Saturday, March 1, 2014

Adding Borates to Your Swimming Pool: Crystal Clear Water & Lower Chemical Costs.

Sodium Borate Chemical Formula
The  use of Borates in swimming pools has been around since the 1980's but it really hasn't caught on in the pool industry. I talked to a manufacturer about why Borate use in pools seems to be ignored by most pool stores and pool service technicians and his answer sounded like a typical Conspiracy  Theory - "The pool stores and chemical companies don't promote Borate use for the simple reason that it will cost them money. Selling a product that will allow a pool owner to use 40% or more less chemicals in their pools is not a smart business practice. Pool service companies don't use Borate because then the pools will look too clean each week and people will cancel service." Paranoid? Maybe but maybe not since Borates will do just that.

There is actually a lot of truth to what the manufacturer is saying. Here are the proven benefits of having a Borate level of 30-50 ppm:

Lower Chlorine usage: The Borate helps reduce chlorine usage by eliminating Carbon Dioxide and also by keeping the pH stable.Chlorine last longer when the pH is right at 7.6-7.8.
pH is stable: The pH won't change much in a pool with Borate in it. So if you have a salt water pool this is a must since the pH tends to rise dramatically.
Water is more sparkling: The Borate is more reflective so when the Sun hits the pool the water will really sparkle.
Softer and less irritating water: The water feels softer and doesn't burn your eyes. It also will keep your skin and hair hydrated so after swimming you skin won't be as dried out.
Less Algae  growth: Either the Boric Acid or less Carbon Dioxide in the water or a combination of both will prevent algae growth.
Keeps your Salt Cell clean: Since the pH is more stable the salt cell won't get as much calcium build-up.

These are all proven benefits so the manufacturer may be on to something after all. Watch the video above to see the benefits of having Borates in your pool.

There are two ways to add Borates to your pool. You can do it with pure Borax - 20 Mule Team Borax that you will find at Walmart or your Grocery store or by using a Borate product that you can purchase online or at your local pool store. Here are a few: Proteam Supreme Plus, BioGuard Optimizer Plus & Natural Chemistry Foundation. These products use a combination of boric acid and sodium tetraborate which makes them more pH neutral than using pure 20 mule Borax (I will touch on this a little later). Which means that in most cases the pH will not rise dramatically when adding these products (although there is some debate on how pH neutral they actually are). 

I have two videos on my Channel on adding Borates to your pool. One is with 20 Mule Team Borax and the other is with a product called PoolProof by Nisus. You can learn more about PoolProof on their website and you can also order it from their website:

Here is the video I filmed on adding Borates with PoolProof:

Here is the video using 20 Mule Team Borax:

So no matter which product you decide to use I would recommend adding Borates to your pool  like I have in my own pool. There are just too many proven benefits of adding Borates to not do it.  You will recover the initial cost within the first year as Borates do not evaporate and can only come out of the pool with splash out or backwashing of the filter.  So all you will need is a small maintenance dose each year to keep the Borate levels up.

adding Borates to the water will make maintaining your pool much easier and it will save you money each year in chemical cost. A win win in my book.

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