The pool store I go to is always pushing "PoolProof"
<http://nisuscorp.com/pool-spa/products/poolproof which is basically
borate dissolved in a liquid. I was reading
<http://www.poolspanews.com/efflorescence/borate-chemistry.aspx and it
seems to confirm the benefits of borate.
Of course anything sold for a pool has an enormous mark-up but borate
can be purchased at Walmart as 20 Mule Team Borax. I would need about 30
boxes (76 ounces each, $4) and about eight gallons of acid (about $5
each) to bring the Borate level up to 50ppm and the ph back down. To use
PoolProof would cost me about $300 if no acid was necessary (supposedly
PoolProof liquid is ph neutral) while pure borate powder raises the ph).
The benefits of a 50 ppm borate level are supposed to be a more stable
ph, less algae problems, and the ability to run the pool pump for fewer
hours. That last one could really make it pay for itself. Two hours less
a day of the pump running would probably save me $75 per month.
Anyone used PoolProof or other form of borate in their pool? I bought
all the borax that my local Walmart had in stock (eight boxes) and am
going to try it.
Also, borate, like cyanuric acid (stabilizer) doesn't evaporate, so you
only add it when you fill the pool, and maybe a little extra every year
to compensate for splashed out water and overflow.
Started adding it last night. You put it into the skimmer, a little at a
time. They warn that if you dump in a lot all at once it won't dissolve
right away and can clog the pipe to the pump and that it takes a long
time dissolve when that happens.
I might do it if algae becomes an issue. Since I refinished the pool
last November I have seen one bit of algae. I think almost all of my
algae issues were caused by the black algae firmly embedded in the old
plaster. The pool was at least 27 y/o when I bought the house and the
pool wasn't maintained very well. The plaster was badly pitted. Last
November I basically bought a new pool.
On Friday, May 2, 2014 6:49:08 PM UTC-4, sms wrote:
Either you must have a very big pump or your electric rates
must be sky high, or both. A 1hp pump is about 1.5KW. Here in NJ we
have some of the highest electric rates and it costs about 25c an
hour to run. Two hours a day, would be ~$15 a month.
If it's costing that much to run the pump, have you considered
switching the motor to one that is dual speed? Running it at
half speed for twice as long can cut the electric usage in half.
I'm in the process of doing that right now.
I calculated the cost of running the pump 4 hours a day versus 6 hours a
I have a one speed, 1.5HP pump rated at 230V/9.3A. It pushes me into the
top tier of rates which is 36¢/KWhour. It draws 2.139 KW. So I'm paying
77¢/hour. If I cut cut down the pump time by two hours a day I'd save
$46.20 per month. So the $75 was wrong. It will costs about $160 to
bring the borate level to 50ppm. So it will take a little less than four
months to pay for itself. But the other benefit is being able to have a
lower chlorine level so there are also savings in chlorine, probably
about $20 per month.
On Saturday, May 3, 2014 1:15:05 PM UTC-4, sms wrote:
Why 4 vs 6? If you use run the pump at half speed, it shoule be 3 vs 6.
And running at half speed, instead of pulling 9.3A, it would probably
pull more like 2 amps. You have to run it twice as long to move the
same amount of water, but even so, it winds up using less than half
I guess the folks where you live, CA I presume, let the idiot hippies
take control. Sadly, at the moment, that's where we're all headed.
It draws 2.139 KW. So I'm paying
And still without regard to the borate, if you;re paying 36c/kwh, a dual
speed pump would appear to be at the top of the list. Here in NJ, with
18c kwh rates the new pump I just put in will pay for itself in less
than 2 years. And I would
think that hippie states might have utility rebates that would make it
pay off in a year.
Certainly you should follow those "BBB Method" directions, but I can't
see why you can't just leave the borax in your pool's water all summer.
Borates are by far the safest wood preservatives, to mammals at least.
In fact in China and other Asian countries, borax is used as a food
additive. So swimming in water with a low concentration of borax
dissoved in it shouldn't pose any danger, especially if people make a
point of not swallowing the pool water.
'Borax - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia'
The FDA has banned Borax as a food additive in the USA, but it's
commonly available for a host of other uses.
There's no way to remove the borates, short of draining (like cyanuric
acid) so removing them isn't an option. For pools in cold climates where
you drain the pool for the winter than probably borates aren't practical
because of the initial cost.
I tend to believe the guy at the pool store I go to (The Pool Guys) when
it comes to the benefits of borates. This particular store has a big
self-interest in minimizing recurring chemical usage because retail
sales of chemicals and equipment are a minor part of their business.
