How Do I Lower The Cyanuric Acid Level In My Saltwater Pool
When your stabilizer level is too low, you run the risk of requiring more chlorine which increases your costs and makes your salt chlorinator work harder. When your stabilizer level is too high, it can overpower the chlorine and reduce its effectiveness to sanitize the water.
The only way you can quickly lower the cyanuric acid level of your pool is to drain water and then refill the pool with fresh water to dilute the stabilizer levels.
Of course, you also run the risk of lowering other aspects of water chemistry such as chlorine and salt if you have to drain significant water.
How To Lower Cyanuric Acid In Your Pool
There is a very effective way to lower the cya levels immediately. You need to partially drain your pool and refill it with fresh water.
However, if you still think that the levels are too high, you can stop adding cyanuric acid or stabilized chlorine to your pool.
When cyanuric acid levels are high in a pool, it can cause a yellowish discoloration and an unpleasant odor.
Here are the necessary steps to lowering the presence of cya in your pool:
- Test the Pool WaterTo check if the cya levels are between 30 and 50 ppm, you have to use test strips. If the levels are 100 or higher, you need to start lowering them. If you dont have test strips with such high levels, your local pool supply store can offer one.
- Stop using Stabilized ChlorineCheck the label of the chlorine. If it includes potassium dichloroisocyanurate or trichloroisocyanurate, then you are using stabilized chlorine with cyanuric acid in your pool. Try switching to a pool stabilizer or pool conditioner that doesnt contain cya.
- Dilute the Pool WaterWhen the cya level amount is higher than 100 ppm, you have to dilute the pool water. Drain some of the water using a pool pump, and then refill your pool with fresh water. Still, you wont need to drain the entire pool. A general rule is to drain as much water as the % of cya that is off the chart. If the cya levels are 10% too high, then replace only 10% of your water.
How Do You Add Cya To A Pool
CYA is a pretty strong acid on its own, so the best way to add it is to dissolve it in a bucket of warm water. Then go all around and pour the solution just inside the edges of the pool. For safetys sake, wear gloves and goggles when you mix it.
You can often add CYA solution or even undiluted CYA to the skimmer which will allow the pool pump to do all the mixing. But be sure to read the instructions on the package first to make sure its safe.
The rest of the year, if you use trichlor, youre adding a combo of chlorine and CYA, so no further addition of straight CYA should be needed. That being said, you need to keep testing your stabilizer levels to make sure its not becoming so high that it inhibits the chlorine from doing its job.
There are a couple ways to test the CYA. One is via a complete pool testing kit, in which you can test all the essential pool chemicals. But there are also test kits specifically for CYA alone like this one from Blue Devil.
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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
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
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Best Stabilizer And Conditioner
Rx Clear Stabilizer and Conditioner will reduce chlorine loss caused by the UV radiation from the sun. Adding stabilizer in the spring greatly increases chlorine effectiveness and will actually cut chlorine consumption. Rx Clear Stabilizer Contains 100% Cyanuric Acid. Order from Amazon using the link below:
How Much Stabilizer Does Your Pool Need
Opinions vary a little among experts about the proper level of CYA a pool should have, but as a general rule, it should not dip below 30 ppm or rise above 50 ppm.
Some experts argue that it will be okay up to 80 ppm, but I disagree.
Most of the time, levels above 50 ppm cause chlorine lock, which is where you have added plenty of chlorine but your tests are reading 0.
Youâll still need to monitor your available chlorine levels with your chlorine stabilizer at 50 ppm or lower you can do this with consistent water testing.
A good rule of thumb is to keep your sanitizer levels at round 7.5 percent of your stabilizer. So, doing the quick math, if your pool conditioner is 50 ppm, you should shoot for free chlorine levels between 3 ppm and 4 ppm.
You should use about 4 lbs of CYA per 10,000 gallons of water for every 30 ppm it needs to be raised. Some product instructions vary, though, so be sure to read the label for proper dosage.
Most of the time, you will need to add CYA at the beginning of swim season and wont have to mess with it much after that.
P.S. this handy little calculator helps with dosage calculations for your pool chemicals.
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Shocking Your Pool When Using The Clear Comfort System
When shocking your pool with a Clear Comfort system it is important to understand when and how much shock you will need to use for best results. It is also important to know when your pool is chlorine free and safe to swim. Only shock the pool as needed this will be the case during the hot summer months or during periods of high use. During winter months or low bather load periods, the Clear Comfort system alone will keep your pool clear and clean without shock.
Only shock at dusk or night and leave the cover off. Ensure your pH is in the appropriate range of 7.2-7.4. It is important to run pump and filter the water for one hour after shocking the pool and vacuum the debris that falls to the pool floor after the shock the following morning.
For residential pools, measure the cyanuric acid level prior to shocking your pool as cyanuric acid will hold onto the chlorine delivered by shock. Add chlorine shock, in the form of calcium hypochlorite or bleach, and allow chlorine to dissipate overnight while no one is swimming. By morning, chlorine will be gone allowing you to swim in a chlorine free pool.
