What Is Cya And Why Keep It To A Minimum
CYA, also known as stabilizer or conditioner in the pool industry, protects chlorine from degradation from the ultraviolet rays of the sun. CYA can be very beneficial up to a point, but becomes increasingly detrimental to the pool beyond that. Figure 1 below illustrates this:
Figure 1: The relationship of chlorines staying power and CYA
Figure 1 shows us that roughly 20-30 ppm of CYA is enough to give us 95-98% protection from sunlight in the first hour, assuming this chart is accurate. This chart does not account for non-living organics or nitrogen compounds that chlorine still has to oxidize. Figure 1 just shows the relationship of sunlight, chlorine and CYA after one hour. As you can see, the benefits of CYA yield a diminishing return the higher you go. Granted, more CYA can give your chlorine more protection from sunlight for longer, but at what cost? For that, lets look at the work of the US Centers for Disease Control and their research on CYA.1
Is Cyanuric Acid Necessary In A Saltwater Pool
Cyanuric acid is required to protect the chlorine that your salt chlorinator produces as well as chemical chlorine that you may add to your pool. Chlorine is very susceptible to the UV rays of the sun and studies have shown that chlorine can be reduced by up to 90% with just two hours of direct sunlight.
So not only is chlorine used to kill contaminants in the water, it also has to deal with the UV rays of the sun which help to burn it off. By using stabilizer, you are helping to extend the life of chlorine in your pool and possibly minimize the work needed to keep water chemistry in check.
Chlorine in a pool is classified in several ways:
Free chlorine: The amount of chlorine in a pool at a specific time that is active and waiting to be used to sanitize the pools contaminants. Free chlorine is unattached to contaminants and is able to sanitize them when required.
Combined chlorine: The amount of chlorine that has already attached itself to contaminants. It is thus combined with contaminants and is no longer usable.
Total chlorine: The sum of free chlorine and combined chlorine.
For pool owners, you can get test strips that measure free chlorine since its the one youre most interested in ie. how much chlorine is freely available to sanitize the pool water?
Allow Sufficient Time For Proper Curing
During installation, you should always give large-format pool and spa tiles enough time to cure. Ensure the thin-set cures properly before you proceed to the next step. Typically, thinset needs air to cure Thinset typically requires air to cure. While the area between the separate tiles can quickly cure, the area behind the tiles will need more time. Dealing with larger pieces is actually worse because they need more time to cure. Pool experts report that the back center of the tile can take months to cure. Even so, experts dont give it as much curing time. On average, large-format tiles will need 21 to 28 days to cure. It would be best to inform the pool owner that they will have to wait 3 to 4 weeks for the tiles to cure, says Amy Deny.
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How Do I Remove Cyanuric Acid From My Swimming Pool
You will need to remove cyanuric acid from your swimming pool if the levels get too high! When it comes to keeping your swimming pool looking great, chlorine is the most important chemical in your swimming pool to keep it clear and free of algae but, the most common chemical used to prevent chlorine loss in swimming pools in cyanuric acid which is a stabilizer/conditioner. During the long, hot summer months the suns ultraviolet rays destroy free chlorine but having the proper amount of CYA in the swimming pool can prevent this. Knowing that we hope this blog post educates you on why CYA is necessary but also what happens when those levels get too high in your swimming pool.
As explained earlier chlorine is extremely important to have in the swimming pool to prevent algae growth but it is also vital to maintain proper pH levels, phosphate levels, and calcium hardness levels if you want to keep your;pool looking great. The bottom line is, if CYA is used properly it can reduce the cost of maintaining a swimming pool because it prevents chlorine loss and reduces the amount of chlorine needed to properly sanitize a swimming pool.
Inaccurate And Poor Alkalinity Readings
Your pool can register inaccurate and false alkalinity readings due to high CYA. This is because it can falsely send a supply to your carbonate alkalinity which makes up all of the alkalinity.
You should balance your water according to the Langelier Saturation Index. This will allow you to know exactly where the waters chemical levels should be.;
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Cyanuric Acid Vs Muriatic Acid
Although these two seem to get confused for each other some, they are two very different chemicals.
As weve explained, cyanuric acid acts as sort of a sunscreen for chlorine, while muriatic acid is used to lower a pools pH level.
;Both products help to manage chlorines efficiency but are used for very different reasons.;
Why High Cyanuric Acid Is Bad News
Having high CYA in your pool can lead to a few problems with the pool water:
- Inaccurate total alkalinity readings. High CYA can return false total alkalinity readings, because it can falsely contribute to your carbonate alkalinity . Balancing your water according to the Langelier Saturation Index will let you know precisely where your chemical levels are.
