When it comes to the cleanliness and the overall maintenance of the swimming pool, monitoring the pool water chemistry is probably the trickiest and the most challenging part of the task. The constant monitoring of the different factors that contribute to the quality of the pool water such as the pH level, chlorine, alkalinity, among others is crucial in having the perfect swimming pool.
One of the factors that need to be monitored regularly is the unstable pH level of the pool water. In fact, when the pH level is too low, the need to apply borax is needed. But how much borax to raise pH in pool? The answer to this question will be discussed later in the article.
Do you Need Borax in the Swimming Pool?
To other people not familiar, borax is just a regular household item found in our home. But this product is also useful for people who own a swimming pool. Borax or borate is useful for pool owners who want to have easy maintenance of the pool as it helps in stabilizing the pH level of the pool water. A stabilized pH level contributes significantly to the quality of the water in the swimming pool.
Most of the time, the chemical imbalance in the pool water usually is the biggest reason that contributes to the problem in the swimming pool. However, the pH level is probably the most important factor that needs to be monitored regularly as it contributes heavily to the balancing all the chemicals in the pool water.
Why does pH level need to be monitored regularly? This is for the simple reason that the pH level is so unstable and it can change suddenly without you knowing. Furthermore, having a high or low pH level indicates that there is something wrong in the pool water.
When the pH level is low, this means that the water has too acidic and full of metallic particles which can lead to a lot of issues in the swimming pool. This is where borax is needed as it has the ability to raise the pH level if the need arises. The most important thing to do is to use this chemical to achieve the desired pH level that you want to attain for the swimming pool.
The Importance of Borate in a Swimming Pool
There are a lot of reasons why borax is an integral part of the pool cleaning and maintenance. The importance of borate in the swimming pool is summarized below:
- Helps in stabilizing the pH level in the swimming pool
This is probably the most important use of borax as a part of the pool cleaning and maintenance. Please take note that the desired pH level of 7.8 must be attained regularly. Anything more or less means there is a problem in the swimming pool.
When the pH level is more than the desired level, it will make the pool sanitizer or the chlorine to be ineffective in cleaning or sanitizing the pool water. This would mean it chlorine will not be effective in killing all those harmful organisms found in the pool water such as algae and other microscopic organisms found in the water. Furthermore, a high pH level can also result to calcium scaling in which it will form on the different parts of the swimming pool.
Meanwhile, having a low pH level all does not sound good to the pool owners. In fact, it is a clear indication that the pool water is acidic and it will bring a lot of negative effects to the swimming pool such as corrosion on some of the pool’s metal parts, metal stains, and the discoloration of the pool water.
This is why using borax is important because it contributes to stabilizing the pH level of the pool water which can help in preventing all the worst scenarios which was mentioned above. Furthermore, having a controlled pH level would mean less use of chemicals in reducing or increasing it to the desired level.
- Minimizes the usage of chlorine in the swimming pool
Another importance that borax contributes to the pool cleaning and maintenance is it reduces significantly the usage of chlorine in the pool water. This is because a stable pH level in the pool water would mean that the free chlorine found in the water will not be consumed quickly. Because of this, the pool owner has the option to only shock the pool if needed and not more often.
- It helps in algae prevention
When the pH level is always stable because of borax, the effect will also be felt on the other chemicals such as chlorine. The more stable the pH level is, the more effective will be for the chlorine in sanitizing the pool water. The result is the prevention of the proliferation of algae in the swimming pool which is also good news to the pool owner.
- It contributes to having a crystal-clear and soft pool water
The usage of borate will also mean you will have soft and crystal-clear pool water in the swimming pool. The reduced usage of chlorine would mean less chloramine, a by-product of chlorine in the swimming pool. Borate also helps in stabilizing the chlorine so that it will not be consumed quickly by the effect of the sunlight to help in keeping the water crystal-clear and soft.
What are the Benefits of Adding Borax?
The importance of borax cannot be underestimated as it can bring a lot of important benefits to the swimming pool. As it helps in stabilizing the pH level of the swimming pool, it contributes indirectly to that the other chemicals in the swimming pool so that they will function perfectly.
Furthermore, the effectiveness of borate in maintaining the stability of the pH level in the pool has given the pool owners from using other chemicals. Traditionally, the use of soda ash and baking soda in controlling the pH level of the pool water was normal before the discovery of borax. However, these chemicals can bring a lot of effects that can disturb the pool chemistry of the pool water.
