Sodium borates, also called Sodium tetraborate, Sodium tetraborate pentahydrate, or just borates, are all boron compounds with many uses. Sodium borate for pools is a common use of this versatile mineral that can be a common ingredient in many things like laundry detergent, cosmetics, and medicines. Using borates in swimming pools can provide many benefits for pool owners.
When adding borates in pool water, you only have to add it once as it does not decompose. The only way to lower borate in swimming pools is through water loss when backwashing, draining or splashing out with all the fun being had in your clean, crystal clear pool. Once sodium borate for pools is added, you do not need to add it again unless you drain the pool and refill it. Borates in pool water are the gift that keeps on giving.
Benefits of Sodium Borate for Pools
Using borates in pool water is highly recommended and can be used in typical swimming pools or pools with a saltwater chlorine generator.
The most recognized benefits of using borate in swimming pools include:
- pH buffer and stabilizer
- Prevents algae
- Reduces chlorine usage
- Less maintenance
- Can reduce pump run time
- Makes water clear and soft
pH Buffer and Stabilizer
Borates act as a buffer, which means they help the water to resist changes in pH when a base or acid is added. The proper pH level is important for all other chemicals to work correctly. Total alkalinity is the measure of carbonates ( CO –2) and bicarbonates (HCO –), with most of the alkalinity made up of bicarbonates. Cyanuric acid (CYA) is in most chlorine tablets or can be added separately as a chlorine stabilizer or conditioner and prevents UV radiation from destroying the chlorine in pool water. CYA acts as a buffer against pH decrease.
Imbalanced pool chemicals, including pH, total alkalinity, and cyanuric acid, are often the cause of many pool problems. If the pH exceeds the maximum recommended level of 7.8, chlorine is not as effective in destroying bacteria and algae. High pH also causes itchy skin and burning eyes. When chlorine is not effective, it also will not provide sanitizing effects, which will cause cloudy water.
Sodium borate in pools can prevent pH-related issues like cloudy water, algae growth, corrosion, calcium scaling, and metal stains. Test your pH level first, and if it’s high, you should lower it with muriatic acid to the recommended range before adding borates to your pool water, which will then keep your pH level stable without drifting.
By maintaining a stable pH level, the chlorine will provide maximum effectiveness in preventing algae from thriving in your pool water. Borates in pool water act as an algaestat, preventing algae growth rather than as an algaecide that treats algae.
Reduces Chlorine Usage
With stable pH, you will not have to shock your pool as often as free chlorine is not consumed at such a high rate. Some estimates when using borates in swimming pools claim that you can reduce chlorine consumption by up to 50%. Less use of chlorine will save you a considerable amount of money and is healthier. The reaction of chlorine with sweat, sunscreen, and skin can create harmful byproducts. According to a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, exposure to chlorinated pools significantly contributes to the burden of respiratory allergies and asthma among adolescents. Another study by the Environmental Health Perspectives found that adults swimming in chlorinated pools experienced impaired respiratory health with exposure to disinfection by-products after swimming in a chlorinated pool.
When using sodium borate for pools, you will not need to purchase as many chemicals as you will not have to adjust pH, and you will need to add less chlorine.
Can Reduce Pump Run Time
With your pool water in perfect balance and stable without experiencing fluctuations, you can reduce your pump running time without affecting the quality of your pool water. Some pool owners cut their pump run time down by 40% or more, which can save several hundred dollars in operating costs.
Makes Water Clear And Soft
Borate in swimming pools makes the water clear and sparkly because the water is cleaner, and borates also increase the water’s refractory index, which allows more reflection of light to provide clear and sparkling water. Pool owners that use borates experience water that is silky smooth, and soft.
Closing your pool with borates gives you all of these same benefits while providing longer-lasting protection against algae over the winter months. The Swimming Pool Store offers professional pool closings and pool closing with borates and enzymes.
The Swimming Pool Store offers more than 50 years of experience in helping swimming pool owners get the most out of their pool. We carry quality pool chemicals, pool equipment, and a wide selection of floats and toys for maximum swimming enjoyment. Contact us to learn more and to experience all of the many benefits of using sodium borate for pools.