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Thread: New to BBB; pH problem after adding borax

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    New to BBB; pH problem after adding borax

    Since I've switched to BBB method things have been going along well. The pool is beautiful and the kids are having their friends over again! However, I have some questions about pH.

    I treated with borax, adding 1/2 last night and 1/2 the night before. 19 boxes borax and 5 1/2 gal MA in total. So yesterday morning the pH was only off by a little, but this morning's acid demand test called for a gallon of MA. I added that early, then by noon tested again and it called for another 2 1/2 qt! How is it I'm needing so much acid? I know I used the right amount with the borax.

    Today's test results:
    FC 7
    CC 0
    CH 250
    TA 120

    Last week:
    CH 140
    TA 80
    CYA 70

    The pH is too high to measure. I added 25 lb calcium chloride the night before the borax, if that makes any difference. Did the borax cause this rise in my TA? Is the higher TA what's giving me trouble with the pH?

    I've been reading BBB for Beginners. The thing I don't understand about lowering my TA is this. Why do I aerate to raise my pH? That's what my whole problem is!

    Help?

    Jill
    Mike
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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: New to BBB; pH problem after adding borax

    well, I definitely wouldn't have had two things going on at once, but it's a moot point now.
    I can't explain your TA rise or ph demand, but it's definitely abnormal for a "normal" (following waterbear's instructions) borate addition.
    did you buy a specific calcium increaser product? if so, what was it called?
    as far as lowering TA, you should read this article: pool-school/lowering%20total%20alkalinity
    you aerate to make lowering TA faster because you lower your ph to around 7.0 with acid, then aerate to make the ph rise faster, then add acid again. the acid additions are what lowers the TA. generally, ph rise is on the slow side, so you aerate to speed it up, add acid again (which lowers the TA some more) to get the ph back down to 7.0 and repeat until you reach your ideal levels.
    you should focus on your ph right now, not your TA. just make sure you TA doesn't get way too low with all that acid.
    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: New to BBB; pH problem after adding borax

    It was called Balance Pak 300, just calcium chloride.

    So the reason you aerate is so you can add all the acid you need in a shorter period of time?
    Mike
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    Re: New to BBB; pH problem after adding borax

    lrh,

    You really need to focus on getting your pH measurable. Regardless of the reason, Your pool water is very problematic if you can't detect pH. You need to be around 7.5
    Dave S. - Forum owner
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    Re: New to BBB; pH problem after adding borax

    ok thanks for your help guys. My local store doesn't have MA I'll have to shop in a neighboring town tomorrow ASAP.
    Mike
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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: New to BBB; pH problem after adding borax

    check hardware stores too. also, according to the msds, balance pak 300 has more than calcium chloride.
    http://www.thepoolandspahouse.com/tools ... sbp300.pdf
    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: New to BBB; pH problem after adding borax

    Quote Originally Posted by reebok
    according to the msds, balance pak 300 has more than calcium chloride
    That is nothing to worry about. None of the calcium chloride sources are completely pure and none of the listed impurities are going to cause a problem.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: New to BBB; pH problem after adding borax

    Any idea what the deal is with the seemingly large ph and ta rise?
    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: New to BBB; pH problem after adding borax

    lrh,

    What's the strength of the acid you used?
    Dave S. - Forum owner
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    Re: New to BBB; pH problem after adding borax

    It says Hydrogen Chloride 14.5%

    From Lowe's
    Mike
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    Re: New to BBB; pH problem after adding borax

    If you used 14.5% muriatic acid when you added the borates you didn't add anywhere near enough.

    19 boxes of Borax with 5.5 gallons of muriatic acid is based on 31.45% muriatic acid. You will need to add almost twice that much if you are using 14.5%.

    Get that pH in check quickly.
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    Re: New to BBB; pH problem after adding borax

    Quote Originally Posted by lilredhen
    It says Hydrogen Chloride 14.5%

    From Lowe's
    That's about half the strength of what I usually buy at Lowe's. I buy the 31.45% stuff (20 Baume), usually located over in the paint aisle. That may be why you're having to use so much. BTW, Jason's pool calculator has a field in the pH calculation where you can choose the strength of the acid you're using so it'll calculate the correct amount for the given strength.
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
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    Re: New to BBB; pH problem after adding borax

    OOPS!

    I had no idea there were different concentrations. Thanks for straightening me out. now I'll get this fixed right away.
    Mike
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    Re: New to BBB; pH problem after adding borax

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleavitt
    19 boxes of Borax with 5.5 gallons of muriatic acid is based on 31.45% muriatic acid. You will need to add almost twice that much if you are using 14.5%.
    A bit more than twice as much, actually, I make it a grand total of about 11.75 gallons (so 6.25 more).
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeInTN
    Jason's pool calculator has a field in the pH calculation where you can choose the strength of the acid you're using so it'll calculate the correct amount for the given strength.
    Only in the pH section, not in the borates section. I see a feature request coming...
    --paulr
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    Re: New to BBB; pH problem after adding borax

    I also didn't realize there were different concentrations of MA! Good to know!
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    Re: New to BBB; pH problem after adding borax

    I found the 31.45% MA. My local hardware store had it all along in the paint aisle! I've been driving 20 miles for 5 years to buy the weaker stuff -- makes me feel like an idiot.

    When I re-test it should be down to 7.5. Yea!
    Mike
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    Re: New to BBB; pH problem after adding borax

    Did you ever get your CYA level down?
    I consider myself very lucky I found this site before the pool store found me-pool owner since Nov 2008- Stunningly clear 17,000 gal fiberglass pool, thanks to this site, installed in 1982-24" 3.1sq. ft sta-rite sand filter, 1 hp - 2 speed wisperflo pump-WFDS-4

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    Re: New to BBB; pH problem after adding borax

    I decided to wait and see how much it goes down just with kids splashing water out. Now that the pool's so pretty they're doing more frequent cannonballs.
    Mike
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