New borate drop test at piscines-apollo vs. test strip

chem geek

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Mar 28, 2007
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San Rafael, CA USA
Matt said he tried using the R-0007 first to neutralize the chlorine but he still couldn't get the blue color during the initial steps before any mannitol powder is added. So that's still a mystery as to why that is occurring. He could try testing tap water to see if there is any difference and I suppose could try using more R-0007 initially. That initial yellow to blue should only be moving the pH to have the indicator dye change color. It's behaving as if the R-0009 was way too strong or that there was something wrong with the S-0009 indicator dye.

Anyway, I'm glad the test worked for you.
 

steinholder

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2012
81
Wichita, KS
@CaOCl2 Thanks so much for the quick response after my delivery concerns. Considering the challenges from your server and the holidays involved, shipping could be considered pretty quick, actually. Got it yesterday. :goodjob:


CaOCl2 said:
That's because the Canada Post gateway is still hitting the firewall. Tech support says it'll be fixed "soon".
 

CaOCl2

LifeTime Supporter
May 23, 2007
326
Montreal Canada
Diver said:
it seems that site is still not working..
Arrrgh! I know! Sorry about that, although the files were successfully moved to the new server, I'm now seeing problems with the SQL databases. I've tried contacting the web hosting company many times in the past day or so. No reply.

It's been a total nightmare. I won't bore you with the details.

Anyone know of a reliable web host? I want to get this resolved today, either with the actual host or a new host.

Thanks,
 

HofstraJet

Well-known member
I must be doing something wrong as I cannot get the initial sample yellow.

I measure 44 mL in the pH block and transfer to SpeedStir tube.
Add 2 drops R-0007.
Add 5 drops R-0009.
Add 5 drops S-0009.

At this point, the sample is a faint blue/green - not yellow. The reagent is deep blue/green. How is the sample supposed to be yellow?
I can continue and add R-0010, get to a deep blue and continue with the rest of the test steps and get the expected result. However, I can't get the initial yellow. Don't know if that is an issue, but wanted to point it out. Here are today's numbers:

FC: 6.5
CC: 0
TC: 6.5
pH: 7.8
TA: 80
CH: 400
CYA: 50
Borates: 49.5

Thanks!
 

Diver

Well-known member
May 5, 2011
456
South of Boston
i got my test today and tested my water. it appears that de-chlorinization (spl?) is a must. my FC is 5ppm with CYA about 30-40ppm and i couldn't get any results for borate test first. the mix would not turn any blue on the last drop test part. with 2 drops of R-0007 before test the results were very distinct right away.
 

bibeaud

Well-known member
Aug 14, 2011
73
P'Burg NJ
HofstraJet said:
I must be doing something wrong as I cannot get the initial sample yellow.

I measure 44 mL in the pH block and transfer to SpeedStir tube.
Add 2 drops R-0007.
Add 5 drops R-0009.
Add 5 drops S-0009.
I just received these reagents in the mail yesterday
I performed the test with 2 drops of R-0007 to start (same as above). My free Cl is 12.0 measured with DPD powder. CC is 0.5.

The yellow after adding S-0009 is very faint. I saw it holding 9198 tube over paper. I added 3 more drops of S-0009 trying to get more yellow. The R-0010 turns the solution blue. I measured 9 for free borates. I will add a little more today and test later this week.
By the way, PH is 7.6, ALK is 80, CH is 230, Temp is in 70s after the rain, CYA is 45.
 

Suley

LifeTime Supporter
May 31, 2011
228
Los Angeles, CA
Any opinions on this? I have a K2006, so I already have everything I need (except the borate kit itself). I like the idea of drops/colour changes vs. a strip, but am open to your opinions.

Would I be better off just getting the LaMotte strips? Speaking of strips, I can also get borate test strips from Hach. Anyone advise which strip is better/easier to work with?

Thanks.

The kit

http://piscines-apollo.com/cubecart/ind ... p_129.html

Instructions

http://piscines-apollo.com/docs/ap_borates_en_ins.pdf
I think they stopped selling the kit. or are they out of stock?
 

chem geek

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Mar 28, 2007
12,083
San Rafael, CA USA
See the previous post before yours. It just is no longer shipped to the U.S. due to costs associated with special registration required for transport of the chemicals across the border.
 

y_not

Well-known member
Jul 24, 2012
1,086
Redmond, OR
Richard,

Since this kit is no longer available, would this be an option?
http://www.taylortechnologies.com/product_fliers/Taylor-Boron-Test-Kit.pdf
I see it's A LOT more involved and doesn't go as high in PPM. However, could we simply use some of the replacement re-agents to build one like the Apollo version spoken of in this thread?

