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Thread: I'm pulling the trigger on borates today!!

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    I'm pulling the trigger on borates today!!

    My 55lbs bucket of 99.9% granular boric acid arrived yesterday (Duda Diesel) and I'm going for boric acid addition today. I went with the more expensive boric acid option because I did not want to fool around with lots of MA. Also, given my high CH (~450ppm), I did not want to risk raising my pH.

    Anyway, I'll post pre-addition water test values a little later and then do the addition. I'll give it 24 hrs to mix and dissolve sand then post a new set of result later tomorrow.

    My pool water is very sparkly at this point so I'm not going to post any before or after photos.

    Wish me luck!!!!




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    Re: I'm pulling the trigger on borates today!!

    Pre-borate test results :

    FC 9.2
    CC <0.2
    pH 7.6
    TA 60
    CH 450
    Salt 3800 (3780 on test strip chart)
    Phosphates 500ppb

    I know, I know, who cares about phosphates. I have an AquaChek test for them so I feel like I should use it since I paid money for it

    TA is a little low because I add MA regularly and have lots of water features. I figure it will be ok for borate addition.

    PoolMath says my pH will decrease by 0.3 from the boric acid so I'll leave the pH where it is for now.

    PoolMath also tells me to add 42lbs of boric acid for my pool. I'll put in 40lbs and then measure levels tomorrow and adjust from there.

    I've got an hour or so before I add so if anyone is out there with advice, let me know.



  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: I'm pulling the trigger on borates today!!

    Oops, forgot to add

    CYA 50


    I know, I need to up it. Had some major rain recently that added ~700 gal to the pool and I had to drain it as it was almost above the tile line. I'll either use trichlor pucks or go buy some liquid CYA.



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    Re: I'm pulling the trigger on borates today!!

    Quote Originally Posted by SunnyOptimism View Post
    Pre-borate test results :

    FC 9.2
    CC <0.2
    pH 7.6
    TA 60
    CH 450
    Salt 3800 (3780 on test strip chart)
    Phosphates 500ppb

    I know, I know, who cares about phosphates. I have an AquaChek test for them so I feel like I should use it since I paid money for it

    TA is a little low because I add MA regularly and have lots of water features. I figure it will be ok for borate addition.

    PoolMath says my pH will decrease by 0.3 from the boric acid so I'll leave the pH where it is for now.

    PoolMath also tells me to add 42lbs of boric acid for my pool. I'll put in 40lbs and then measure levels tomorrow and adjust from there.

    I've got an hour or so before I add so if anyone is out there with advice, let me know.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    That is funny about the phosphates. Only because I have fallen for the pool store trick before. I have a Taylor phosphates test kit as well. I still use the phosfree stuff at a rate of 2 capfuls per week in a 18,000 pool. I have found a good source to buy it rather I expensively and have had 0 problems since following all of the rules on here with that in addition. When it is gone I will not replace it, but it keeps mine at 0 and they were always at 500+ as we live next to a farm field that causes us problems.


    30x20 vinyl IG, Hayward SD60 with Pentair Dynamo 340219 2HP pump, Compupool CPSC24 SWG, Hayward H200FDN heater. APC automatic pool cover.
    Central Illinois

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    Re: I'm pulling the trigger on borates today!!

    Quote Originally Posted by bdex View Post
    That is funny about the phosphates. Only because I have fallen for the pool store trick before. I have a Taylor phosphates test kit as well. I still use the phosfree stuff at a rate of 2 capfuls per week in a 18,000 pool. I have found a good source to buy it rather I expensively and have had 0 problems since following all of the rules on here with that in addition. When it is gone I will not replace it, but it keeps mine at 0 and they were always at 500+ as we live next to a farm field that causes us problems.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I certainly don't doubt the chemistry behind it. I just believe, like others here, that phosphates are, perhaps, a second or third order problem. If your maintain proper FC and keep your water balanced and clean, then phosphate levels really don't matter until they get ridiculously high. Here in AZ, there's a good chance most folks will completely replace their water due to CH before the phosphates ever get high enough to matter.

    Thanks for reading though and wish me luck.



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    mickey4paws's Avatar
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    Re: I'm pulling the trigger on borates today!!

    Good luck, SunnyOptimism! I will be interested to see how you like having borates. I'm thinking about adding it to my pool, but if I do, it won't be till spring opening.
    IG 12' x 39' - 20k Gallons - Vinyl Lined - StaRite Cristal-Flo II 26" Sand Filter - Hayward SuperPump 1 hp - Dolphin Dynamic autocleaner - Lochinvar Energyrite gas heater - Aqua Rite SWCG T-15 - TF100 Test Kit - Skimlite Duallly 9016 pole (great pole)

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    I'm pulling the trigger on borates today!!

    40lbs of Boric acid is now added to the pool. I'll let it circulate and mix and post some water test results tomorrow.

    Just to note my process - I had a plastic scoop that held 2lbs of BA nicely. I broadcasted 20lbs of BA around the pool with all pumps running and chlorinator shut off. Brushed walls and mixed powdery surface residue (likely finely powdered BA). Added remaining 20lbs and brushed some more.

    All BA dissolved very rapidly with no noticeable piles on the plaster surface anywhere. Once finished, I reset all valves to normal operating positions and reset the SWG cell to 40%.



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    I'm pulling the trigger on borates today!!

    Post Boric Acid Test Results -

    40 lbs of BA added

    Borates = ~50ppm (InstaTest Borate Test Strips)
    FC = 7.0
    CC = 0.6
    TA = 60
    pH = 7.4
    CH = 450
    CYA = 50
    Salt = 3800

    I'm a bit concerned I drop 2.2ppm in FC over 24 hours and my CC's are now up at 0.6ppm. I don't think I'd attribute that to boric acid addition as it was pretty darn hot and sunny over the last 24 hours and I have had some greater bather load (2 kids over the last two days). So I'll monitor FC/CC and see what happens there.

