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Thread: Added Borates Today

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    Added Borates Today

    Added borates about noon today. Just checked my PH and TA. PH went up to 7.9-8.0 from 7.4 and TA went up from 85 to 110. When should I add more acid to bring down those levels?
    15x30 IG vinyl liner pool, pool cage
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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: Added Borates Today

    have you read this? it seems pretty thorough.
    so-you-want-to-add-borates-to-your-pool-why-and-how-t4921.html
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

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    Re: Added Borates Today

    Quote Originally Posted by reebok
    have you read this? it seems pretty thorough.
    so-you-want-to-add-borates-to-your-pool-why-and-how-t4921.html
    Sure did, more than once. But there is conflicting advice. Waterbear advises to not check the readings until 48 hours and JasonLion advises to adjust PH after a few hours.
    15x30 IG vinyl liner pool, pool cage
    Hayward S-220T high rate sand filter and Hayward super pump w/1hp motor
    Hayward SwimPure Plus SWG
    Polaris 380 cleaner and booster pump

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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: Added Borates Today

    oh yeah, good catch. I'm going to be doing the borate thing soon also, so I'm interested in what the answer is. I noticed the discrepancy a couple days ago when I was reading it, and just planned on doing in jason's way since waterbear didn't contradict it, but an official answer will be nice.
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

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    Re: Added Borates Today

    For what it's worth, I did the initial experiment with 20 mule team on my own pool along with chemgeeks help back when no one was using borates and we didn't know whether to believe the claims being made by Bioguard and Proteam for their expensive borate products. I was mainly interested in the pH buffering effects because I have a SWG. The experiment was well documented on Pool Forum well before TroubleFreePool existed and Pool Forum was still accepting new members. It didn't seem to generate a lot of interest back then except for the few that actually tried it and then we started getting some anecdotal reports on how it was keeping green and mustard algae at bay. I saw this first hand myself when I went out of town for two weeks last August and shut the pool down. (Remember that I am in Florida! I have seen pools go from clear to swamp in just a few days here.) Don't have an autofill, get a lot of evaporation and figured a few bottles of bleach when I get back would be cheaper than replacing a burned out pump! I expected to come back to a green pool but I didn't. I had no chlorine in the pool and it really wasnn't even cloudy. All I did was shock it to 25 ppm FC before I left. I know it was the borates that kept my pool from becoming a swamp. (Unless, of course, there is a chlorine fairy that goes around adding chlorine to pools that need it! If you believe that one I want to talk to you about some beachfront land I have for sale in Kansas! )

    I have overseen the addition of borates in many of my customer's and friend's pools with 20 mule team, Supreme, and Supreme Plus. The first two are basically identical except for the amounts needed and the third is really easy...just dump and go....pH stays where you started.

    I have never used the calculator for borates (never saw the needs because the amounts are so easy to figure out) so I can't vouch for the amount of acid and borax it says you need but I use 60 oz (3 3/4 lbs) by weight of 20 mule team and 30 oz by volume of muriatic for each 1000 gallons water and it's been just about perfect every time. You could simplify it even more and just use a quart of acid per 1000 gallons. The pH will rise on it's own in a few days. As long as your ending pH is not below 7.0 you are fine and if you start with a pH around 7.4-7.6 then it shouldn't be, which is why I said to adjust the pH first in my guide! (KISS!) For Supreme and the other penthydrate products I use 10 lbs for every 3000 gallons (3 1/3 lbs per 1000 gallons) and for every 10 lbs I use 3 qts muriatic (3/4 gal--works out to 1 qt per 1000 gallons) and its' been also pretty much on the money!

    I have found that the pH after 48 hours is right on the money and the borates titrate to right around 50 ppm. (Yes, there is a titration test for borates from Proteam but it is expensive (around $60 for the kit) and not an easy test to do. I use the LaMotte strips most of the time and the newest Proteam branded strips are also from LaMotte!) As long as the pH is above 7.2 and below 7.8 it's fine. Remember, we just put a second buffer system in the water and, along with our bicarbonate buffer we call TA (you DID get the TA in line first, didn't you?) your pH will end up at about 7.7 if you do nothing at all but wait and it will stay there for a long period of time

    Once it climbs above 7.8 then add some acid and bring it back down. If you don't drop it below about 7.5 it won't rise as fast, btw.

    Also, I have never used boric acid so if anyone is going to experiment with that you are on your own as far as I am concerned!

    I am not saying that you need to listen to my advice or that I am the final word on borates....just giving you an idea of my experience with them.

    I don't think there really is an 'official answer', just guidelines. I wrote my guide to make it as easy and problem free as possible for even a newbie. If you understand the chemistry of what is going on please feel free to change and possibly improve on it.

    It gets very easy to micromanage your pool and I try to avoid that at all costs. Borates are one of the easiest things to do if you follow the guideline I set up because it takes a lot of the "fine points" into consideration so the results come out right with minimum effort.
    Get them up to 50 and when they drop to 30 bring them back up to 50 again. When the pH climbs above 7.8 drop it back down to 7.5-7.6 and you will find that you don't have to make pH adjustments nearly as often as you did before the borates (assuming you get the TA to where I suggested) Easy!

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    Re: Added Borates Today

    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear
    Also, I have never used boric acid so if anyone is going to experiment with that you are on your own as far as I am concerned! :wink:
    I added 50 ppm Borates using Boric Acid this year and it behaved exactly as expected, dropping my pool's pH from 7.5 to 7.3. I just left this alone since I didn't want to raise the TA and over time the pH has come back up to 7.5. I found this very easy to add to the pool. It's at least 30% more expensive than Borax and acid, but I find it more convenient (see this post for more cost details).
    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: Added Borates Today

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    I added 50 ppm Borates
    Finally!
    Well, its about time, isn't it Richard!

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    Re: Added Borates Today

    Well, after reviewing my steps, I have concluded that the extra rise in PH and TA during the process was due to human error - MINE! I shorted the acid addition by
    24 oz. Added it last evening after realizing my mistake.
    15x30 IG vinyl liner pool, pool cage
    Hayward S-220T high rate sand filter and Hayward super pump w/1hp motor
    Hayward SwimPure Plus SWG
    Polaris 380 cleaner and booster pump

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    Re: Added Borates Today

    Quote Originally Posted by jagfan
    Waterbear advises to not check the readings until 48 hours and JasonLion advises to adjust PH after a few hours.
    If you do everything right, it won't make any difference at all when you check your readings. But if you make a major mistake, for example miscounting acid bottles and adding an extra gallon of muriatic acid by mistake, then finding out about it sooner rather than later is going to be a really good thing.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Added Borates Today

    If you follow the procedure I outlined to the letter you shouldn't have any problems and I have seen too many cases of pH rising from a low point after 48 hours.

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    Re: Added Borates Today

    Also, if there is a slight right in TA don't worry about it. The rise is not carbonate alkalinity but is borate alkalinity and will not have the same impact as the carbonate alkalinity. This is the reason that TA is often corrected for CYA at the pool store. While cyanurates will add to the alkalinity they do not buffer like bicarbonates do so the cyanurate alkalinity is subrtacted from the reading. In acutal practice at normal pool CYA levels this correction is small enough to be ignored and at SWG levels it means that the carbonate alkalinity is low enough that ph rise is minimized. In pools with extremely high (over 100 ppm) CYA it can become significant!

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