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Thread: High TA, low pH

  1. #1
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    Default High TA, low pH

    I opened up my 30k gal inground pool this week and this is what I found:

    FC 0.5
    CC 5.0
    pH 7.6
    TA 180
    Ca 350
    CYA (don't have any more reagent but in the past it has been high nl)

    First I shocked. Then, based on what I've read somewhere, I went to work on the TA by adding muriatic acid. Here are my numbers now.

    FC 5.0
    CC 0
    pH 7.0
    TA 125

    My TA is now close to being in range but I need to raise my pH without further raising TA. Looking at some postings it appears that borax raises pH without raising TA but I have also come accross some people who are trying to raise borate without mentioning problems with TA or pH.

    Questions:

    Is it true that borax raises pH without raising TA?

    Does borax do anything else bad like raising Ca which is already sort of high?

    Why do I need to care about borate?

    Thanks,

    Steve

  2. #2
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    Default Re: High TA, low pH

    NO! NO! NO! This is not the time to add Borax.

    Please read the threads on lowering T/A.

    To raise your pH after lowering it to 7.0, you AERATE your water. You do this by leaving it uncovered, a gang of 10-12 year olds, fountains, waterfalls, or, pointing your returns at the surface. They all work but at different rates. But the aeration is the only way to raise pH without T/A going up with it.

    T/A moves up and down with pH. So if you add borax you'll undo the good you did.

    It's a ratcheting process.
    You lower pH to 7.0 with Muriatic acid.
    T/A falls with it.
    You AERATE until pH goes back to 7.3-7.4.
    Then use acid again to lower it.
    Aerate again.

    Repeat until your T/A is in the 80-120 range and your pH is between 7.2 and 7.8.
    Carl

    16'x40' rectangle 19K gal AG vinyl pool; ; Hayward T210 sand filter and 2 Speed Superpump 1hp pump; Solar heated. Test kit: PS 233; PF:6.3

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    Default Re: High TA, low pH

    Thanks for stoping me. So do I only use Borax when both pH and TA are low? Is there a time to use Borax and a different time to use soda ash?

    Also what about the threads I see where people are measuring their borate and trying to raise it?

    Thanks,

    Steve

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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: High TA, low pH

    The threads you see about raising borates is a theory that some are trying that says if your borates are at 50 (adding Borax is how you raise borates), then you use less chlorine to maintain the same sanitation, since the borate level apparently has some anti-algecidal properties. High borate levels are also though to stop the creeping up of pH in pools that have a SWG. The people who are raising borates are adding Borax, then adding muriatic acid to compensate for the rise in pH, so the borate level rises but the pH stays within normal levels. You can read more about the Borate theories here.. http://www.poolforum.com/pf2/showthread.php?t=4712.


    When you add Borax to raise your pH level, the TA will rise slightly--but even a slight rise in your case will contradict your purposes, which is why Carl says to aerate your water to get your ph back up. If you aerate to raise the pH, and have NO rise in TA, then you can again lower both with muriatic acid, again aerate to raise pH back to normal, and thus accomplish your goal. If you're using acid to lower pH and TA, then add Borax, you'll never get the TA down.

    Janet
    Last edited by aylad; 05-17-2008 at 04:13 PM.

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    Default Re: High TA, low pH

    Quote Originally Posted by cscannon View Post
    Thanks for stoping me. So do I only use Borax when both pH and TA are low? Is there a time to use Borax and a different time to use soda ash?
    If your T/A is OK, and pH is low, you use Borax as your normal pH raiser.

    If your T/A is VERY low, and pH is low, you can either use Borax for the pH, and baking soda for the T/A or use Washing Soda (soda ash) in place of both. Since per pound washing soda costs less than Borax and less than baking soda, it's a good, cheap way to raise both.

    Also what about the threads I see where people are measuring their borate and trying to raise it?

    Thanks,

    Steve
    Borates can help your pool, but until you understand the basics of BBB, you don't need to worry about them. In fact, you may NEVER need to worry about Borates. Gotta walk before you can fly.
    Carl

    16'x40' rectangle 19K gal AG vinyl pool; ; Hayward T210 sand filter and 2 Speed Superpump 1hp pump; Solar heated. Test kit: PS 233; PF:6.3

  6. #6
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    Default Re: High TA, low pH

    Quote Originally Posted by aylad View Post
    The threads you see about raising borates is a theory that some are trying that says if your borates are at 50 (adding Borax is how you raise borates), then you use less chlorine to maintain the same sanitation, since the borate level apparently has some anti-algecidal properties. High borate levels are also though to stop the creeping up of pH in pools that have a SWG. The people who are raising borates are adding Borax, then adding muriatic acid to compensate for the rise in pH, so the borate level rises but the pH stays within normal levels. You can read more about the Borate theories here.. http://www.poolforum.com/pf2/showthread.php?t=4712.

    It's NOT a theory, it works! This is why there are many borate products on the market now such as Supreme, Optimizer, Endure, Maximizer, Salt Water Magic, Mineral Springs, and Salt Support just to name a few. Borates are a useful addition to ANY pool but really show benefits on stabilizing pH for those who use SWGs or unstabilized chlorine sources such as bleach.

    The chemistry behind it is sound but complicated so I won't go into it here.

    I run 50 ppm borates in my own pool and have a good percentage of my customers on borates also. However, you have to have the rest of your water balance under control before you add them.
    Last edited by waterbear; 05-17-2008 at 08:58 PM.
    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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