New pool-salt system-natural products-baking soda-borax

cvinsant

New member
Aug 12, 2020
3
Arizona
I’m new to the forum. Just found it and haven’t gotten to browse the site much yet.

We are in AZ. Our salt water pool is being built and will be finished possibly as early as next week.

I would like to keep our pool as “natural and healthy” as possible and found a few things on the Internet that suggested using things like baking soda and borax to adjust the system if it gets out of whack. I just wanted to be prepared Incase of an issue. I found there were alternative mineral systems and products that can be used in addition to a salt system such as Nature 2 or Eclipse 3, products by Natural Chemistry, etc. I read that you can add chlorine weekly to a salt pool to help out the system to keep up, especially in AZ where the heat apparently contributes hugely to algae growth. Also, wanted advise on “shocking”. It is my understanding that this should be added after a party, storm, etc. is there a more natural shock product or is shock just chlorine?

Been reading and haven’t talked to the pool guy yet, just thought I would drop a message here first.

Can someone point me in the right direction where you might have some information on this on this site or just provide some insight for me?
 

cowboycasey

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 3, 2013
4,593
Fletcher, OK
Welcome to TFP, you found a great place before you get pool stored :)

Run away from all those products, they are snake oil and using those words to suck people in.... once someone buys all there expensive products that do not work they blame it on the person buying it saying " you must have done something wrong, drain your pool and start over"

All safe pools are chlorine pools and a salt water chlorine generator is the best and easiest at creating chlorine.. It is exactly what Clorox uses to make bleach just smaller and installed in your pool :)

here is some great reading and you will will not get pool stored, ever...... (y)

 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
47,415
Tallahassee, FL
Here are some links to help you learn our pool language:

What we use in our pools. Do not go out and buy it all. Only buy what you need at the moment:

Me? I use liquid chlorine and muraitic acid the most. I have used baking soda one time so still have a big bag full of it.

Kim :kim:
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
1,907
Prosper, TX (DFW)
"Natural and healthy" is relative, but you have a good start with choosing a salt water pool. Baking soda and borax are promoted on this site, and many of the chemicals/potions found in pool stores are discouraged.

You also commented on "mineral" systems. Those all have good marketing departments, but in actuality the minerals they add are really metals like copper and silver which can build up in your pool and cause staining, turn your hair green, etc. Not exactly "natural and healthy".

As others have said, welcome, read up and post up your questions.
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
12,696
Houston, Texas
I also say avoid mineral systems. They can build up metals in the water and cause stains in the pool and in the case of copper, cause light colored hair to turn green. Chlorine is very safe and the most effective treatment to kill bacteria and pathogens in the water. Algae will not grow in a properly chlorinated pool.
 

cvinsant

New member
Aug 12, 2020
3
Arizona
Thank you all for your replies. I was trying to avoid the extra chemicals and potions mentioned by JJ_Tex. I will take your advice and stay away from the mineral systems as well. I need to do some more reading and will update my signature when I get a sec.
 

cvinsant

New member
Aug 12, 2020
3
Arizona
Been reading a bunch tonight, so new to this!

It seems there just isn’t a way to get a chemical free pool...I was looking for a way to take care of issues should they arise, because I’m so skin sensitive to everything. Please don’t laugh, I had concerns about bleach, muratic acid, cyuranic acid, etc, they all sound so scary and harmful. Cancer causing over time? But then again doesn’t everything we eat, drink, breathe, etc have risks anymore?

It looks like the best thing to do is just go with the usual culprits, watch the chlorine daily, clean, clean, clean the pool, the filters, etc, and hopefully I won’t run into algae or any issues anytime soon. Test with a quality test kit and not test strips. The recommended TF 100 and Speedstir.

Can I add supplemental liquid chlorine often if it looks like the FC level and SWG isn’t keeping up? No harm in doing that? Straight up Clorox bleach rather than their pool care line of products (I saw another topic here discouraging the use of those products), again with possible additives and copper which could stain the pool, etc. I do have concerns about our 115 degree days just using up that SWG chlorine and ending up with an issue. I read you can add 1/2 gallon per 10000 gallon pool to increase the chlorine levels by 5 PPM. Is there a harmful level not to exceed (PPM)? Can I add at night and run the pool so it’s ready for the next day attack of the sun?

