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Thread: Borate Drop test

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    Chad628's Avatar
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    Borate Drop test

    A few days ago when i was browsing the TFP web site I found a post describing a way to test for borates using a drop test utilizing some of the reagents in a TF-100 test kit, a large beaker that sits on a speedster, a speedster and additional reagents available on Amazon. It also included links to where to purchase the needed reagents and beaker. I can no longer find that link. Could anyone provide a link to that post?

    Is this still considered the best available drop test for borates at a reasonable cost by TFP? Is it more accurate than the Lemotte test strips.

    Thank you.
    Petaluma, CA., 11K gallon IG pool, white plaster, Nautilus FNS 36 sq. ft. DE Filter, Jandy 1.5 HP variable speed E pump, Pentair Booster Pump with Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 pool cleaner, Jandy Laars LX Pool Heater, Remodeled (new plumbing, plaster, tile, coping, variable speed pump) January 2013. 400 gallon Artesian Island Spa (Ozonator/Chlorine), TF-100 test kit, SpeedStir.

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    Re: Borate Drop test

    Was this the post you are talking about? New borate drop test at piscines-apollo vs. test strip
    Bob - INTEX 12x24 owner (not setup yet), 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Borate Drop test

    Much more accurate than the strips. With a 50ml water sample you can easily get high accuracy. I helped develop the final instruction set but Richard Falk (chem geek) established the chemistry for it. I use it every season to check my borate levels.


    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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    Re: Borate Drop test

    JoyfulNoise I just found the exact link I was looking for in your signature "Mannitol test for borates" Thank you very much!!!!
    Petaluma, CA., 11K gallon IG pool, white plaster, Nautilus FNS 36 sq. ft. DE Filter, Jandy 1.5 HP variable speed E pump, Pentair Booster Pump with Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 pool cleaner, Jandy Laars LX Pool Heater, Remodeled (new plumbing, plaster, tile, coping, variable speed pump) January 2013. 400 gallon Artesian Island Spa (Ozonator/Chlorine), TF-100 test kit, SpeedStir.

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    Re: Borate Drop test

    JoyfulNoise can you please tell me if the 50 ml beaker you link to at Amazon in your instruction set for the Mannitol test for borates has a diameter that fits on the speedstir? It seems that the 50 ml beaker on Amazon has a 2 inch diameter and the speedster is designed for a 1.25 inch diameter. Does it still work with a bigger diameter?
    Petaluma, CA., 11K gallon IG pool, white plaster, Nautilus FNS 36 sq. ft. DE Filter, Jandy 1.5 HP variable speed E pump, Pentair Booster Pump with Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 pool cleaner, Jandy Laars LX Pool Heater, Remodeled (new plumbing, plaster, tile, coping, variable speed pump) January 2013. 400 gallon Artesian Island Spa (Ozonator/Chlorine), TF-100 test kit, SpeedStir.

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    Re: Borate Drop test

    It does NOT fit in the groove but does sit neatly on top. You can buy a graduated 50mL plastic cylinder from Taylor if you want something that fits into the SpeedStir but it's quite a bit more expensive than the glassware on Amazon.


    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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    Re: Borate Drop test

    i have been trying to find the parts needed to do a borate drop test, and the links to BTP seem from the forum posts seem to say its the wrong kind. I found this kit: Borate Test Kit any idea if this will work?

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    Re: Borate Drop test

    I would love to precisely know my borate level (control freak here) but $10.92 shipping? No way! The Lamotte test strips will get me in the ballpark, although they are a very dull knife compared to drop tests. Precision Borate level is not really important from what I can tell.
    30,000 gal free-form IG w/ spa, PebbleSheen Blue Surf, Pentair cartridge filter, Pentair 3 HP Intelliflo, extra pump that is way over-sized for weeping moss rocks, Dolphin Oasis Z5, municipal water, all built Jan-Feb 2016. TF-100, SpeedStir, Liquidator 3/8", borates. My build thread http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...-in-Cypress-TX

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    Re: Borate Drop test

    Quote Originally Posted by emjaydee View Post
    i have been trying to find the parts needed to do a borate drop test, and the links to BTP seem from the forum posts seem to say its the wrong kind. I found this kit: Borate Test Kit any idea if this will work?
    If you look at Post #104, I detail all the chemicals you need. The test that is described in this thread uses reagents from a Taylor test kit. Unless you have a Taylor K-2006 kit, you won't have all the reagents.

    I have no idea if that borate test kit on eBay works or not, I have never used it.
    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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    Re: Borate Drop test

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkTX View Post
    I would love to precisely know my borate level (control freak here) but $10.92 shipping? No way! The Lamotte test strips will get me in the ballpark, although they are a very dull knife compared to drop tests. Precision Borate level is not really important from what I can tell.

    Mark,

    If you have your TF-100, then all you need is the mannitol powder and the BTB indicator dye. They are both on Amazon and can both be had for around $20 or so. You're certainly correct that strips will work just fine for rough estimates, but the precision test can be had for much less than a test kit....
    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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    Re: Borate Drop test

    Ok, I will try it. I said that before but got busy...case of first year pool owner getting overwhelmed...second year now
    30,000 gal free-form IG w/ spa, PebbleSheen Blue Surf, Pentair cartridge filter, Pentair 3 HP Intelliflo, extra pump that is way over-sized for weeping moss rocks, Dolphin Oasis Z5, municipal water, all built Jan-Feb 2016. TF-100, SpeedStir, Liquidator 3/8", borates. My build thread http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...-in-Cypress-TX

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    Re: Borate Drop test

    OK, well, the Bromothymol Blue seems kind of pricey. I will stick to the strips for now. I have several left. Maybe you can update your parts links?
    30,000 gal free-form IG w/ spa, PebbleSheen Blue Surf, Pentair cartridge filter, Pentair 3 HP Intelliflo, extra pump that is way over-sized for weeping moss rocks, Dolphin Oasis Z5, municipal water, all built Jan-Feb 2016. TF-100, SpeedStir, Liquidator 3/8", borates. My build thread http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...-in-Cypress-TX

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    Re: Borate Drop test

    I have a couple of questions about the chemicals needed for the borate test described in post #135

    How many number of Borate tests could the Mannitol and Bromothymol Blue (BTB) that are linked, and sold by Amazon, preform?

