LaMotte Borate Strips showing 25ppm

IPvFletch

Well-known member
Feb 25, 2008
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39
Dripping Springs, TX
#1
I'm not sure I can believe this, but everyone seems to indicate the LaMotte test is quite accurate...

In any event, the kit showed up the other day and I tested it out - It shows 25ppm roughly.. I'm really surprised, as I have "done the borates thing" yet and I'm already half way there!!?!?!?!?

Can this be??

I did put a couple of cups of Borax in when I needed to increase my pH one day - my pool is not even 2 months old though, so how could I have built up Borate levels so quickly?!?!??!

In any event, I'm still planning to "do the borates thing" but I guess I don't need 14 boxes (or as much acid) like I thought, so that is nice.. :)
 

chem geek

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TFP Expert
Mar 28, 2007
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2
San Rafael, CA USA
#2
From an earlier post, your pool is around 9500 gallons. The 2 cups of 20 Mule Team Borax would only raise the Borates level by 1.5 ppm (as ppm Boron which is how it's measured) so not even measurable. There shouldn't be any Borates in the fill water, but for the heck of it you might as well test the fill water to see what it registers -- if it registers Borates, then either the test strip is wrong or you've got Borates in your fill water which would be very strange indeed.

Richard
 

IPvFletch

Well-known member
Feb 25, 2008
79
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39
Dripping Springs, TX
#3
OK, well, I did another this morning with my tap water...

I got what I viewed as the same result more or less.. Maybe not quite, but close. It looked like 15 or so..

So as I was comparing it to the tube I noticed inside the tube, all of the unused strips were the same color.

So now I am realizing that the color is NOT changing really.

So I think in fact both readings should have read 0ppm, but I am perhaps misreading it somehow - these little things are hard to read!!! :)

The 0ppm looks REALLY dark, though, and all of the strips are lighter and didn't get darker like 0ppm, but they are NOT changing for sure, so I guess that does mean 0ppm.

You tell me...

I suppose the entire tube of test strips could have been hosed, like if it got moisture inside, but I doubt it - maybe the color chart is just off from what the actual results are, because when it doesn't change, and if that is 0ppm, it is far from dark maroon, it is more like a lighter reddish pinkish... *shrug*
 

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JCJR

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May 4, 2007
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Miami
www.simpsonizeme.com
#4
I would get a gallon of water and add 20 mule to get it to 50ppm and test with the strips.

I'm sorry but I do not have the calculations to get 50ppm in 1 gal of water, but I'm sure someone will come along.
 
G
#5
are you reading the strips in sunlight or indoors? they are not accurate in artifical light Also, have someone else confirm your reading. The Lamotte borate strips ARE the easiest to read. IF you don't beleive it then get the Proteam or AquaChek ones and see!
 

JasonLion

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May 7, 2007
37,879
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Silver Spring, MD
#6
That would be tricky. I would be on the order of 0.29 oz, or 83 grams, in 5 gallons of water to get 50 ppm. The measurement inaccuracies would be significant unless you have a scale that can measure in grams. Still the number doesn't need to be perfect for this test.
 

IPvFletch

Well-known member
Feb 25, 2008
79
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39
Dripping Springs, TX
#7
I went out in the sunlight and it still looks like 25ppm or so. It is not changing, and the unused strips look like 25 ppm..

Maybe it is not changing because of the lack of borates altogether??

So I just filled up a pitcher of water and tossed in a couple of tablespoons of borax.. It shows about 100ppm, off the chart.. SO, the strips DEFINITELY work -- even the old used strip I had from this morning worked after I put it into this pitcher...

So I think what is happening is it is just SO LOW, that it is not being activated -- WHICH MAKES SENSE THIS IS A BRAND NEW POOL WITH NO BORAX (YET) IN IT!!

So now I am going to put in the borax.. Only have one problem, though... My TA is already 130ppm, and if I toss in the 600oz of Borax I need to get borates to 50ppm, then my TA will be through the roof (130 + 120)... EEK!! And I need to throw in 290oz (2.2 gallons) of Muriatic Acid to counter the pH rise..

So what do I do about my TA? Will the acid neutralize the Borax and prevent my TA from rising? Or should I drop my TA to, say 0ppm, and then do this?? (How do I drop my TA to 0, lower the pH for a few days?) I JUST PUT IN THE BAKING SODA TO GET MY TA TO 100ppm!! DOH!!
 

JCJR

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May 4, 2007
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Miami
www.simpsonizeme.com
#9
I did the Borate thing as well and I have no clue wether or not is is beneficial for my pool. I did not have a benchmark. I think if I waited 1 full season before adding the borates then I would know my pool better and can make a better judgement if it really helped me out.

Some one replied in a thread that the borate experiment should be left for the advance pool owner. I agree one should wait until they have more experience before attempting to add borates.

My two cents.