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Thread: Shelf life/storage of solid acid and borax

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    Shelf life/storage of solid acid and borax

    Hi all,

    I have a small pool (1500 gallons) so I don't need much when adjusting pH. I was thinking of just buying HTH ph down which I assume is some kind of solid acid? How would I go about storing this long term? Is its shelf life longer than muriatic acid?

    Same question for borax, what's the best way to store and how long is its shelf life?

    Thanks.
    12' Intex Metal Frame Pool, 1500 gallons, Intex 2800gph Sand filter/pump, AquaPro PRO1100 HP, K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: Shelf life/storage of solid acid and borax

    This is not a direct response to your shelf life question... are you sure, from experience with your pool, that you will need to adjust pH in both directions?

    When we first got a small ring top pool, circa 7 years ago, I went out and bought a container of pH+ and a container of pH- (HTH brand, I think), because that seemed like a logical thing to do. As it turns out, with our particular water and other conditions, our pH always drifts down (even when chlorinating just with bleach, no CYA addition) over time. That 7 year old container of pH- is still sitting somewhere, probably on our screen porch, cycling with outdoor temperatures. Hmmm, maybe I could try a shelf life test . I apologize for the off topic comment; just asking whether you're sure you need to buy (and store) both flavors of pH adjustment.

    As for the borax, which we do use, I've kept the open box, in a plastic shopping bag, in the same non-climate-controlled screen porch -- it was still non-lumpy, and effective in raising pH, a year later, for whatever that's worth. Dryer storage might be better if you were keeping it longer.
    18' x 48" ring top pool (Summer Escapes); 5500 gallons; set up June - October, stored during winter; Intex 2500 gph pump (B size cartridge filter) Hayward 21" sand filter + 1.5 hp single speed Powerflo Matrix pump (upgrade October 2016) *** K-2006 test kit, refills from tftestkits

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    Re: Shelf life/storage of solid acid and borax

    This season after filling and adjusting CYA I measured the pH at around 7.1-7.2. After 1 1/2 months my pH has risen on it's own to 7.5. Now this is a short season because I got the pool late and I expect next season to be at least twice as long.

    I was lazy this season and didn't adjust the pH up immediately like I think I should have. But I just installed a heat pump and don't want to damage. At the moment the pH has corrected itself. But next season when I fill my 12' Intex I would want to adjust the pH up immediately. If this season is any indication of next year then my pH will drift up over time and I will need to bring it back down.

    I haven't purchased any pH- or pH+ products yet and am just asking in preparation for when I need them.
    12' Intex Metal Frame Pool, 1500 gallons, Intex 2800gph Sand filter/pump, AquaPro PRO1100 HP, K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: Shelf life/storage of solid acid and borax

    Why do you want to adjust the pH up, only to adjust it down later?

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    Re: Shelf life/storage of solid acid and borax

    Quote Originally Posted by Abigail K View Post
    Why do you want to adjust the pH up, only to adjust it down later?
    From what I can tell the pH of my fill water is too low to start. So I would want to adjust it up. Overtime my pH is drifting up so I would want to bring it down later.
    12' Intex Metal Frame Pool, 1500 gallons, Intex 2800gph Sand filter/pump, AquaPro PRO1100 HP, K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: Shelf life/storage of solid acid and borax

    Quote Originally Posted by crimsondr View Post
    Hi all,

    I have a small pool (1500 gallons) so I don't need much when adjusting pH. I was thinking of just buying HTH ph down which I assume is some kind of solid acid? How would I go about storing this long term? Is its shelf life longer than muriatic acid?

    Same question for borax, what's the best way to store and how long is its shelf life?

    Thanks.
    Muriatic acid has a very long shelf life.
    We generally do not recommend the use of dry acid as it adds sulphites sulphates.

    As long as you keep borax dry, it has a virtually unlimited shelf life.

    Quote Originally Posted by crimsondr View Post
    From what I can tell the pH of my fill water is too low to start. So I would want to adjust it up. Overtime my pH is drifting up so I would want to bring it down later.
    What is the pH of your fill water?

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    Re: Shelf life/storage of solid acid and borax

    Quote Originally Posted by Abigail K View Post
    What is the pH of your fill water?
    About 7.1-7.2. I hate these colour matching tests.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Can you point me to why sulphites are bad? What is the impact?
    12' Intex Metal Frame Pool, 1500 gallons, Intex 2800gph Sand filter/pump, AquaPro PRO1100 HP, K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: Shelf life/storage of solid acid and borax

    With pH 7.2, you can afford to let pH drift up on its own.

