Borates - I've got TFPicitus!

setsailsoon

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OK,

My wife coined that word. It happens when you can't stand to use strips for anything even borates when you say "there's no other way to test it". I way over-dosed when I originally and used a test strip that barely registered so I just went by the Pool Math calculation but this has bothered me ever since. Now it got so bad that my TFPicitus has started flaring up every day... I won't tell you what the symptoms look like. It's horrible! My salt was reduced almost 30% just this year due to the massive rains. My borate test strips looked the same as they did at 60. Every time I ran the strip test my symptoms got worse! I finally had to be honest with myself and come clean. I knew there was a better way that @JoyfulNoise wrote about years ago using some modified TF100 test with a few additional reagents. So, dug it up and voila!

1606607391491.png

1606608245948.png

For some reason I always thought this would be complicated, hard, and not worth it. Boy was I wrong! This test is easy peasy just a step or two extra. But now I know I have 12 ppm. I feel like my TFPicitus is getting better now. The symptoms were completely gone when the straw yellow sample changed to baby blue. Yes 3 drops, 12 ppm. The symptoms went away as I put the reagents up. I'm symptom free as I type this!

If you have borates and haven't tried Matt's test you should. It's very easy and the extra's are available cheap on Amazon. Matt's instructions and links to supplies are here, post #135. Matt, thanks so much for this. I can't wait to add more boric acid tomorrow and then run the test again to see it confirm!

Chris

PS my wife is shaking here head
 

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MyAZPool

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OK,

My wife coined that word. It happens when you can't stand to use strips for anything even borates when you say "there's no other way to test it". I way over-dosed when I originally and used a test strip that barely registered so I just went by the Pool Math calculation but this has bothered me ever since. Now it got so bad that my TFPicitus has started flaring up every day... I won't tell you what the symptoms look like. It's horrible! My salt was reduced almost 30% just this year due to the massive rains. My borate test strips looked the same as they did at 60. Every time I ran the strip test my symptoms got worse! I finally had to be honest with myself and come clean. I knew there was a better way that @JoyfulNoise wrote about years ago using some modified TF100 test with a few additional reagents. So, dug it up and voila!

View attachment 169722

View attachment 169725

For some reason I always thought this would be complicated, hard, and not worth it. Boy was I wrong! This test is easy peasy just a step or two extra. But now I know I have 12 ppm. I feel like my TFPicitus is getting better now. The symptoms were completely gone when the straw yellow sample changed to baby blue. Yes 3 drops, 12 ppm. The symptoms went away as I put the reagents up. I'm symptom free as I type this!

If you have borates and haven't tried Matt's test you should. It's very easy and the extra's are available cheap on Amazon. Matt's instructions and links to supplies are here. Matt, thanks so much for this. I can't wait to add more boric acid tomorrow and then run the test again to see it confirm!

Chris

PS my wife is shaking here head
Hey Chris.
Good write-up. Thanks.
I have @JoyfulNoise thread bookmarked, I have read it a couple of times and its great. And I have even went so far as to put the items in my Amazon "Pool Shopping List". And yet I still haven't gotten around to it :hammer: . Something just always comes up.
I too, just keep getting the same number with the strips but thank god, the strips are almost gone and that will be my motivation to move on to this much better method of BA testing!
r.
 
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JoyfulNoise

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It’s not really “Matt’s Test” ... I simply put together some supply lists and did some experiments with the help of @chem geek . The original version of this test came from a small pool store in Canada that sold its own version of pool test kits (kind of like a TFTestKits of the great white North). That shop also had a borate test. It went out of business sadly. Obviously for anyone that has studied quantitative chemistry, these chemical tests procedures are as old as dirt (first described back in the days before light bulbs and computers). It’s really a matter of figuring out how to implement these tests without needing a full wet chemistry lab. You can quantitatively determine almost any aqueous ionic species there is, it’s just a matter of figuring out how to do it at your kitchen table ....

My day was spent making a wonderful pot roast dinner for the family as food chemistry is my other great passion ... probably explains my ever-expanding belt size 🧐

89A8D8E8-EDF7-44EC-BCC6-9A4BE0794E6A.jpeg
 

MyAZPool

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Looks delicious. I can't look at that picture on an empty stomach. Off to the kitchen I must go :p
 
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setsailsoon

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Interesting history Matt. Sounds like you definitely had a part in it though. So thanks to you, Chemgeek, and the Canada pool store that's not there anymore. This is really a great adder to the TF100. Roast looks pretty good too. Too bad you can't make that with a drop test too!

Chris
 
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mgtfp

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I can confirm, this test is so worth it, and very easy. And good fun to do, actually.

Just a few extra ingredients, Mannitol from eBay, and pH indicator from a well-known Aussie hardware store (in the ponds supply section), the rest is Clear Choice Labs standard reagents. I scaled the test to a 40ml water sample which fits the otherwise unused test tube that came with my smart stir, and gives a resolution of 5ppm per drop.

Thanks to all who made the effort of putting this test together, fine-tuning it and writing up easy to follow instructions. And the Aussies that contributed to it with researching local supply options.
 

setsailsoon

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OK, I added 10 lb boric acid and should have increased my borate level to 28 ppm according to Pool Math. Actual test was 36 ppm. Pool Math predictions are always spot on for my pool so I'm guessing this is operator error. Only my second time to do this test. And waaaaaay better than my old test strips!

Still waiting for that drop test method to create a delicious roast Matt!
 
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JoyfulNoise

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So the hardest part about the test is knowing when to stop titrating. The drops included in these kits are somewhat course because they are concentrated more than what one would want to use. So it’s easy to not get the blue color you initially want and then titrate back up to that very same shade of blue. Therefore the error in the test is going to be easily 1 to 2 drops.

I think your results fall into the “good enough” category. In reality, it takes a dose of borates way higher than what is recommended here to make the water even remotely harmful to people or pets. So being off by 10ppm or so is really no big deal.
 
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