Pool Cleaning Mistakes

Why Borates are Important in Swimming Pool Maintenance

In Pool Maintenance How To by Platinum Pools

Everyone who has a swimming pool knows that water chemicals can go out of whack if not maintained properly. It is important to keep your pools total alkalinity (TA) and pH in the recommended levels, if either is out of balance, it will affect the function of all chemicals in your pool, including chlorine.  If you are looking to make pool maintenance easier by better keeping your pools TA and pH levels balanced, borates are the answer.

proteam supreme boratesIntroduction

You may be wondering who came up with the idea of adding borates to a swimming pool.  Back in the 1980’s, John Galvin founded ProTeam Pool Supplies and introduced ProTeam Supreme (sodium tetraborate).  His product buffers the pH and alkalinity and adds a sparkle and shine to the water.  It helps to reduce the use of chlorine and prevents algae growth.  Little did he know that his product would revolutionize the way we clean our swimming pools.

When pH Level is Unbalanced

Many circumstances happen when the pH in your pool’s water is not in balance.  Take a look at the following information:

Adding Borates to a PoolpH Level over 7.8

  • Chlorine stops working, making the water cloudy, promotes water bacteria and algae growth.
  • High pH levels will result in calcium scaling, based on pool surfaces, water lines, and accessories, especially in salt water pools.
  • A high pH can trigger health problems such as burning in the eyes and nose, and dryness, itching of the skin and scalp.

pH Level below 7.0

  • Pool parts erosion
  • Plaster and grout damage
  • Corrodes metallic accessories (heater, steps)
  • Metal stains
  • Water discoloration by corroded metals

You should consider adding borates to your pool if you don’t want this to happen to your swimming pool.   Let’s find out what some of the benefits of using borates as part of your pool maintenance are.

Crystal Clear Sparkling WaterThe Benefits of Using Borates

  1. Helps stabilize the pH level – using borates with a neutral pH level will help stabilize the chemicals in your pool’s water.
  2. Help prevent the development of algae – since borates keep the pH in balance, and the chlorine working effectively, algae has no room to thrive and begin to grow in your pool.
  3. Less chlorine – since borates help prevent algae growth, you may use less chlorine which means you will save money in monthly chemical costs.
  4. Soft and shiny water – borates help the water to stay clean longer. The chloramine doesn’t develop quickly versus those who don’t include a borate agent as part of their pool maintenance. A good borate contains a chlorine stabilizer that prevents ultraviolet light from consuming the chemical.
  5. An extra benefit – borates not only makes the water healthy, but it also prevents swimmers from getting dry skin and red, itchy eyes.

What are the Best Borates?

In our 20+ years of experience in the swimming pool industry, we highly recommend ProTeam Supreme Plus.  The product has a neutral pH, and you don’t need to mix it with acid to reduce the levels.


Step 1: Ensure that the pump is running.  Apply Supreme Plus directly to the pool or through the skimmer.  Then, brush the sides of the pool.  This will create currents to help mix the product throughout the pool’s water.

Step 2: Keep the pump running for 24 hours to accelerate the process of mixing the chemicals.

Step 3: After 24 hours, check the borate, pH and TA levels to ensure that the chemicals are all within their proper levels.  Borates should be approximately 50 ppm, TA 80-120 ppm and pH between 7.4 and 7.6.

Remember that you should test your pool water as often as you can.  In the case of borates levels, checking it once a month should be enough.

We hope this will help you keep your pool water in optimum condition in the easiest way possible.  Remember that our team at Platinum Pools is ready to help you with any questions and all other poo-related inquiries.  Call us at 1.281.870.1600 (Houston), 1.409.898.4995 (Beaumont), or 1.361.575.0183 (Victoria).  Our team of pool experts is ready to help.