How to raise cyanuric acid in pool is the most requested question I get from the pool owner. So, I decided to write down the complete guide on it. Hopefully, you’ll get all the answers you need.
Cyanuric acid helps the chlorine to work more effectively in your pool, but if your cyanuric acid levels get too high or too low, you could end up weakening your chlorine and causing everything from algae to cloudy water.
Here are a few simple steps that you can take to keep your cyanuric acid levels balanced in your pool.
what is cyanuric acid?
Cyanuric acid is also known as CYA, Pool Conditioner, or Pool Stabilizer. It comes in both liquid and granular forms.
You can even get it premixed in with chlorine tablets or sticks. These products are called stabilized chlorine.
Cyanuric acid allows your pool water molecules to hold on to the chlorine, specifically free chlorine.
Now, free chlorine is the amount of sanitizer that’s available to clean your pool water. The other good thing about cyanuric acid is that it has little effect on alkalinity, pH, and calcium hardness level.
how does cyanuric acid help stabilize chlorine?
Well, when you add chlorine to your pool water, it transforms into a sodium hypochlorite ion. When UV rays from the sun hit those ions, they break apart and the chlorine evaporates, leaving very little free chlorine in your pool water.
Cyanuric acid binds those ions. It prevents them from breaking apart when exposed to UV rays.
- if your cyanuric acid levels are too low, your pool won’t hold on to the chlorine.
- If your cyanuric acid levels are too high, your water will become saturated and it won’t hold on to more chlorine.
The right balance between cyanuric acid and free chlorine levels will help you get the most
out of your sanitizer.
What are the right cyanuric acid levels?
I recommend keeping your cyanuric acid levels between 30 and 50 parts per million.
If your cyanuric acid level is over 50 parts per million, it can inhibit your chlorine. You may notice algae growth, difficulty maintaining balance chemistry, cloudy pool water, and decreased sanitizing.
- if the levels climb above 100 parts per million, you may not be able to even read that exact amount on a test strip. You’ll want to take that sample into your local pool supplies store for more accurate testing.
- if your cyanuric acid gets low, between 0 and 30 parts per million, you’ll need to add some to your pool.
You’ll also want to know your free chlorine levels.
Your free chlorine should be between 1 and 3 parts per million.
When using cyanuric acid, aim to keep your chlorine levels at about 7.5% of cyanuric acid levels.
That means if your pool has 50 parts per million of cyanuric acid, you’ll need to keep three chlorine at 3 parts per million to effectively sanitize your water and prevent issues like algae.
When should you test your cyanuric acid levels?
Well, besides regularly testing your pool water, you’ll want to test your water at the beginning and the end of pool season.
If your cyanuric acid is low at the beginning of the season, you’ll end up using more chlorine in the month ahead.
And if it’s high at the end of the season, it might be time to change your pool water.
Secondly, test your pool water right after a major rainstorm. Diluted water can also result in lower cyanuric acid levels.
Finally, if you notice the strong chlorine smell on your pool, that can be a sign that there’s actually too much cyanuric acid affecting your chlorine.
So, check your chlorine and your cyanuric acid levels.
how to lower the cyanuric acid levels in your pool?
If your cyanuric acid levels are too high, check to see if you’re using stabilized chlorine.
Remember, stabilized chlorine already contains a small amount of cyanuric acid. And if you see the following chemicals listed on your label, your chlorine contains cyanuric acid.
If this is the case, you may want to switch to chlorine without the added CYA to prevent your levels from rising again.
Unfortunately, diluting your pool water is the only way to lower high cyanuric acid levels.
So, drain a little water from your pool to bring down the water level, and then top off your pool with fresh water.
Now, if the levels are extremely high, you may want to completely drain your pool and refill it with fresh water. This is rare, and stabilized chlorine with CYA can hang around in your filtration system, so you may want to backwash or change your filter.
Cyanuric acid has also been found in pool plaster and in calcium scales. So if your levels climb rapidly after you refill your pool, that lingering CYA could be the problem.
How to raise cyanuric acid levels in your pool?
Now to increase cyanuric acid in your pool. You just simply need to add it.
Remember, CYA is an acid.
It can damage your filter and pool, especially if you have a vinyl liner.
Always read the manufacturer’s instructions before using it, but here’s the way that we recommend adding it to your pool.
You’re going to need cyanuric acid, a five-gallon bucket, safety goggles, and acid-resistant gloves, and warm water.
First, you want to fill the bucket at least halfway with warm water, put on your gloves and your goggles, and add a dose of cyanuric acid to the bucket.
Check the product instructions for your pool size.
As a general rule for a 10,000-gallon pool, you’re going to need to add 13 ounces of cyanuric acid to increase your CYA by 10 parts per million.
Pour the contents of the buckets directly into your skimmer, and then run your pump
for at least a few hours to stir in the solution to your pool.
And that’s it.
That’s everything that you need to know about balancing cyanuric acid levels in your pool.