Adding the Borax

AJ76

Member
Apr 1, 2020
14
San Antonio, Texas
Pool Size
14000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Salt & Swim 3C
Hello!! I have 11 boxes of Borax and as always a ton of MA, want to try and have less fluctuation with my Ph. In what order should I attempt adjusting the chemicals? Should I focus on raising CH first? Get TA up a tad first? Or can I just add the Borax now and work on the others, especially Ph, afterwards? Here is what my water is testing at as of this morning.

==========================================
Hammes Hangout
------------------------------------------
Build Type: Plaster
Volume: 11400 gallons
------------------------------------------
Latest Test Result Summary:
FC: 7.1 (5 hours ago)
pH: 8.4 (5 hours ago)
TA: 56 (5 hours ago)
CH: 137 (5 hours ago)
CYA: 71 (5 hours ago)
SALT: 3370 (5 hours ago)
TEMPERATURE: 73° (5 hours ago)
CSI: -0.17 (5 hours ago)
==========================================
 

mgtfp

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2020
1,026
Melbourne, Australia
Pool Size
66000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Astral VX 7T
It looks like you are using the ColorQ. There are some on the forum that use the ColorQ, but more on a basis for following relative changes in the water parameters. General consensus seems to be that absolute values should still get measured with a more accurate test kit.

My suggestion would be to get a good test kit first (like Taylor K2006 or TF100), and ensure that you have a good understanding of your water parameters, have confirmed levels for all parameters. Then, we can talk about which parameters need adjusting. Then observe the pool for a while. Should pH rise be inacceptable, then we can start thinking about borates.

Looks like you already have a stack of Borax and MA. It is a lot easier to use Boric Acid to add borates to the pool. If you can source that and have a return option for your Borax, I would recommend that. Getting the timing of the Borax and MA additions not quite right can result in quite significant pH swings during the process which you might want to avoid with a freshly acid washed surface.

If the pH reading is correct, then it is quite high. CSI still OK because of lowish TA (not saying too low,) and CH. But should there be any significant levels of metals in your fill water, you might be at risk of staining for fresh surface. I would suggest to get that below 8 into the higher 7s, but not into the low 7s with such a low CH. But before adjusting anything else, I would wait for results with a Taylor based test kit.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mdragger88

iflyjetzzz

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2011
108
Las Vegas, NV
AJ76, I don't have a good answer for you as far as the water chemistry, but I've used borax in the past and added it slowly along with some MA in order to try to keep the pH stable. I wouldn't be adding borax with a high pH; I'd bring down the pH to the mid-7s before you start adding borax.

In the future, I'd recommend that you consider buying boric acid powder/crystals to raise your borates instead of borax/MA. The end result is the same but instead of having a pH rise, your pH will actually decline slightly when you use boric acid (there are some technical articles out there that explain why the pH is lowered with boric acid vs borax; you can do a search if you're curious). I've bought 25lb bags of boric acid in the past from Duda Energy (dudadiesel.com) and added it a bit at a time, ensuring that my pH didn't fall too much. I found boric acid to require less monitoring of the pool chemistry than using borax. And since it kept my pH in normal range, I didn't need to add a bunch of MA to keep the water balanced.
You can also find bulk boric acid on Amazon.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AJ76

AJ76

Member
Apr 1, 2020
14
San Antonio, Texas
Pool Size
14000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Salt & Swim 3C
It looks like you are using the ColorQ. There are some on the forum that use the ColorQ, but more on a basis for following relative changes in the water parameters. General consensus seems to be that absolute values should still get measured with a more accurate test kit.

My suggestion would be to get a good test kit first (like Taylor K2006 or TF100), and ensure that you have a good understanding of your water parameters, have confirmed levels for all parameters. Then, we can talk about which parameters need adjusting. Then observe the pool for a while. Should pH rise be inacceptable, then we can start thinking about borates.

Looks like you already have a stack of Borax and MA. It is a lot easier to use Boric Acid to add borates to the pool. If you can source that and have a return option for your Borax, I would recommend that. Getting the timing of the Borax and MA additions not quite right can result in quite significant pH swings during the process which you might want to avoid with a freshly acid washed surface.

