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Thread: Borax

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    Borax

    I have recently added borax to my pool for its algaestatic and pH-stabilizing properties. I followed the recommendations determined by Waterbear and Chem Geek on the Pool Forum ("The Great Tetraborate Experiment").

    I should now have about 50 ppm borates in my pool. I haven't gotten to swim since achieving this level (too cold ). There seems to be a *slight* tendency towards foaming now but it is minor. Water is beautifully clear and the pH has been stable and close to perfect (7.3-7.5). Would love to hear from others who may have done this. How is it working, etc.

    Among stargazers the traditional greeting/farewell is, "Clear skies!" Perhaps here I should say, "Clear water!"
    ~Jules~

    My pool: INDOOR 13x27 rectangular fiberglass, built ~2001, BBB, TA-60 sand filter, Hayward two speed pump (1 hp/0.33 hp), 3/4 hp booster pump for solar heater
    Taylor K-2006 test

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    Guest
    I have never noticed any foaming after adding the borax and I have several customers that use Proteam Supreme (expensive borax) and they have not reported any foaming problems either. I would look to another cause for the foaming.

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    It is a SLIGHT foaming which I don't really consider a problem. Just thought it might possibly be related to the borax. I haven't actually *tested* my borates, just put in an amount of borax which corresponded to Richard's calculations to reach 50 ppm in my pool.
    ~Jules~

    My pool: INDOOR 13x27 rectangular fiberglass, built ~2001, BBB, TA-60 sand filter, Hayward two speed pump (1 hp/0.33 hp), 3/4 hp booster pump for solar heater
    Taylor K-2006 test

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    On our 1st pool the pb used proteam supreme as part of the install package. The water was really great and never an algae bloom in 3 yrs. (thanks in part to BBB). We have since moved and started (almost finished) our new pool. I went by one of the local pool stores to check on Proteam and it was $140.00 bucks !!.
    I too, had read Evan post on using 20 MTB in his pool. I'm in. Bought all they had at Kroger today, 10 boxes. about 38ish pounds for less than $1.00 a pound. Our home depot has stopped carring muratic acid, but the mom and pop (love em') store on the town square had plenty.....cheaper too.
    Dropping the liner in Monday and starting the fill.

    Evan, are you still maintaining the borate level and happy with it?

    Thanks!!
    Cal C.

    22k ig vl, hayward 2sp northstar, hayward pro series sand filter, aqua logic ps-8 wireless controls with swg, hayward (eus) heat pump, polaris 280 cleaner.

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    Guest
    Yep. and I DO sell Supreme at work

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    Can one typically find sodium bisulfate at the hardware store? Our Ace has some pool chemicals (dichlor tabs, IIRC) but there wasn't any dry acid in that immediate vicinity. I haven't looked that hard for it yet.

    I plan to continue using muriatic in the pool, but the dry acid sure is easier to handle. . . I bought some at the pool store, but I figure it would be cheaper at the hardware store if they have it. I know muriatic has lots of other uses, but I wasn't sure about the dry acid.
    ~Jules~

    My pool: INDOOR 13x27 rectangular fiberglass, built ~2001, BBB, TA-60 sand filter, Hayward two speed pump (1 hp/0.33 hp), 3/4 hp booster pump for solar heater
    Taylor K-2006 test

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    Just keep in mind that dry acid (sodium bisulfate) adds sulfate to your water while muriatic acid (31.45% hydrochloric acid) does not (it adds chloride instead). High sulfate levels could cause problems, but if you aren't adding a lot of acid and are doing regular backwashing or drain/refill of your water, then this may not be much of an issue. We don't have good information on exactly what sulfate levels cause problems -- only qualitative info such as how chloride in the presence of sulfate can corrode stainless steel faster (section VII in this PDF file from the EPA says "Chlorides present in amounts as little of 0.3% with sulfates present can produce severe corrosion" to stainless steel.). High sulfate levels may corrode concrete though there is inconclusive evidence of this (this link describes this, but remember this is from an attorney website; this link is a scientific study on this issue). My hunch is that it takes rather high sulfate levels for these problems to occur, but avoiding the frequent use of sulfates in dry acid and non-chlorine shock is easy to do.
    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
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    I don't plan to use dry acid in the pool on a regular basis, but that's what the spa calls for. I used the dry acid in the pool yesterday; I have a jug of muriatic that's about half full, but I can't get the lid off! It's a safety cap that somehow got damaged so now it won't open at all. Not sure how to deal with it, other than just buying some more muriatic acid.
    ~Jules~

    My pool: INDOOR 13x27 rectangular fiberglass, built ~2001, BBB, TA-60 sand filter, Hayward two speed pump (1 hp/0.33 hp), 3/4 hp booster pump for solar heater
    Taylor K-2006 test

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    Guest
    You should be able to find dry acid just about anywhere that sells pool chemicals. It is commonly called pH minus or pH - or pH down or something like that. The Ace hardware in my neighborhood carries HTH brand product (one of the lines by Arch Chemical), in addition to their own O-Ace-sis line and the Proteam line. They also carry the NaturalChemistry line of enzyme products and the Jack's Magic metal sequesterant products. They have a full line of Hayward and Starite pumps and filters and AutoPilot SWGs and Aquacal heat pumps, not to mention Zodiac and Polaris pool cleaners. They even sell above ground pools! Then again they have a much bigger pool department than most Ace hardware stores. They also have a very knowledgable staff in the pool department. (In case you haven't figured it out yet this is where I work )

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    Unfortunately our Ace is not like yours! I found some pool chemicals there but not a pool dept.

    I haven't had trouble finding dry acid. Our pool store has it. Just figured it I could find it at Ace it would likely be cheaper.
    ~Jules~

    My pool: INDOOR 13x27 rectangular fiberglass, built ~2001, BBB, TA-60 sand filter, Hayward two speed pump (1 hp/0.33 hp), 3/4 hp booster pump for solar heater
    Taylor K-2006 test

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