Borate Drop test

Chad628

Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 30, 2013
99
San Francisco Bay Area
#1
A few days ago when i was browsing the TFP web site I found a post describing a way to test for borates using a drop test utilizing some of the reagents in a TF-100 test kit, a large beaker that sits on a speedster, a speedster and additional reagents available on Amazon. It also included links to where to purchase the needed reagents and beaker. I can no longer find that link. Could anyone provide a link to that post?

Is this still considered the best available drop test for borates at a reasonable cost by TFP? Is it more accurate than the Lemotte test strips.

Thank you.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,693
Tucson, AZ
#3
Much more accurate than the strips. With a 50ml water sample you can easily get high accuracy. I helped develop the final instruction set but Richard Falk (chem geek) established the chemistry for it. I use it every season to check my borate levels.


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Chad628

Chad628

Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 30, 2013
99
San Francisco Bay Area
#5
JoyfulNoise can you please tell me if the 50 ml beaker you link to at Amazon in your instruction set for the Mannitol test for borates has a diameter that fits on the speedstir? It seems that the 50 ml beaker on Amazon has a 2 inch diameter and the speedster is designed for a 1.25 inch diameter. Does it still work with a bigger diameter?
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,693
Tucson, AZ
#6
It does NOT fit in the groove but does sit neatly on top. You can buy a graduated 50mL plastic cylinder from Taylor if you want something that fits into the SpeedStir but it's quite a bit more expensive than the glassware on Amazon.


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MarkTX

Bronze Supporter
Nov 15, 2015
337
Cypress, TX
#8
I would love to precisely know my borate level (control freak here) but $10.92 shipping? No way! The Lamotte test strips will get me in the ballpark, although they are a very dull knife compared to drop tests. Precision Borate level is not really important from what I can tell.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,693
Tucson, AZ
#9
i have been trying to find the parts needed to do a borate drop test, and the links to BTP seem from the forum posts seem to say its the wrong kind. I found this kit: Borate Test Kit any idea if this will work?
If you look at Post #104, I detail all the chemicals you need. The test that is described in this thread uses reagents from a Taylor test kit. Unless you have a Taylor K-2006 kit, you won't have all the reagents.

I have no idea if that borate test kit on eBay works or not, I have never used it.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,693
Tucson, AZ
#10
I would love to precisely know my borate level (control freak here) but $10.92 shipping? No way! The Lamotte test strips will get me in the ballpark, although they are a very dull knife compared to drop tests. Precision Borate level is not really important from what I can tell.

Mark,

If you have your TF-100, then all you need is the mannitol powder and the BTB indicator dye. They are both on Amazon and can both be had for around $20 or so. You're certainly correct that strips will work just fine for rough estimates, but the precision test can be had for much less than a test kit....
 

MarkTX

Bronze Supporter
Nov 15, 2015
337
Cypress, TX
#12
OK, well, the Bromothymol Blue seems kind of pricey. I will stick to the strips for now. I have several left. Maybe you can update your parts links?
 

Parabolic

In The Industry
Apr 15, 2018
87
Newport/California
#13
I have a couple of questions about the chemicals needed for the borate test described in post #135

How many number of Borate tests could the Mannitol and Bromothymol Blue (BTB) that are linked, and sold by Amazon, preform?

And what is the shelf life for these two chemicals?

I plan to add boric acid to possibly quite a few pools this spring and early summer and was just wondering how many tests I could possibly get of of these chemicals?

Also in what way would taking a test sample of water for testing later that day affect the test? I normally do all my water testing at the pool but for this test it might be easier and more efficient to take a water sample home.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,693
Tucson, AZ
#14
I have a couple of questions about the chemicals needed for the borate test described in post #135

How many number of Borate tests could the Mannitol and Bromothymol Blue (BTB) that are linked, and sold by Amazon, preform?

And what is the shelf life for these two chemicals?

I plan to add boric acid to possibly quite a few pools this spring and early summer and was just wondering how many tests I could possibly get of of these chemicals?