Upon further digging, I see in this thread: http://www.troublefreepool.com/threads/52446-Obtaining-Borate-drop-test-reagents
That the "more precise" kit cannot be used... I'm assuming that's the one that I found and linked above?

How about sourcing our own mannitol powder + bromothymol blue dye?
Would these work, or does it have to be a particular dilution?
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008R537YG/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=I1S4HJMDH4HB&coliid=I1YD94PUHQNYO9
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009S0FP6M/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=I1S4HJMDH4HB&coliid=I1TK4T5ZOU7IE6
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
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San Rafael, CA USA
The Taylor kit uses the following reagents:

R-0953 carboxlyic and inorganic acids
R-0954 alcoholic organic dye solution
R-0955 inorganic alkali solution
R-0956 inorganic salt
R-0957 inorganic acid solution
R-0958 D-Mannitol
R-0959 sodium hydroxide
R-0960 sodium hydroxide

The Taylor kit does seem to be similar to the Piscines-Apollo test (though the indicator dye might be slightly different) but more complicated with more steps, possibly to remove contaminants and for finer accuracy.

I think that you can use the chemicals in the Amazon links and they should work. The indicator dye might be too strong but you can always use fewer drops if that is the case -- try it and see. The amount of dye is not critical -- it needs to be enough to show a visible result (it's just a pH indicator dye). As for the mannitol, it's amount is not critical either as it just needs to be enough to bind with the borates. So you should be able to follow the procedure in the test which uses a 44 ml sample size where 1 drop of titrating reagent is 4.5 ppm boron. If you instead use a 25 ml sample size, then each drop is 7.9 ppm boron.

  1. Collect a sample (44 ml for 4.5 ppm/drop or 25 ml for 7.9 ppm/drop or 50 ml for 4.0 ppm/drop)
  2. Add 5 drops of Taylor R-0009 (sulfuric acid; part of TA test) [EDIT] or whatever is needed to get to a yellow color in the subsequent step [END-EDIT]
  3. Add 5 drops (maybe less) of Bromotyhmol Blue pH indicator dye; sample should turn a yellow color; if not, add more dye until a yellow color is shown
  4. Add Taylor R-0010 drop wise mixing with each drop until the sample just turns a blue color (sodium hydroxide; calcium buffer part of CH test)
  5. Add 1 level spoon (1/8th teaspoon) of Mannitol powder; the sample will turn yellow if boron is present; NOTE: For the 44 and 50 ml sample or when expecting borate levels higher than 50 ppm, use 1/4 teaspoon of Mannitol (see this post for why).
  6. Add Taylor R-0010 drop wise with mixing until the sample just turns blue; record the number of drops in this step
  7. Multiply the number of drops by 4.5 for a 44 ml sample or by 7.9 for a 25 ml sample or by 4.0 for a 50 ml sample to get ppm Boron
 

mr_gunite

Well-known member
Jun 23, 2014
66
New, England
Does chem geek's post #53 exist as a sticky anywhere on this forum? If not, could it please be made into one or added as a reference inside the first post of the "So you want to add borates" thread?
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,885
Tucson, AZ
I ordered my mannitol and bromothymol blue indicator. Can't wait to test out the drop-based borate test.


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JoyfulNoise

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May 23, 2015
15,885
Tucson, AZ
Hello All,

So my chemicals arrived last week for doing the titration drop test for boron. Here's what happened -

Water Chemistry Test (Taylor K-2006) -

FC = 5.8ppm
CC < 0.2ppm
pH = 7.6
TA = 60ppm
CH = 750ppm (ugh, this jumped up a lot from the winter time :( )
Salt = 4000ppm
Temp = 88F

Test #1 :

So I first followed the procedure without first dechlorinating the 25mL sample. This was a total failure. I added the R-0009 (sulfuric acid) and then the bromothymol blue (BTB from now on) indicator and I could barely get a visible color. I even tried adding a few extra drops of the BTB indicator and I barely got yellow. I then added A LOT of the R-0010 Ca buffer and thought I got some hint of blue. Then I added the mannitol powder and there really was nothing there. So I stopped the test at that point.

