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How To Add Cyanuric Acid To Pool

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Ideal Cyanuric Acid Levels

How To Balance CYANURIC ACID In Your Pool | Swim University

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.

What Is Pool Stabilizer

Did you know that without a buffer, the sun can consume up to 90% of your pools free, unstabilized chlorine in just a couple of hours?

Cyanuric acid, or CYA as it is commonly called , acts as that buffer, protecting your chlorine from those hungry UV rays.

You can get it in liquid or granule form, or mixed with chlorine tablets or sticks and in chlorine shock .

Its usually just added once at the beginning of each swim season, but most chlorine products you buy also contain CYA, so your swimming pool should be getting a steady dose.

Test Your Pool Regularly

Whether you use CYA or not, testing your pool is the most important thing you can do for the health of your water.

We recommend doing this at least once a week, but under certain conditions, you may need to do it more.

For example, if you have a larger amount of swimmers than usual, your pH levels can become quickly unbalanced. Or if you get a lot of rain, it can dilute your pool and alter the chemicals.

Cyanuric acid levels dont change much unless your pool does get diluted with a lot of rain. So keep in mind that youll probably only have to add it once or twice a year. But your other chemicals can change a lot over the course of a week.

And if you keep your CYA at around 50 ppm, youll need to make sure you keep your free chlorine at around 3 ppm to help them work together optimally.

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How Cyanuric Acid Works

Cyanuric acid is used in swimming pools to lower the rate of photochemical reduction of chlorine, hypochlorous acid, and hypochlorite ion. Thats just a fancy way of saying it protects your pools chlorine from the effects of sunlight.

Once you add chlorine to your pool, the big yellow thing in the sky goes to work burning off the chlorine through chemical reactions, seriously decreasing the power of the chlorine in your pool water. In fact, the sun can eat up to 1 ppm of chlorine every hour if its not protected.

The cyanuric acid extends the life of the chlorine by shielding it from ultraviolet rays. Without it, the ultraviolet rays from the sun would break apart the chlorite ions, allowing the chlorine to just evaporate into thin air. It literally stabilizes the ion, making it resistant to any chemical changes.

When you add cyanuric acid to your pool, it binds to the free chlorine floating around to form a compound thats stable in sunlight. The reaction can also go the other way and release free chlorine.

As free chlorine gets used up, the cyanuric acid provides a backup of cleaning potential thats safe from the sun. The free chlorine in your pool will then be available for sanitizing far longer than it would be without using stabilizer.

But just like wishing for immortality from a magical genie, theres a catch. The increased lifespan of chlorine means its weaker than it was before.

Longer life = Decreased cleaning power

How To Lower Ph And Alkalinity

Cyanuric Acid Low in Pool

There are primarily three types of acid that are used for pH and alkalinity reduction in swimming pools. There are other acids in the pool business, such as cyanuric acid and citric acid, but they are not used for adjusting pH or alkalinity levels. The three acids used for pH and alkalinity management are Muriatic Acid , Sulfuric Acid , and a dry acid called Sodium Bisulfate . There is also Cyanuric Acid , but it is not used for pH or alkalinity control. We just mention it here for the procedure of how to safely use it.

Related: Total Alkalinity vs. pH, and their Roles in Water Chemistry

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Abc Can Keep Your Pool Balanced

Any pool owner can tell you that it takes a lot to keep a pool clean and well-maintained. Stopping your pool cleaning service can seem like a nice, quick way to save some money, but its important to consider what youre giving upand what youre taking on. For many of us who live in the southern states, that means paying attention to cyanuric acid not only during swimming season but also monitoring winter pool chemicals. Youll also need to learn how to clean pool cartridge filters and make minor repairs. So much for that relaxing backyard oasis!

There is a reason that pool owners outsource their pool care to ABC Home & Commercial Services. This type of work may seem easy, but it takes extensive training and experience to do it right. Then theres the time that you have to investand the time it takes away from other things, especially enjoying spending time in your pool instead of working on it.

If youre starting to realize you bit off more than you can chewor if you just want the peace of mind that comes from working with knowledgeable professionalsour pool cleaning technicians are ready and willing to help.

Can I Use Cyanuric Acid To Lower My Ph

Technically, CYA is an acid, and is in the family of Sulfuric acid with a pH level of around 4.0. It will slightly reduce your pH level when added to the pool in measureable quantities, but may be hard to notice. So, no Cyanuric acid is best used for shielding your expensive chlorine from the sun but for lowering your pH, better to use Sodium Bisulfate.

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Drain And Dilute Your Swimming Pool

The first method to manage your swimming pool chemistry and reduce cyanuric acid is to drain and dilute your swimming pool. This is the best method you can do most of the time to help balance the cyanuric acid levels in your swimming pool.

