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Thread: Borax and acid???

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    Borax and acid???

    New pool owner here and just filled up my pool with well water (not sure if this was a mistake yet). Off the bat my TA was at 350, PH 7.4, and CH 110. I've been adding acid and aerating for the last 6 days and TA is now around 225 and PH is at 7.0. Trying to get PH up a bit before dumping in another gallon of acid. Once I get my TA around 80-100, I'm sure my PH will be LOW again. My question is, at this point can I only add Borax to introduce borates and bring the PH back up at same time, or is it necessary to add acid for another reason? My understanding was that the only purpose of adding acid is to offset the PH rise. However, I was a little thrown off by the thread that provided the instructions for adding Borax. It seemed to stress that PH (and TA) needed to be balanced first.

    BTW, first few days pool became cloudy then looked like a swamp. I'm in awe at how it became crystal clear from only running the pump... not sure if all the acid has anything to do with clearing up the water.

    Thanks guys!
    8500 Gallon Sharkline Matrix 18' Round AGP, Hayward EasyClear C400 (40 sq ft) cartridge filter w 1hp pump, Intex SWG.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Borax and acid???

    Mkloian, very interesting scenario. Can you confirm which test kit you are using to test the water? And also post all of your most current readings for the readers please? (FC, CC, TA, PH, CH, CYA). Thanks, and welcome!
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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Borax and acid???

    Welcome to the forum,

    Borates are totally optional, but they can help since you have. SWG. That is a lot of TA, so how much is in your fill water? It's really the TA you want to adjust down before borates. If the borates stabilize your pH rise, it will be slower pushing the TA down. Easier to do that first.
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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Borax and acid???

    In case it helps, here's the page (link) that speak of TA adjustment and why. Thought it might help you.

    Pool School - Lower Total Alkalinity
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Re: Borax and acid???

    [QUOTE=Patrick_B;818342]Welcome to the forum,

    "That is a lot of TA, so how much is in your fill water?"

    By fill water do you mean the well water I used to fill the pool? It is at 350... I have only dropped it to 225 over 6 days of the acid/aeration process.

    - - - Updated - - -

    TexasSplash, The test kit is the Taylor K-2006. The other readings you asked about are 0... I have not added any chlorine or CYA (nor have I turned on the SWG yet). Current TA 225 and PH 7. Thanks for the Link on the TA. I did read that before I started adding the acid... everything I've learned so far has been from this site.

    Sorry - I may not have been clear on my real question which is this: after my TA is good (80-100), I know my PH will need to come back up due to all of the acid I am adding. Rather than aerate for days, can I kill two birds with one stone and use the borax to bring up PH and introduce the borates? The thread about introducing borax indicated the PH should be balanced first which has me second guessing train of thought.
    8500 Gallon Sharkline Matrix 18' Round AGP, Hayward EasyClear C400 (40 sq ft) cartridge filter w 1hp pump, Intex SWG.

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Borax and acid???

    I'm willing to bet that the first cloudiness you saw was calcium carbonate precipitating out of solution because of the crazy high TA. Hard to calculate the CSI without knowing your pool volume and water temperature. After adding the acid to drop the pH, the calcium probably went right back into solution or some of it got filtered out.

    With a pH of 7.0 and a TA still in the 200's, you should still be able to get your pH up by aerating the water (brushing, splashing and running the SWG will all contribute to aeration). No need to try to raise it with Borax as that will just make it harder to lower. The other posts are quite spot-on, you really need to get that TA down just using the acid-aeration method. It takes longer and longer for each acid-aeration cycle to get the pH to rise back up as the TA gets closer to your target value. When I decided to add borates to my pool, I waited pretty much an entire swim season to do it because I really wanted to get the pH and TA in the right spot first. My fill water is mild compared to some (120ppm TA out of the tap), so it took a while to get it down to 80ppm in the pool.

    So keep up the good work and don't get too frustrated if the pace slows...patience is a virtue with pools....
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Borax and acid???

    If this were my pool and high fill water TA, I'd take my TA down to 50 before I added borates, if I ever did. That is considered very high TA. Thankfully you have low CH in that well.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Borax and acid???

    You pH should NEVER be very low while trying to lower the TA ... sounds like you may be adding too much acid and driving the pH too low.

    Also with high TA in your fill water ... I am not sure adding borates are such a good idea since your TA is going to constantly be rising.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Borax and acid???

    Thanks everybody! I do understand that the TA needs to be within proper range first. Again, my question is, when that day comes (even if it is weeks out) is there a reason to use more acid in parallel to the borax? I know my PH will be low at that point, so my assumption is borax will bring this up and acid will be unnecessary. This is all stemming from points 2 & 3 of this article:

    So you want to add borates to your pool--Why and How

    I'm failing to see why it is necessary to have balanced PH at the start of the process if the borax will raise it for me (again lets assume the TA is at an acceptable range).
    8500 Gallon Sharkline Matrix 18' Round AGP, Hayward EasyClear C400 (40 sq ft) cartridge filter w 1hp pump, Intex SWG.

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    Re: Borax and acid???

    BTW, with TA this high should I just drain the GD pool and truck in some water? I'm starting to think it will be July before I have everything balanced.
    8500 Gallon Sharkline Matrix 18' Round AGP, Hayward EasyClear C400 (40 sq ft) cartridge filter w 1hp pump, Intex SWG.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Borax and acid???

    Yes you will still need to add acid ... the process is designed to end up at a similar pH as where you start. If you want to raise the pH, then you will just need a little less acid.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Borax and acid???

    Gracias Senor!!!
    8500 Gallon Sharkline Matrix 18' Round AGP, Hayward EasyClear C400 (40 sq ft) cartridge filter w 1hp pump, Intex SWG.

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    Re: Borax and acid???

    Sorry one more question... should I turn on the SWG to help with the aeration/ph rise? The directions on the SWG unit said to balance the water first. I'd like the added aeration (the fountain I bought isn't doing much) but I'm not sure if that will damage the unit having low PH/High TA?
    8500 Gallon Sharkline Matrix 18' Round AGP, Hayward EasyClear C400 (40 sq ft) cartridge filter w 1hp pump, Intex SWG.

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Borax and acid???

    Quote Originally Posted by Mkloian View Post
    Sorry one more question... should I turn on the SWG to help with the aeration/ph rise? The directions on the SWG unit said to balance the water first. I'd like the added aeration (the fountain I bought isn't doing much) but I'm not sure if that will damage the unit having low PH/High TA?
    Do you have any CYA in the water? Without stabilizer, all the chlorine it produces is going to get burned up by the sun. Also, it's probably advisable to get your TA in check first as the local environment inside the cell is highly alkaline and therefore at much greater risk of calcium scaling.

    Use bleach to sanitize while you get the TA and pH sorted out.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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