Test # 2:

Added 2 drops of the R-0007 sodium thiosulfate drops to dechlorinate a 25mL water sample. Added 5 drops of R-0009 acid and then 6 drops of the BTB indicator (see note below on the difficulty of using the indicator dropper bottle). Obtained a solid yellow color. Added 2 drops of R-0010 (only needed 1) to go from yellow to blue. The second drop was accidental but I continued the test. I then added the Mannitol powder and the sample turned yellow again. Finally added R-0010 dropwise and got a count of 6.

Test #3 :

Repeat Test #2 above but only added 1 drop of R-0010 for the first yellow to blue transition. Results were then 7 drops to complete test and go from yellow to blue.

[EDIT]

I used the wrong factor in my original results. I used a 25mL sample size therefore the correct factor is 7.9ppm/drop.

Borate level result -
Test #2 :
Borate level result - 6 drops X 7.9ppm/drop = 47.4ppm

Test#3:
Borate level result - 7 drops X 7.9ppm/drop = 55.3ppm

[END-EDIT]

Summary -

I definitely needed to dechlorinate the sample in order to get the test to work as described. I don't know if the R-0007 is the best approach or if using a drop of peroxide would be better so that could be a future test. The results of Test #2 and #3 are reasonable as I added borates last summer using boric acid powder based on PoolMath results and I have had several good water exchanges between then and now (at least two full filter cleanings and a 3" drop in water level from an expected storm that never materialized as well as a few minimal drains from winter rains). [EDIT] So getting those results of is definitely in the ball park of reasonable. [END-EDIT]

This is just a personal observation but I found the BTB indicator solution I bought on Amazon to be very difficult to work with. The bottle is huge (60mL) and it is very difficult to squeeze out a single drop. I had to be very ginger in my handling of the bottle and make sure that I squeezed out drops very slowly to get it right. I also noted that I got better color if I used 6 or 7 drops as opposed to 5 drops. Since it's just an indicator dye, the number of drops used should not have an effect on the transition point, just the color intensity. The BTB indicator solution is very watery as opposed to some of the other dyes we use so squeezing a single droplet is very tricky. Perhaps a commercial formulation for a product would use a more concentrated BTB solution or an additive to help increase the viscosity of the indicator solution to make droplet formation easier.
 

chem geek

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Mar 28, 2007
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San Rafael, CA USA
Thanks for doing the test. I've never dechlorinated, but I have noticed the color to be weak at times so now thanks to you I know how I can improve the test. I have the indicator dye from Piscines-Apollo though it may not be any good anymore, but it is thicker and deeply rich in color so probably better than the one from Amazon. Using more drops of indicator dye should not be a problem.
 

JoyfulNoise

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Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,885
Tucson, AZ
Thanks for doing the test. I've never dechlorinated, but I have noticed the color to be weak at times so now thanks to you I know how I can improve the test. I have the indicator dye from Piscines-Apollo though it may not be any good anymore, but it is thicker and deeply rich in color so probably better than the one from Amazon. Using more drops of indicator dye should not be a problem.
You're welcome but many thanks goes to you for developing this alternative route. I will now order more boric acid from Duda Energy (I'll just get the 55lbs pail of granular BA) and bump up my borate level back to 50ppm. Since I can now use a better test than the LaMotte strips, I can experiment a few more times and see if adding the peroxide gives different results (tests will be first with R-0007 then with a drop of peroxide). I'll also plan to add more BTB dye as I think that will improve the test colors (at least for my aging eyes ;) ).

Just an aside, but I have an old PoolMaster 5-Way test kit and the TA test in it uses bromothymol blue indicator (at least that's what I believe it to be as it is a blue to yellow transition and uses the HCl acid demand test drops to neutralize the alkalinity). That indicator dye is definitely darker blue (more concentrated perhaps?) than the stuff I ordered from Amazon and I remember it also was very tricky to get full formed droplets from it. Perhaps there's a better choice of indicator dye for the test? No matter, I suppose, the indicator drop count is not critical...
 

jaduck

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2013
422
Arab, Alabama
Joyful noise - I noticed you used a 25 ml sample size and multiplied your result by 4.5 instead of 7.9. Am I missing something or did you intend to multiply by 4.5? Thanks...
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,885
Tucson, AZ
Joyful noise - I noticed you used a 25 ml sample size and multiplied your result by 4.5 instead of 7.9. Am I missing something or did you intend to multiply by 4.5? Thanks...
WOW! You are so right. Thanks for the catch. I'll retest again one more time and use the correct multiplier and edit my post.


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