Topics related to using borate in your swimming pool or hot tub

Borate serves as a buffer between water and bacteria. This has the benefit of reducing algae outbreaks while slowing the formation of Chloramines. The net result is crystal-clear water that requires less chlorine sanitizer. Studies show excess exposure to chlorine increases the risk of skin cancer.

Borates can be used to control pH drift due to a SWG or high aeration levels. Borates also help to control algae. Various subjective water quality/feel improvements are also attributed to borates. If you are not intentionally using borates there is no need to test for them. To use borates to control pH rise and algae, add borates to between 30 to 50 ppm.


With borate levels at 30 or above there is a chance that pets which drink the majority of their water from the pool might have some problems. Since pets should always be trained to not drink pool water, this shouldn’t be a problem.

You increase borates by adding borax and acid, or by adding boric acid. 20 Mule Team Borax can be found in the laundry detergent section of most large grocery stores. Boric acid is available over the Internet. You lower borates by replacing water. Proteam’s Supreme, Bioguard’s Optimizer Plus, Omni’s Maximizer, and Poolife’s Endure all contain borates.

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