Pool Stabilizer: An Ultimate Guide

For a pool owner, maintaining the pool is an important task. On the one hand, you need to keep the pool clean with crystal clear water so that you may have a good time taking a dip into it or relaxing by the pool.

Again, on the other hand, maintaining pool hygiene is necessary to evade health hazards and allergies caused by the accumulation of dirt and debris in the water.

For sanitization of the pool, you have to add chemicals and especially chlorine, into the pool. But due to excess sun exposure, the chlorine loses its concentration and breaks down, making it necessary to add more chlorine which becomes a tiring process constantly.

Herein comes the significance of pool stabilizers. Pool stabilizers play an essential role in preventing UV rays from degenerating the chlorine added to the pool water. Thus it helps in the process of cleaning and maintain pool hygiene.

What Is Pool Stabilizer?

A pool stabilizer is also referred to as a pool conditioner or chlorine stabilizer. However, it is most commonly known as cyanuric acid. The market is available in both granular and liquid forms and can be added in both forms in the pool water.

When cyanuric acid is added to chlorine, it forms stabilized chlorine. On being added to chlorine tablets or chlorine sticks, it forms trichlor, and when it is added to pool shock, it is called dichlor.

The UV ray exposure degenerates chlorine. When chlorine comes into contact with sunlight, the UV rays trigger a chemical reaction that fast breaks down the chlorine, enhancing the maintenance cost as again chlorine has to be added after this breakdown.

Thus, maintaining the water balance of the pool water not becomes a repetitive and lengthy process, but it causes more significant expenses as well. For this purpose, a pool stabilizer is used.

How Pool Stabilizer Works?

When the chlorine is added to the pool water on a sunny day, the sunlight exhausts the total quantity of chlorine faster, using up to around 1part per million chlorine in an hour.

So, when the stabilizer is added, it assists the chlorine in maintaining its original composition and quantity. The stabilizer works at a molecular level. It attaches itself to the ions of chlorine ions. This bond makes the chlorine stronger, and the UV rays fail to break the bond. 

This protects the chlorine from breaking down or losing its cleaning power. This is why it is essential to use pool stabilizers. For pool maintenance, pool stabilizers of good quality should be added to evade unwanted expenses.

The Advantages Of Using Pool Stabilizer

The main advantage of using a pool stabilizer is that it helps to keep the chlorine active in the pool for a more extended period. When a stabilizer is added, chlorine performs for an extra four to five hours than when it acts on the pool without a stabilizer.

The chlorine to be added to the pool is quite expensive. Thus, frequent use of it at a regular interval would prove taxing for the pocket, and so it enables sanitizing the pool and getting rid of microorganisms in a pocket-friendly manner. The chemistry of the pool water can be maintained easily using the pool stabilizer.

Thus pool stabilizer acts as an armor against the UV rays and ensures the long-lasting action of chlorine. 

The Disadvantage Of Using Pool Stabilizer

Although its benefit is undeniable, the disadvantage of adding a stabilizer is also evident in the fact that it deteriorates the efficiency of the chlorine in the pool. Thus the chlorine does not break down fast in sunlight when a stabilizer is added, but it gradually loses its cleaning power.

When chlorine sanitizes the pool, it performs the chemical action of oxidation, and its ability is called oxidation-reduction potential. This potential suffers due to the bonding of chlorine and pool stabilizer.

The bonding of chlorine and the pool stabilizer leads to a detrimental impact on chlorine where its ability of chlorine to kill bacteria becomes limited. Thus it may be said that stabilizer chlorine lasts longer but is less powerful.

You also need to keep an eye on the stabilizer levels in your pool, just as you do with the other chemicals floating around in there. If the amount of stabilizer in your pool water gets too high, there’s the possibility of getting a chlorine lock when the chlorine is overwhelmed by the stabilizer. 