This can only be achieved with little or no cyanuric acid in the water. High levels of cyanuric acid will not allow for chlorine levels to quickly dissipate back to zero. If there is a high level of cyanuric acid in the pool water , use sodium monopersulfate as the shock of choice.
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Why Low Cyanuric Acid Is Bad News
Yes, cyanuric really is that important. Heres what low CYA in the water will do to your pool water:
- Increased chlorine consumption. Chlorine is naturally destroyed by sunlight, and an entire pools worth can be decimated in a matter of hours. Low CYA levels wont adequately protect it, which means youll be constantly feeding the pool more chlorine to keep it sanitized.
- With chlorine becoming less present in the pool due to sunlight consuming it, sanitation suffers. This allows pollutants, viruses, and bacterias in the water to take up space and even replicate.
- Green pool problems.A green pool is caused by a lack of clean water, which leads to algae growth. Depending on your situation, you can also develop pink slime or black algae, both of which leave your pool a nasty shade of ugh!
- Water chemistry imbalance. With low CYA not protecting chlorine, the chlorine level drops. This drop makes it inadequate for keeping the water clean, causing a chain reaction that affects other areas of the water chemistry such as the pools pH level and total alkalinity.
- Nasty pool smell. When free chlorine binds to ammonia pollutants such as sunblock, sweat, and urine in the water, it becomes combined chlorine . Not only is this form of chlorine a much less effective sanitizer, it also kicks up a pungent chlorine smell.
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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.
Chlorine Becomes Less Effective
When cyanuric acid bonds with chlorine, the chlorine doesnt work as well plain and simple. Up to a certain point, this reduced effectiveness is more than balanced out by the fact that the chlorine doesnt just degrade and completely stop working in an hour or two. However, when too much cyanuric acid completely overpowers the chlorine, problems occur.
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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.
What Chlorines To Add When Your Pool Cyanuric Acid Level Is High
If your pool CYA level is too high, it also means free chlorine in your pool wont be effective. So youll have to add even more chlorine just to get to the normal free chlorine level.
In such a case, you wouldnt want to add chlorine tablets or dichlor shock because those are both stabilized.
Instead, you want to add liquid chlorine or cal-hypo shock since those arent stabilized.
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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 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.
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How To Use Cyanuric Acid And Muriatic Acid To Your Advantage
Maintaining your pools cleanliness is important. Apart from the cleanliness, the acidity level of your pools should be kept stabilized. Most personal or industrial pools use certain chemicals to maintain both aspects. Commonly, chlorine is a chemical added in swimming pools. Adding chlorine is essential to help kill bacteria however, it might harm swimmers.
Businesses that have swimming pools and Jacuzzis always keep an eye out on the chlorine levels present. Too little of the chemical wont help kill bacteria while too much may cause health issues. Some of the very common health issues would be the itchiness of the pool water. But just like any other chemical, its power degrades after a certain period or under certain circumstances. So, how do household or industries maintain the chlorines effectiveness?
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Does Baking Soda Raise Cyanuric Acid
4.1/5baking sodabaking sodaraiseCYANURIC ACID
Baking Soda is used for raising the total alkalinity of the pool, which is the key to keeping the ph in balance. Itâs not a stabilizer. Thatâs cyanuric acid.
Secondly, what does baking soda do to a pool? Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate is naturally alkaline, with a pH of 8. When you add baking soda to your pool water, you will raise both the pH and the alkalinity, improving stability and clarity. Many commercial pool products for raising alkalinity utilize baking soda as their main active ingredient.
In this way, how does baking soda raise your pH?
To take baking soda internally, mix Â½ to 1 tsp of baking soda in a glass of water and drink periodically throughout the day . You want to get your pH to a range between 7.35 and 7.45, which you can test using urine strips or a blood test.
What raises cyanuric acid in a pool?
Use test kits or strips designed to measure cyanuric acid, so you can determine how much acid to add to your pool. To significantly raise levels, dissolve powdered cyanuric acid or add a liquid version. You can also add stabilized chlorine for regular maintenance.
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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.
What Does Cyanuric Acid Do
Cyanuric Acids primary function is to protect chlorine from the sun often called the chlorine stabilizer. It acts as sunscreen for your chlorine. The UV radiation that passes through the water and into your pool evaporates the chlorine in your water, causing rapid breakdown. With the right amount of Cyanuric Acid in your pool, this process is slowed down, and chlorine can do its job better.
The more Cyanuric Acid in your pool, the longer it takes for chlorine to dissipate. At least 30 ppm of CYA should be maintained in highly chlorinated pools, while lower-chlorinated pools may get by less. The exception to this rule is if you have a saltwater pool or an SWG, you want no CYA because it inhibits the efficiency of your equipment.
Cyanuric Acid also prevents damage from free radicals when chlorine oxidizes contaminants in your water, including sweat, urine, and other organic materials.
Simply put: without CYA, these contaminants would oxidize your chlorine very quickly, rendering it useless.
In addition to keeping your chlorine from disappearing at record speed, Cyanuric Acid also prevents damage from free radicals, which cause scale and etching marks in plaster or vinyl liners. This is why a high level of CYA is important in pools with painted surfaces.
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