Also in what way would taking a test sample of water for testing later that day affect the test? I normally do all my water testing at the pool but for this test it might be easier and more efficient to take a water sample home.
Don’t know the exact number but it’s A LOT. I’ve probably performed the test a dozen or so times now and all my reagents are still quite full. The shelf life is pretty high for all of them (I’d say a minimum of 2 years) as they are all fairly stable compounds.

Waiting isn’t an issue. Unlike FC or pH, borates don’t change concentration on their own.

You could also look into Hach for a more exact field tester (colorimeter) but it might require sample dilution since a lot of the automated tests only go up to 2-5ppm. However, if you do plan to do the test a lot, then the investment might be worth it.
 

Parabolic

In The Industry
Apr 15, 2018
87
Newport/California
#15
Don’t know the exact number but it’s A LOT. I’ve probably performed the test a dozen or so times now and all my reagents are still quite full. The shelf life is pretty high for all of them (I’d say a minimum of 2 years) as they are all fairly stable compounds.

Waiting isn’t an issue. Unlike FC or pH, borates don’t change concentration on their own.

You could also look into Hach for a more exact field tester (colorimeter) but it might require sample dilution since a lot of the automated tests only go up to 2-5ppm. However, if you do plan to do the test a lot, then the investment might be worth it.
Thank you for the your reply. I did not know that Hach has a test probe for Borates. I will look into that, as I have the meter that accepts different probes, but don't remember seeing one for Borates.

By summer if I feel all is going good as I introduce borates starting next couple of week, I might have as many as 40 pools with borates. And I'd be testing initially a few time for each pool and comparing to strips till I feel comfortable with the results.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,693
Tucson, AZ
#16
Thank you for the your reply. I did not know that Hach has a test probe for Borates. I will look into that, as I have the meter that accepts different probes, but don't remember seeing one for Borates.

By summer if I feel all is going good as I introduce borates starting next couple of week, I might have as many as 40 pools with borates. And I'd be testing initially a few time for each pool and comparing to strips till I feel comfortable with the results.
Strips are very subjective with wide ranges and poor color discrimination. They’ll give you a ballpark estimate at best.

Once borates are established in a pool, only water exchange lowers them. So testing frequency can be as allow as once a month or twice per season depending on rainfall and water loss.
 

Parabolic

In The Industry
Apr 15, 2018
87
Newport/California
#17
I just picked Hach strips and see the color change of the indicators is very minimal. I hate test strips for that reason. Having a Speedstir allows me to use the Taylor kits out in the field. But I will get the extra chems mentioned in post 135 and go that route.
Strips are very subjective with wide ranges and poor color discrimination. They’ll give you a ballpark estimate at best.

Once borates are established in a pool, only water exchange lowers them. So testing frequency can be as allow as once a month or twice per season depending on rainfall and water loss.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,693
Tucson, AZ
#18
Taylor makes a wonderfully expensive digital colorimeter for testing all sorts of chemical levels. It's designed to both work in the field and in the lab. They do have reagents for boron testing. However, the colorimeter will set you back a few thousand dollars and then each reagent pack for various chemicals runs in the $30-$100 range...

And sorry, it wasn't Hach, it was Hanna Instruments....I get my H's confused -

Boron Test Kit for Irrigation Water - HI38074 - Hanna Instruments
 

Parabolic

In The Industry
Apr 15, 2018
87
Newport/California
#19
Taylor makes a wonderfully expensive digital colorimeter for testing all sorts of chemical levels. It's designed to both work in the field and in the lab. They do have reagents for boron testing. However, the colorimeter will set you back a few thousand dollars and then each reagent pack for various chemicals runs in the $30-$100 range...

And sorry, it wasn't Hach, it was Hanna Instruments....I get my H's confused -

Boron Test Kit for Irrigation Water - HI38074 - Hanna Instruments
Thanks. I will search here for threads on that test kit for reviews. Have your heard anything on this test kit?
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,693
Tucson, AZ
#20
Thanks. I will search here for threads on that test kit for reviews. Have your heard anything on this test kit?
No I have not. It’s meant for irrigation water applications (as boron is a micronutrient that is missing from most soils). I don’t know how well it would work in testing pool water.