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Thread: Newbie With Some Questions

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    Newbie With Some Questions

    Okay, I stumbled upon this site while checking the Internet for solutions on getting rid of a green pool and I have applied some what I have learned here to my pool this year. In the post 2 days, my green pool has started showing signs of actually clearing up.

    But I have some questions and I hope this is the right place for them.

    When I first started reading all the threads here that pertain to green pools and the BBB method, I thought I understood that using 20 Mule Team was in lieu of using commercial stablizer. Did I read something wrong?

    Second, I put about 10 gals of bleach into the pool a couple of gallons at a time throughout the day and my FC's (according to my cheapie little test kit that only tests FC and PH) were through the roof. I assume this was a good thing as it really started killing the algae. However, those 10 gals didn't stay very long due to the abundance of sunshine we've been having the past few days.

    During the same time period of introducing the bleach to my pool, I also added 6 boxes (that's all the store had) of Borax. According to the pool calculator, I needed 11-12 boxes. Should this not have been enough to at least helped the clorine stick around for at least a day or so?

    I had my water tested and everything was reading within in acceptable levels except the chlorine levels. They showed at about 0, which doesn't suprise me, again, due to the abundance of sunshine.

    Today I was reading on the forum here that stabilizer is about the only commercial product I need to buy to put in my pool. Again, I thought that was what the Borates (Borax) was suppose to take care of.

    So, along with sky high ph (thanks to the 6 boxes of Borax added a couple of days ago) do I need commercial stablizer or is the Borax suppose to help stablize the chlorine?

    I am also assuming that I need to add some muratic acid to bring the ph down? Is this correct?

    The test results I got on Saturday, the 13th. were as follows:

    FC = 0
    TC = 0
    CC = 0
    PH = 7.1
    Hardness = 290ppm
    Alkalinity (w/Stablizer correction = 89ppm
    Cyanuric Acid = 5ppm
    Copper = 0 ppm
    Iron = 0.0 ppm

    This is in a 24'x52" round Above ground pool with a vinyl liner.

    If I can get to understand how all of this works as well as if there is anything else I'm not understanding yet, I would appreciate it before I go out and start spending $$$'s on commercial stablizer.

    Thanks,
    Vance
    15,000 gals (24' x 52" Round)
    Above Ground
    Cartridge

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    Re: Newbie With Some Questions

    Your biggest issue seems to be with borax (which raises pH) and the use of borates as a conditioner for your water.

    For now, I would suggest you forget about the borates 'til later. Simply remember that borax raises pH.

    Now, it is confusing to me what your current pH is. Is it still 7.1? Your test kit will do fine testing for pH. Report that back and we'll get you started on a steep learning curve.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie With Some Questions

    Welcome to TFP!

    The problem is that the word "stabilize" is used in several different contexts to mean different things. The chemical "20 Mule Team Borax" is also used for two different purposes.

    The common usage of borax is to raise the PH. You use it instead of soda ash/washing soda/PH Up. The secondary use of borax is to raise the borate level. To do this, you use much larger amounts of borax in combination with muriatic acid to raise the borate level, while leaving the PH alone. Borates act to "stabilize" the PH, along with a couple of other nice effects.

    Meanwhile, CYA "stabilizes" the FC level against sunlight. CYA is called a whole variety of things, cyanuric acid, CYA, stabilizer, and conditioner are the most common ones. When we say stabilizer, we mean CYA/cyanuric acid. But if we say stabilize it might mean any of several things.

    Your pool is in desperate need of some CYA/cyanuric acid/stabilizer. That is the chemical you can only by at pool stores, or the pool department of some big box stores. With a very low CYA level it is nearly impossible to maintain a FC level.

    Also, we never use the stabilizer correction when listing alkalinity. We always use the alkalinity number directly from the test kit. In your case there isn't much of a difference, since your correction is only 1 or 2.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  4. Back To Top    #4
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    Re: Newbie With Some Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance

    When I first started reading all the threads here that pertain to green pools and the BBB method, I thought I understood that using 20 Mule Team was in lieu of using commercial stablizer. Did I read something wrong?
    Yes you misunderstood. Cyanuric acid is used to protect chlorine from sunlight loss. It is often called stabilizer or conditioner by manufacturers. Borates are used for 2 purposes, to raise pH with much less impact on TA than soda ash and to 'condition' or 'enhance'the water. When added to a 30-50 ppm concentration they will help stabilize pH (not the same as stabilizing chlorine against UV loss) and act as an algaestat. They also improve the 'look' and 'feel' of the water by changing the surface tension. Borax is used lin lieu of such commercial borate products as Bioguard Optimizer, Proteam Supreme, and Poolife Endure. Borates are also found in many commercial salt mixes for SWGs such as Bioguard Mineral Springs and Natural Chemistry Salt Water Magic.

    Second, I put about 10 gals of bleach into the pool a couple of gallons at a time throughout the day and my FC's (according to my cheapie little test kit that only tests FC and PH) were through the roof. I assume this was a good thing as it really started killing the algae. However, those 10 gals didn't stay very long due to the abundance of sunshine we've been having the past few days.

    During the same time period of introducing the bleach to my pool, I also added 6 boxes (that's all the store had) of Borax. According to the pool calculator, I needed 11-12 boxes. Should this not have been enough to at least helped the clorine stick around for at least a day or so?
    NO, but it might have helped the chlorine kill some of the algae.
    I had my water tested and everything was reading within in acceptable levels except the chlorine levels. They showed at about 0, which doesn't suprise me, again, due to the abundance of sunshine.