Is there a general chart on this site somewhere for what to add and how much to add if the readings are off?

Thanks again.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
47,415
Tallahassee, FL
I know that all of the "acids" sound scary. I so understand where you are coming from. Muraiatic acid is not something to be taken lightly. Use safety glasses and take your time and you will be fine with it. The CYA is really no big deal. I put mine in a sock and walk around inside the pool squeezing the sock to help it dissolve faster.

You DO need some CYA in your pool. It acts like "sunscreen" for the chlorine.

Here is two things to help you know what to add and how much:

PoolMath this one is an app. You can use it like it is but it will not save your past tests. If you want you can buy the app and it will save your past tests.

PoolMath This is the web based Pool Math. This is what I use and put the test results in a notebook so I can track my pool's needs.

Both work to help you manage your pool.

Kim:kim:
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
1,907
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Straight up Clorox bleach rather than their pool care line of products (I saw another topic here discouraging the use of those products), again with possible additives and copper which could stain the pool, etc.
Actually, Clorox add stuff ("Cloromax technology") that you dont want in your pool. The same goes with scented bleach or splashless bleach of any brand. Your best bet is usually Pool Essentials liquid chlorine from Walmart (in the pool section).
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
34,479
Sebring, Florida
The best way not to be afraid of pool water chemistry is to learn it. Understanding what you are putting in your pool and why you are putting it there will go a LONG way rather than just deciding to be afraid because it's a "chemical"

It's akin to thinking everything with the word "organic" pasted on it is "good". That's just marketing gibberish. There's about a million "organic" things in this world that will kill you deader than a door nail, given the chance
 
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Pam in Texas

Member
Aug 5, 2020
15
Weatherford Texas
I’m new to the forum. Just found it and haven’t gotten to browse the site much yet.

We are in AZ. Our salt water pool is being built and will be finished possibly as early as next week.

I would like to keep our pool as “natural and healthy” as possible and found a few things on the Internet that suggested using things like baking soda and borax to adjust the system if it gets out of whack. I just wanted to be prepared Incase of an issue. I found there were alternative mineral systems and products that can be used in addition to a salt system such as Nature 2 or Eclipse 3, products by Natural Chemistry, etc. I read that you can add chlorine weekly to a salt pool to help out the system to keep up, especially in AZ where the heat apparently contributes hugely to algae growth. Also, wanted advise on “shocking”. It is my understanding that this should be added after a party, storm, etc. is there a more natural shock product or is shock just chlorine?

Been reading and haven’t talked to the pool guy yet, just thought I would drop a message here first.

Can someone point me in the right direction where you might have some information on this on this site or just provide some insight for me?
I put Borates in my pool bc I fought algae all the time. 2yrs now and NO algae!!! Yay!!
 
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jimbethesda

Gold Supporter
Jul 2, 2018
464
Austin, TX
Can I add supplemental liquid chlorine often if it looks like the FC level and SWG isn’t keeping up? No harm in doing that?
Yes, you can. But if your SWG is sized correctly, you shouldn't need to unless your chlorine gets too low and you run into problems.

Let us help you size it correctly. You want a SWG sized for at least double the volume of your pool. So...how many gallons will your pool be? What SWG are you looking to install?
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
34,479
Sebring, Florida
+1 what Donldson said. To proclaim that borates prevents algae formation just doesn't pass the test for TFP. I am happy that it works for you but not so happy that I am willing to support it's use for that purpose.
 
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Pam in Texas

Member
Aug 5, 2020
15
Weatherford Texas
That's not how TFP works. Advice has to be grounded in science and you have to be able to explain why it works, not just "it works so I'm telling everyone to do it!"

I would suggest you start here: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
Why are u so rude? Do you know anything about Borates? I suggested he check into Borates not that he has to do anything! Fyi, FACT, SWG can cause higher PH, FACT, Borates take oxygen out of water which will help stabilize PH and algae needs oxygen to live. I would suggest people to look into Borates to see if it's for them, BC I have a sparkling clean pool for 2 yrs and it works!