Solve The Problem By Emptying It Partially Or Completely
Although how to lower cyanuric acid in the pool will depend on each case, make a point that if the pool has a high concentration of isocyanuric acid, the only way to lower it is by emptying the pool.
In the case of obtaining high levels of cyanuric acid in swimming pools, it is very difficult to reduce since it is degraded very slowly. So the best alternative will be empty the pool and renew the water.
The resolution of the water relay will depend on the present values of cyanuric acid.
Mostly as we have said before, the verdict will be executed according to:
- Before everything, you must replenish all the pool water if you sustain cyanuric levels above 0 100ppm.
- or to the contrary, partially replace and dilute your pool water if levels are above 80 ppm
STEP 1 Lower the cyanuric acid in the pool: empty it
How To Raise Cyanuric Acid In Your Pool
If you do need to raise your cyanuric acid levels, youll likely only need to add it once or twice per year . But be careful about adding too much CYA. Remember that cyanuric acid does not break down in the water and can stay in your pool for a long time. And stabilized chlorine already comes with CYA, so youll likely be adding it to your pool water throughout the season.
Because CYA is an acid, youll need to handle it carefully. It can damage your filter and your pool, especially if you have a vinyl liner. Here is the safe way to add stabilizer to your pool.
Youll need the following supplies:
To add cyanuric acid to your pool:
Note: Some packages of cyanuric acid say to add the chemical directly to the skimmer without first combining it with water. Always read and follow the manufacturers instructions.
How Much Cyanuric Acid Does Your Pool Need
Depending on who you ask, you may get answers from 10 to 100 ppm. Research has shown that levels over 50 ppm dont provide any additional UV protection for your free chlorine. Also, anything over that amount can significantly slow down chlorines ability to kill pathogens.
So, if you can keep your CYA at or below 50 ppm, that should provide plenty of sunscreen protection for your chlorine.
But no matter what the CYA level is, youll want to keep testing your free chlorine levels to make sure the pool remains properly sanitized. A good balance is a free chlorine level thats 7.5% of your CYA .
For example, if you have a 50 ppm stabilizer level, your sanitizer should be about 3 ppm.
The actual amount you add to the pool will depend on the volume of water and amount of chlorine in your pool. For every 10,000 gallons, youll need about 4 pounds of CYA per every 30 ppm it needs to increase.
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How Often Do You Add Cyanuric Acid To A Pool
The good thing about CYA is that it doesnt get used up like other chemicals. Once you put it in, it stays at pretty much the same level unless you have to do a water change or have a big splashout or a lot of evaporation. Any dilution as a result of adding water, even from rain, will lower the CYA concentration.
Most often, the only time youll need to add any significant amount of CYA is when you open your pool for the summer. After that, if you use stabilized chlorine each week, youre adding a little CYA every time. Unless theres a significant water addition or loss, thats all the CYA youll need to add throughout the year.
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.
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What Kind Of Products Should I Use
There are distinct CYA stabilizers available but they are also included in some sanitizer products that are chlorine based. These products, usually called dichlor or trichlor, contain both chlorine and CYA. If you end up using one of these products you will not need to add any additional CYA products.
Chlorine Works More Slowly
Even a small amount of cyanuric acid makes chlorine work more slowly. Similar to the point we made above, however, this exchange is generally worth it because the chlorine sticks around longer.
When chlorine isnt effective, you will notice that the water becomes cloudy and more bacteria will build up. The issue, then, becomes finding a way to keep the amount of cyanuric acid in your pool at the correct level.
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Can You Raise Cyanuric Acid In A Pool
Take a very careful measure when you are sure that you have to raise the cyanuric acid in your pool water. If you add too much, you can cause the high cyanuric acid level which will make you have to solve a more complicated case. To find out the level of cyanuric acid in your swimming pool, you have to test the level of the chemicals of the water.
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How To Lower Cyanuric Acid Levels
When your cyanuric levels are too high, you have three options:
- Purchase a cyanuric acid reducer
- Drain and refill with new pool water .