Completely draining out your pool can be risky. It can cause hydrostatic pressure, which can cause your pool to pop up and get damaged. If you plan to drain your pool more than one-third, it would be best to contact a professional and let them do the proper draining. This way, you can avoid hydrostatic pressure and damage your pool altogether.

Nevertheless, you can opt to drain your pool partially to avoid any damage. Here are the steps to properly drain your swimming pool to lower the cyanuric acid levels in it.

Why You Have Low Cyanuric Acid

How To Add Cyanuric Acid (Stabilizer) To The Pool | By Waterdrop Pools (Naples, Florida)

The most likely reason is that youve only ever used unstabilized chlorine in your pool.

Heads up: Unstabilized chlorine, such as sodium hypochlorite , lithium hypochlorite, and calcium hypochlorite, is pure chlorine. Stabilized chlorine, such as sodium dichlor or trichlor, has added CYA to protect the chlorine.

When using unstabilized chlorine as your pool sanitizer, you need to add CYA to the water as well.

Unintended dilution of the pool water may also cause a drop in the pools CYA level. This can be due to water evaporation or a large splashout that requires refilling the pool, or even if it rains. Additionally, draining and refilling your pool will also result in low CYA levels.

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How To Add Cyanuric Acid To A Saltwater Pool

Cyanuric acid in the form of commercial pool stabilizer is sold in buckets of powder and is typically sprinkled slowly into the pool. You may also find a liquid product that can be poured into the pool, typically in the skimmer.

Follow the instructions carefully because some stabilizer can coagulate and clog pump systems if added too quickly. Slowly sprinkling powder in the side skimmer with the pump running or placing the powdered stabilizer in a skimmer sock to slowly dissolve in the water is another common method.

Pool stabilizers often take up to 2 days to fully dissolve and it isnt uncommon to see bits of the stabilizer shooting out of the return jets as youre sprinkling it in the skimmer.

Some chemical chlorine products such as chlorine pucks or crystal chlorine that is made specifically for pool usage has stabilizer added. So when you use these products to shock your salt water pool youre already adding in stabilizer too.

But since a salt water pools chlorine production comes predominantly from the chlorinator and is thus unstabilized, manually adding stabilizer to the water is required to help extend the life of the chlorine.

How To Increase Cyanuric Acid Levels In The Pool

Low cyanuric acid levels are typically not an issue because even small amounts of CYA can help extend chlorine life in your pool.

But to increase cyanuric acid levels in a pool, owners may simply add some cyanuric acid granules according to the manufacturers recommendations.

Pool owners usually use cyanuric acid as an additive to chlorine tablets and are directly thrown in a pool to increase chlorine effectiveness they often referred to this process as a booster.

Learning how to reduce cyanuric acid levels in the pool requires some effort at first, but once you get the hang of it, its not that difficult. While cyanuric acid is a vital component for keeping chlorine active for a more extended time, remember that too much CYA will weaken chlorine, making it less efficient in killing harmful bacteria and viruses.

On the other hand, by maintaining the proper CYA and chlorine levels, youll have a huge chance to win the battle of algae and bacteria contaminating your pool in any climate condition. Thats something worthy of your consideration!

Read more about cyanuric acid and how to keep your pool sanitize and safe. Have fun and enjoy swimming!

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What Causes The High Cyanuric Acids In Pools

A common cause for the increase in cyanuric acids in pools is a result of the users habits, and these things happen without the users knowledge. The use of stabilized chlorine adds cyanuric acid every time you make use of it. When the water evaporates, it leaves traces of cyanuric acid behind. Stabilized chlorine makes cyanuric acid accumulate fast. One pound of Trichlor in 10,000 gallons of water will add six ppm of cyanuric acid, so imagine what would accumulate in a month after the number of times you add it to the pool. You need to take note of this as a pool owner or pool professional who looks after pools.

Cya’s Negative Impact On The Lsi

How to Use Swimming Pool Conditioner, Cyanuric Acid

As if CYA’s impact on chlorine were not enough of a reason to keep its levels to a minimum, there is more. Another relatively misunderstood consequence of CYA is its impact on your waters overall balance. According to theLangelier Saturation Index , CYA matters because it leads pool operators to believe they have more carbonate alkalinity than they really do. This is because the LSI formula requires a CYA correction againsttotal alkalinity to find the carbonate alkalinity. Its complicated .

All you need to know is the higher your CYA, the lower your LSI. And you might be surprised at just how impactful CYA is when using the Orenda App LSI calculator.

