You just found out that the pool stabilizer you add to your pool water is actually an acid known as cyanuric acid. Now you’re wondering if it’s safe for your family and friends who enjoy your outdoor swimming pool.

Cyanuric acid (CYA) is sold under the name pool conditioner or chlorine stabilizer. It stabilizes the chlorine in your outdoor swimming pool to keep it at the correct level to kill algae, contaminants, and bacteria. So, yes, you can be assured this acid is safe for use along with chlorine in your outdoor swimming pool, as long as it is used properly.

This article will break down everything you need to know about cyanuric acid and why it is essential in your pool maintenance routine


How Does Cyanuric Acid (CYA) Work?

The negative effect of the sun’s UV rays on humans is well-known, ranging from wrinkling and aging of the skin to eye damage and sometimes even causing skin cancer.

The chlorine, which is an important part of keeping your pool clean and bacteria-free, is also destroyed by the sun’s UV rays. Cyanuric acid, or chlorine stabilizer, helps your chlorine last longer, which means your pool water stays clean and safe longer. 

If you don’t use this acid, half the chlorine in the pool is destroyed by the sun’s rays in about 17 minutes. To be more precise, sunlight can destroy 75 – 90% of your pool’s chlorine within 2 hours. And at that point, the addition of more chlorine won’t reverse the loss. No matter how much you add, the levels will remain too low to prevent your pool from becoming unsafe for humans.

By using cyanuric acid, the chlorine in your outdoor pool will last 3-5 times longer. 


What About Stabilized Chlorine? Can’t I Use That Instead of Cyanuric Acid?

Stabilizers are often also included in chlorine tablets or sticks (called trichlor) or shock (called dichlor). When a stabilizer is mixed with the chlorine in shock or tablets, the product is called stabilized chlorine. You won’t need to add any separate stabilizer like cyanuric acid if you’re using one of these combination products.

cyanuric acid in stabilized chlorine | cyanuric acid | what is cyanuric acid


What Causes Cyanuric Acid To Be High In a Pool?

Another concern for swimming pool owners is having too much of this acid in their pool’s water. 

Cyanuric acid doesn’t dissipate as water evaporates out of your pool. Pool evaporation happens naturally and is one of the leading causes of water loss in any pool. CYA stays in a pool for a long time, even as the water evaporates. Just about the only time you’ll need to add any significant amount of cyanuric acid is when you first open your pool in the spring. After that, you’re already adding a little CYA every time you use stabilized chlorine. Unless there’s a significant water addition or loss, that’s all the cyanuric acid you’ll need throughout the year.

For your purposes as the master of your pool, this makes it essential to check the cyanuric acid levels before adding more chlorine stabilizers to the water. Too much of the acid can damage the pool liner, result in false water chemistry readings, and reduce your chlorine’s ability to do its job.

You need to know that the only surefire method to lower cyanuric acid is to drain and refill the pool with fresh water. This would be a significant loss of time and water, so it’s to your advantage to test the water frequently and make sure CYA remains at safe levels. 


The Right Chemical Balance Is Critical to Your Pool

balance cyanuric acid level | cyanuric acid | what is cyanuric acid

As you can see, the chlorine stabilizer cyanuric acid, or CYA, is an important part of pool maintenance and protects the chlorine levels in your pool. Without this acid, the sun’s UV rays will leach the chlorine out of your outdoor swimming pool in a matter of hours, leaving the water susceptible to bacteria and other contaminants that will make it unsafe for humans. 

Pool School Videos can help you master the art of keeping your pool sparkling clear by showing you exactly how to keep chemical levels balanced, including cyanuric acid, while saving money doing it (and why it’s so important to do so).

Mike Steele, also known as “The Pool Doctor,” offers his 30 years of knowledge as a pool maintenance professional in 20 online, self-paced videos that offer easy-to-understand insider information. The videos are a clear roadmap for DIY pool maintenance that is easier, cheaper, and more effective. Once you purchase Pool School Videos, you can watch as many times as you need and they are available 24/7 for your use. 

Your purchase also gives you insider access to our private Facebook group. You can ask all the questions you have in the group and you will get a personal response within 24 hours!

The sun’s UV rays are heating up for the summer so check out the sneak peek of our top 5 videos and then get started with Pool School Videos today!