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Thread: Am I out of my mind wanting to add borates without having test strips?

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    Killer95Stang's Avatar
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    Am I out of my mind wanting to add borates without having test strips?

    I've been going back and forth about adding Borates to my pool for the last few weeks. So far in the 17 months I've had my pool, it has been pretty much storybook tale of ownership. No problems with algae, and the water has been clear enough to know I have Philips head screws holding down my drain covers (8ft depth). Still, I have something in me that keeps me wondering whether my water can be better. So, yesterday I took a trip to Walmart and found the 4.75lb boxes of 20 Mule Team for $3.79. Without a real plan, I purchased up the 13 boxes they had in stock. I then went to my local independent pool store and bought 7 gallons of muriatic acid (boy did they look at me funny). Once I got home, I started looking up the how-to posts on TFP and even watched a couple Youtube videos on adding Borax. With the new knowledge ingrained in my head, I decided I wanted to add Borax to my pool in the 35-40 ppm range. The only thing missing from this great plan was Lamotte Test strips. I did place an order for them, but I don't expect them to arrive from TFkits until Friday or Saturday.

    So, am I crazy adding the Borates without having the test kit in hand. My plan was to add Borax to bring me from 0 to 35-40ppm, using the two step method. When I first filled my pool, the meter said I used 23,000 gallons to fill it, but when I used the calculator, it seems that inserting 20,000 gallons makes calculations more accurate. So, for adding Borax to my pool, I was planning on using 20,000 gallons as my base, and then adding muriatic acid accordingly. Once completed, I would adjust my PH level at two different stages, then test with the Borate strips once they arrive. What do you think?

    Here's my current numbers:

    Water temp 85

    -PH 7.5, I usually adjust to 7.2 and dose at 7.5 (high CH)
    -FC 5.5
    -CC 0.0
    -TC 5.5
    -TA 60
    -CYA 60 (adding to get me to 70)
    -CH 490-500 (fill water started at 270)
    -Salt 3800 with drop test (IC40 says 4050)
    Pool done!! (backyard = work in progress) 32' x 19' inground freeform with 7' spa, baja step w/ (2) bubblers, stonescapes mini pebble finish, rock waterfall feature, 12" raised bond beam, Intelliflo VS, Whisperflo feature pump, (3) 5G Color LED's, FNS + DE 60, 400K Master Temp, Easytouch 8 w/ remote, Intellichlor IC40, Vision Classic Ceramic Kamado smoker, Margaritaville DM1000!!! Party Coming Soon!!
    TF-100 Test Kit w/ Speedstir

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    northrn's Avatar
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    Re: Am I out of my mind wanting to add borates without having test strips?

    I added borates without having test strips. I used pool math to get me where I wanted to be.

    That being said, I did order test strips later to see where I was sitting because I like numbers. Pool Math never let me down. Borates were right where they were supposed to be.
    27' AG 18K Gallons ~ Cartridge Filter ~ Pentair 1.5 HP Pump

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    Killer95Stang's Avatar
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    Re: Am I out of my mind wanting to add borates without having test strips?

    Alright... 12 boxes of Borax in.. which will take me to just under 40ppm. I also added about 3.5 gallons of Muriatic acid to the pool to counteract the rise in PH. All this was calculated using the TFP calculator. At first I only added six of the boxes and immediately followed with two gallons of Muriatic acid. I then let it circulate for 30 minutes while I brushed the pool walls / floor. I then tested and came up with a PH of 6.8. I figured the lower PH was due to adding more acid than was calculated for 1/2 of the borax. So I went ahead and added the additional six boxes and then just added 1.5 gallons of muriatic acid. I'll check the PH again in about 20 minutes. Not sure if its just the position of the sun, but I am noticing a little more sparkle...
    Pool done!! (backyard = work in progress) 32' x 19' inground freeform with 7' spa, baja step w/ (2) bubblers, stonescapes mini pebble finish, rock waterfall feature, 12" raised bond beam, Intelliflo VS, Whisperflo feature pump, (3) 5G Color LED's, FNS + DE 60, 400K Master Temp, Easytouch 8 w/ remote, Intellichlor IC40, Vision Classic Ceramic Kamado smoker, Margaritaville DM1000!!! Party Coming Soon!!
    TF-100 Test Kit w/ Speedstir

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    northrn's Avatar
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    Re: Am I out of my mind wanting to add borates without having test strips?

    27' AG 18K Gallons ~ Cartridge Filter ~ Pentair 1.5 HP Pump

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    Killer95Stang's Avatar
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    Re: Am I out of my mind wanting to add borates without having test strips?

