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Thread: I'm nervous about putting MA for borates straight into the pool

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    wpbucher's Avatar
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    I'm nervous about putting MA for borates straight into the pool

    I'm about to take the plunge. For my pool (25k) I will need 21 boxes of Borax and 6 gallons of MA. Thus, 3.5 boxes of Borax to 1 gallon of MA. I'm nervous about putting that much MA straight into the pool. I have a large plastic tub that could hold 1/2 keg of beer and ice. I was thinking of putting the tub at the edge of the pool. Fill tub up a bit (about 20 gallons) with water....then add 3.5 boxes of Borax....mix to dissolve....and then a gallon of MA. Mix so the PH of the solution is liner friendly and then dump the solution into the deep end of the pool. Will this work? Or will I asphyxiate (or otherwise) myself when I combine the borax and MA in that small amount of water?
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: So you want to add borates to your pool--Why and How

    Quote Originally Posted by wpbucher
    I was thinking of putting the tub at the edge of the pool. Fill tub up a bit (about 20 gallons) with water....then add 3.5 boxes of Borax....mix to dissolve....and then a gallon of MA.
    That isn't a good idea. You should never mix concentrated chemicals together outside the pool, even with a little dilution, add them separately to the pool.
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    Re: I'm nervous about putting MA for borates straight into t

    Agree. Bad idea.

    Slowly adding in front of a return as the directions state will disburse it across the pool rather than concentrated at the side next to the liner. Besides, less than a minute later you add the borax which immediately starts counteracting the acid.

    If it makes you feel better, add it in 5 alternating batches instead of just 2.
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    Re: I'm nervous about putting MA for borates straight into t

    You could use boric acid instead.

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    Re: I'm nervous about putting MA for borates straight into t

    I just did mine. I simply put 7 boxes (one after the other) in the skimmer. Waited a bit, then slowly poured two gallons of acid in front of a return. Then I repeated the process, but withheld the last 1/2 gal or so of acid for some time, so I could test and do final pH adjustment.
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    Re: I'm nervous about putting MA for borates straight into t

    I mixed 2 boxes of Borax at a time with water in a regular bucket (the type you'd use when cleaning your floor). Poured that slowly into the pool in front of the return. Then repeated. Then poured jug of MA slowly in front of a return. Then started again til levels were what I wanted. The only reason I mixed the Borax was because last year a fair bit of it remained on the bottom of the pool for a couple hours before dissolving. Probably no harm. I would never mix the MA in a bucket.
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    wpbucher's Avatar
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    Re: I'm nervous about putting MA for borates straight into t

    I did the borax a few weeks ago. I had two of my sons (out of three) brushing/agitating the water while I poured in the MA....I then brushed and they added the borax. It has controlled the PH drift. Water seems more "sparkly" in full sunlight. While I agree (as a general rule) that one should not mix chemicals outside of the pool. I wonder what the consequences would be? Is this like adding baking soda and vinegar....or oil and water? Looking for an answer from some one with a firm grounding in chemistry.
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    Re: I'm nervous about putting MA for borates straight into t

    ChemGeek should be along soon... he will have a great answer.
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    Re: I'm nervous about putting MA for borates straight into t

    Don't put the borax into your skimmer. If it isn't clumped up, I've had perfectly good results putting it directly into the pool. Put in 2 boxes, then one gallon of MA. This is the ratio you'll follow. Make sure you sweep to get the borax dissolved into the pool, just as the poster above did. I noticed NO gas from doing this. As usual, just treat the MA with some respect.

    Or, as also stated, just go to dudadiesel.com and get boric acid. You can simply dump it in and brush. Very, very easy.
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    Re: I'm nervous about putting MA for borates straight into t

    Borax and acid are not incompatible chemicals the way that Trichlor and Cal-Hypo are. Borax is a weak base while Muriatic Acid is a strong acid and both are inorganic. When you mix the two together in the proper quantity, it mostly produces boric acid. So you could mix them in a tub and then dump that into the pool, but there really is no need to do so. The Borax is easy to add over a return flow and just requires some brushing to mix it all up if some settles to the bottom. The acid should definitely be slowly poured over a return flow and then the pool surface lightly brushed in the area where you add the acid.

    As shown in this link the solubility of Borax in water at 86F is 7.2% so one box (76 ounces) of 20 Mule Team Borax will saturate in 76/.072 = 1056 ounces weight of solution (1056-76 = 978 ounces weight of water) so roughly 7.6 gallons of water. So you can't dump all the Borax you want in the pool into a bucket or tub of water as it will not all dissolve there, but you could split it up into batches. However, there really is no reason to add the acid outside of the pool so long as you pour slowly over a return flow.
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