Added Borates to my pool, now FC reads zero

Aggiehunter34

Member
Jun 24, 2016
14
Tyler, TX
Good morning all,

I added borates to my pool about 3 weeks ago and we are loving it. I have noticed that my FC readings started to decrease and now they are at zero. This is using aquacheck test strips. When I use my Taylor kit and do the DDP tablets it shows there is chlorine in it because it turns pink.

My question is, does adding borates affect the cholorine level readings? The water is crystal clear and looks amazing. THoughts on what to do?
 

Jon in Albany

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 16, 2015
39
Latham, NY

Aggiehunter34

Member
Jun 24, 2016
14
Tyler, TX
Adding the borates has been amazing. The water is much softer and does not dry out your skin. It also shines really well with the sun hitting it. I have noticed my PH stays in balance all the time. I am very happy that we added them. We bought boric acid and used the pool calculator to determine how much I needed. I needed 55 lbs and it was a breeze to just pour in. It dissolved quickly and I just ran my pool pump all night to turn over the water. It was much easier than adding borax and acid. I picked up my boric acid from a wholesale place online (bulk apothecary)
 

hoskim

Well-known member
May 27, 2016
119
Berkeley Heights, NJ
Got it and sounds great. Did you receive the acid in a powder form? I actually have an account at Bulk Apothecary but numerous experts suggested granular from Duda as powders may not dissolve well and sit on the surface (and get blown away by wind) - was thinking (if I decide to get the powder since cheaper and I have discount coupon) put the powder in a laundry bag or something and just dump them. We have a SWG so the water is soft but thinking it would help with algae control / cloudy water. Thanks!
 

Aggiehunter34

Member
Jun 24, 2016
14
Tyler, TX
It was a powder form, but it dissolved quickly. I only had a couple clumps at the bottom of the pool and we brushed them into the water. I usually brush after adding anything anyways, so it wasnt a big deal. It was super easy to add. Just make sure your PH is good before adding.
 

wjr75

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 6, 2013
895
IL
We use the boric acid "pellets" from Duda diesal in our 900 gallon hot tub after we close the pool in the fall. It takes me all summer to get my TA down to around 50 before adding them. You want to have a lower TA before you add them.
 

pooldv

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
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Aug 10, 2012
25,412
FL panhandle
Borates have no affect on FC. Many folks prefer to read the strips upside down in the trash can.:)
 

GreatCanadian

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 28, 2011
844
St. John's, Newfoundland
I add borates to my pool usually a week or so after startup each season. No effect on FC. Now back to the important stuff!! If your FC is at zero you are asking for trouble and need to fix it ASAP. You need to obtain an accurate FC reading (i.e. NOT WITH STRIPS!!). Post your FC and CYA readings here.

GC
 

Aggiehunter34

Member
Jun 24, 2016
14
Tyler, TX
My wife took a sample to the pool store, so take it for what it is worth.

CYA - 133 (which makes sense why my FC is low)
FC - 0

They told her to add 4-5 lbs of shock and it should take care of it. We just moved in to the house in Nov and we are learning the pool world. I believe the problem with the CYA being so high is that they have always used the 3" chlorine tabs and bags of shock that contain cya. It has added up over time. According to the pool calculator it says to drain 70% of the water out of the pool. Hoping I can do something esle instead. I used 10% liquid chlorine to get the FC level back up to 5, so we will see. When I ran my CYA test it didnt break it down to that high of a level. The first reading on my test kit was 100 and I was below that line. I would say the 133 is pretty accurate about where it would have been. Funny thing is the pool store normal levels are 30-200. After reading about CYA I realize that this is way too high. Any thoughts on what I should do next?
 

domct203

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LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 3, 2015
3,959
CT
My wife took a sample to the pool store, so take it for what it is worth.

CYA - 133 (which makes sense why my FC is low)
FC - 0

They told her to add 4-5 lbs of shock and it should take care of it. We just moved in to the house in Nov and we are learning the pool world. I believe the problem with the CYA being so high is that they have always used the 3" chlorine tabs and bags of shock that contain cya. It has added up over time. According to the pool calculator it says to drain 70% of the water out of the pool. Hoping I can do something esle instead. I used 10% liquid chlorine to get the FC level back up to 5, so we will see. When I ran my CYA test it didnt break it down to that high of a level. The first reading on my test kit was 100 and I was below that line. I would say the 133 is pretty accurate about where it would have been. Funny thing is the pool store normal levels are 30-200. After reading about CYA I realize that this is way too high. Any thoughts on what I should do next?
You need to do an extended test.

If your CYA level is 90 or higher, repeat the test adjusting the procedure as follows:
  1. Fill the mixing bottle to the lower mark with pool water.
  2. Continue filling the mixing bottle to the upper mark with tap water.
  3. Shake briefly to mix.
  4. Pour off half of the contents of the mixing bottle, so it is again filled to the lower mark.
  5. Continue the test normally but multiply the final result by two.

http://www.troublefreepool.com/threads/24188-Extended-Test-Kit-Directions

Your FC target is approx. 13% of your CYA, you should never let it drop below 7%. Shock level is 40% of your CYA. That 5ppm is doing nothing for your pool.

If your CYA was 140 (always round up to nearest 10) you would need to maintain a FC target of 18ppm, never going below 10ppm, with a shock level of 56ppm.

I fear your CYA is even higher.

Your FC is not low because of your CYA level. It is low because algae/bacteria/virus have taken hold of a pool without sufficient sanitizer for it's (unknown) CYA level and is oxidizing the chlorine as fast as you put it in.

Dom
 

GreatCanadian

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 28, 2011
844
St. John's, Newfoundland
Your water would not necessarily be murky, you may not be able to visually detect that there is a problem. Follow what domtc203 said in the above post. It's not impossible to maintain your pool with a high CYA level, but it sure is troublesome enough! Either way you need an accurate CYA measurement.

GC
 

Aggiehunter34

Member
Jun 24, 2016
14
Tyler, TX
Ok I tested and CYA is 140 by doing the test you suggested. My FC is reading 5 and holding. I put chlorine in a couple days ago and have not added any since then. What do you suggest I do now? FC of 5 should not do the trick. Should I add more chlorine?
 

pooldv

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Moderator Emeritus
Aug 10, 2012
25,412
FL panhandle
FC is set based on CYA and the [FC/CYA][/FC/CYA]. To keep the pool safe to swim and sanitary FC must be maintained above minimum at all times. Otherwise there is increased risk of person to person disease transmission. The recommended CYA level for your climate is 50 ppm.

Have you done some reading in Pool School?
ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
Pool School - Getting Started
 

domct203

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LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 3, 2015
3,959
CT
Ok I tested and CYA is 140 by doing the test you suggested. My FC is reading 5 and holding. I put chlorine in a couple days ago and have not added any since then. What do you suggest I do now? FC of 5 should not do the trick. Should I add more chlorine?
See Below

......... Your FC target is approx. 13% of your CYA, you should never let it drop below 7%. Shock level is 40% of your CYA. That 5ppm is doing nothing for your pool.

If your CYA was 140 (always round up to nearest 10) you would need to maintain a FC target of 18ppm, never going below 10ppm, with a shock level of 56ppm..........
Dom