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Thread: borax in the pool

  1. #1
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    Default borax in the pool

    I have followed the borax discussion and have added "slowly" the rate of 1 box per 1000 gallons.
    The goal is 50 ppm.

    I have noticed some cloudiness or "very small particles in the water " that might be undisolved borax. Is this possible?

    What can I do to clear the water and still benefit from the algecide benefits of borax as weel as the imporved clarity that I thought I might see?

    Any suggestions , please feel free.

    indoor pool
    vinyl liner
    cl 2
    cc 0
    ph 7.6
    ta 80
    ch 100

    deep_blue
    Last edited by deep_blue; 10-31-2007 at 04:34 PM.

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    aylad is offline SuperMod Emeritus Vortex Adjuster aylad 4 stars aylad 4 stars aylad 4 stars aylad 4 stars aylad 4 stars aylad 4 stars
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    Default Re: borax in the pool

    It is very possible that you're seeing undissolved Borax....if so, just continue to run your filter and see if it clears over the next few days--the particles should either stick in your filter or dissolve. You might want to do some extra brushing, also, just in case some has settled to the bottom. When you add your Borax, are you dissolving it in water first, or just pouring it into the skimmer? I've found that by dissolving it most of the way in water before putting it into the skimmer hasn't caused any cloudiness in my pool so far.

    Janet

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    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: borax in the pool

    Don't forget that Borax raises the pH so you need to add acid after you add Borax in order to maintain the pH. If you didn't add acid, then the higher pH can cause cloudiness as there is more saturation of calcium carbonate.

    Richard

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    waterbear is offline Lifetime Member Sniggle Mechanic waterbear 4 stars waterbear 4 stars waterbear 4 stars waterbear 4 stars
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    Default Re: borax in the pool

    The proper way to add borax is to add about half the amount of acid needed then immediately add half the borax needed and brush until it is dissolved. Then add the rest of the acid and the rest of the borax and brush. Check the pH in 48 hours and adjust to 7.6
    There have been no reported problems when it's done this way, either with 20 mule team or with Proteam Supreme (both are borax!)
    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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    Default Re: borax in the pool

    Waterbear,

    Is the dosage 1 box 20 mule team borax per 1000 gallons? I'm trying to do my pool and I think I'm way below what I need to be at to establish 50 ppm. I've added 4 boxes so far to my 19,000 gallon pool.
    Sean Assam
    Commercial Product Sales Manager - AquaCal AutoPilot Inc. Mobile: 954-325-3859
    e-mail: sean@teamhorner.com --- www.autopilot.com - www.aquacal.com

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    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: borax in the pool

    Sean,

    1 box of 20 Mule Team Borax is 76 ounces weight and increases Borates by about 6.5 ppm in 10,000 gallons. So it takes 7-3/4 boxes to raise the Borates by 50 ppm in 10,000 gallons.

    The rate of 1 box per 1,000 gallons would yield 65 ppm which would overshoot your 50 ppm target. Adding 4 boxes to 19,000 gallons would raise the Borates by 13.6 ppm.

    Also, one box of 20 Mule Team Borax requires 36.3 fluid ounces of Muriatic Acid (31.45% Hydrochloric Acid) to keep the pH the same.

    Richard
    Last edited by chem geek; 11-01-2007 at 03:38 PM. Reason: changed "ounces" to "ounces weight" for clarity

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    Default Re: borax in the pool

    Thanks Richard
    Sean Assam
    Commercial Product Sales Manager - AquaCal AutoPilot Inc. Mobile: 954-325-3859
    e-mail: sean@teamhorner.com --- www.autopilot.com - www.aquacal.com

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    Default Re: borax in the pool

    an easy ballpark is 60 oz of borax (3 3/4 lbs) and 30 oz of muriatic acid for each 1000 gallons to achieve 50 ppm.

    3/4 lb borax (12 oz) and 3/4 cup muriatic acid (6 oz) will raise 1000 gallons 10 ppm.
    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.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: borax in the pool

    Thanks for all the information.... I see particles that look like dust
    that seem to go away when I add acid (I am using sodium bisulfate) powder for acid balence. Maybe this is undisolved borax ?

    I have been through while slime algae over a year ago and the use of borax
    seems to be solution. If can just get rid of the cloudiness "particles".

    Also I added DE to my cartridge filter system per Hayward filter instruction, so for a while I thought this might be the issue. (free DE i pool?) But after a filter change 6 months ago for no real issues, there is no difference from the filter change. Sill particles in pool.

    I have used a polishing filter "slime bag" and it does not take away the mini particles so I am on a hunt- to find out what and how to eliminate them.

    FC 2
    CC 0
    PH 7.6
    TA 100
    CH 100 (indoor vinyl liner)

    Any suggestions , and can borax be not absorbed due to its chemical nature needs to have to have some process to get rid the cloudiness? ( I used 20 mule type) Would going to 7.4 make a difference ?

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by deep_blue; 11-10-2007 at 12:09 PM.

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    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: borax in the pool

    If your CH wasn't low (since it's a vinyl pool), what you describe sounds like calcium carbonate over-saturation where adding acid clears that up, but that's not what this is since the CH is low.

    Cloudiness usually comes from 3 sources -- over-saturation of calcium carbonate, the beginnings of an algae bloom, poor filtration of suspended particles.

    When you add Borax, the pH goes up so if you are near saturation of calcium carbonate, that would make things cloudy locally, but then adding acid would restore the pH and things would clear up. With your low CH, I wouldn't expect there to be a lot of such cloudiness. It sounds like even after the pH is balanced you still have particles remaining. I can't explain that unless there was some sort of additive in the 20 Mule Team Borax, which there shouldn't be.

    Is there no CYA in the water because this is an indoor pool? You didn't report that number. That just makes the 2 ppm FC be about 20 times stronger in disinfecting chlorine than a typical outdoor pool. It's a totally separate issue and I don't think it's related to the cloudiness, but I thought I'd mention it. If you find that your swimsuits degrade more rapidly (the elastic wears out faster) or if your skin and hair dry out (flaky or brittle), then you can consider adding a small amount of CYA to the water -- 10-20 ppm -- but I wouldn't do that now since you've already got a cloudiness issue (if you used Dichlor instead of pure CYA then it should dissolve readily and not contribute to cloudiness -- you'd have to add Dichlor over an extended period of time as your source of chlorine; alternatively, you could pre-dissolve pure CYA in water to ensure it wasn't cloudy before adding it).

    So unfortunately I don't have a good answer for you. I will say that I recently had a problem with an oil film on the surface of my water that probably came from suntan lotion from daily pool use and that neither a scum ball nor enzymes seemed to handle it. In the past, I would shock the pool (with chlorine) and that would clear things up, but since my wife was using the pool every day I didn't want to do that. So instead I used non-chlorine shock (MPS) twice and that cleared things up rather quickly -- after first use the oil "slick" broke up into small pieces and after the second use it went away completely. If the cloudiness is due to some sort of organics that don't break down readily or quickly enough with normal chlorine levels, then you can try adding non-chlorine shock to see if that does the trick. An indoor pool has more of a tendency to build up combined chlorines and other organics because there is no sunlight to speed up their breakdown. Try the non-chlorine shock (MPS) and let us know if that works. It won't cause any harm (it's just costly, but for infrequent use it's not so bad).

    Richard
    Last edited by chem geek; 11-10-2007 at 04:04 PM.

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