Questions on adding borates

flarfum25

Silver Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 9, 2013
48
Baltimore, MD
We've decided to try adding borates to the pool this year, and are possibly opening tomorrow. I was going to just buy the Proteam Supreme Plus, as my SIL has been using it for the past couple years and loves it...

But after reading various threads for the last couple hours, it seems I may prefer to just buy boric acid granules from dudadiesel for about $85 for a 55#bucket, which should have about 10 more # than I need for my 18K gallon pool. Compared to almost $145 for the 45# of Supreme Plus from poolgeek, which still appears to be a good price comparatively, for that particular product anyway.

I'm not seeing anywhere *why* Proteam Supreme Plus is that much more expensive... or at least if I did see that, my brain has started to shut down now from all the pages upon pages of threads I've looked thru. Much of which included a whole lot of info on the Borax/muriatic acid method that I def do not want to deal with.

So if anyone could let me know any reasons I'd choose the Supreme Plus over the boric acid granules, I'd greatly appreciate it. Obviously the drastic cost difference is why I *wouldnt* choose the Supreme Plus but I'm really just curious about reasons why I would.

Lastly, once we start opening and after I use my TF100 test kit to check all my levels, would my order of things be to add my bleach and cya (it was very low at closing and there's a lot more water in the pool now due to snow melting), get my pH in range and my TA around 50, and then test for borates and THEN add my boric acid in? Hopefully it doesn't take too long to get shipped here-- but if it does, hopefully I can add it whenever. I am ordering the Lamotte test strips tonight too.

Then I see if I need to SLAM? Or SLAM first, regardless on if I don't have visible algae?
 

pabeader

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 14, 2015
4,349
Cartersville Ga
In reality, what to do first is going to depend on the state of your pool water. I can say for sure though that adding Borates will come after you have everything else stable and balanced.

The only difference between Proteam and generic is the price. So I would recommend you go generic. Make sure you get the granulated version. The powder tends to blow around and will float on top rather than dissolve.

This link about opening should be helpful. Pool Openings
 

pabeader

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 14, 2015
4,349
Cartersville Ga
The reason they charge more for Proteam is because they can. There are still a number of people who haven't caught on to TFPC and think that if it's 'made for pools' it must be better.

You and I and 100,000+ of our friends know the truth, now we just have to get to the rest of the people.
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
10,421
Franklin, NC
Yup, fancy name and price for pool,specific chemicals. One only needs to look at how much they charge for their baking soda to understand their pricing model.......
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
16,031
Tucson, AZ
The only reason to use the Supreme Plus is if you truly wanted no pH rise at all. The Supreme Plus is a mixture of boric acid and sodium tetraborate pentahydrate. The formulation is design to be pH neutral because it combines a weak acid with a mildly alkaline salt to produce a net pH change of zero.

I added 42lbs of boric acid to my plaster pool a few years ago and the pH went from 7.6 to 7.3. Given that boric acid in bulk goes for around $1.50/lb and the ProTeam product is around $3/lb, I don't think the markup in price is worth it for the added pH balance.
 

flarfum25

Silver Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 9, 2013
48
Baltimore, MD
Thanks everyone! I agree, that slight of a pH change is almost nothing, and easy enough to remedy if I even need to, which I likely won't. Yay!! Buying it now. I love this site, you all are wonderful.
 

robdac

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 27, 2014
232
Weston, FL
The first time I added borates I went the 20 Mule team borax and muratic acid route. This year I used boric acid from Duda Diesel. It was way easier and about the same price as doing it the hard way.
 

flarfum25

Silver Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 9, 2013
48
Baltimore, MD
Ok I'm about ready to add my boric acid, and wanted to post my levels quick to make sure I'm not missing anything. Here's where I am:

FC 5
CC .5 (if that, barely saw any pink at all)
PH 7.4
TA 70
CYA 30
CH 50 (I almost never even check this since people here say it doesn't matter for vinyl pools but I figured I'd test everything this time. 50 seems well lower than most everyone else... That's truly ok right?)

I will use my new LaMotte borate test strips tomorrow and then poolmath to get my correct amounts.

Questions are:
-are my levels ideal before I start? Should I maybe raise my pH a touch first? Or my TA?
-I've read that TA is difficult to change once the borates are added, and also learned here that my pH will likely drop just a little. If the TA becomes difficult to adjust, that doesn't mean the pH will too right?

Anything else I'm missing?
Also, I don't have a scale here, does anyone know about what volume of measurement is close to a pound, as far as boric acid granules go?

Many thanks!
 

pooldv

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
25,408
FL panhandle
If your PH is fairly stable at 7.4 then TA is fine at 70. No, PH won't be hard to adjust and TA isn't really either it just takes more acid to lower it. I think Poolmath will give you both measurements.
 

flarfum25

Silver Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 9, 2013
48
Baltimore, MD
Ok I just added my boric acid granules and gave it all a really good stir/sweep/stir/sweep. After almost an hour, I tested and got a reading of 40ppm borate (seems between the 30 and 50 squares anyway) and a pH of 7.2. Should I go ahead and add some borax now to get back up to 7.5? I'm assuming I should stop w the boric acid now, that level might still rise a tiny bit as everything mixes around more?