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Thread: Adding Borax without adding acid

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    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    Fresno, California
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    Adding Borax without adding acid

    If we add Borax without adding acid are we in trouble (what if the PH and TA levels are fine)? Is the water not safe to swim in until I add some acid? I made a mistake in adding Borax trying to adjust my PH but misread the PoolMath adjustment as it was basing my Borate off a value of "0" which I did not even test or calculate. Yikes hopefully this is not dangerous I added around 23oz of Borax to my 15x48 intex it holds approx 4,440 gallons.

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    Re: So you want to add borates to your pool--Why and How

    If you started with a pH of 7.5 and TA of 80 ppm and no borates, then adding 23 ounces weight of 20 Mule Team Borax to 4400 gallons would raise the pH to 8.3 and the TA to 90. The main risks are getting metal stains if you have metals (iron or copper or manganese) in the water or getting scaling or dull/cloudy water from over-saturation with calcium carbonate IF your water was saturated to start with -- it probably had low CH so is probably not a problem.

    So just test the pH and if high as I believe it will be then get some acid to lower it. Probably 11 ounces of full-strength Muriatic Acid (31.45% Hydrochloric Acid). But I don't understand how your pH is fine unless your pH was very low (around 7.0 or 7.1) when you added the Borax.

    However, the amount of Borax you added would only increase borates by 4 ppm. So did you stop adding Borax when you realized your mistake?
    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
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: So you want to add borates to your pool--Why and How

    I am doing tests with the 3-way test strips that came with my SWG so keep in mind they probably aren't the most accurate but that's all I have to go by for now. I ordered the TF100 kit but that won't be here till next week. It's hard to tell in the pictures but the TA did go up a bit looking at them in real time it is definitely a darker orange. The PH decreased and the FC still looks a little low to me. Do you think I should still add the amount of Muriatic Acid you recommended or stay away from it since it didn't jump as much as we thought? Should I just leave everything as is and wait till I get the TF100? Is it safe to swim in?

    Heres what my tests were before adding the bleach and Borax:

    FC 0.2 ??
    PH 7.2
    TA 240



    Heres what they were after adding them did not add anymore Borax then the 23oz:

    FC 0.8 ?
    PH 7.8
    TA 180

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    Re: Adding Borax without adding acid

    Thank you for posting those pictures. They are a very real reminder of why strips are useless. I can barely tell the difference between any of them and the TA results are pretty much impossible (only adding acid will lower TA). You are going to really love your TF-100 when it gets there.

    You should probably lower your pH since your TA is so high (allegedly). If your TA is that high your pH will rise considerably when your SWG runs. Just use PoolMath to figure out how much to add to go from 7.8 to 7.5. This should help prevent any problems until your TF-100 gets there. Also add enough bleach (not at the same time as the acid!) to get between 1-3 ppm FC. From there your SWG should be able to keep up unless there are organics in the water. Once you have your kit you will be able to get good values for everything, especially CYA, and get everything in their proper ranges.
    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: Adding Borax without adding acid

    Quote Originally Posted by Donldson View Post
    Thank you for posting those pictures. They are a very real reminder of why strips are useless. I can barely tell the difference between any of them and the TA results are pretty much impossible (only adding acid will lower TA). You are going to really love your TF-100 when it gets there.

    You should probably lower your pH since your TA is so high (allegedly). If your TA is that high your pH will rise considerably when your SWG runs. Just use PoolMath to figure out how much to add to go from 7.8 to 7.5. This should help prevent any problems until your TF-100 gets there. Also add enough bleach (not at the same time as the acid!) to get between 1-3 ppm FC. From there your SWG should be able to keep up unless there are organics in the water. Once you have your kit you will be able to get good values for everything, especially CYA, and get everything in their proper ranges.
    Yeah kind of hard to determine what is what. See this thread here am kind of afraid to blindly add anything else in fear of damaging my SWCG due to any inaccuracy. I'll probably add bleach at least since it's HOT as heck out here fighting the sun...that's probably why my chlorine levels have been really low. I had to settle on the TF-50 instead had the 100 in my cart ready to pull the trigger but the wife wants a new patio set and numerous other little things now that the pools up so hopefully it will be enough. I read that it would be ideal for small seasonal pools which is what we got we plan to take it down after the summer.
    Intex 15x48 AGP
    Krystal Clear pump 637R
    Krystal Clear SWCG CS8110 EG
    TF-50 on its way

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