Tech Note: Cyanuric Acid

We want to lend our views on what the issues are with cyanuric acid, aka chlorine stabilizer, conditioner, CYA etc.  Cyanuric acid I always say is like an appetizer for chlorine.  Chlorine loves hanging out with several things… one of those is UV rays.  We add stabilizer to pools primarily so that chlorine doesn’t just “zoooooommmmm” right back out of our pool and into the sky.  We give it a little bit of an appetizer to hang out with.  That way, when bacteria enters the pool, “CHOMP”, the chlorine leaves the appetizer of stabilizer and goes and eats its favorite meal, bacteria.

The amount of stabilizer is typically below 50 parts per million (ppm).  This makes the stabilizer large enough where the chlorine will stay in the pool but small enough where it will gladly leave the stabilizer and kill the bacteria.

The problem now lies in the face that sometimes chlorine (tri-chlor in particular, but also di-chlor) contain stabilizer in the chlorine itself.  So even if we started with a small stabilizer after adding tri-chlor to our pool all year, we have also been adding a bank of additional stabilizer.  As we add this, now the chlorine doesn’t want to leave the stabilizer and the bacteria is untouched – the result, a fowled pool…

Unfortunately, the industry norm for reducing cyanuric acid levels is to drain the pool (at least partially) and then re-fill with fresh water.  Of course it is costly because you need to re-treat this water, re-heat it and of course, there is the down time of the pool.  

Happy Swimming!

Your friends at Bi-State Pool & Spa

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