- Stalls chlorine effectiveness. High CYA will weaken your pools chlorine and keep it from doing its job. Referred to as chlorine lock, this happens because high CYA overpowers the free chlorine level in the pool. With compromised chlorine youll soon start seeing issues like algae and cloudy water.
- Plaster problems. High CYA usually correlates with low pH because the ineffective chlorine can throw off the pH level. So, if you have a plaster finish on your pool, the water will gradually eat away at it. Damaged plaster can be repaired but its a process that requires your entire pool be drained.
- ORP measures the waters oxidizing capacity. When too much CYA is present, youll see a decrease in the ORP of the water as it becomes less effective.
- Health issues. High CYA can impact your health, as a dangerous organism known as cryptosporidium parvum wont be properly removed from the water. It can infect a swimmers gastrointestinal tract, causing digestive issues and diarrhea.
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Lowering Cya Method : Chemical Way
Maybe your neighborhood regulations dont allow the displacement of that much water or there just isnt a viable spot anywhere in sight. The last thing we want is a whole neighborhood flooded with your pool water. If the dilution process works, awesome, but for those who couldnt confidently answer those questions will have to go the chemical route.
There arent a whole lot of options to chemically reduce CYA in your pool. Bio-Active sells a CYA reducing chemical product. The back of the package offers proof of its effectiveness. In a video below,;a tech tries a similar experiment in six of his pools he services. The results indicated the CYA was lowered in his pools, just not quite as significantly as the packaging said.
Natural Chemistry also has a 2 to 3 part chemical process for reducing CYA levels. Now, keep in mind it will most likely take more than one 8 ounce package of Bio-Actives product. This can be considered in the economical aspect of lowering your CYA. These products have simplified instructions on the packaging.
So your final question will most likely be, is it cheaper to buy several packages of chemical or is it cheaper to drain and refill?
Ideal Cyanuric Acid Levels
The World Health Organization recommends an upper limit of 100 parts per million of cyanuric acid in a swimming pool. They arrived at this number based on the assumption that children will likely swallow some water while swimming, and if they ingest too much CYA, it can make them sick.
We recommend keeping your cyanuric acid around 50 ppm. Aside from safety concerns, any higher concentration will inhibit your chlorine enough to chance algae and bacterial growth. Remember, more CYA doesnt necessarily mean more protection from UV rays.
If your pools cyanuric acid level is over 50 ppm, you may notice algae growth, some difficulty maintaining balanced chemistry, cloudy pool water, and decreased sanitizing.
If your level climbs above 100 ppm, you may not even be able to read the exact amount on a test strip. In this case, take a sample in to a pool supply store for more accurate testing before you act to lower the CYA level.
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Fiberglass Resin Shortage Affecting Manufacturers
The global covid-19 pandemic brought about many changes in the pool industry. Currently, there is shortage of many essential parts and supplies for swimming pools. More aspiring pool owners are getting disappointed by the day. Manufacturers have enormous backlogs of pending orders. But why has their been such dramatic and sudden slow-downs of inground pool construction during the height of the season? One of leading causes among fiberglass builders this season has been slow delivery of shells which has a direct correlation to ongoing resin shortages.
Why Too Much Cyanuric Acid Is A Bad Thing
When cyanuric acid levels get too high, it can cause something referred to as chlorine lock, which basically means your chlorine has been rendered useless.
Youll know it has happened when your chlorine test shows very or little chlorine even right after youve added it to the pool. ;
When your chlorine isnt working, bacteria and algae are not being treated!
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Drain Or Dilute Your Water
In most cases, diluting or draining the pool is your best course of action.
Some people wait until it rains to take advantage of Mother Nature, but we dont recommend doing this. The acidic nature of rain water can upset the balance of the pool, diluting the chemicals and using up its chlorine.
Heres how to do it:
Not Enough Cyanuric Acid
Outdoor pools without a residual of cyanuric acid in the water have trouble maintaining a chlorine residual during a sunny day. Even small levels of CYA in the water will have a pronounced protective effect.
Indoor pools can also benefit from a very low residual of CYA, as it helps to prevent off-gassing of chlorine and reduces chloramine formation.
If you need to raise your cyanuric acid level, you simply pour the granular white powder directly into the pool, at a rate of about 1 lb. per 10,000 gallons, to raise it about 10 ppm.
