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Borate Ready I think


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Numbers as of today and steady. 

PH 7.4

ALK 30ish 

no issues with sanitation. 

Would like to see the ALK number closer to 50 but then is pushes the PH to 8 or more. 

Any thoughts? 

As for Borate my spa is 350 gallons and I have the test strips for it. What product should I use. 20 mule or something else??? Thank you 

@waterbear

 

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Bring the TA up to the 50 to 70 range with baking soda (this is what TA increaser is) then lower the pH to 7.6 to 7.8 which will not affect the TA.

As for borate, you can use a commercial product like Gentle Spa by Proteam,  Borax (either tetrahydrate like 20 Mule Team or pentahydrate, only difference is the amount needed to achieve 50 ppm along with enough acid to counteract the pH rise from the alkaline Borax, or boric acid which will cause a small drop in pH. If you need more detailed dosing info just ask.

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Wow - have had my spa 32 years now, have never used ANY borate.  I use bromine tablets and shock occasionally with monopersulfate, and use sodium carbonate if needed to raise pH.  I haven't had need to use other stuff.  I only monitor bromine level and pH, never have even measured total alkalinity.  I add some leak seal liquid like every two years to fix an unreachable leak.

Not necessarily recommending this to others, just stating what I use.

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Borate is not a necessity but it does make maintenance easier, has some effect at preventing biofilms, and also improves the 'feel' of the water on your skin (hard to describe but everyone that uses borate notices it). Borax is better for raising pH than sodium carbonate since it can raise pH with minimal impact on TA while sodium carbonate tends to make the TA go very high (which is useful if you are using trichlor which tends to cause both pH and TA to crash).

FWIW, needing to raise pH in a spa is very unusual. Most spas have a problem pH rise because of the aeration so you are one of the lucky ones if your pH is trending downward but fairly stable! IF what you are doing is working no need to change it. I suspect your fill water has very low TA.

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Okay so I up'd my TA to 50 and my PH is riding around 7.6 to 7.7 

I used Baking Soda to raise adding 4 oz. 3 separate times. The Baking Soda was a year old but I couldn't think that would matter??? Any opinion?? 

Tub 350 gallons how much borate do I add?? Or Calculator to get those numbers?? 

Also I have been using the tub daily once in the morning for 30 minutes then add teaspoon of dichlor then at night about an hour and add two teaspoons after of dichlor.

Last night I got in with my partner the Sanitizer level was 4.5, no CC checked before we got in. we were in it for an hour or more, threw a teaspoon or two of Dichlor in after and this morning 5ppm FC showed CC water turned pinkish one drop cleared it but is this normal, and should I shock at that point 

Twice now this week it has shown combined chlorine so I get it up to 10ppm FC and take the top off for a few hours. Is that the process of shocking?? After the FC comes back down it shows no CC so I am guessing I am doing this right but not sure??? My shock at this point is still Dichlor because I am not up to 30ppm CYA. After I am I will be using SH instead of Dichlor. Is this normal and the process that it will show CC with that much use twice in a week?? Seems I read most people only shock once a week. 

Also it is my understanding to take the filter out weekly and rinse, is this just a rinse or should I soak it in SH water then rinse or do I only need to do that once a month. 

@waterbear

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4 hours ago, dayday1 said:

The Baking Soda was a year old but I couldn't think that would matter??? Any opinion?? 

no, it's good for years as ling as it stays dry.

 

4 hours ago, dayday1 said:

Tub 350 gallons how much borate do I add?? Or Calculator to get those numbers?? 

21 oz by weight of borax (decahydrate- 20 mule team)  and 10 oz of 31.45% (20 Baume) muriatic acid add 1/4 of the borax and let it dissolve with jets running, add 1/4 of the acid in the stream of a jet and let it circulate. Repeat 3 more times.

13 oz by weight of boric acid. It will cause a slight drop in pH but pH should rise on its own. Just make sure pH is 7.6 or above before adding.

IF you use a commercial product like Gentle Spa (which is usually a mixture of boric acid and the pentahydrate form of borax) follow dosing directions on label, test borate level, and make adjustments as needed.

Once borate is at target level retest pH and TA. Adjust pH downward to around 7.6 to 7.7 if above 7.8. If pH is low but above 7.0 do nothing. it will rise and stabilize around 7.7 to 7.8 Once pH is adjusted retest TA. It might show a slight increase which is OK. If it is above 80 ppm drop it down to between 50 to 70 ppm.

https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/28846-lowering-total-alkalinity-howto/

Sweet spot for borate is between 30 to 50 ppm with the higher end better. If you are using a bigunide sanitizer system like BaquaSpa or SoftSoak then borate should be 50 to 80 ppm.