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...-s-the-problem
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...tes-why-so-bad

    N.B. please note correction above, it should have been sulphates and not sulphites.

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    Re: Shelf life/storage of solid acid and borax

    I was worried about damaging the HP. What's the lowest pH you would recommend? I'm just guessing that the pH was 7.1-7.2 to start since I was having trouble with the colour matching. However now it's definitely more red so around the 7.5 range which is good enough. But if it's much lower than 7.1 at what point does it become a problem?
    12' Intex Metal Frame Pool, 1500 gallons, Intex 2800gph Sand filter/pump, AquaPro PRO1100 HP, K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: Shelf life/storage of solid acid and borax

    Thanks for the links regarding sulphates. It might be a good idea to update the Recommended Pool Chemicals article to mention the drawbacks/side effects of dry acid similar to the way it describes the side effects of the different methods of raising pH.
    12' Intex Metal Frame Pool, 1500 gallons, Intex 2800gph Sand filter/pump, AquaPro PRO1100 HP, K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: Shelf life/storage of solid acid and borax

    Quote Originally Posted by crimsondr View Post
    ...I'm just guessing that the pH was 7.1-7.2 to start since I was having trouble with the colour matching...
    This is a case where the base demand test in the K-2006 might help -- i.e. add drops to a sample of your fill water to get to your desired pH, and use other info (e.g. known pool volume, recommended addition amount from the K-2006 booklet to bring up your pH, and info about effect of adding chemicals from poolmath tool) to work out your starting pH more accurately. This assumes that the color matching is easier for you mid-scale than at the lower end of the pH range...
    18' x 48" ring top pool (Summer Escapes); 5500 gallons; set up June - October, stored during winter; Intex 2500 gph pump (B size cartridge filter) Hayward 21" sand filter + 1.5 hp single speed Powerflo Matrix pump (upgrade October 2016) *** K-2006 test kit, refills from tftestkits

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    Re: Shelf life/storage of solid acid and borax

    Quote Originally Posted by singingpond View Post
    This is a case where the base demand test in the K-2006 might help -- i.e. add drops to a sample of your fill water to get to your desired pH, and use other info (e.g. known pool volume, recommended addition amount from the K-2006 booklet to bring up your pH, and info about effect of adding chemicals from poolmath tool) to work out your starting pH more accurately. This assumes that the color matching is easier for you mid-scale than at the lower end of the pH range...
    Thanks, I actually just discovered the acid/base demand tests the other day. Never noticed or knew about them when I first tested pH months ago.
    12' Intex Metal Frame Pool, 1500 gallons, Intex 2800gph Sand filter/pump, AquaPro PRO1100 HP, K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: Shelf life/storage of solid acid and borax

    The acid/base demand test isn't really needed if you use poolMath with a full set of test results (pH, TA, and Borate if used). I have the k-2006 and haven't used the acid/base demand tests in years.
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    Re: Shelf life/storage of solid acid and borax

    My point was just that if you measure pH at the bottom of the range (which is one of the original poster's concerns), you don't know just how low it actually is. Similar at the top of the range, of course. The acid demand or base demand chemicals give you a way (albeit a pretty round-about way) to figure out what your off-scale pH actually is.

    For example, reading 7.0 on the K-2006 (the lowest color match on that kit's pH scale), and finding you need 3 drops of base demand to get to the 7.4 color is quite different than reading 7.0, and then finding that you need 15 drops to get to 7.4.

    I don't usually use the base demand drops on our own pool either. However, I recently had occasion to measure the water in a relative's pool, and the pH test was at the bottom of the scale. It occurred to me that using the base demand drops gave additional information as to how low their pH actually was.
    18' x 48" ring top pool (Summer Escapes); 5500 gallons; set up June - October, stored during winter; Intex 2500 gph pump (B size cartridge filter) Hayward 21" sand filter + 1.5 hp single speed Powerflo Matrix pump (upgrade October 2016) *** K-2006 test kit, refills from tftestkits

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    Re: Shelf life/storage of solid acid and borax

    Quote Originally Posted by crimsondr View Post
    I was worried about damaging the HP. What's the lowest pH you would recommend? I'm just guessing that the pH was 7.1-7.2 to start since I was having trouble with the colour matching. However now it's definitely more red so around the 7.5 range which is good enough. But if it's much lower than 7.1 at what point does it become a problem?
    pH 7.2 is the minimum I'd recommend, anything lower is pushing the limit on the pH test.

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