# Borates - how to manage the pool in winter

So I been reading a about borates and speculating whether I should use or not. I also have a few questions.

1. Based on what I read, I think the cost of MA won't change much since you will eventually use it to lower PH in higher doses. Using borates will only help to adjust in big doses instead of many smaller ones over the season. Is this assumption correct.

2. Based on the numbers on pool math, in order to have a favorable CSI during winter, the PH (and TA) needs to be high.
If these numbers don't go up gradually over the end of summer, how do you get these high. For reference these are my numbers

PH = 7.6
TA=110 ( I been trying to reduce it, but I also prefer to keep my pool cover closed)
CH = 325
Temp = 81 F
CYA = 40 (its working fine since I have a pool cover and pool usage is mostly towards the evening)
FC=4
SALT = 3400 ( from taylor drop test kit)
Borates =0 ( not tested, but I never added them)

If I reduce my TA to 60, I have to maintain PH at 7.7 to 7.8 for CSI to be between -0.3 to 0
But during winter, water temperature drops to 55 to 60F, which means my TA has to go up to atleast 80 to maintain a favorable CSI. There is not much of wiggle room to adjust the PH. Enlighten me if I am not looking at this properly. I do not want to end up in a situation where the CSI moves below -0.3 without much wiggle room to adjust.

How can I adjust the TA come winter ?

#### Texas Splash

TFP Expert
"204", you have a good basic understanding of the concept. For pools like ours that remain open in the colder months, it's generally best to let the TA and pH rise a bit as the colder water impacts CSI. If you find during in the Oct-Mar time frame that the pH and TA are simply stuck while water temp continues to drop, you do have the option of increasing one or both of those levels as needed (i.e. borax, baking soda, soda ash, or aerate). But also remember that our chilly water is usually short-lived and a low CSi usually takes a few months to really do any damage. So I wouldn't get too wrapped-up in the CSI numbers game. When my water temps drop (50 - 75 degrees) I tend to focus on the pH more than anything and let it ride high. If my pH seems stuck at say 7.6 and my TA is on the lower end (50-60) with really cold water, I might add some baking soda to increase the TA which should allow the pH to rise. If it still needs help, I might aerate or add some borax to get me through the coldest months.

thanks for the details. i'll probably hold off adding borates for now.
with a pool cover, getting TA down might take a really long time. i am not sure how much value addition borates would add in my case ( though i am curious about the water being silky with more sparkle)

Last edited:

#### DeanP66

##### Well-known member
The biggest value of adding borates may be that it will help mitigate your salt cell from scaling.

mgtfp

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