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Thread: Borate testing

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Borate testing

    I added 28# of Boric acid to my pool yesterday. Per pool math, 50 ppm should be 29# and change (477 ounces). Since I've noticed that using pool math with my estimated volume always causes me to overshoot just a touch, I decided to hold back the extra pound and let everything mix up and test this morning.

    I have the Lamotte strips (bone dry, broke the seal on them this morning)

    I tested a glass of tap water to make sure I could read the color correctly. The color for 0 borates was dead on in tap water and easy to read.

    When I got to the pool water, it was a different story. I'm having a hard time distinguishing between the 30 ppm and 50 ppm shade. It looks similar to the 50 ppm shade, but the whole pad is lighter overall. Hard to describe.

    I can run another test later and post pics to see if anyone with better eyes than me can tell me whether they can read it.

    Failing that:

    1. Does anybody using borates and these strips have tips and tricks for getting a good read? (i.e., leave it in the water for a longer/shorter time; read in sunlight/shade/room light, etc)

    2. Is there a good resource for a drop test? I have found a couple of threads here. All of them point back to Piscines Apollo, who appears to no longer be selling the drop test. To date, I have found drop tests to be much easier to read and more consistent than strip tests. I would be willing to spend a few extra dollars to get a good drop test.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Just did the math again and it looks like 477 ounces is 29.81 pounds (or roughly 29 pounds, 13 ounces). This would mean I held back 1 pound, 13 ounces from Pool Math's recommendation. Is it worth tossing another 2# in today and testing again? Or at shades separated by 20 ppm or so, is the precision too broad for me to think holding back roughly 6% of the suggested amount would make a difference?
    12,500 gallon, in-ground Grecian Rectangle (vinyl liner). Installed June 2014. Sand filter, SWG for chlorination. TF-100 test kit.
    Located in Edmond, OK

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Borate testing

    If you always overshoot, sounds like you should be lowering the volume of the pool you enter.

    From what i read, the borates tests is hard to distinguish as you are seeing.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Borate testing

    Thanks Jason. I am thinking about re-measuring my pool. I have the "clipped" Grecian corners and I entered my measurements based on what the pool builder told me was the shallowest and deepest depths. I have a short, shallow end, then about 1/3 of the center part of the pool is a slope toward the deep end. I was just averaging what he told me was the depth of the shallow and deep ends. I think I may get in with a tape measure and get a depth at shallow, deep and at least one measurement in the center of the slope, then use those numbers for my average depth.

    When I overshoot, it's not by a great deal. When I have added MA, I may get a larger ppm drop in TA vs. what pool math tells me. But the overshot is not huge.

    For the precision of borate testing, is it that vital? I appear to be in the 50 ppm range. But if I add a little more acid and overshoot a bit, is that a problem? From what I've read here, it's more of a problem to be short of 50 ppm, especially where algae prevention is concerned.
    12,500 gallon, in-ground Grecian Rectangle (vinyl liner). Installed June 2014. Sand filter, SWG for chlorination. TF-100 test kit.
    Located in Edmond, OK

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Borate testing

    Exact borate levels do not matter.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: Borate testing

    For reading the test, it's the hue that is important more than the saturation. The test goes from a Magenta color at 0 towards a pale orange at 80, but 50 ppm still has a tinge of magenta in it while 30 ppm has a more clear magenta tinge. You are most likely where you expected to be based on the amount of chemical you added.
    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
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    Re: Borate testing

    While it doesn't matter much right now, it would be good to learn to read the test with a known borate level, because in a year or so, you're going to want to know how much to add to get back to this level. Maybe you could mix up a 30 ppm reference solution to compare too?
    20,000 gal in-ground plaster pool with sand filter. Replastered recently. Mostly adding bleach and acid. CYA was high when I took over.

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    bobodaclown's Avatar
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    Re: Borate testing

    That was one reason I got a drop based test. Not sure who's offering them now that Apallo isn't shipping to the US.
    17K Kidney Shaped Pool Concrete (Diamond Bright) Pool, 3/4 hp 2 speed 115V Sta-rite Duraglas PEA5D-180L/P2R5D-181L (Impeller C105-92PS Diffuser C1-216P), 1.5 piping, Pentair CC100 Filter , Heat Siphon 100K BTU Heat Pump Pool Heater, Flow meter Blue White Flowmeter Model No. F-30150P, Hayward Astrolight SP0581N, SWCG CalimarTitanium Edition TE45 , Dolphin Nautilus Plus with CleverClean, Lakeland Florida

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