For diluting, you dont have to use an exact science, but basically, if your cyanuric acid level is 5% too high, then you need to remove about 5% of the pool water.
Dilution is always the best solution, but if the cyanuric acid levels are extremely high, it will be much easier to purchase a cyanuric acid reducer to bring it down, then top off with fresh water.
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How Is Cyanuric Acid Used To Swimming Pools
Stabilizer should be added to refilled pools to raise the level to the range of 30-50 ppm. After this foundation, the small amount of CYA pressed into your stabilized tablets should help replace the CYA lost during backwash, splash-out or winterization.
The TriChlor tablets and the DiChlor shock that we sell are examples of chlorine products that are combined crystallized with the salts of cyanuric acid. These are known as stabilized chlorine and are meant to help maintain the residual of cyanuric acid in your pool.
Are Alkalinity And Total Alkalinity The Same
Alkalinity is the measure of carbonate and bicarbonates in the pool water. Carbonate alkalinity is important because if it is low, it means the water is more acidic and more corrosive.
Total Alkalinity is the measure of carbonate, bicarbonate, hydroxyl and cyanurate ions in the pool water. The reading for Total Alkalinity is always higher than the reading for Alkalinity, the difference being the cyanurate.
The difference between Total Alkalinity and Alkalinity will be high if Cyanuric Acid level has increased over time. So while Total Alkalinity may be within 80-120 ppm, as recommended, the Carbonate Alkalinity may be significantly lower.
Carbonate Alkalinity = Total Alkalinity less rd of Cyanuric Acid
The above formula is at a pH level of 7.6. The multiplier is pH dependent.
In case the Total Alkalinity is 80 ppm and Cyanuric Acid is 90 ppm, then the Carbonate Alkalinity is just 50 ppm. This is low and the pool water will be corrosive.
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How To Bring Cyanuric Acid Back Down
In cases where your CYA level is way above 50 ppm, youll need to take some steps to lower it so you dont end up with a whole new set of pool problems.
There are 3 ways you can do this:
- Water dilution. This method requires you to drain the pool and refill it, and doing it slowly through multiple partial drains is recommended. While this will make the process take longer, it will protect your pool from potentially popping out of the ground which will be very costly to resolve!
- CYA reducer. Products like Bio-Active are inexpensive, easy to add to the pool, and its safe to swim right after its application. The only drawback is you have to wait at least 1 week if you need multiple applications.
- Reverse osmosis system. RO is basically a specialized filter that purifies and recycles the pool water, so youre not wasting it. An added benefit is that RO also reduces calcium hardness and total dissolved solids in the water. The downside is its a very expensive treatment option at $500 a pop.
Note On Testing Cyanuric Acid Levels
If youre using liquid cyanuric acid to raise the cyanuric acid levels, this will mix quickly with the water and raise the levels within a couple of hours.
The granular form may take several days to a week as it takes time to dissolve fully. So dont get alarmed and add more stabilizer if the levels havent gone up straight away. If the stabilizer wont dissolve, check out our article: How to Dissolve Pool Stabilizer | Stabilizer Not Dissolving
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How Do You Get Cyanuric Acid Down In A Spa
There are a few ways to reduce cyanuric acid in your spa pool or hot tub.
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Is It Safe To Swim In A Pool With High Cyanuric Acid
A high cyanuric acid level doesnt have any serious health implications, and it is not harmful in most cases.
But the problem is that a high pool CYA level reduces your chlorines effectiveness, which is essential for killing bacteria and viruses in your pool.
So while the CYA level does not directly affect your health, it can indirectly cause health problems due to a lower level of chlorine in your pool.
In short, it is not a good idea to swim in a pool with a high CYA level.
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A Quick Chemistry Refresher
Cyanuric acid is a chemical compound in the triazine family, which basically means that its chemical makeup includes three nitrogens and three carbon atoms. It forms a weak and temporary bond with chlorine, which affects the chlorine more than the cyanuric acid itself. Well discuss that in a bit.