Most of their money comes from their pool maintenance business and the
monthly fee is the same no matter how much the chemicals cost them. They
are big fans of borate products like PoolProof (which they also have in
very large sizes not normally sold to the public though they will sell
these to the public) and big users of Orenda products which they buy in
275 gallon containers that are shipped to them on a pallet (and which
they won't sell to retail customers--I've tried). They also sell higher
percentage chlorine in returnable bottles for a lot less than the boxes
of two disposable, lower-concentration, chlorine, sold at Home Depot or
Leslie's (and it's fresher since it's delivered every couple of days
from the factory).
I'm not a fan of conspiracy theories but this was on a web site: "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."
There are four tiers (rounded to whole numbers):
Tier 1 is 351KWH at 13¢ each
Tier 2 is 105KWH at 15¢ each
Tier 3 is 246KWH at 32¢ each
Tier 4 is anything over tiers 1-3 at 37¢/KWH
(These tiers were on my March bill)
We almost never run our A/C since the weather is so mild (most houses
don't even have A/C in our neighborhood), and our water heater, furnace,
and clothes dryer run on natural gas. Our biggest use of electricity is
the pool pump.
I do have a two speed pump that I am going to install but I was waiting
for the current pump to break. The two-speed, and variable speed, pumps
have a much shorter service life than the older one-speed pumps
according to the pool store (I don't know why they would admit this when
they are trying to sell $1200 variable speed pumps!).
One other issue I have is that it's an older pool, built when they built
deep pools so you could have a diving board. The deep end is 13' deep,
and the shallow end is very small. So the volume of water is very large,
probably 35-40K gallons. So that's a lot of pumping to filter the water.
I tried just filling the shallow end of the pool, and leaving the deep
end empty, but I couldn't get that to work.
So the claimed benefits of borate are:
1. Allows you to maintain the chlorine level at a lower PPM saving on
2. Allows you to run the pump for fewer hours per day saving on electricity.
3. Reduces the need for algaecide saving the cost of algaecide.
4. Stabilizes the ph so there is less need for acid.
5. Does not raise the alkalinity when used to raise the ph.
6. Makes the water "sparkle."
The downsides are:
1. Initial cost
2. Animals should not drink water from the pool.
We'll see. I'm always leery of stuff the pool store tries to sell me,
but I did not buy the borate there anyway.
I expect your high electricity rates are the result of your electric
utility burning coal to generate steam to produce electricity, which is
an expensive way to do things. Either that, or you use wind to produce
Here in Manitoba we have more hydro electric potential than we need. In
fact, if you were to build dams on all of the places where hydro
electric power could be economically generated in Manitoba, we could
provide all of Canada's needs. Unfortunately, British Columbia,
Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland are just as well off when it comes to
hydro electric power potential, so we have no customers for our
electricity right now except Minnesota and North Dakota.
Our electric utility, Manitoba Hydro, is a publically owned company, and
Manitobans pay 6.83 cents per kilowatt hour.
When electric cars start replacing gasoline powered cars, Manitoba is
going to be the next Saudi Arabia.
On Saturday, May 3, 2014 2:50:19 PM UTC-4, nestork wrote:
Good grief. Coal is probably the cheapest fuel for
generating electricity. His problem isn't coal, it's
that the hippie libs have taken over and royally
screwed California for decades now. They had it so
screwed about ten years ago, the lights went out.
Either that, or you use wind to produce
That's great, but there are only so many places you
can build dams, create lakes, etc that are needed.
Here in the USA, we don't have many, if any, of those
places left. And even if we did, the same folks that
have screwed SMS and the other folks in CA, ie the
hippies, would be there blocking construction because
of the environmental impact. In fact, the hippies and
Obama are screwing you folks in Canada right now, by
blocking the Keystone pipeline. Better to ship oil by
rail and have it run off the tracks, killing everyone,
We're paying about .17 here in NJ. At least it's
better than California.
Jumping in late here.
So these rates are cumulative for the month?
If I'm reading this right, my highest bill for last year was 1239 KWH
so the first 351 is costing $45.63, the next 105 is $15.75, then 246 @
$78.72 and finally, 536 @ .37 = $213.12.
I thought we had high rates. I paid $194.47 that month but your rate
would be $353.22? OMG, that would change the way we do things in this
Most people have gas dryers, water heaters, and furnaces since they are
much cheaper to operate. So the major use of electricity is A/C (which
is only common starting in central San Jose and further south, and pool
pumps, which also aren't that common until San Jose. If we didn't have a
pool we'd rarely get beyond tier 2.
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