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The Relationship Of Ph Chlorine And Cyanuric Acid Levels
If your pH goes down, the effectiveness of your chlorine goes up. This is commonly understood. But in the presence of cyanuric acid, the relationship between pH and chlorine is substantially altered.; For example, if your pool maintains a pH of 7.2, about 63 percent of the chlorine is in its active form. If you introduce just 30 ppm of cyanuric acid to the pool, this drops to 1.6 percent of the chlorine being in its active form.
Depending on the size of a pool and jurisdiction, public pools have regulated limits for cyanuric levels of 40-100 ppm to prevent problems from over chlorination or unbalanced pH. Although cyanuric acid offers a low level of toxicity without any serious health concerns, having high-levels of this chemical in a pool puts people at risk because of the chlorines diminished ability to kill bacteria and viruses. In Florida, the Department of Health states that a pools cyanuric levels may not exceed 100ppm to prevent gastrointestinal illness, skin rashes, and other diseases.
Despite these ongoing issues, the industry has never found a cost-effective solution and environmentally safe way to remedy this problem.
On top of the pool chemistry problems, draining your pool presents environmental hazards:
If you were able to manage the levels of cyanuric acid in your swimming pool without draining it all these issues could be avoided.
Do My Pool Need Cyanuric Acid
Definitely, your pool needs a certain amount of cyanuric acid for the proper functioning of chlorine as well as reducing its disintegration in presence of sunlight.
So, if you own an outdoor pool that is exposed to sunlight then definitely you need CYA.
In fact, cyanuric acid saves you a lot of time and money.
You dont need to spend a good lump-sum amount on a chlorine testing kit.
Moreover, you can reduce the time that you spend on testing and balancing chlorine every day, a weekly test would do the trick for you.
Since CYA helps chlorine to function in a proper and effective way so the algae outbreak is kept under control in spite of you spending less time on maintenance.
On the other hand, you dont need to use CYA for your indoor pool until and unless it receives direct sunlight which may be possible if youve got lots of windows or open areas in the vicinity of your indoor pool.
Before we move further, please let me know, if were on the same page or NOT.
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The Breakdown: Cyanuric Acid And Chlorine
In order to fully understand how cyanuric acid functions in your pool, we first need to cover how chlorine usually reacts in the sun. Warning: were about to throwback to chem class again. When you put chlorine without cyanuric acid in your pool, its chemical makeup transforms to a compound called sodium hypochlorite, which is made up of ions. When ultraviolet rays hit those ions, they break apart and render your chlorine ineffective. In fact, in as little as under twenty minutes of exposure to the sun, your chlorine could be 50% less effective. And it only gets worse from there.
Unless you have an indoor pool that is completely hidden from ultraviolet rays, adding cyanuric acid is absolutely essentialand much cheaper than wasting massive amounts of ineffective chlorine. Its one of the many reasons its important that you choose the right chlorine for your pool and circumstances.;
Are Automatic Spa Covers Worth The Purchase
Currently, there is a broad spectrum of automatic spa cover designs. Therefore, every spa owner can find something that caters to their needs. Needless to say, automatic spa covers are not for everyone. They are ideal for pool owners who want to match their pool cover and spa cover more often than not. Ultimately, automatic spa covers offer excellent functionality and aesthetics.
Large-Format tiles have increasingly become popular among most homeowners. They come in different shapes and sizes. Besides, these tiles offer exceptional aesthetics. Nonetheless, installing large-format pool and spa tiles is relatively complex. This article outlines a few tips that help with large-format tile installation.
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What Levels Of Cyanuric Acid Are Optimal
Even a small amount of cyanuric acid is good for your pool, so if youre afraid of going overboard, you can opt for adding trace amounts.
But the optimum level is considered 30-50 ppm .
Any higher and it will keep the chlorine from being killed by the sun, but it will lose virtually all effectiveness in killing bacteria.
How Much Pool Water Should You Drain
Lowering cyanuric acid in your pool by removing pool water isnt an exact science. .
The action of removing water and topping the pool back up again will do two things.
Firstly, when you drain part of the water, the water that was removed contains cyanuric acid. The second thing is the concentration of pool stabilizer in the pool water will be diluted when you top up the pool water to normal levels again.
As an example of how much water to remove, if your chlorine stabilizer levels are too high, say by 10%, then youll need to remove roughly 10% of the water. Next, refill the pool to dilute the cyanuric acid levels and bring the pool water levels back up to where they should be.
Now run the pump for 1-2 hours to mix the new water and test for pool stabilizer levels again. You may need to do this in batches.
Warning: do not drain more than 1/3 of your pool at a time without consulting a pool professional. Draining more than this can result in hydrostatic damage. Hydrostatic damage is when your pool shifts or pops slightly out of the ground which can mean cracking and other major structural damage.
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