As mention earlier, a stabilized pH level will increase the effectivity of chlorine thus preventing the algae from growing in the swimming pool. Borax will also remain the pool water once dissolved and it will help in maintaining crystal-clear soft pool water.
What are the Downsides of Using Borates in the Pool?
It is a fact that borates bring a lot of advantages to the swimming pool. However, there are a few downsides that it might bring once being used in the pool.
Only a few self-proclaimed pool experts said that they are concerned with the chemicals found in borate which has a bad effect when taken by pets. However, this allegation was not proven scientifically plus the fact that almost all pool chemicals contain a substance that has an adverse effect when consumed by humans.
I cannot think of other negatives in using borax except that several companies may lose profit because of this effective but cheap household item.
Using Borax to Raise pH in Pool (Step by Step)
Borax is the answer if you want to raise the pH level of the pool water. However, if you want to improve the borate level of the pool to serve as a buffer in achieving the water’s desired pH level, adding borate and acid to lower the pH level should do the trick.
However, the amount of borate you need largely depends on several factors such as the pool size, the total alkalinity level, the initial pH level and your water chemistry target. Furthermore, the need to use a pool calculator is needed for you to be able to determine the amount of borax you need. It will also assist you in determining if you need an acid after the application.
Below are the steps to follow in raising the pH level in the swimming pool using borax:
- The first thing that you will do is use the pool calculator in determining the amount of borax you will use to add to the swimming pool.
- After determining the amount, the next step is to add borax to the swimming pool. It should be noted that your pool pump should run while doing this step. If you can, you can help the pool pump mix the chemical fast by brushing the sides of the pool to create waves in the pool water.
- The next step is to run the pool pump for 24 hours after the application. This is to speed up the process of mixing the chemicals to the pool water evenly.
- After 24 hours, it is now time to test your pool water chemistry after a day of application. The test should be done on the pH level, borate level, and the total alkalinity level and should be on the range. For borate, it should be around 50 ppm while the pH level reading should be between 7.4 to 7.6
- If needed, you need to add more borate if it still requires you to increase the pH level of the pool water.
- The next step is to determine if you still need to add acid or borax using the pool calculator. If it is needed, add only half of the chemicals then again brush the sides of the pool to help in mixing the chemicals in the pool.
- When all the chemicals are dissolved, put the remaining chemicals to the swimming using the same process and brushing the side of the pool to help mix and dissolved the chemicals. Let the pump run continuously for the next 48 hours.
- After that, test the pool water’s chemistry again and all the factors should be in the desired range.
To monitor the borate level, it is advisable to monitor it monthly and the reading should be at 50 ppm. This will ensure that you will have clean pool water. Pool water that is crystal-clear, algae-free, soft, and clean.
Useful Tips – Borax Guide
The following tips below will help you in adding the right amount of borax in the swimming pool.
- The pool calculator will help in determining the right amount of borax that you need to add to the swimming pool. Of course, the are other factors that contribute to this such as the starting pH level and the total alkalinity the pool water.
- Half a pound of borax can raise the pH level of about 10000 gallons of pool water. That is if you have an initial reading of 7.5 for pH and 100 for total alkalinity and the amount to add should be at 8 ounces.
- Using the same amount of borax can increase the reading by .04 when the pH level is at 7.0 while it can increase to .14 when the pH initial reading is at 8.0.
- When the total alkalinity is 80 and the pH level of 7.5, the same amount of borax would probably raise the level by 0.12. The same amount would raise the pH level by 0.08 when the total alkalinity is at 120.
This is just a simple guide that you can use on the amount of borax that you can add to the pool. There is no perfect formula when doing this because it is important to follow what works for you and the swimming pool. However, it is advisable to use the online calculator pool chemistry calculator in computing the right amount of borax to be used.
What is the Best Borate to Use?
There are a lot of borax products that are available in the commercial market today. Among the most common is the 20 Mute Team Borax which several pool owners like because of its affordability. This type of borax will also help in increasing the pH level without affecting the total alkalinity of the pool water.
There are also other popular borates that you can use such as Guardex Maximizer, Proteam’s Supreme Plus, Poollife Endure, and Bioguards Optimizer Plus. All are readily available in the market and can help in stabilizing the pool water’s pH level.
How much borax to raise pH in pool? The real answer to the question largely depends on different factors such as the size of your pool, the targeted water chemistry and the initial readings of your pH level and total alkalinity. To help you determine the right amount of borax, use an online calculator to help and increase the accuracy.