is people trying to raise their pH and TA while I am trying to do the opposite.

    Thanks for any input or guidance you can give. As always...this is the best place to be if you own a pool!
    Complete pool newbie in Double Oak, Texas (part of D/FW Metroplex)

    40'x24', 32k gallon, DE, In-Ground, Plaster/Pebble, Hayward Pro-Grid DE7220 Filter, 2 - 2.5 hp Hayward pumps (one for filter one for waterfall) addition smaller pump to run robot cleaner, AquaLogic PS-8 SWCG, Spa

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Will Borates help or make matters worse?

    Welcome to the forum.

    The short answer is that your TA does not make you a good candidate for Borates. I have 210-220 and I'm not either. I have done it, and did this summer, but it took a very long time to push down my TA to the 100-110 range and I finally called it quits. I have decided that I honestly cannot feel, or see the difference in the water like many others can, so I don't think I'll be attempting more borates the future.

    Also, you have really high TA for a Salt Pool and if it were me, I would concentrate on long term TA reduction. SWG's tend to raise pH more quickly through aeration and function. Even more so with high TA waters. Getting the TA down is one of the best things you can do for it's performance long term. There are others that can weigh in with more details on borates, but I honestly wouldn't mess with it in your water.
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    Re: Will Borates help or make matters worse?

    Borates will buffer the pH changes and you will need to add acid less frequently than you do now. But, you don't want to add borates until you have your TA exactly where you want it to be because once those borates are in there, it is almost impossible to budge your TA at that point. Lower your TA first, then add the borates.

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    Re: Will Borates help or make matters worse?

    Hold off on the borates until you get the TA down under 100. At that point, run the pool for a couple of months and see if just getting the TA lowered will be enough for you. See this link on how to reduce the TA, pool-school/lowering%20total%20alkalinity. I'm with Brushpup as I would not add borates to a pool that has that high of TA fill water.

    If you are running the waterfall and any other water features that aerate the water, you might want to shut them down as they are causing the pH to rise faster.
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    N2ition's Avatar
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    Re: Will Borates help or make matters worse?

    Thanks for the advice! I'll just plan to stock up on MA when I catch it on sale!
    Complete pool newbie in Double Oak, Texas (part of D/FW Metroplex)

    40'x24', 32k gallon, DE, In-Ground, Plaster/Pebble, Hayward Pro-Grid DE7220 Filter, 2 - 2.5 hp Hayward pumps (one for filter one for waterfall) addition smaller pump to run robot cleaner, AquaLogic PS-8 SWCG, Spa

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