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Thread: Is there a trick to reading Lamotte test strips for borates?

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    Is there a trick to reading Lamotte test strips for borates?

    So I just finished adding 20 mule borax to my pool. My pool has between 17k-19k gallons. I figured I just go with the 15k measurements and everything appears to be good so far ph-wise. I know I'm supposed to wait 48 hours before testing for borates... but I figured I go ahead and just do a check. It already appears like I have 50 ppm but the color doesn't appear distinctively 50ppm. It could be 80 ppm.

    Can anyone let me know if the readings are generally high or low in the first 48 hours? Is there a trick to getting a good reading from the test strips? Any other alternative testing methods out there? I have 2 young kids and want to make sure they aren't swimming in a pool that has a too-high level of borates. Thanks.
    Brand new pool owner
    Size of pool - appx 20,000 gallons
    Filter - DE
    Inground pool plaster/pebble
    (Not asked to be revealed but screened in pool enclosure)
    Do not know flow rate of pump

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Silver Spring, MD
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    Re: Is there a trick to reading Lamotte test strips for borates?

    Borate readings are sometimes a little low shortly after you have added borates because not everything may have fully dissolved just yet. That is assuming you give it at least an hour with the pump running to mix in. If you test too quickly you can get too high or too low readings because they will not have fully mixed in.

    Borates up to 80 are just fine for people, well within safe limits, a little iffy for pets. Pets are far more sensitive than people are.

    The color matching borate test is far from ideal, often presenting challenges in getting clear readings. Fortunately, you don't need to get the level exactly right, just in the ball park.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Is there a trick to reading Lamotte test strips for borates?

    Thanks Jason. I won't worry about it and test it again in 48 hours.
    Brand new pool owner
    Size of pool - appx 20,000 gallons
    Filter - DE
    Inground pool plaster/pebble
    (Not asked to be revealed but screened in pool enclosure)
    Do not know flow rate of pump

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