    And what is the shelf life for these two chemicals?

    I plan to add boric acid to possibly quite a few pools this spring and early summer and was just wondering how many tests I could possibly get of of these chemicals?

    Also in what way would taking a test sample of water for testing later that day affect the test? I normally do all my water testing at the pool but for this test it might be easier and more efficient to take a water sample home.

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    Re: Borate Drop test

    Quote Originally Posted by Parabolic View Post
    I have a couple of questions about the chemicals needed for the borate test described in post #135

    How many number of Borate tests could the Mannitol and Bromothymol Blue (BTB) that are linked, and sold by Amazon, preform?

    And what is the shelf life for these two chemicals?

    I plan to add boric acid to possibly quite a few pools this spring and early summer and was just wondering how many tests I could possibly get of of these chemicals?

    Also in what way would taking a test sample of water for testing later that day affect the test? I normally do all my water testing at the pool but for this test it might be easier and more efficient to take a water sample home.
    Don’t know the exact number but it’s A LOT. I’ve probably performed the test a dozen or so times now and all my reagents are still quite full. The shelf life is pretty high for all of them (I’d say a minimum of 2 years) as they are all fairly stable compounds.

    Waiting isn’t an issue. Unlike FC or pH, borates don’t change concentration on their own.

    You could also look into Hach for a more exact field tester (colorimeter) but it might require sample dilution since a lot of the automated tests only go up to 2-5ppm. However, if you do plan to do the test a lot, then the investment might be worth it.
    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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    Re: Borate Drop test

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    Don’t know the exact number but it’s A LOT. I’ve probably performed the test a dozen or so times now and all my reagents are still quite full. The shelf life is pretty high for all of them (I’d say a minimum of 2 years) as they are all fairly stable compounds.

    Waiting isn’t an issue. Unlike FC or pH, borates don’t change concentration on their own.

    You could also look into Hach for a more exact field tester (colorimeter) but it might require sample dilution since a lot of the automated tests only go up to 2-5ppm. However, if you do plan to do the test a lot, then the investment might be worth it.
    Thank you for the your reply. I did not know that Hach has a test probe for Borates. I will look into that, as I have the meter that accepts different probes, but don't remember seeing one for Borates.

    By summer if I feel all is going good as I introduce borates starting next couple of week, I might have as many as 40 pools with borates. And I'd be testing initially a few time for each pool and comparing to strips till I feel comfortable with the results.

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    Re: Borate Drop test

    Quote Originally Posted by Parabolic View Post
    Thank you for the your reply. I did not know that Hach has a test probe for Borates. I will look into that, as I have the meter that accepts different probes, but don't remember seeing one for Borates.

    By summer if I feel all is going good as I introduce borates starting next couple of week, I might have as many as 40 pools with borates. And I'd be testing initially a few time for each pool and comparing to strips till I feel comfortable with the results.
    Strips are very subjective with wide ranges and poor color discrimination. They’ll give you a ballpark estimate at best.

    Once borates are established in a pool, only water exchange lowers them. So testing frequency can be as allow as once a month or twice per season depending on rainfall and water loss.
    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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    Re: Borate Drop test

    I just picked Hach strips and see the color change of the indicators is very minimal. I hate test strips for that reason. Having a Speedstir allows me to use the Taylor kits out in the field. But I will get the extra chems mentioned in post 135 and go that route.
    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    Strips are very subjective with wide ranges and poor color discrimination. They’ll give you a ballpark estimate at best.

    Once borates are established in a pool, only water exchange lowers them. So testing frequency can be as allow as once a month or twice per season depending on rainfall and water loss.

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    Re: Borate Drop test

    Taylor makes a wonderfully expensive digital colorimeter for testing all sorts of chemical levels. It's designed to both work in the field and in the lab. They do have reagents for boron testing. However, the colorimeter will set you back a few thousand dollars and then each reagent pack for various chemicals runs in the $30-$100 range...

    And sorry, it wasn't Hach, it was Hanna Instruments....I get my H's confused -

    Boron Test Kit for Irrigation Water - HI38074 - Hanna Instruments
    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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    Re: Borate Drop test

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    Taylor makes a wonderfully expensive digital colorimeter for testing all sorts of chemical levels. It's designed to both work in the field and in the lab. They do have reagents for boron testing. However, the colorimeter will set you back a few thousand dollars and then each reagent pack for various chemicals runs in the $30-$100 range...

    And sorry, it wasn't Hach, it was Hanna Instruments....I get my H's confused -

    Boron Test Kit for Irrigation Water - HI38074 - Hanna Instruments
    Thanks. I will search here for threads on that test kit for reviews. Have your heard anything on this test kit?

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    Re: Borate Drop test

    Quote Originally Posted by Parabolic View Post
    Thanks. I will search here for threads on that test kit for reviews. Have your heard anything on this test kit?
    No I have not. It’s meant for irrigation water applications (as boron is a micronutrient that is missing from most soils). I don’t know how well it would work in testing pool water.
    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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