What Is Pool Stabilizer?

pool stabilizer

We completely understand that it feels like the chemical buying for your pool never ends. Every time you turn around, your chlorine stockpile is yet again depleted, or you need to balance out the pH in your pool. Whatever it is, it can take some work to balance a pool. 

The good news is that pool stabilizer is something that will absolutely help you get your pool levels where they need to be. What is a pool stabilizer, and how does it work? Stay tuned as we explain everything you need to know about pool stabilizer. 

What Is Pool Stabilizer?

Pool stabilizer is also known as cyanuric acid or CYA. Cyanuric acid is a chemical used in your pool to help stabilizer the chlorine. Chlorine is a very unstable chemical. When it is exposed to sunlight, it will disappear very quickly. In fact, if the pool stabilizer is low, you will go through a lot of chlorine, and your pool will start to develop other problems from being under chlorinated. 

Luckily pool stabilizer is easy to use, and unlike other chemicals that you use in your pool, you should only have to worry about putting it in the pool one time per season. When you use pool stabilizer correctly and maintain the levels, you will spend quite a bit less money on chlorine. 

Pool Mate - Stabilizer & Conditioner
1,336 Reviews
Pool Mate - Stabilizer & Conditioner
  • Increases Cyanuric Acid Level
  • Decreases Chlorine Loss due to Sunlight
  • Reduce Chlorine Consumption up to 25%
  • Contains 100% Cyanuric Acid
  • Improves the effectiveness of chlorine

How Does Chlorine Stabilizer Work?

Most swimming pools are located in an area that has quite a bit of sunlight. This sunlight is a great thing when it comes to warming your pool up for those early season swims; the problem is that the sun will burn off chlorine very fast. 

When UV rays hit the pool water, it will burn off the free chlorine in the water. When you have stabilizer in the pool, it will take quite a bit longer to burn off this free chlorine. When your pool stabilizer is low, the chlorine will disappear at record speed. 

There are several problems related to low chlorine. If you are not checking your pool chlorine carefully and often, you may not know how low the levels have gotten. Low chlorine in a pool is going to create an environment where algae and bacteria can grow

Your chlorine and your pH tend to work hand in hand as well. This is why, when taking care of a pool, everything is about balance. The same goes for the cyanuric acid or pool stabilizer; it must always remain in balance. 

You can check your cyanuric with a pool kit to make sure that it is balanced and ready to work to stabilizer the chlorine in your swimming pool. 

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Digital Water Test Kit for Pools and Hot Tubs
608 Reviews
Digital Water Test Kit for Pools and Hot Tubs
  • Features a photometer which gives you a digital reading of test results.
  • Water resistant housing and carrying case provided.
  • Tests Free Chlorine, Total Chlorine, Bromine, PH, Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, and Cyanuric Acid.
  • Uses liquid reagents for all test factors except Cyanuric Acid, which uses tablets.

How Much Pool Stabilizer Does Your Pool Need?

You should check the stabilizer levels in your pool continually, and it should remain between 30ppm and 50ppm at any given time. If your stabilizer levels are off, then you can add some when it is needed. We suggest double-checking when you notice that the stabilizer is too low. 

If you add stabilizer and it turns out that your test was just off, you will probably end up having to drain some pool water to get the stabilizer down to an acceptable level. 

Pros vs. Cons of Pool Stabilizer 

Generally speaking, pool stabilizer is something that you will want to add to your pool once per year. When you open your pool at the beginning of the year, you will want to make sure that the CYA in the pool is balanced and between 30ppm and 50ppm. 

When to Use Pool Stabilizer

  • Use pool stabilizer when you find that your chlorine levels are deteriorating too fast. If you feel as though you are increasing chlorine, but the tests show there are still low levels of chlorine in the pool, add some stabilizer. 
  • Use pool stabilizer to help you save money on chlorine. If the stabilizer is balanced in the pool, you should go through a much lower amount of chlorine in the course of a year. 
  • Stabilizer should be in the pool if you are going to shock the pool for any reason. If you notice that your pool needs to be shocked or you have an algae problem, check the stabilizer level. Shocking the pool will be much more effective if the stabilizer levels are where they need to be. 
  • If your pool gets a lot of sunlight, you should be checking your cyanuric acid levels quite often. A swimming pool exposed to direct sunlight will deplete it’s chlorine supply very quickly. You may also want to use chlorine that is stabilized. 

