What is Cyanuric Acid, and How Does It Effect My Swimming Pool?

To properly maintain a crystal clear pool, a combination of chlorine treatment is necessary.
Each week, a shock treatment is necessary. Shocking the pool spikes the chlorine content of the pool,
destroying any bacteria, algae or other harmful substances, preventing anyone from being able to swim
for up to 24 hours.

Shock is an unstabalized form of chlorine, meaning it cleanses the pool rapidly then evaporates.
To maintain a proper amount of chlorine for swimming conditions, chlorine tablets are necessary.
Chlorine tablets are added on a weekly basis, with one tablet necessary for every 5,000 gallons of water
per week in the pool.

Tablets dissolve slowly because of a chemical known as cyanuric acid (or chlorine stabilizer, the terms
are used interchangeably) a compound that essentially acts like sunscreen for chlorine after it forms a
weak bond with the free chlorine in the pool water. Shock does not contain any cyanuric acid, so after 24 hours,
the elevated amounts of chlorine are no longer in the pool.

A chlorine table contains cyanuric acid and slowly bleeds chlorine into the pool whenever the pump is
running, but if no cyanuric acid is available in the water, the free chlorine in a pool can burn off as much
as 90 percent of the chlorine in the water in two hours.

Usually a range of cyanuric acid between 30-50 parts per million in will help produce a good chlorine
stabilization, but some pools may require a different dose, please consult a pool care professional about
the proper level of cyanuric acid in your pool. For example, pools using salt chlorinators need a cyanuric
acid level ranging between 80-100 parts per million since tablets are not used. Cyanuric acid is available in either
power form or liquid form

If a chlorine stabilizer test produces a slow result, cyanuric acid is added slowly through the pool
skimmer after being mixed with pool water and then the pump needs to be in operation for at least 24
hours to properly dissolve the chemical and to distribute evenly throughout the pool. Avoid backwashing or
cleaning a cartridge for 48 hours because the chemical takes a long time to completely dissolve.

Maintaining proper levels of cyanuric acid is essential, because if the levels climb too high, the efficiency
of the chlorine is compromised and a high content of total dissolved solids will be introduced to the pool.
If that happens, chlorine will take a longer time to kill bacteria and microorganisms in the water.
For a pool with a high cyanuric acid level, the only way to treat it is to drain the pool and add fresh water
from a hose.

To figure out your level of cyanuric acid, bring a sample of water into Pooltown today and let our
experts guide you to the proper levels for this and all the chemicals in your pool.