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Thread: How to add Borax

  1. #1
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    Default How to add Borax

    Planning to add Borax to my non-SWG 9000 gal plaster pool as ph rises. I hope the following is correct. 540 oz or 7.10 Boxes of 76 oz 20 Mules team and 9 quarts of acid. Do these numbers look good to get the pool to 50 ppm.

    Plan is to add one box a day through the skimmer then add 41 oz of muriatic acid, per day, to pool to neutralize alkalinity increase. Questions, how many cups of borax can be added at one time to the skimmer; and how long should one wait before adding more? How much muriatic acid should be added at any one time and how often through the day. Or can I put in the entire amount at one time, 540 oz borax and 9 quarts acid letting the pool cleaner run for 48 hours?

    Final question, how much will the TDS rise?

    Looking forward to your replies.


    Aloha
    Last edited by smallpooldad; 09-20-2006 at 07:26 PM.

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    RavenNS is offline Established User Weir Watcher RavenNS Not to be trusted
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    Default Re: How to add Borax

    I just have a comment regarding the thread title " how to add borax"...

    I have just been sprinkling it all over the surface area of the pool, becuase generally that's how PH+ is done...

    (Am I not doing that correctly?) Is smallpooldad correct in thinking that it should be added through the skimmer (instead)?

  3. #3
    duraleigh Guest

    Default Re: How to add Borax

    SPD,

    What are you trying to accomplish? I don't understand your goal.

  4. #4
    chem geek is offline PF Support Team Whibble Konker chem geek 4 stars chem geek 4 stars chem geek 4 stars chem geek 4 stars
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    Default Re: How to add Borax

    Dave,

    I assume smallpooldad is trying to raise his Borates to 50 ppm similar to what Evan did in The Great Tetraborate Experiment in The China Shop. This would help stabilize pH by acting as an additional buffer (in addition to the carbonate buffer) and it will help reduce chlorine consumption by preventing algae growth. It will also give a nice sparkle to the water and cure cancer (well, OK, maybe not the latter, but if you see Evan's posts, you'd swear that this was the greatest thing since sliced bread -- and perhaps it is!).

    smallpooldad,

    Yes, your numbers are essentially correct. You need to add 530 ounces (33.1 pounds or 7.0 boxes) of Borax to get to 50 ppm. One box will require the addition of 38.3 ounces of 31.45% Muriatic Acid to restore the pH and TA (actually, the TA will increase by 0.9 even after adding the acid since the Borates contribute slightly to the TA measurement -- technically, they contribute more to pH buffering than is measured by TA).

    If you did not add the acid, then one box would raise your pool's pH from 7.5 to 8.43 assuming an initial TA of 100 (and CYA of 30). This rise in pH is similar to what would happen if you were shocking your pool to add 21 ppm of chlorine (6% bleach). It's a bit high of a rise in pH and might lead to cloudiness so if I were you I would add acid when about half of the Borax has dissolved and then add the other half when the rest of it dissolves. That way, your pH would only rise to a peak of 8.03 which is quite reasonable. You can add the acid near a return since that should mix it well and I don't think the Borax will dissolve so quickly in the skimmer as to cause the return output to be too basic (you don't want to mix the Borax and acid together directly as that will probably generate lots of heat, but mixing them in the large pool water volume should be fine).

    After adding all of the Borax and acid to get back to a 7.5 pH, your TA will rise from 100 to 106.1 while your TDS will increase by 416.8, but remember that most of this is neutral boric acid ( B(OH)3 ) that will not show up in conductivity measurements for TDS so you will likely only measure a rise of about 110 for TDS which is sodium from the sodium tetraborate (Borax) and chloride from the hydrogen chloride (Muriatic Acid).

    Richard
    Last edited by chem geek; 09-20-2006 at 09:04 PM.

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    Default Re: How to add Borax

    P.S. to smallpooldad,

    If you are adding the Borates to get more buffering because the pH rises over time, then you will also want to lower the TA to reduce the amount of carbonate so you reduce the amount of carbon dioxide outgassing. If you go really low in TA (say, down to 60), then you will want to keep your pH up on the higher side around (above 7.5) or else increase your calcium hardness. Otherwise, you could get into a corrosive situation if your pH were to drop for some reason (by having the TA low, you will already be a bit on the corrosive side, but not enough to worry about).