When Not to Use Pool Stabilizer 

  • Do not use a pool stabilizer in an indoor pool. Since indoor pools do not get any sunlight, you will not need to use a stabilizer. The stabilizer only works to help chlorine from burning off in the sun. Indoor pools are not exposed to the UV rays, and therefore they do not need a stabilizer. 
  • If you are using stabilized chlorine, you may not need to add as much stabilizer to your pool. If it is customary for you to use the stabilized chlorine, make sure you check your CYA levels before adding a stabilizer. 
  • Do not add stabilizer to your pool at the beginning of the season without first checking on cyanuric acid levels in the pool. If you add too much stabilizer, you will have a more significant project to clean up. 
Pool Stabilizer & Conditioner - 25 lbs
168 Reviews
Pool Stabilizer & Conditioner - 25 lbs
  • Active ingredient 100% Cyanuric Acid
  • Dosage: 2.5 lbs per 10,000 gallons
  • Protects chlorine from harmful UVA/UVB rays
  • For outdoor pool use

How to Use Pool Stabilizer

When you purchase a pool stabilizer, you should read exactly what the recommendations are for safe and proper use. As a general rule of thumb, you will not place a pool stabilizer directly in your skimmer. 

There are a few general steps to follow when adding stabilizer to a pool. Most of the time, you are going to want to fill a bucket with pool water and dissolve your stabilizer in the bucket before dumping it in the pool. The stabilizer can come in a powder or a liquid form. When you dissolve the cyanuric acid in a bucket before you dump it in the pool, it can help to protect your liner from any type of a burn. 

When you add the stabilizer to the pool, walk around the pool and dump the stabilizer around the entire pool. Keep the filter running so that the stabilizer can treat all of the water. If you are using granules, you may have to brush some of it to make sure it dissolves properly. 

Generally, it is safe to swim about twenty minutes after adding stabilizer to your pool. Make sure that you don’t see any stabilizer visible in the pool, give the filter a bit of time to run, and then you can enjoy a swim. Always check to ensure that the specific stabilizer you are using does not recommend any additional steps before declaring it safe to swim. 

When There’s Too Much Stabilizer in Pool

If there is too much stabilizer in the pool, you may have a bit of a problem on your hands. You really want to make sure that you keep the stabilizer levels balanced so that you don’t run into this issue. 

There are a few products out there that are designed to lower the cyanuric acid in the pool, but for the most part, they are not all that effective. The best way to lower the cyanuric acid is to drain some pool water and add fresh water back in. 

The stabilizer is not a chemical that will dissolve naturally, and that is a major reason why this is something you usually only add to your pool once per year. Of course, if your pool is open all year long and you experience quite a bit of sun to your pool, you may need it a bit more often. 

When Pool Stabilizer Is Low

When pool stabilizer is low, you will want to get the levels up as soon as possible. If you don’t get the level of stabilizer higher, you will end up wasting a good bit of chlorine. We highly recommend adding a little less stabilizer than you think you will need so that the pool stabilizer level does not get too high. You can always add a little more, but as we mentioned, it is hard to remove stabilizer from the pool. 

Stabilizer Is a Pool Chemical You Can’t Ignore

We know that many pool owners get overwhelmed keeping track of chlorine and pH. It can be a lot of work to keep a pool balanced, but you need to do yourself a favor and add CYA to your list of chemical checks. If your cyanuric acid or stabilizer levels are too high or too low, the rest of your pool is going to have issues as well. 

Pool stabilizer is relatively easy to deal with, and most people only need to add it to the pool once per year. Knowing that this once per year chemical could help you save money all year long should be enough to help you understand the importance of stabilizer levels in your swimming pool. 

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