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How Do You Add Conditioner To A Pool

Adding Conditioner to your water is a process that is not complicated, but requires you to follow additional instructions carefully. Conditioner takes days, rather than minutes, to dissolve, unlike many chemicals. It also has a tendency to expand slightly once exposed to water. Because of this, the application process is different compared to adding a chemical like Soda Ash.

Follow these Directions When Adding Conditioner

  • Determine the correct amount of conditioner needed to reach your intended target of between 30-50 parts per million or 80-100 parts per million . Your cyanuric acid levels can be tested using a home test kit or visiting a local Leslies.
  • Shut the system off.
  • Remove the skimmer and filter basket from your system. Baskets can halt the flow of conditioner into the filter once its added.
  • Replace all lids that were removed to take the baskets out of your system.
  • Turn the system on.
  • Add the required amount of conditioner into a bucket of pool water and mix it into a slurry.
  • In small increments, add the slurry into the skimmer. Once you notice the conditioner disappear, add the next small dose. Continue this until all of the mixture is gone from the bucket. By adding conditioner this way, the product will get stuck in the pool filter, allowing it to safely dissolve into the water without staining.
  • Continue running your pump for one hour after the addition of conditioner.
  • Replace all baskets in your system.
  • Cyanuric Acid Low In Pool: What You Should Do

    Low levels of cyanuric acid are easy to solve. The solution? Add more!

    How exactly you do this depends on the method youre using. Tablets that contain cyanuric acid will cause the parts per million to increase as they dissolve, so it may just be that you need to wait a bit longer.

    If you believe that the cyanuric acid product youre using has had time to spread out and bond with the chlorine in the water and your levels are still low, the next step is to add more cyanuric acid until you get your pool to the right level.

    Truth be told though, this is an uncommon problem to face once you start using cyanuric acid. Thats because the chemical doesnt degrade or dissolveever.

    So, generally speaking, your levels will always continue to go up until and unless you take specific action to reduce them.

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    How To Reduce Cyanuric Acid In A Swimming Pool

    High levels of Cyanuric Acid in pool water can cause issues. That’s why Minimal CYA is Orenda’s Fourth Pillar of Proactive Pool Care.

    And yet, we encounter many people that are hesitant to drainor even dilutetheir pool to reduce CYA levels. Perhaps there are valid reasonscosts, structural risks, labor, environmental concernsfor not draining high CYA pool water. That being said, draining and/or diluting water is still the most economical way to lower CYA levels in a pool.

    What Are Some Safety Precautions When Using Cyanuric Acid

    How To Add Chlorine & Cyanuric Acid (Stabilizer/Conditioner) To Your Swimming Pool
  • Not for indoor pools? Some experts recommend not using CYA for indoor pools. They caution that it can slow down the effectiveness of chlorine in killing off pathogens. This could pose a problem in busy indoor water parks, where germs can be spread quicker than the chlorine can get to it. So for indoor pools with heavy traffic, it might be best to not use CYA.
  • However, other experts disagree, saying that at least a small amount of CYA is good for indoor pools, especially those that may be surrounded by windows that let in a lot of sunlight. It can also tame the degrading effects of chlorine on hair, skin, and swimwear. For those who are sensitive to nitrogen trichloride, CYA reduces the amount that becomes airborne, so it cant be breathed in. But then again, this could be better for pools that dont have heavy traffic and therefore have less pathogen load.

  • Definitely not for hot tubs For the most part anyway. A little CYA wont hurt, but if levels are too high, the warm water can become an out-of-control breeding ground for all sorts of nasty things. For that small volume of water, any little change in chemistry can be big. So youre better off NOT using the combo stabilizer/chlorine. Stick to the pure chemicals, test often, and make sure the free chlorine remains at levels high enough to kill pathogens at all times.
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    What Level Of Cyanuric Acid Is Necessary

    The proper level of cyanuric acid to use in your pools is a small amount that can be in the form of droplets, but if youre afraid of adding more than what is required, you can add it in trace amounts. Anything higher than the optimum level, which is 30-50 ppm , will keep the chlorine from being killed by the sun but will neutralize all of its effectiveness in killing bacteria.

    How To Lower Cyanuric Acid In A Pool

    Many pool owners dont fully understand what cyanuric acid does to pool water. When they test the pool water to find its indicating a high or low level of cyanuric acid they usually ignore the test. After all, the pool water looks clear and clean so they assume everything is good.

    When the pool water has a higher than normal level of cyanuric acid, or pool stabilizer chemical, it will reduce the chemical effectiveness of chlorine leaving your pool unsanitized and exposed to bacteria, viruses and other contaminants.

    Adding more chlorine will have little effect because it will be neutralized by the excessive level of cyanuric acid.

    The best way to reduce the concentration of stabilizer is to drain some water from the pool and refill with fresh water.

  • Final Thoughts
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