    I thought that your pH rise was cut back significantly from your lowering your TA already. Did the problem reoccur or did you just want some more pH buffering without having to increase the amount of acid you need to add? If you add Borates without lowering the TA, then you will reduce the rate of pH rise and the frequency of your adding acid, but the total amount of acid you add over time will still be the same.

    P.S. to Dave,

    smallpooldad had earlier tried lowering TA to reduce carbon dioxide outgassing (see this thread for more details) and I thought this was successful, but we'll see what he has to say.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How to add Borax

    Chem Geek,

    Thank you for the reply you assume correctly. Yes I want the pool to look like a sparkling glass of Perrier just like the ad and not to fuss too much with rising pH. Once this is accomplished does anyone know if I can get a really cute model to go with my pool at Wal-Mart? And are mini-bikinis on sale? And yes the ph still rises but not as fast. Wow, do you have a good memory. Do not mind adding the same amount of acid as I prefer to do this less frequently and might be lucky if it cuts down on chlorine use; although I am aware that might not happen. The TA never seems to want to drop below 80 adjusted for CyA, any suggestions here.

    A question, how much borax can I put through the skimmer, at one time and how long should I wait before adding more, assuming a 3/4 hp pump and a 300 lb sand filter, 15 feet from the pool, with 4 outlet jets?

    Aloha
    Last edited by smallpooldad; 09-20-2006 at 09:35 PM.

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    Default Re: How to add Borax

    You had tap water TA of 60 (I looked up your older posts -- my memory is not that good) so it would be hard to get below that if you are refilling your water periodically. On the other hand, your rains probably have low TA. At any rate, Ben's Lowering Your Alkalinity procedure is the only sure-fire way to get your TA lowered. By the way, when you quote TA, please don't adjust for CYA. Instead report TA (as measured by the test kit) and CYA separately. That avoids confusion.

    As for where to add the Borax and how much to add how quickly, that's a question for Evan (waterbear) or others who have used Borax to answer as I have no experience with it so don't know how quickly it dissolves.

    Richard

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    Default Re: How to add Borax

    Started this evening by adding one box of the 20 Mules, of the seven boxes I plan on adding over the next 7 days; or quicker if I can. Then added 39 oz. of acid 20 minutes later. Poured the mules box around the perimeter of the 9000 gal pool. After 30 minutes the pH held at 7.4, does this validate the instructions or seem odd?

    Hope I did this correctly.

    Figures before addition

    pH 7.4
    Alk 90 (not CyA adjusted)
    Cl 6
    CyA 50
    Calcium 180
    TDS ?

    Aloha
    Last edited by smallpooldad; 09-21-2006 at 11:49 PM.

  9. #9
    chem geek is offline PF Support Team Whibble Konker chem geek 4 stars chem geek 4 stars chem geek 4 stars chem geek 4 stars
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    Default Re: How to add Borax

    Yup. Since the pH didn't change after doing the combination of one box of Borax and then 39 ounces of acid, this validates what we calculated. That's great news! So you can confidently continue with this pairing and know that you won't be throwing your pH out of whack.

    Richard

  10. #10
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    Default Re: How to add Borax

    Chem Geek,

    Yes the pool looks great. It is so bright and sparkling that one could go blind looking at it. I will report back as to its pH stability and Chlorine usage.

    Added all the Borax, one box at a time, waited 2 hours between each addition. Had to adjust the acid down to 34 oz on the 5th box as pH dropped to 7.2, 6th box added 34 oz, 7th box 39 oz.

    pH is now 7.5.

    Questions after look at your spreadsheet;

    Raised the chlorine to 8, do you think this is too high? Typically it drops 2 ppm in a day, maybe after the borax 1, but will have to wait for time to tell.
    What is the optimum CSL level?
    The pool is crystal clear but was thinking of raising the calcium to 400 based on your spreadsheet, your opinion would be appreciated. What would be the benefits of doing this.
    Noticed in one post that you said there might be a benefit in raising borate to 100 but no other detail as far as I can see. Would it be wise or unwise to do so, or are the benefits minimal versus any downside?

    Alk 100 -105 (no CYA adjustment) but was thinking of letting it get down to 90 to slow outgassing.
    pH 7.5
    Calcium 200
    CyA 50
    Chlorine 8
    TDS ?
    Temp 80
    Borate 50

    Thank you for all the efforts you have put into helping me and others and for the wonderful spreadsheet.

    Until I report the results,

    Aloha
    Last edited by smallpooldad; 09-22-2006 at 10:13 PM.

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