    TA was basically no change but I really wasn't expecting much. I may consider adding a little baking soda to bring it up a bit as I believe I'm losing it from acid/aeration.

    pH definitely went down and here's how I know the borates are working their buffering magic - previously, if I measured a pH of 7.4, it would take one drop of the R-005 Acid Demand reagent to lower the pH to 7.2. In fact, my pool water was such that it basically took one drop of R-005 to move the pH lower by 0.2. This time, it took TWO drops of R-005 to go from 7.4 to 7.2. I attribute that to the buffering effect that borates have. I will monitor pH closely over the next several days to see how long it takes for it to drift up.

    Finally, the test strips are not all that easy to use. I think my high FC was bleaching the color out. The instructions say to dunk for 5 secs then pull the strip, let it stand for 15 secs (DO NOT SHAKE OFF EXCESS) and then read the color. The color I had matched the 50ppm level but I noticed the edges of the strip paper were going white and bleaching out. After one minute, the paper basically went white. Not sure if that's what others have noticed with these InstaTest strips so I think when I order Taylor drops for salt, I'll look into borate drops as well (assuming there is a drop test for it).

    Subjective Note -

    The water looks great (it did prior to borates but there is a noticeably bluer color to the water) and it feels pretty good too! I have a salt pool so my water is already softer feeling from that, but I think the borates make it feel more "slippery".

    Anyway, a definite positive experience with borates here. Now I'll just have to see how the water evolves over the longer term.

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: I'm pulling the trigger on borates today!!

    Good job! When I added borates to my pool, I did it for reasons much like yours. I was tired of having to put MA in the pool twice a week or so. Now, after the addition of boric acid to the tune of 50 ppm, I very rarely add muriatic acid. My PH has found a sweet spot around 7.7-7.8 and my TA pretty much stays between 70-80. I love the fact that I pulled the trigger almost 3 months ago now. You will love it too!

    And yes, how about that rain? We got slammed up here in the East Valley. Some places got 5 inches of rain near us. I literally just turned off my auto fill on the pool for over a week. I welcomed the rain as my CYA was a tad high and now it's back down to where I like it, 75 ppm or so. I still find that test such a subjective test to do and get 100% correct. Congratulations on your new addition!
    IG Pebbletec Blue Tahoe; Paddock Pool PCC 2000 pop-up; 22,275 gal 32' x 16' Diving with Auto-Fill
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    Re: I'm pulling the trigger on borates today!!

    Yup, Tucson got hit early last week. I'm out on the east side and my pool was filled right up to the tile line from it. Had to drain off about 700 gallons of water to get me 3" down. Now I need to readjust CYA because I'm about 10ppm too low. I'm going to float three 3" trichlor pucks to get the CYA up a bit.

    As for TA, I'll see where I settle and try to adjust up a bit if I stay on the low side.

    Thanks for the support. So far so good on borates and I'm glad I did the boric acid route - more expensive but super easy.



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    Re: I'm pulling the trigger on borates today!!

    Added borates on Saturday, 8/23. Here are water parameters starting on Saturday, 8/23 through Wednesday, 8/27 -

    CYA = 50ppm
    Borates = 50ppm
    CH = 450ppm
    Salt = 3800ppm

    FC -> 9.2, 7.0, 9.2, 9.5, 9.0
    CC -> 0.2, 0.6, 0.2, 0.5, 0.5
    TA -> 60, 60, 70, 70, 80
    pH -> 7.6, 7.4, 7.6, 7.6, 7.6

    So here's a measurement note - the last two measurements are using the coarser FC/CC test at 10mL (0.5ppm / drop).

    As for FC/CC, I think the addition of borates killed something on Saturday and I saw the results of that in the drop in FC and rise in CC. Also, on Sunday (after getting test results) we had a big bather load (3 adults + 3 kids) and I bumped the SWG up to 50% for a few hours after everyone got out. By Monday AM (before pump start up) the SWG was set back to 45% where I had been running it for the past week. Since then I have dropped my SWG to 30% with little or no decline in FC. So WOW, the borates seem to be enabling me to run the SWG at lower output. If my FC doesn't drop by tomorrow's reading, I'm going down to 25% output and then will consider shorter pump run times as a way to dial in the FC better (I'd like to be down at 7ppm because I plan to up my CYA using a few trichlor pucks).

    As for pH, my pool has NEVER gone 4 days without the pH settling up to 7.8 or 8.0. NEVER! If it holds at 7.6, then that will be quite amazing. Acid demand test shows that it will take twice as much acid to get a 0.2 decrease in pH so I hope not to have to add acid as often.

    TA is rock-solid within normal values for my pool so I'm only going to monitor it and not try to adjust it.

    As for subjective results, man that water is sparkly!! Also the bulk of the water seems cleaner too (no suspended particulates). Showering off after using the pool is interesting too because I feel like the pool water cleans off better whereas previously I always felt a bit dry and chalky washing off.

    So far borates seem to be pretty good!!





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    Re: I'm pulling the trigger on borates today!!

    You may find you like your pool water better than your shower water with borates...I do but I'm on a well...
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    Re: I'm pulling the trigger on borates today!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Swampwoman View Post
    You may find you like your pool water better than your shower water with borates...I do but I'm on a well...
    Yeah! I need to figure out how to hook a borate Stenner pump up to my shower water line or into the water heater. It really softens the water up nice.



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