    Today I was reading on the forum here that stabilizer is about the only commercial product I need to buy to put in my pool. Again, I thought that was what the Borates (Borax) was suppose to take care of.

    So, along with sky high ph (thanks to the 6 boxes of Borax added a couple of days ago) do I need commercial stablizer or is the Borax suppose to help stablize the chlorine?
    Once again, borax does NOT stabilize chlorine and when you add borates to enhance the water you need to add muriatic acid with it to maintain a neutral pH at the rate of 30 fluid oz of muriatic acid for every 60 oz. by weight of borax added.
    I am also assuming that I need to add some muratic acid to bring the ph down? Is this correct?
    Here is the procedure for adding borates. You really need to follow the step by step but do it AFTER the rest of the pool is balanced. You also need a way to test your borate levels!
    so-you-want-to-add-borates-to-your-pool-why-and-how-t4921.html

    The test results I got on Saturday, the 13th. were as follows:

    FC = 0
    TC = 0
    CC = 0
    PH = 7.1
    Hardness = 290ppm
    Alkalinity (w/Stablizer correction = 89ppm
    Cyanuric Acid = 5ppm
    Copper = 0 ppm
    Iron = 0.0 ppm

    This is in a 24'x52" round Above ground pool with a vinyl liner.

    If I can get to understand how all of this works as well as if there is anything else I'm not understanding yet, I would appreciate it before I go out and start spending $$$'s on commercial stablizer.

    Thanks,
    Vance
    I suggest you click on the link to the pool school section of the forum in the upper right hand corner of the page and read EVERYTHING on it.
    When you are done read it all a second time.
    If you don't understand something read it ALL a third time.
    If you still don't understand something them post your question. If you take the time to do what I suggest I think you will find it solves a lot of your problems.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Newbie With Some Questions

    Boy it sounds like I screwed up in reverse on this. I misunderstood the effects of the Borax. When I was reading thru all the threads here, I thought I read that the Borax would raise the ph only slightly. Boy was I wrong on that as well. Now I understand that the borax is to stablize the ph and to make the water "feel" soft and silky (wife will love that).

    Duraleigh, the ph was 7.1 at the time I had the water tested. After adding the 6 boxes of Borax, the ph went off the scale.

    I agree that I need a different test kit, but for right now, I got to get the water clear and luckily I have a pool store only a few blocks away so I will have them test the water a couple more times until I get it where it needs to be.

    I just went out and bought a 4lb jug of conditioner/stablizer that is about 96% CYA. I'm going to pre-dissolve it in a bucket and add it to the pool and hope it will being the ph down to acceptable levels.

    On the bright side, the info I got here has helped temendously. In just a couple of days, the borax and extra chlorine has really helped to clear my water. Wife is looking forward to using the pool by this weekend (I hope).

    Thanks for the extra education and helping me to get all of this straight.

    Vance
    15,000 gals (24' x 52" Round)
    Above Ground
    Cartridge

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Newbie With Some Questions

    Now I understand that the borax is to stablize the ph and to make the water "feel" soft and silky (wife will love that).
    Nope! For now, borax is for one purpose.....to raise pH and it has done that.

    Now, you must get it back down in the mid 7.'s and very soon. Dont wait days on this.

    Use Jason's calculator in my sig (ask for help if you need to) and, using muriatic acid available at Lowe's/paint stores/ace hardware, lower you pH. Anything in the 7's is Okay but mid 7's is perfect.

    just went out and bought a 4lb jug of conditioner/stablizer that is about 96% CYA. I'm going to pre-dissolve it in a bucket and add it to the pool and hope it will being the ph down to acceptable levels.
    Nope. It will have little long term effect on your pH. Stabilizer is there to help protect the chlorine and has nothing to do with pH.

    You need to read the "ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School and get that article firmly in your mind. Everything else will go quickly once you get familiar with the basics.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Newbie With Some Questions

    Thanks Dave and sorry. I mis-spoke when I said I hope the Stablizer will being the ph down to acceptable levels. I ment to say that I hope the stablizer will help to get my chlorine levels constant for a few days at a time.

    Finally, what's the best way to introduce stablizer into the pool? I was trying to dissolve it in a bucket of water and after about 30 minutes of stirring, about half of it was still floating around.

    Is there any chance that I could use like an old sock (the foot kind) and fill it with the stabliser and stick it in the skimmer? Will something like that work?

    Finally, I found this at Lowes and was wondering which would be the best bang for the buck?

    Thanks again,
    Vance
    15,000 gals (24' x 52" Round)
    Above Ground
    Cartridge

  8. Back To Top    #8
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie With Some Questions

    Hi there, yes put the CYA in a sock and set it in the skimmer. (it is acidic and will lower your PH slightly, but not enough.)

    Muratic Acid - you want the active ingredient to be 31.45%. So whatever the label says, and I think around $7-10 a gallon is a reasonable price.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: Newbie With Some Questions

    Most of the questions you have asked would have been answered if you had read pool school like I suggested. It will give you the basics that you really need right now. We really cannot help you unless you want to do your part. It is probably the MOST IMPORTANT part of the forum for you to read right now.

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie With Some Questions

    Hi Vance,

    It can be overwhelming learning the ins and outs of taking care of a pool. But, our Pool School does have the basics covered. Soon it will all fall into place for you.

    It would be helpful if you added your pool and equipment specs to your sig. Go to User control Panel (upper left under TFP Logo), select Profile, then Edit Sig.

    Welcome to the forum
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    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

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