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Thread: Borates and pH testing

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    Borates and pH testing

    I have to say by far the BEST addition to my pool as been borates. This is the first summer and in Vegas we have EXTREME heat conditions. Last summer was impossible to maintain pool. This summer is incredibly easy to maintain, have never had an issue with organics or algae or anything even when the chlorine dips below where it needs to be. I LOVE it.

    Now the question:

    Is there something different I should be doing when testing pH levels? I use the standard pH red color test and ever since borates were added the colors are extremely bright. I use the calculator to determine how muhc to add and I know it is more than without borates but is the test I am using still accruate?
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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: Borates and pH testing

    what does extremely bright mean? bright red? purple? orange? puce? what do you think the ph is reading?
    did you add 20 mule team borax and follow the directions on adding the borates and acid? it should have taken, what, 2 gallons or so of acid in the initial addition if you did the 20 mule team.
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Borates and pH testing

    Borates do not affect the PH test in any significant way, the results are still valid.
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    Re: Borates and pH testing

    Yeah borates are in and been perfect for 4 months, What I mean by bright is lets say it is 7.6 ph, before borates it was like red, but more transparent, now it is the same color but very bright color, can't see through it at all.
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    Re: Borates and pH testing

    I am going to make a guess here. You are using a TF100 or a Taylor kit with the small comparator (1000 series) and you bought new pH reagent. The reagent you are supposed to use the the small comparator is R-0014 but you got R-0004, which is used in the large 44ml comparator (2000 series).
    Am I close?

    Borates have NO effect on the pH test intensity but using the wrong reagent does.

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    dayhiker's Avatar
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    Re: Borates and pH testing

    On the calculator the borates seem to have a huge effect on the amount of acid to pull the pH down. Is this correct? It seems that my pH always heads straight for 7.8 or a tad higher. I'm trying to keep it down just a bit thanks to my newfound education on the wonders of iron staining.
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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: Borates and pH testing

    it takes more acid to do the same thing with borates because it's another buffer (like TA). I believe waterbear's borate addition thread talks about this.
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    dayhiker's Avatar
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    Re: Borates and pH testing

    Does it make sense to have a lower TA value if you're using borates? My TA is 80 and borate is 50. To go from a pH of 7.8 to 7.5 now takes 54 oz of muriatic instead of 19.
    The avatar is Spalding from Caddyshack
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    Re: Borates and pH testing

    Quote Originally Posted by dayhiker
    Does it make sense to have a lower TA value if you're using borates? My TA is 80 and borate is 50. To go from a pH of 7.8 to 7.5 now takes 54 oz of muriatic instead of 19.
    If your pH is rising too fast then lower the TA. Simple. If you pH is staying steady at below 7.8 for long periods of time then don't worry about it. Mine rises to 7.7 and stays there for months before finally climbing to 7.8. When it does I drop it to about 7.5 or 7.6.

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Borates and pH testing

    yes it makes sense...please see reebok's comment

    Quote Originally Posted by reebok
    it takes more acid to do the same thing with borates because it's another buffer (like TA). I believe waterbear's borate addition thread talks about this.
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    dayhiker's Avatar
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    Re: Borates and pH testing

    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear
    Quote Originally Posted by dayhiker
    Does it make sense to have a lower TA value if you're using borates? My TA is 80 and borate is 50. To go from a pH of 7.8 to 7.5 now takes 54 oz of muriatic instead of 19.
    If your pH is rising too fast then lower the TA. Simple. If you pH is staying steady at below 7.8 for long periods of time then don't worry about it. Mine rises to 7.7 and stays there for months before finally climbing to 7.8. When it does I drop it to about 7.5 or 7.6.
    Mine just seems to hang out at 7.8. Last year I didn't worry about it. I uncovered the pool in April to nice iron stains so I'm trying to be a little more particular. I may play with the idea of doing a water replacement on the pool because at some point the weekly sequestrant cost is going to by pass what it would cost to remove and replace with iron free water/new chemicals...assuming it didn't come from the tap which I don't think it did.

    I'm drifting this thread enough. Sounds like dropping 10-30 ppm isn't a big deal if it helps.
    The avatar is Spalding from Caddyshack
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