Swimming Pool Stabilizer
By Dave LeBeau
Swimming Pool Stabilizer (cyanuric acid), sometimes referred to as conditioner, acts as a sunscreen for the chlorine in the swimming pool and increases it's effectiveness. Without stabilizer, the chlorine in the swimming pool would be used up very quickly resulting in a much higher cost to maintain the proper chlorine level in your pool. The bottom line is that keeping the proper level of conditioner in the swimming pool results in using less chlorine and saving money.
What is the proper amount of stabilizer for a swimming pool? Maintaining a level of 20 - 80 ppm is recommended for most swimming pools. A level above 100 ppm can render the chlorine in the pool useless resulting in cloudy water or algae along with other water chemistry problems as well. A stabilizer level of under 20 is not enough to protect the chlorine in the pool and will result in additional chlorine costs in order to maintain an adequate level of chlorine to keep the pool sanitized. It is recommended that the stabilizer level be tested once or twice each year or any time there are unexplained problems with cloudy pool water or algae. If stabilized chlorine is used in the pool, the level of cyanuric acid will slowly increase over time making it crucial to pay attention to this component of the pool water chemistry.
Stabilizer too high? If the stabilizer level tests out at over 80 ppm, the only way to reduce the level is to replace some of the water in the pool. Drain a quarter to a third of the water from the pool, refill the pool and have the stabilizer tested again. Repeat this procedure until the stabilizer level in the swimming pool is below 80 ppm, preferably closer to 20 ppm.
Stabilizer too low? If the stabilizer level tests out at under 20 ppm, cyanuric acid will need to be added in order to increase the level to 20 or over. Cyanuric acid comes in a powder form and can be found at the local pool supply store. When adding cyanuric acid to the swimming pool, make sure to ask the people at the pool supply store for instructions and to follow all instructions provided on the product carefully.
Maintaining the proper chemical balance in a swimming pool is important to creating an environment of easy maintenance and safe swimming. Monitoring and adjusting the swimming pool stabilizer is one of the key steps to this goal and can eliminate a number of issues and problems that can arise if this element of the water chemistry is ignored.