You can also use the PoolCalulator to determine dosing.

As far as the filter goes hose it off weekly or as needed with a high pressure nozzle on a garden hose. Most hardware and big box stores carry then and they are only a few dollars. To soak your filter monthly or as needed get a container large enough to submerge the filter and use 1 cup of powdered automatic dishwasher detergent like Finish or Electosol for every 5 gallons of water. Soak for a minimum of 1 hour to overnight and then hose off thoroughly with the high pressure nozzle. I like to have a spare filter so I can take out the dirty one and put a clean on in immediately and then clean and soak the dirty one. This way you have no down time.

nozzle.jpg

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4 hours ago, dayday1 said:

Is this normal and the process that it will show CC with that much use twice in a week?? Seems I read most people only shock once a week. 

How are you testing?  (IF using FAS-DPD what size sample?) IF your CC is 1 ppm or less don't worry about it. It's often impossible to achieve lower CC levels in a spa. if it's .5 ppm or less you do not need to shock. Even 1 ppm or less if it does not climb any higher is OK and shocking is not really needed unless you want to. Just chlorinate as usual to maintain a FC of 4 to 6 ppm (assuming CYA of 30 ppm) IF you have persistent CC of over 1 ppm then other actions might need to be taken. Don't overthink it. It's not a chemistry set, it's a spa. Enjoy it. Soon you will know just what YOUR spa needs (each one is different) to maintain your water.

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Okay just so I am clear on the above and here is why. From a fresh fill it takes me roughly 8 to 10 oz. of 31.45% to get my PH to 7.6 ish. Your saying adding the 20 mule is going to change the numbers SO drastically that basically I am adding that much MA again. Please clarify?? 

Or do I add the 20 mule then just add acid until the numbers come down. 

I am using and have been every time I test using the FAS-DPD method you sold me on that. So I am clear in what I am saying. After I add drops to get my FC. I add 5 drops to see if the water turns pink if it does that is considered CC. At which point I add drops again until clear and that tells me how much CC. Right now when my sample turns pink I can get it back to clear with one or two drops at most and that is acceptable??? Thank you 

@waterbear

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4 minutes ago, dayday1 said:

Your saying adding the 20 mule is going to change the numbers SO drastically that basically I am adding that much MA again.

Yes, borax is alkaline. Adding enough to achieve 50 ppm borate will drastically raise your pH. The amount of acid is what is needed to bring the pH back down. This is also why you have to break up the dosing. FWIW, borax can be used to raise pH at twice the dose of pH up (sodium carbonate) in cases where pH needs to be brought up (such as an overdose of acid) and it will have MINIMAL impact on TA, unlike sodium carbonate which will shoot TA higher than before you started.

 

8 minutes ago, dayday1 said:

Right now when my sample turns pink I can get it back to clear with one or two drops at most and that is acceptable???

IF you are using a 5 ml sample with a .5 drop equivalent 1 drop means .5 ppm CC and 2 drops mean 1 ppm cc. IF you are using a 25 ml sample with a .2 drop equivalent 1 drop means .2 ppm CC and 2 drops .4 ppm. IF CC is .5 ppm you do not need to shock. Even 1 ppm is often handled by normal chlorination.  Most people shock when CC is above .5 ppm  but hot tubs often have higher CC levels because of the small water to bather load ratio and 350 gal is a pretty small spa. If you only go to 1 ppm occasionally then shock when it hits that number or goes above.

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Thanks for the clarification I just dropped my first of 3 doses in and will see how it goes. Makes sense now. 

And thank you for the clarification on the sanitizer. Yes I use the .5 method. 

Lastly which we both know is a lie. Entering the tub I should be 5ppm or below FC correct in being safe or should it be more like 3ppm.  

Then when I am done bathing get it back up to ?? 5 or 6 ppm? 

And a shock number would be considered 10ppm or should it be more? 

@waterbear

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21 hours ago, dayday1 said:

Lastly which we both know is a lie. Entering the tub I should be 5ppm or below FC correct in being safe or should it be more like 3ppm.  

Then when I am done bathing get it back up to ?? 5 or 6 ppm? 

And a shock number would be considered 10ppm or should it be more? 

Chlorine levels for shock and normal sanitizing depend on the CYA level. This post has links to some relevant information on what chlorine levels should be for different levels of CYA:

https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/53138-going-out-of-town-what-to-do/&do=findComment&comment=206016

FWIW, many state health departments and the CDC state that FC levels of 10 ppm or lower are safe to enter with NO CYA in the water.

 

 

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