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Thread: CYA - Does it have a smell/taste in the water?

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    y_not's Avatar
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    CYA - Does it have a smell/taste in the water?

    Just idle curiosity, that, and I have a very "earth/nature conscious" friend coming over to see what my water is all about. So I want it to be as "natural" smelling and tasting as it can. Which it normally is. Just usually a bit of a salty like taste & no smell.

    I have been wondering if CYA contributes to some of the smell & taste in my water.
    The best I can describe it would be a slightly salty, super mild, dilute alum type taste.
    Maybe it's the lye in the bleach?
    Water's only 2 mo. old, so I doubt it's enough salt buildup from the bleach. I have used about 3 - 96oz jugs of 8.25% bleach since last fill and I replaced a few 100 gal from evap/splash out.

    Now as for the smell...
    I have really noticed the smell since I upped my CYA from about 25 ppm, to 40 ppm a few days back. Did this because of topping it off.
    It has a noticeably pungent smell when you stick your nose close to the water, it smells almost like latex paint. Not paint thinner, just the paint itself, the dryers & latex/pigments or whatever.
    It aaaalmost smells like that slightly sweet chlorine smell us bleach users know, that we smell oooonce and a while... but nooooot quite.

    Normally I smell nothing when I sniff the water.
    Note, I have used no MA this year, TA is @ 70, so its pH stays right @ 7.5/7.6.... HAPPY AS A CLAM!!!

    Am I crazy? Does CYA do this, if so, for how long after you add it?
    Is it just till it dissolves?

    EDIT:
    Current water testing shows...
    FC - 6
    CC - 0 (none all season)
    pH - 7.3/7.4 (from CYA addition)
    TA - 70
    CH - haven't bothered as it's vinyl, last year was 110 and that was after some cal hypo usage.
    CYA - 40
    Temp - 73F
    Thanks for reading... - Tony
    Da' Pool: Intex 15'x42" 3284gal AGP EasySet (Inflatable Ring) - (Summer 2014: 27' round EW /w 6.5' deep end @ 22,500gal)
    Pump & Cart Mod: 1000gph Cart. 5ft² - 2 nylons, 24/7 OP. Traps bugs/bits, lasts longer/cleans easier = Happier Pool Owner!!
    The Bible for a "Trouble Free Pool" life = PoolSchool, the BBB method a TF100 test kit(Recommend Kits Compared). - Cleaning a Sand Filter
    Water looks like GLASS, if yours doesn't...SLAM IT! Feels nice and never been happier!!! :D

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    Re: CYA - Does it have a smell/taste in the water?

    Cyanuric acid in solid form is a white odorless crystal and in the water it is not volatile so it is unlikely to impart any smell. There might have been impurities in the CYA you used, but those should dissipate with time (especially if you smell them which means they are outgassing). As for taste, I don't think it has a noticeable taste, but I do know that if I ever add either Dichlor or Trichlor to my pool, my wife notices a metallic taste for a day or two so perhaps that is what you are tasting ("slightly salty, super mild, dilute alum type taste"). So there may be some impurity in the stabilized chlorine products and that might be in CYA as well.

    As for the faint chlorine bleach-like smell, that is noticeable if one churns the water which increases outgassing. It's more noticeable at higher FC/CYA ratios.

    The lye in bleach would simply adjust the pH and has no smell or taste on its own. After it combines with hydrogen in the water, what is left over is sodium so over time the use of chlorine products results in sodium chloride salt and that, of course, has a salty taste when the salt level gets high enough.
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    Re: CYA - Does it have a smell/taste in the water?

    Hiya Richard!

    Thanks for your reply, sorry for the delay, busy busy fall.

    I have used the same cya both last season and this, the HTH brand from Walmart. It has never been "oderless" in the container, maybe smells closer to epsom salt than anything.
    Never noticed much of the smell in the water before I went above 30ppm, which I just did back a few weeks or more. It still smells like paint, seemed to dissipate after about 4-5 days maybe, but then it came back as the water temps started dropping.
    It's not like you can smell it just walking near the pool, I could those first few days, now I have to put my nose down to the water to smell it, which yields a rather pungent smell. But the water is at 57F today.

    An "alum taste" was the best I could come up with at the time, not the best description. Again, more like magnesium salt "epsom" in taste in the water, not table salt "NaCL".

