Stabilizer (CYA) Basics?

Poiks

Well-known member
Jun 22, 2019
50
McKinney, TX
Hi all,

Indulge me for a minute with some unimportant history: When my pools was built, I knew nothing, and got a bunch of Clorox chlorine tabs from Costco. After using those and finding high CYA levels, I was advised in this forum not to use those things, but to use liquid chlorine instead. That's what I've been doing for the last year or so.

Late last season, I saw my CYA levels drop, so I got a bottle of liquid conditioner online. After a couple of uses, I found that the plastic jug contained a huge, semi-solid "clot" surrounded by liquid--but really not enough liquid to liquify that glob, no matter how much I shook it. Eventually my stabilizer level got so low that I had to dump all of that into the pool by filling the bottle with water, shaking the heck out of it, and emptying it into the pool, and repeating until the whole thing had been dissolved and the pool was at an appropriate stabilizer level.

Now, after a long winter, I'm at the point where I need to add stabilizer again--and I really don't know what to get. I don't want to go through that whole clotted bottle of not-really-liquid thing again, but I don't know how else to add stabilizer (unless I start using those Clorox tabs again). I do have a tablet cartridge plumbed into the filter line, however.

Anyway, all that preamble aside, I need recommendations on how to keep my stabilizer levels where they need to be. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
 

poolnovice1

Active member
May 11, 2018
26
Houston
You don't need to add stabilizer. When my CYA drops below my target level, I temporarily switch to trichlor tabs until the CYA gets back up. I believe each 3" tab will add 1.3 ppm CYA per 10,000 gallons.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,960
Northern NJ
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Easiest way to raise CYA is to add dry stabilizer using the sock method. Adding CYA using trichlor tablets can take weeks to get it to the level you need.

From...


CYA can be raised with cyanuric acid. Cyanuric acid is sold under a variety of names, including Stabilizer, Conditioner, Instant Pool Water Conditioner, Stabilizer 100, Stabilizer & Conditioner, etc. Instant Pool Water Conditioner is a liquid product which is significantly more expensive than the other forms.

Solid/granular cyanuric acid (CYA) should be placed in a sock and the sock put in the skimmer basket or suspended in front of a pool return. After adding CYA you should leave the pump running for 24 hours and not backwash/clean the filter for a week. Squeezing the sock periodically will help it to dissolve faster. Test and dose chemicals in your pool assuming the amount of CYA added is in the pool according to Poolmath. CYA can be tested the day after it is fully dissolved from the sock.




 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
16,075
Evans, Georgia
-The problem with the Costco pucks in particular is that they sold "Clorox Blue" which contain copper. We never recommend copper in pools!
-Plain chlorine/CYA containing pucks can be used at times like this, especially when folks already own them.
-When ever I use liquid CYA I know that I have to use the entire jug because I have to make sure to get it all out. Shaking in like a mad woman and adding water...shaking some more.... I know that a gallon of that in *my* pool adds about 35ppm. YMMV. Liquid is more expensive but I like the instant response.
-The cheapest, easiest way to add CYA is buy a jug of granular CYA from Lowes/HD and add the desired amount in a sock and hang that over the edge of the pool to dissolve. Don't let it sit on the wall of the pool though as its slightly acidic and can mar the finish.
-Use PoolMath to determine how much CYA to use.

Maddie :flower:
 
Last edited:

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,960
Northern NJ
Pool Size
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SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Yeah, those Clorox "blue" anything especially trichlor tablets should never be used. They contain copper which accumulates in your pool water and stains your pool and blond hair.

 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Now, after a long winter, I'm at the point where I need to add stabilizer again--and I really don't know what to get. I don't want to go through that whole clotted bottle of not-really-liquid thing again, but I don't know how else to add stabilizer (unless I start using those Clorox tabs again). I do have a tablet cartridge plumbed into the filter line, however.

Anyway, all that preamble aside, I need recommendations on how to keep my stabilizer levels where they need to be. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
Hey the preamble gives us the insight into your travails to give you a good suggestion!

It looks like you figured out if you chlorinate only with tabs your CYA will build up. And if you use the liquid CYA it is a pain to deal with the glop. Here's what I do. Granular CYA is one of those chems that will store well. So I will buy a 25 lb box/bag (on line) and store it in a plastic container. Every spring I use the sock method to bring my CYA up. I have found in my pool the CYA degrades slowly over the summer and I have to give it a boost around mid summer. I don't get any rain to speak of in the summer so I don't loose any CYA to rain dilution. that's it..
 
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Poiks

Well-known member
Jun 22, 2019
50
McKinney, TX
Thanks all, I have a sock with 1 pound 7 oz of CYA dangling on front of my skimmer intake. One last question: Do y'all think I need to keep the pumping running continuously until the acid is fully dissolved--or is it okay to just leave it on the normal run schedule? I'm wondering if shutting the pump off might lead to too much concentrated CYA in that corner of the pool.

Thanks!
 

mknauss

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May 3, 2014
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You need to hang it in from the return - not suction (skimmer). The return flow impacting it will dissolve it faster.

OR -- With a plaster pool, it is safer to put the sock in the skimmer. Just do not let it block the water flow. That way any granules that might escape the sock will not sit on the plaster surface and stain it.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,960
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Yes, keep your pump running until the stabilizer is dissolved from the sock.
 

Poiks

Well-known member
Jun 22, 2019
50
McKinney, TX
You need to hang it in from the return - not suction (skimmer). The return flow impacting it will dissolve it faster.

OR -- With a plaster pool, it is safer to put the sock in the skimmer. Just do not let it block the water flow. That way any granules that might escape the sock will not sit on the plaster surface and stain it.
Thank you for this--it leads me to the same underlying question, though: Do I need to keep the pump running until the acid is completely dissolved?
 

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