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Thread: Borates, reasons for adding

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    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Houston, TX
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    Borates, reasons for adding

    I've done some research on borates, and I've decided that I will want to add them at some point. My reasons for adding borates are to:

    1. Help buffer against pH rise as the new plaster cures
    2. Improve water feel
    3. Reduce chlorine demand
    4. Make the pool an unfriendlier environment for bugs (every time I mow the lawn, carpenter/winged ants like to come into my pool)

    Please correct me if my reasons are misguided. Also, here are my latest full set of test results (excluding chlorine):

    pH: 7.6
    TA: 80
    CH: 300
    CYA: 50

    My TA has gone down over time, to as low as <60 and had to bring it back up to 80 because of adding MA to hold down the pH. It's been hovering between 60 and 80 for the past month with MA + baking soda.

    I have a 12.5k gallon pool and I maintain FC using bleach, so to bring my borates to 40, I will need almost 8 boxes of 76 oz 20 mule team borax ($3.99 per box at Target), plus 2 gallons and a quart of MA to counteract the borax's effect on pH.

    So, to tally up the costs, I need to buy 7 more boxes of borax, plus 2 more gallons of MA for $13 at pool store. That will be a total of $45 including taxes. That doesn't include the test strips that I'll need to get as well. Maybe I could skip the test strips for now and just trust the pool calculator, and buy the strips several months later or when I need to test borates?

    The ONLY problem with my plan? I'm going to my PB about a plaster mottling problem, and it's remotely possible that I may push them to tear off the plaster and re-plaster properly... this may require a full drain. Should I hold off on the borates until I get more certainty about what the PB is going to do about the plaster job first?
    IG gunite pool size: 12,500 gallons - includes spa with spillover, Polaris vacuum cleaner, Ultrapure Ozonator, inline tab chlorinator that I no longer use
    Filter: Hayward Swimclear Model #4030, 4-Cartridge Filters
    Pump: Century, 2 HP with a Hayward 6060 booster pump
    Date of build: March-April 2014 *NEW* : Test kit: TF-100

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Borates, reasons for adding

    Those are all the valid reasons!...although I haven't seen any help in reducing chlorine demand.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
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    Re: Borates, reasons for adding

    Quote Originally Posted by yardoasis View Post
    I have a 12.5k gallon pool... ...I will need almost 8 boxes of 76 oz 20 mule team borax ($3.99 per box at Target), plus 2 gallons and a quart of MA...

    So, to tally up the costs, I need to buy 7 more boxes of borax, plus 2 more gallons of MA for $13 at pool store. That will be a total of $45 including taxes.
    You could achieve the same borates level with just 24 pounds of boric acid and it'd be arguably easier to add than dealing with Borax+MA. You can get a 25 pound bag of granular boric acid for $45 with free shipping form DudaDiesel (http://www.dudadiesel.com/choose_item.php?id=boric25f). Just using the whole 25 pounds would give you 42ppm Borates. You could also buy his 55 pound tub for about ~$91 shipped that would give you enough to set your borate level now and again later after splash out has diminished it and also to bring it up back up when you open next spring (although I guess you may not actually drain and close in Houston =p).
    40x20 IG gunite (~36K gallon). 6' attached spa with spillover. AquaLink RS OneTouch + SpaLink + iAquaLink 2.0
    450 sqft Sta-Rite cartridge filter, Sta-Rite single speed pumps (main, spa jets, booster)
    Coverstar Auto Cover, Polaris 280 cleaner, Taylor K-2006

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    Re: Borates, reasons for adding

    Vyrolan, I was just about to post that 25 lbs of boric acid also costs $45, but you beat me to it...
    IG gunite pool size: 12,500 gallons - includes spa with spillover, Polaris vacuum cleaner, Ultrapure Ozonator, inline tab chlorinator that I no longer use
    Filter: Hayward Swimclear Model #4030, 4-Cartridge Filters
    Pump: Century, 2 HP with a Hayward 6060 booster pump
    Date of build: March-April 2014 *NEW* : Test kit: TF-100

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    wjr75's Avatar
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    Jun 2013
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    Re: Borates, reasons for adding

    I've heard get the pellets verses the powder also on this site. I may try some for my hot tub this year after we close our pool in September. I bought the powder form last year and never used it.
    Inground 22k gallon gunite 15x31 main pool, 15x7 wading pool/sunning deck, hot tub/with overflow (9' octagon with limestone top) & slide NSWG, Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen
    Filter dual cartridge Sta-rite 450sq/ft, TF-100 Test Kit
    Heater Raypak 2100 400k btu cupro-nickel exchanger
    Auto pool cover, Polaris 280 auto pool cleaner, Jandy AqualinkRS8 Remote Control System

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Borates, reasons for adding

    I recommend granular boric acid.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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