All About Adding Borates to Your Swimming Pool with Bob Lowry

I recently sat down with Bob Lowry who is probably is the smartest person in the industry when it comes to pool chemistry. We spend some time talking about borates and their benefits and also the safety concerns around borates.

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. When the chlorine is in the ideal range the killing element in chlorine the HOCI is at the most balanced percentage so the chlorine in a pool with a pH of 7.4 is 30% more effective than in a pool with a pH of 8.0. This is a big factor in creating the safest swim environment and the borates will keep the pH much more stable and in turn, make the chlorine much more effective.

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. In fact, in a Salt Water Pool the pH can rise to over 8.4 very rapidly. You will find yourself putting tons of acid in each week just to keep the pH below 7.8. With borates in the pool, the pH will be stable and easy to control. It is a must for a pool with a Salt Water Generator. It also will keep your salt cell from building up calcium rapidly since is sequesters the Calcium in the water. This means the salt cell will remain clean and your salt system will run much more efficiently.

Water is more sparkling:
The Borate is more reflective so when the sun hits the pool the water will really sparkle. The fact that it sequesters calcium will give the water an added clarity and you will notice the sparkle is almost blinding. The difference is very marked and noticeable and it is a good bonus benefit of borates.

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 your skin won’t be as dried out. Borax has been used for a very long time as a softener for laundry. You will find it in the laundry aisle and it makes sense that it will also make the water feel softer and prevent dry skin.

Less Algae growth:
Boric Acid is a known Biostat. This prevents the algae cell from forming and multiplying. Thus, a pool with a Borate level between 30-50 ppm will prevent algae growth. Since borate prevents the algae cell from growing, algae blooms will be a thing of the past. No more algaecides or shocking the pool, algae just won’t grow in your pool any longer.

Podcast recordings:
“Why is Balancing Your Pool Important Anyway?” With Chemistry Expert Bob Lowry:
“Is High CYA Really a Problem?” With Chemistry Expert Bob Lowry:
“Is Cyanuric Acid Testing Accurate?” With Chemistry Expert Bob Lowry:
“Preventing Algae in Your Pool” With Chemistry Expert Bob Lowry:
“Swimming Pool Metal Staining 101” With Chemistry Expert Bob Lowry:
“Borates, Are They for Real?” With Chemistry Expert Bob Lowry:

About Bob Lowry:
Robert W. Lowry
The Pool Chemistry Training Institute (PCTI) provides books and courses for residential pool service technicians. We have the experience and the credentials that we impart to all of our trainees for pool chemistry certification.

Bob Lowry was a technology officer for DEL Ozone an ozone generator manufacturer. He has been a consultant to numerous corporations including DuPont, Olin, Nalco, Arch, and FMC and to pool industry companies such as Natural Chemistry, LaMotte, ITS, Pentair, and Jacuzzi
Mr. Lowry has written 21 pool and spa water chemistry books published more than 175 technical articles, written 29 “white” papers, written a monthly column for Pool & Spa News, given more than 500 water chemistry seminars, and has certified more than 2,500 students to be CPOs (Certified Pool Operators).

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