Chemically speaking, sodium dichlor is made up of one cyanuric acid molecule with two chlorine atoms and one sodium atom. This combination forms stable chlorine, which comes as a colorless solid.
How Much Stabilizer Do You Need
Before you begin adding a stabilizer to your pool, you must determine how much CYA you already have.
We provide two convenient options for testing CYA levels in your water. For example, our testing strips are a straightforward way to gauge your CYA levels.
And the iopool Eco pool monitor allows you to see the levels of each chemical in your pool from your mobile phone no test strips required.
Your CYA levels should be between 30 ppm and 50 ppm.
But if you own a saltwater pool, you will need greater levels of CYA. Saltwater pool manufacturers recommend you keep CYA levels between 60ppm and 80 ppm.
Too much CYA decreases the chlorines effectiveness leaving you with a cloudy, green pool. And too little CYA allows UV rays to break down the chlorine.
Note: More CYA doesnt mean more protection from the sun.
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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.
What If Your Stabilizer Is Too Low
You usually wont have to add CYA to your pool after the initial dose at the first of the season, but sometimes its necessary.
For example, if your pool water has been lowered for some reason or if youve had some rainfall. After any of these events, it’s a good idea to retest your CYA levels.
If you’ve determined that the levels are too low, go ahead and calculate the amount of CYA you need in order to bring it back above 30 ppm.
Dissolve it in your bucket and pour it around the edge of your pool. Retest again in about 24 hours. Repeat if necessary.
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Cyanuric Acid Pool What Is It How To Lower It Raise It And Slow It Down
Cyanuric acid swimming pool what is it, how to lower it, raise it and slow its rise: chlorinated isocyanuric acids are a weak acid composed of stabilized chlorine , of limited solubility in water that is incorporated to stabilize the chlorine in the water. In addition, although it is essential for the maintenance of the pool, it is really little known among the owners of private pools, it is even little mentioned in the specialist swimming pool stores despite its vital importance.
Cyanuric acid pool what is it, how to lower it, raise it and slow it down
When And How To Add Stabilizer To A Pool
Whether managing a commercial or public swimming pool, or one in a backyard, knowing when to add stabilizer to a pool is vital in keeping the water clean and the pool healthy and free of pathogens. What is a pool stabilizer? It is often referred to by several nameschlorine stabilizer, pool conditioner, chlorine pool stabilizer, among othersbut basically, it is a chemical additive that functions to stabilize and extend the active life of the chlorine in the pool water.
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How Often Should You Add A Pool Stabilizer
The pool stabilizer doesnt get used up while working, and it doesnt evaporate like other pool additives.
And the levels wont decrease unless you lose a lot of pool water. Rainwater also reduces the stabilizer concentration.
So you will only ever have to add stabilizer if your levels get too low. Thats why its essential to check pool chemistry regularly.
The Cdc Regulates Cya Levels
What is the limit for CYA? Well, according to the US Centers for Disease Control , its 15 parts-per-million. Specifically, in the event of a fecal incident, the pools CYA level cannot exceed 15ppm. But do you know of any neighborhood summer pools that can get through their entire season without a single fecal incident?
Better to be safe and prepared than be shut down by the health department. From the CDC: In case of a fecal incident, close the pool, and CYA levels can no longer exceed 15ppm. This limit was decided for practical reasons. Sure, you could have more CYA in the water, but the levels of chlorine needed to accomplish the killing of a disease like crypto would be insanely high.
Why the CDC CYA limit happened
Its very simple: chlorine stabilizers slow the rate that free chlorine kills pathogens. In the event of a fecal incident, sanitation is paramount to quelling diseases like cryptosporidium. CYA just gets in the way. Technically, you can have as much CYA as you want, as long as you maintain the FC:CYA ratio. But against a chlorine-resistant disease like crypto, it becomes impractical to kill it with high levels of CYA.
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