Aeration and rising pH

jesse-99

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May 2, 2021
309
Illinois
Pool Size
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Jandy Aquapure 1400
I noticed you have a waterfall and spillover Spa. Whenever you have aeration your pH will tend to rise. Also since you have a saltwater system, there is extra pH generated from the salt being turned into chlorine. My pool had an infinity edge (no longer have this pool, hence had) and the pH rise was forever a battle to keep it in check. But once I added the Borates things stabilized dramatically. 70-80 was the sweet spot for my Alkalinity. Every pool is different, but I highly recommend you learn about adding Borates to your pool here on the forum. For me it was worth it.
I have tons of aeration in my pool. 2 big waterfalls, 2 beach bubblers/jets, a disappearing/overflow edge, a waterslide, and in floor heads that create tons of little bubbles too, all of those things creating aeration. I fight high pH constantly I try to target my TA around 60-70 to help slow the rise of pH (and my auto-fill water is 300 TA, lol) I've considered Borates but am ignorant to them and haven't found much on TFP about them. Can you share more info? Advantages/disadvantages/concerns/best-practices? etc.? Thanks!

edit: I did find this, not sure how accurate it is, relating to pros/cons of borates.. Should You Add Borates to Your Pool Water? (Pros and Cons)

Moved from here.
 
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jesse-99

Gold Supporter
May 2, 2021
309
Illinois
Pool Size
32000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
Is there any data or real world feedback/experience from anyone who use Borates to combat against the rise of pH to share how effective it is, and how much slower the rise is? I'd have to add around 75 pounds of Boric Acid next spring to reach a 50ppm target. Normally I go through 2-3 gallons of MA a week on average (and that's when my TA is 80-100), so I'm wondering... I can pretty easily go from 7.2 to 8.0 pH in a single day with water features running, so just curious if anyone has first hand experience of how much their pH rise slowed with Borates versus without Borates?

Also, does the Boric Acid powder dissolved upon getting in the water? Do I have to mix/brush it in like when adding salt? Is there any recommended places for getting it?
 

JoyfulNoise

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May 23, 2015
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Tucson, AZ
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With that much aeration and fill water TA at 300ppm, borates will do nothing for you. Your fill water and aeration is what is causing the pH to rise. Negative edge pools have a lot of aeration all on their own but you have waterfalls, slides and bubblers on top of that. If you want to keep the pH on check then you need to reduce TA, keep all of those aeration sources turned off except when needed, and find a way to limit your fill water use (covering the pool, use rain water capture, etc).

Borates won’t help.
 

jesse-99

Gold Supporter
May 2, 2021
309
Illinois
Pool Size
32000
Surface
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Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
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Jandy Aquapure 1400
@JoyfulNoise
I -do- bring my TA down to 70 within 2 weeks or so of filling the pool. Throughout the season, I regularly KEEP my TA from 70-90. Next spring, I will be filling from trucks, so my TA wont' start that high either. I'm finding it hard to believe that Borates won't help me at all, when that's what they are supposed to do, slow the rise of pH?
 

jesse-99

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May 2, 2021
309
Illinois
Pool Size
32000
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Also, FWIW, I've been able to drastically slow the rise of pH for a couple of days, even with water features running, after an AA treatment... I'm hoping Borates could give me similar effect for a longer period of time.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
33,846
pH rise is mostly due to the carbonate alkalinity and the pH.

Borates can help you manage the pH by allowing you to add more acid per dose and wait longer between doses.

A dosing system would mostly mitigate the work required.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
33,846
You might find borates to be helpful, but don't overestimate the benefits.

You seem interested in trying borates in any case, so it would be worth trying and it won't cause any problems.
 

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jesse-99

Gold Supporter
May 2, 2021
309
Illinois
Pool Size
32000
Surface
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Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
Borates can help you manage the pH by allowing you to add more acid per dose and wait longer between doses.
Well that's what I'd be hoping for, going longer between doses. That's really all I'm hoping for.

Are the dosing systems sold by any particular vendors? Guessing the usual's like Jandy, Pentair, Taylor, etc. don't make them? Who does? I can look into those as well.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
21,720
Tucson, AZ
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
The problem is you ADD water to your pool from your household water source and it has 300ppm worth of carbonate alkalinity in it. You are basically dosing your pool with bicarbonate and the pH is responding by rising. The aeration process makes it worse.

At 50ppm B concentration, the buffering capacity of borates is minimal. I see a small effect in my pool and I keep my borates above 60ppm. My fill water TA is 100-120ppm. You can try borates if you want, but I’m pretty sure you are going to see the same rate of pH rise and then you’re going to need to add twice as much acid to get the pH to come back down.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
33,846
Borates will slow the pH rise somewhat and will allow you to add more acid per dose which will allow you to get the TA down faster.

The amounts of acid that you can add per day should be higher for a manually dosed method with borates than without borates.

For an automatically dosed method, the amount of acid added per day will be about the same with or without borates.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
21,720
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
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Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
In this pool’s case, I would forgo borates and simply use an acid dosing system (with or without feedback control) to keep the pH in a consistent range.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
33,846
I'm not a huge proponent of borates in any case.

An acid dosing system would mostly obviate the benefits of borates.

However, if someone really wants to try borates, I don't really see any reason not to.

The cost is not super high.

Some people report that the taste of the water is different, but I don't know how significant that is.

There is probably a small percentage of people who would notice any difference and a smaller percentage who would find it objectionable.

There are some concerns about pets drinking the water, but that's probably not significant unless they get most of their water from the pool.
 
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