    Last night the PH was still little low, registering at 6.8, so added 24oz of PH up (sodium carbonate) that I had in my shed (10 lbs I bought before TFP). Ph is now sitting between 7.2-7.4 by looking at the comparator. Water also looks extremely clear. I also tested FC / TC which is sitting at 9ppm / 9.5ppm respectively, because I didn't dial down the SWG enough before letting the pump run all night. I turned it off completely for the meantime and I'll test later when I sweep and manually vacuum the pool. Is it safe to take the plunge later on?
    Pool done!! (backyard = work in progress) 32' x 19' inground freeform with 7' spa, baja step w/ (2) bubblers, stonescapes mini pebble finish, rock waterfall feature, 12" raised bond beam, Intelliflo VS, Whisperflo feature pump, (3) 5G Color LED's, FNS + DE 60, 400K Master Temp, Easytouch 8 w/ remote, Intellichlor IC40, Vision Classic Ceramic Kamado smoker, Margaritaville DM1000!!! Party Coming Soon!!
    TF-100 Test Kit w/ Speedstir

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Am I out of my mind wanting to add borates without having test strips?

    Quote Originally Posted by Killer95Stang View Post
    Last night the PH was still little low, registering at 6.8, so added 24oz of PH up (sodium carbonate) that I had in my shed (10 lbs I bought before TFP). Ph is now sitting between 7.2-7.4 by looking at the comparator. Water also look extremely clear. I also tested FC / TC which is sitting at 9ppm / 9.5ppm respectively, because I didn't dial down the SWG enough before letting the pump run all night. I turned it off completely and I'll test later when sweep and manually vacuum the pool. Is safe to jump in later on?
    If the water is clear, the pH is good, and FC is below shock level, jump in.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Killer95Stang's Avatar
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    Re: Am I out of my mind wanting to add borates without having test strips?

    Can't wait! This may warrant a FB picture post to show all our friends what a pool should look like...
    Pool done!! (backyard = work in progress) 32' x 19' inground freeform with 7' spa, baja step w/ (2) bubblers, stonescapes mini pebble finish, rock waterfall feature, 12" raised bond beam, Intelliflo VS, Whisperflo feature pump, (3) 5G Color LED's, FNS + DE 60, 400K Master Temp, Easytouch 8 w/ remote, Intellichlor IC40, Vision Classic Ceramic Kamado smoker, Margaritaville DM1000!!! Party Coming Soon!!
    TF-100 Test Kit w/ Speedstir

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    Re: Am I out of my mind wanting to add borates without having test strips?

    Well I sure hope you share that pic here too
    IG gunite/plaster pool/spa Started 1/17/14, Plastered 5/16/14
    Size: 12'-21'x39' free form, depth ranging from 4' to 7, attached 6 person spa with spillover.
    Equipment: Whisperflo 2hp pump, Pentair 30" sand filter, Pentair Mastertemp 400k BTU heater, 1hp Whisperflo for waterfalls, and a blower for spa floor

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    Killer95Stang's Avatar
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    Re: Am I out of my mind wanting to add borates without having test strips?

    Best thing about owning a pool... is well... owning a pool!!!

    Couple tests:
    Ph - 7.5
    FC / TC - 9
    TA - 70

    Now if you excuse me.. I have some swimming to do









    Pool done!! (backyard = work in progress) 32' x 19' inground freeform with 7' spa, baja step w/ (2) bubblers, stonescapes mini pebble finish, rock waterfall feature, 12" raised bond beam, Intelliflo VS, Whisperflo feature pump, (3) 5G Color LED's, FNS + DE 60, 400K Master Temp, Easytouch 8 w/ remote, Intellichlor IC40, Vision Classic Ceramic Kamado smoker, Margaritaville DM1000!!! Party Coming Soon!!
    TF-100 Test Kit w/ Speedstir

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    northrn's Avatar
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    Re: Am I out of my mind wanting to add borates without having test strips?

    That looks like a very sparkly borated pool in which to swim! Enjoy!
    27' AG 18K Gallons ~ Cartridge Filter ~ Pentair 1.5 HP Pump

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    Re: Am I out of my mind wanting to add borates without having test strips?

    Nice looking pool, well done!
    IG Pebbletec Blue Tahoe; Paddock Pool PCC 2000 pop-up; 22,275 gal 32' x 16' Diving with Auto-Fill
    Pentair 420 Cartridge filter; 3 hp VS Whisperflo Main Drain, 1 1/2 hp Whisperflo Running Pop-Ups; Jandy AquaPure 1400
    1 1/2 Whisperflo dedicated to Rock Waterfall; TF-100; Taylor K-1766; Pool Built in 1997

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    Killer95Stang's Avatar
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    Re: Am I out of my mind wanting to add borates without having test strips?

    Lamotte borage test strips came Saturday, thanks to tfkits. I followed the pretty simple instructions and verified tbast I had around 40ppm borates.

    Observation so far:
    - water feels a little silkier on the skin (maybe)
    - water has a crisp sparkle to it.
    - more pH stability.... Not sure
    - able to turn down swg..... We've had overcast skies
    - clarity of water is insane (that's just the tfp method)
    Pool done!! (backyard = work in progress) 32' x 19' inground freeform with 7' spa, baja step w/ (2) bubblers, stonescapes mini pebble finish, rock waterfall feature, 12" raised bond beam, Intelliflo VS, Whisperflo feature pump, (3) 5G Color LED's, FNS + DE 60, 400K Master Temp, Easytouch 8 w/ remote, Intellichlor IC40, Vision Classic Ceramic Kamado smoker, Margaritaville DM1000!!! Party Coming Soon!!
    TF-100 Test Kit w/ Speedstir

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