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Thread: Borax bait-and-switch???

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    Borax bait-and-switch???

    So... quick question. I found a local supplier that sold me a 50 lb bag of what they said was granular boric acid (great deal at $47+tax). The bag itself was even labeled as Boric Acid.

    I only needed 35 lb for my 15,000 gallon pool, which I added this morning. Before adding, TA was 80 and pH right around 7.6. Four hours later, TA is up to 100 and pH jumped to 8.0.

    Is it safe to assume what they gave me was actually borax??? From what I have read, doesn't seem like boric acid should be able to have such an effect.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Borax bait-and-switch???

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    That is pretty odd. It should have lowered your pH some and had little effect on the TA.
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    Re: Borax bait-and-switch???

    If nothing else is happening, boric acid will lower the PH just a little and cause the TA to go up just a little. Thus, your results suggest that might not have been boric acid. On the other hand, something else could have caused the PH increase.
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    Re: Borax bait-and-switch???

    Welcome! And sorry to hear that. If you did nothing else to the pool and you are sure of previous readings (sounds like you are). Something is amiss with that bag of ???

    Sounds like it might be Borate. Hopefully you see that on a test.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Borax bait-and-switch???

    Do you have a test to see if there are now borates in the pool? Maybe it just was not pure?
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Borax bait-and-switch???

    There are products that contain mostly boric acid, but with enough sodium tetra borate added to make them more or less PH neutral. When making these products they rarely get the ratio exactly right, so there is often some small PH drift.
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    Re: Borax bait-and-switch???

    Welcome to the forum Finally
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    Re: Borax bait-and-switch???

    Thanks for all the replies! I am quite certain of the levels, I have the Taylor 2006-K and have been testing pretty much daily for a few weeks now. After my initial post I added a quart of 14.5% MA which did seem to drop the pH back down to 7.6 - which actually almost surprised me because with a borate level now I thought it might take more MA than that. But maybe it takes longer for the borates to have that buffering effect?

    I don't have borate test strips yet - figured I might not need to get them because I am near 100% certain on pool volume and weight of what I thought was boric acid. I guess maybe I should order some and see where the level is at. With 35 lbs of boric acid I should be right at 50 ppm borate level, so if I am significantly lower than that I can probably assume I got borax instead (I did email the supplier to see if they could confirm this as a possibility at least).

    ** Edit **

    My TA went down to 90 from 100 after the quart of acid as well. FYI, I am trying to follow Water Balance for SWGs.

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    Re: Borax bait-and-switch???

    Quote Originally Posted by kiss4afrog View Post
    Welcome to the forum Finally
    Thanks! Been lurking for a little while. In case you're curious, my username reflects how I feel about getting a handle on my pool chemistry after over seven years of pool ownership! (mostly thanks to this forum)

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    Re: Borax bait-and-switch???

    It couldn't be all Borax or tetraborate. If it was, the ph and ta would be much higher. The ta would have gone up by about 120. Most likely, it was mostly boric acid. Testing the borate level will help confirm that it was at least a boron compound. Contacting the supplier for a sds (msds) or other data sheet should inform you of the composition.

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    Re: Borax bait-and-switch???

    Quote Originally Posted by Finally View Post
    Thanks! Been lurking for a little while. In case you're curious, my username reflects how I feel about getting a handle on my pool chemistry after over seven years of pool ownership! (mostly thanks to this forum)
    Great to hear, and glad you FINALLY joined us.

    Can't think of a better name selection reason than that. Thumbsup!!
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    Re: Borax bait-and-switch???

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW View Post
    It couldn't be all Borax or tetraborate. If it was, the ph and ta would be much higher. The ta would have gone up by about 120. Most likely, it was mostly boric acid. Testing the borate level will help confirm that it was at least a boron compound. Contacting the supplier for a sds (msds) or other data sheet should inform you of the composition.
    Yeah, I had come to that conclusion using the Pool Math calculator. Really glad it wasn't pure borax since I didn't add the 3 gallons of MA to combat the pH!

    The TA has held steady at around 90 since I added some MA to drop pH back to around 7.7.

    The supplier has links to their Technical Data Sheet and MSDS online at:

    http://www.incidetech.net/bra.html

    They also replied to my email that they tested other bags of Boric Acid on the pallet and the pH was from 4.8 to 5.2 for the other samples. So it still seems really strange that my pool's pH increased after adding it...

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