What is stabilizer/Cyanuric Acid?
Cyanuric Acid, or CYA, is a chemical compound that protects chlorine from being destroyed by the sun. The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays will make the chlorine in an outdoor pool dissipate quickly. In fact, an ideal level of chlorine in an “unstabilized” pool or spa can be lost in less than two hours on a bright sunny day, due to the UV rays of the sun. Cyanuric acid acts as a “stabilizer” that helps chlorine hold up better when exposed to the UV rays. You can think of cyanuric acid as blocking the effect that the sunlight has on breaking down the chlorine-kind of like a sunscreen for your pool.
How much Stabilizer should I add?
It is important for outdoor pools to maintain a stabilizer or Cyanuric Acid level (CYA) of 60 – 80 ppm for all systems except the Total Control, which should be maintained at 30-50 ppm.
This protects the chlorine from the degradation effects of the sun’s UV rays. This is similar to using sunscreen for your chlorine.
With low or no Cyanuric acid it is possible for the chlorine being produced, to be used up just as quickly as it is generated
Some things to note:
- The terms “stabilizer”, “CYA”, and “Cyanuric Acid” all refer to the same substance.
- Without Cyanuric acid, the cell is forced to run for longer periods of time (with a higher Purifier Output percentage need) in order to maintain chlorine levels, which will deplete the cell faster than normal.
- A reduced level of 30-50 ppm is needed for the Total Control system
- Cyanuric acid is not needed for indoor pools or outdoor pools/spas that are constantly covered. However, it is recommended to add about 15 ppm to avoid corrosion on metals.
- When adding stabilizer it is recommended to premix the stabilizer with water then add into the pool. It is critical to use this method with the Total Control system, as the “acid” from the stabilizer will have a negative affect on the ORP and PH probes. If adding Stabilizer to the skimmer with a standard (not a Total Control) system, do not clean or backwash the filter for several days afterwards as undissolved cyanuric acid will “sit” in the filter until dissolved.