Stinging eyes after boric acid top off

Testani

Member
Aug 12, 2022
6
Ct
Hi All,

I have a 30 K gallon gunnite pool with SWG. We have had great luck with zero eye issues all summer since opening it for the first time.

Chemistry as of last night when people compiling about eyes

Ph 7.51 per ph probe, 7.4 colorimetric
FC 3.0
TC 3.2
CH 206
CYA 40
TA 76
Borate ~50

I had initially added 55 pounds of boric acid ordered directly from Duda Energy but was getting low-ish readings of about 40 (to get to 50 ppm should be ~70 lbs per the calculators) so added another 10 pounds. I got this batch off amazon but when it arrive packaging was actually also from duda energy (99% purity, same as the 55 pound drum i got directly from their website that had no issues with eye stinging).

The chemistry hasn't really changed much but its like a light switch with everyone now complaining about eyes (5 year old keeps going to bathroom to get wet toilet paper to rub on eyes sort of bad).

I know that increasing borate from 40 to 50 is not causing this. Ph seems fine (and didn't perceptibly with the 10 lbs boric acid) as does CC. Thoughts on impurities in boric acid burning eyes (not sure what the 1% that is not boric acid is)? This seems like a long shot though.

Since the CC calculates out at only 0.2, is there any utility to shocking it to try to get CC down further? Also seems like a long shot.

Thanks so much,

Jeff
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
21,364
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
I’ve had my borate levels up over 80ppm and no one has complained of stinging eyes.

Did they swim very soon after the addition? Did you let the water mix for a good long time?

Are they wearing sunscreen? Any changes there like a new brand?

Impurities in the boric acid … unlikely. I’ve used Duda Energy for years and it’s never been an issue.

Are you using a digital water tester for those test results? Numbers have that suspicious 1ppm precision that is neither necessary nor real. If so, your tester may be off. That said, there’s nothing in the test results that would indicate a water chemistry issue.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
32,385


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Testani

Member
Aug 12, 2022
6
Ct
Agree, its clearly not the boric acid. The levels we are using in the pool is way way less than what people put in their eyes routinely, and adding 10 lbs to a 30 K pool is a an irrelevant amount of addition of borate.

The eye issues started the day of addition but have persisted for the last several days, so not just mixing issue.

Good to know about your experience with duda. It was identical to the last batch in consistency and solubility, so suspect it was same stuff.

Yes digital: LaMotte #2086 ColorQ 2X PRO 7.

I know it discouraged but I have trouble discerning the color differences in the manual ones so switched to this (and its only a month old so likely still accurate). PH is with a glass ph electrode.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
21,364
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Agree, its clearly not the boric acid. The levels we are using in the pool is way way less than what people put in their eyes routinely, and adding 10 lbs to a 30 K pool is a an irrelevant amount of addition of borate.

The eye issues started the day of addition but have persisted for the last several days, so not just mixing issue.

Good to know about your experience with duda. It was identical to the last batch in consistency and solubility, so suspect it was same stuff.

Yes digital: LaMotte #2086 ColorQ 2X PRO 7.

I know it discouraged but I have trouble discerning the color differences in the manual ones so switched to this (and its only a month old so likely still accurate). PH is with a glass ph electrode.

You might find a way to double check the chlorine.

Also, the TA and CH tests on the ColorQ are always very suspect. There was a time a few years back when they shipped a whole bunch of TA reagent that was bad and the ColorQ’s were registering false values for TA. The CH on the colorQ is also notoriously wrong compared to other test methods. FC and pH typically line up well with Taylor tests. High FC values are definitely not readable on the ColorQ.
 
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