If the pH reading is correct, then it is quite high. CSI still OK because of lowish TA (not saying too low,) and CH. But should there be any significant levels of metals in your fill water, you might be at risk of staining for fresh surface. I would suggest to get that below 8 into the higher 7s, but not into the low 7s with such a low CH. But before adjusting anything else, I would wait for results with a Taylor based test kit.
Oh my word!!! The difference in readings for Alkalinity and CH between the colorq and my newly purchased K2006 is disturbing!! I'd been going by the colorq numbers and adding Calcium Chloride 😩 K2006 said CH was 500 compared to colorq 137.
K2006 said TA was 225; colorq 56!!

Just ugh ugh ugh
 
  • Like
Reactions: mgtfp and mknauss

DeanP66

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2014
1,230
San Jose, CA
Do not use that Borax!!!! With both your pH and TA really high, you should be dosing with muriatic acid. That will lower both your pH and TA, although TA will drop slowly. Add enough muriatic acid, test and keep adding until it gets to 7.4 - 7.6. It will take a lot of acid at first because your TA is so high. Eventually, as your TA drops over time, you'll find that your acid additions will require less and less acid to decrease the pH by similar amounts.

Do NOT add anymore calcium chloride. CH of 500 is a little high, but you can manage the pool just fine with it right there. Did you do a CYA test with your new Taylor K2006 kit? You really need to know that number because that will determine if you do or don't have to dump out any pool water. Since you have a SWG, you want the CYA in the 70-80 range. If it's over 100, you need to do a diluted test to find the actual number. The CYA test is only accurate up to 100. After that you have to dilute the sample with half pool water half tap water before adding your solution to test it. You then do the test as normal except you double the result.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AJ76

BenB

Gold Supporter
Jul 24, 2020
269
San Jose, CA
Pool Size
19500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
Agree with the above. One you add borates, the amount of MA it takes to move your pH around increases significantly. So you should reduce your pH and TA first since that will take a lot of cycles of adding and aeration to do.
 

AJ76

Member
Apr 1, 2020
14
San Antonio, Texas
Pool Size
14000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Salt & Swim 3C
Do not use that Borax!!!! With both your pH and TA really high, you should be dosing with muriatic acid. That will lower both your pH and TA, although TA will drop slowly. Add enough muriatic acid, test and keep adding until it gets to 7.4 - 7.6. It will take a lot of acid at first because your TA is so high. Eventually, as your TA drops over time, you'll find that your acid additions will require less and less acid to decrease the pH by similar amounts.

Do NOT add anymore calcium chloride. CH of 500 is a little high, but you can manage the pool just fine with it right there. Did you do a CYA test with your new Taylor K2006 kit? You really need to know that number because that will determine if you do or don't have to dump out any pool water. Since you have a SWG, you want the CYA in the 70-80 range. If it's over 100, you need to do a diluted test to find the actual number. The CYA test is only accurate up to 100. After that you have to dilute the sample with half pool water half tap water before adding your solution to test it. You then do the test as normal except you double the result.
Started the adding of MA to lower TA yesterday, should meet my goal today. Aerating with scuppers on. Looks good so far, last test TA 150...added more MA will test in the morning.

I'm so upset about the Dang CH.

K2006 CYA test result is 90.

I'm using the plethora of Borax for household chores now....laundry booster, cleaning all the stuffs. But I did purchase 25# of boric acid. I'm thinking once my TA and Ph are back in recommended/ideal ranges I can add it then, yes??
 

Romoth

Silver Supporter
Sep 18, 2020
66
Houston, TX
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I don't have much to add other than a lot of sympathy on the CH front. I ended up over adding CH due to some expired reagents, so I totally get your frustration! I'm now a graduate of the "add slowly because it's a NIGHTMARE to get it out" school. Others will direct yo more than me, but it may be worth considering a partial drain or a water exchange to get your numbers more manageable. That's the road I'm going down.

Good luck!
 
  • Like
Reactions: AJ76

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support
Thread Status
Hello , This is an inactive thread. Any new postings here are unlikely to be seen or responded to by other members. You will get much more visibility by Starting A New Thread