    It does its job quite well, it's just that I was so used to the water smelling basically like nothing, which makes for nice bragging rights, that is before I upped the CYA.
    Is the HTH brand of CYA not very good quality, seeing as it smells in the container and added this smell? To clarify, the 2 smells (dissolved vs. solid) are different. Despite the fact that it seems to raise ppm in accordance to what pool Calc says to add.
    Thanks for reading... - Tony
    Da' Pool: Intex 15'x42" 3284gal AGP EasySet (Inflatable Ring) - (Summer 2014: 27' round EW /w 6.5' deep end @ 22,500gal)
    Pump & Cart Mod: 1000gph Cart. 5ft² - 2 nylons, 24/7 OP. Traps bugs/bits, lasts longer/cleans easier = Happier Pool Owner!!
    The Bible for a "Trouble Free Pool" life = PoolSchool, the BBB method a TF100 test kit(Recommend Kits Compared). - Cleaning a Sand Filter
    Water looks like GLASS, if yours doesn't...SLAM IT! Feels nice and never been happier!!! :D

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    Re: CYA - Does it have a smell/taste in the water?

    There have been reports of CYA that came from China and didn't raise the measured CYA levels properly so had some sort of filler or were otherwise degraded, so certainly different brands could be different. The only way you'll know is to try a different brand. I use GLB for our CYA and haven't noticed side effects from it, but I'm only at 30-40 ppm since I have a mostly opaque electric safety cover.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: CYA - Does it have a smell/taste in the water?

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    There have been reports of CYA that came from China and didn't raise the measured CYA levels properly so had some sort of filler or were otherwise degraded, so certainly different brands could be different. The only way you'll know is to try a different brand. I use GLB for our CYA and haven't noticed side effects from it, but I'm only at 30-40 ppm since I have a mostly opaque electric safety cover.
    Do we know what brands these Chinese products were by any chance?
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    Re: CYA - Does it have a smell/taste in the water?

    I don't remember the brands and I'm having trouble finding those few posts.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: CYA - Does it have a smell/taste in the water?

    That's OK, let us know if you find them.
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    Re: CYA - Does it have a smell/taste in the water?

    That's the thing, this HTH brand of CYA DOES raise it to the appropriate level that pool calc predicts.
    So it does "work correctly", both in concentration & stabilizing power.

    I'm just wondering if there's an impurity that made it into their process, or even just this batch, that makes it smell FUNKY!!
    I kid you not.... it smells like WET LATEX PAINT!! So weird!!
    But only in the water.

    I'll have to see what happens in the spring when the water gets up to temp, maybe it's just because it's so coooollldd.
    Thanks for reading... - Tony
    Da' Pool: Intex 15'x42" 3284gal AGP EasySet (Inflatable Ring) - (Summer 2014: 27' round EW /w 6.5' deep end @ 22,500gal)
    Pump & Cart Mod: 1000gph Cart. 5ft² - 2 nylons, 24/7 OP. Traps bugs/bits, lasts longer/cleans easier = Happier Pool Owner!!
    The Bible for a "Trouble Free Pool" life = PoolSchool, the BBB method a TF100 test kit(Recommend Kits Compared). - Cleaning a Sand Filter
    Water looks like GLASS, if yours doesn't...SLAM IT! Feels nice and never been happier!!! :D

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    Re: CYA - Does it have a smell/taste in the water?

    In the bucket, the cyanuric only has a slight smell. It does not smell good or bad, mostly a neutral smell. I have never noticed a smell from cyanuric in water.

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    y_not's Avatar
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    Re: CYA - Does it have a smell/taste in the water?

    It's so stinkin' cold now... I can't smell anything in the water.
    At this point, I'll have to report back when I reopen the pool.

    Well, it's still "open", but too cold to swim and just waiting to close it until I fix my cover in the next few days, hoping to beat it before the leaves reaaaally start to fall.

    I'll definitely be revisiting this thread come spring, when the water warms back up and I have to add more CYA from the minimal losses of sitting over the winter.
    Thanks for reading... - Tony
    Da' Pool: Intex 15'x42" 3284gal AGP EasySet (Inflatable Ring) - (Summer 2014: 27' round EW /w 6.5' deep end @ 22,500gal)
    Pump & Cart Mod: 1000gph Cart. 5ft² - 2 nylons, 24/7 OP. Traps bugs/bits, lasts longer/cleans easier = Happier Pool Owner!!
    The Bible for a "Trouble Free Pool" life = PoolSchool, the BBB method a TF100 test kit(Recommend Kits Compared). - Cleaning a Sand Filter
    Water looks like GLASS, if yours doesn't...SLAM IT! Feels nice and never been happier!!! :D

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