Borates addition calculation spreadsheet


Active member
Sep 18, 2016
Tampa, FL
I read the add borates section and created an (extremely ugly) spreadsheet (xls and xlsx files available)View attachment Borates to simplify the decision on which way to go (easy with poolproof) or still easy with the TFP system (20 mule borax and muriatic acid).

All you need to do is add the gallons of your pool in the green cell.

Please note:
Costs are "hard coded" as per small print.
This works for a chlorine pool
It simply uses the calculation included in pool school

Any comment/feedback is welcome and I will be happy to update the file! My small contribution to a great forum!!

View attachment Borates


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
Tucson, AZ
Your spreadsheet could be improved by comparing the costs of adding borates to a pool either by using the borax/MA method OR by using boric acid. Boric acid can be obtained form several sources but the best one by far in terms of price is from Duda Diesel. They can ship boric acid in 55lb containers for less than $80 total (usually).

If one wants to add borates, it is almost always easier to use boric acid rather than 20 Mule Team Borax. Borax acts like a strong base and raises the pH very quickly which is why you need muriatic acid to compensate. This often leads to pool water cloudiness as the borax can induce localized scaling of calcium. The borax method typically requires the pool owner to add the borates in batches to avoid high pH and scaling. The borax/MA method also causes wild swings in pH (low pH when you add the MA then high pH when you add the borax) which is a lot harder on the pool surfaces and equipment.

Boric acid, on the contrary, is a weak acid. You can pretty much add an entire quantity of boric acid needed to raise the borate level to 50ppm all in one batch with only a small decrease in pH, typically around 0.3-0.4 units. That makes boric acid much, much easier to handle and work with.

Most people will find the boric acid method so much easier to implement that they'll pay more for boric acid simply to avoid the hassle of the borax/MA method. When I borated my pool several years ago, the difference in cost between the two methods was about $10 with the boric acid being the more expensive route. It was easily worth the additional $10 to not have to deal with premixing 13 boxes of borax in 5 gallon pails and adding 3+ gallons of MA. My pH dropped by a total of 0.3 units (which is fine by me since my pH is typically up at 7.6-7.8) and the entire process took less than 45mins to complete.