What is Stabilizer?
Stabilizer is commonly referred to as chlorine stabilizer, cyanuric acid (CYA) or pool conditioner and is the chemical compound (CNOH)3. For the purpose of this blog, we will call it CYA.
CYA has a key role in helping keep your pool (or spa) water in balance if you use chlorine as a sanitizer.
CYA prevents your chlorine from being broken down by the sun’s UV rays. You can think of CYA as sunscreen for your free chlorine. Without CYA the sun can deplete almost all of your free chlorine within a couple of hours and allow pathogens and algae to grow. CYA forms a weak bond with free chlorine and effectively holds it in your water until the chlorine is pulled away to destroy contaminants.
What Form(s) Does CYA Come In And How Do I Use It?
CYA comes in granular or liquid form and is also found in certain types of stabilized chlorine pucks and shock. As with all products, you should consult the product directions.
Granular CYA typically comes in small buckets, pales or sacks and can be added in various ways. Typical ways to add granules include dissolving them in warm water and pouring into skimmer, adding them to an old sock or pair of panty hose and suspendeding in front a return jet to dissolve the granules (works best if the water is already warm from the heat of the sun) or adding granules to skimmer basket. Remember, CYA should only be used in outdoor pools (or spas).
Pros of Granular CYA
- Cheaper than liquid.
Cons of Granular CYA
- Can damage pool surfaces (vinyl liners in particular) if allowed to sit on pool floor.
- Takes longer to increase CYA level
- It is bulky, takes a lot of space, and handling can be inconvenient.
Liquid CYA works instantly and can be poured directly into the water in front of a return jet or along the interior perimeter. It is typically referred to in liquid form as “conditioner”.
Pros of Liquid CYA
- Easy to use.
- Works immediately.
- Comes in smaller containers and is easier to handle.
Cons of Liquid CYA
- More expensive than granular.
Safety Information About CYA
You should always read and follow all safety precautions on the product labels. Keeping your pool (or spa) safe means keeping yourself and others around you safe while maintaining your chemistry and your equipment. Some common recommendations include:
- Wearing protective gear such as gloves and eye protection.
- Store chemicals in ventilated areas and separate from one another to avoid chemical reactions from leaks.
- Do not mix chemicals.
Interesting Fact About CYA
- It has a really cool name, 1,3,5-triazine-2,4,6-triol.
- CYA was discovered in 1829.