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Thread: Soda Ash versus borax?

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    Default Soda Ash versus borax?

    What would the difference be in attempting to raise pH of using one versus the other? Is there any harm in the soda ash? I know Ben recommends the borax, but I'm not sure if there is any harm in soda ash.

    Why do I care? Because I've got container of commercial soda ash available, and if there's not a problem with it, I'd just as soon use it up.

    Thanks,

    Boris
    Boris Beckert
    Lake Elmo, MN

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    Default Using Soda Ash

    Soda ash [Na2(CO3)] raises pH . . . but it also increased carbonate (=CO3) alkalinity a lot. High alkalinity is not a good thing, increasing scaling (and according to some data, corrosion) and decreasing the efficacy of both sanitizers and alkalinity.

    So . . . feel free to use up the soda ash, so long as your alkalinity is low.

    Otherwise, I'd recommend flushing it (literally) a little at a time.

    Ben

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    Lightbulb Uses for pH increaser (sodium carbonate)

    If you have a lot of pH increaser (soda ash, sal soda, washing soda, sodium carbonate) on hand and you don't want to use it in your pool anymore there are many household uses for it. One of my favorite is to pour 1/2 a cup down the kitchen sink then flush with hot water to keep the drain running clear.
    Here are some links:
    http://www.care2.com/channels/solutions/home/440
    http://www.care2.com/channels/solutions/home/1498
    http://www.thelaundrybasket.com/Our_...shing_sod.html
    As Ben said, Borax will raise pH without raising your carbonate alkalinity.
    11.75'x23.75' kidney 6.5K gal IG fiberglass pool/300 gal acrylic spillover spa combo; Aqualogic automation/SWCG; Pentair Clean and Clear 150 cart filter; 1.5 hp uprated 2 spd Pentair Whisperflo pump; PF:17
    Retired pool store and commercial pool maintenance guy.

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    Ben and Waterbear,

    Thanks for your replies. I'll keep a close eye on things this year, and make sure I don't have too much total Alk if I use the Soda Ash.

    I'm in recovery from copper overload from last season, having managed to keep my pH low enough (via the use of two floaters with tri-chlor pucks) to corrode my heater core. No wonder my pH wouldn't budge--it was the tri-chlor.

    Anyway, I got the cover off yesterday, and the pool still looks green (not algae, mineral).

    I've got the submersible pump running, and I'm going to dilute out again, then I think I will try an additional ascorbic acid treatment to get the liner to release the copper that is staining it.

    If that looks ok, I'll do another dilution, and then just try to precipitate it out and keep rinsing off my filter cartridges. Then, hopefully, I can get my pH back in line, and then I'll stick with bleach for my chlorination.

    The weather in Minnesota is beautiful today.

    Boris
    Boris Beckert
    Lake Elmo, MN

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BorisMD

    I'm in recovery from copper overload from last season
    I wonder if there are 12 step programs for copper overload? (Copper Anonymous?)
    (Sorry about that--like I've said before, I'm a smarta--!)
    11.75'x23.75' kidney 6.5K gal IG fiberglass pool/300 gal acrylic spillover spa combo; Aqualogic automation/SWCG; Pentair Clean and Clear 150 cart filter; 1.5 hp uprated 2 spd Pentair Whisperflo pump; PF:17
    Retired pool store and commercial pool maintenance guy.

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