Borates

Nate1975

Well-known member
Jun 7, 2015
123
Wamego/KS
#1
What is the consensus on this site regarding adding borates? Is it something to consider and what benefits would it provide?


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pooldv

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
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LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
24,993
DFW, TX
#4
I like borates for water feel and help with slowing pH rise. Our pH tends to rise quite a bit. And it seems like there are less bugs. Richard's link gives good info.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,647
Tucson, AZ
#5
This isn't really a "popularity contest" type question - you shouldn't add borates just because everyone else does. There are specific reasons to add it if you'd like to, but it is not necessary. The biggest impact borates will have is on pH and acid demand. If your pH is stable and your acid use is to your liking, then there's really no reason to add them other than subjective reasons. I will say this though, if you have a salt-water chlorine generator, borates can have a HUGE impact on cell scaling. Because borates cut down on pH rise inside the cell by almost half, one can expect to have a lot less scaling problems inside the cell and it reduces the need to clean the cell frequently.
 

pooldv

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Aug 10, 2012
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DFW, TX
#6
Very interesting. I haven't needed to clean my SWG cell ever and we are starting our 6th swim season with it. I attributed it to maintaining my CSI closely between -0.3 and 0 to prevent scale in my pool. Sounds like the borates are also helping my cause.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,647
Tucson, AZ
#7
Very interesting. I haven't needed to clean my SWG cell ever and we are starting our 6th swim season with it. I attributed it to maintaining my CSI closely between -0.3 and 0 to prevent scale in my pool. Sounds like the borates are all also helping my cause.
Borates in salt water have a pKa of ~9.0 (9.2 for pure water) and so when the cell is generating, there is huge amount of H2 gas liberated which causes the pH to rise. The presence of a strong buffer like borates will limit that pH rise to the low to mid- 9's where, without borates, the pH inside the cell can easily exceed 10. This is why, even with balanced water in the bulk of the pool, you can still get scaling inside of the salt cell as the pH skyrockets and carbonates are no longer stable in solution. Periodic current reversal form the cell's power supply helps to keep scale formation to a minimum as does low CSI water, BUT nothing helps more than limiting pH rise through chemical processes. Since borates will not form any solid calcium compounds at normal pH levels (even those higher levels inside the cell), the borate buffering is very effective.
 
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Nate1975

Well-known member
Jun 7, 2015
123
Wamego/KS
#8
I read that adding borates helps with keeping pH stable. That is why I started researching. I was having to add acid at least weekly...sometimes more last swim season. Then started seeing there could be other benefits. Thought I would come here for some opinions.


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