Like monitoring the levels of other chemicals, you also need to be vigilant about the amount of stabilizer you are adding to the pool. In case the stabilizer is added in excess amount, the chlorine reaches the state of chlorine lock. It disturbs the water testing levels and shows a negative result for chlorine levels. This happens because the amount of chlorine gets overpowered by the stabilizer.

How Much Pool Stabilizer Do You Need?

The ideal range of pool stabilizers should be between 30 and 50 parts per million in the case of an average-sized backyard pool. Moreover, the concentration of the stabilizer should be within 100 parts per million. This concentration is the upper limit that the World Health Organization has defined. 

If the stabilizer’s range is around 50ppm, it helps in protecting the chlorine in the water. It safeguards the chlorine from the UV rays, and it lasts longer. The main thing that has to be kept in mind is that adding more stabilizers does not assure better performance.

However, in the case of indoor pools, the stabilizer is not needed. Its use is not recommended because the indoor pools do not receive direct sunlight and do not have to withstand any harmful UV rays. On the contrary adding stabilizer in an indoor pool would negatively impact its effectiveness.

The Exception To The Rule

However, there is an exception to the rule stating that you should add only a 50ppm pool stabilizer. In the case of a cryptosporidium outbreak in the pool, you need not adhere to this rule.  

Crypto refers to a harmful parasite that enters the pool mainly through fecal contamination. This crypto being almost impervious to chlorine, the best way to eradicate it from the pool is to hyper-chlorinate the pool. It means that you have to add chlorine in an excess amount into the pool.  

Therefore for this massive amount of chlorine to perform efficiently, it has to be ensured that the stabilizer amount is minimum. The stabilizer level should be around 15 ppm. 

Thus in this situation, it becomes essential to reduce the stabilizer level drastically to get rid of this nasty parasite invasion in your pool.

Another important thing that you should keep in mind is that, after the treatment of the pool to end the cryptosporidium outbreak, you should replace the pool filter. Moreover, the water must be that balanced chemically before you enter the pool to swim.

The Best Time To Use Pool Stabilizer

You should add a pool stabilizer to the pool once a year. This is because after using a pool stabilizer once in the pool, it performs the task of stabilizing the chlorine in the pool, becomes stable, stays in the water, and is difficult to remove.

It continues its task for a long time and does not disintegrate fast. Since it lasts longer, you need not add a stabilizer often in the pool. This is cost-effective and saves extra expenses. 

When Not To Use Pool Stabilizer

If the pool is indoors, then you should not use a stabilizer because the water does not get exposed to UV rays. It would be mere wastage of time and money. Instead, it would have a detrimental impact on harming the productiveness of chlorine.

Again in the case of hot tubs, it is futile to use stabilizers. It is essential to protect the chlorine level in a hot tub, and it is needed for spa sessions.

For this purpose, the heat has to be retained, and also the dirt and debris should be separated from the water. So chlorine should be in its full effectiveness. It is thus unwise and unnecessary to add a stabilizer in hot tubs.

How To Test For Pool Stabilizer?

For testing the stabilizer content in the pool, the ideal method is to use a test kit that identifies the presence of cyanuric acid. You can quickly get access to such a kit online or buy it offline from any pool supply store.

The kit comprises a vial with a black dot at its bottom, a cyanuric acid reagent, and a bottle to collect water samples.

In the first method for conducting the test, the following steps are followed:

  • At first, the water sample bottle is filled up to 25 ml, and then 25 ml of the reagent is mixed to create a cloud in the test sample in the presence of the stabilizer.
  • After that, the sample is added to the vial having the black dot. The sample has to be poured to the black dot level so that the dot is no longer visible.
  • Then by reading the level of water, the cyanuric acid reading can be taken.

There is also another method of conducting this test. It can be done with test strips. On coming in contact with the cyanuric acid, the test strip changes color according to the level of acid in the water. 

Both of these methods are effective for testing the presence of a stabilizer.

How Do You Add Pool Stabilizer?

At first, the cyanuric acid level should be checked to ensure that a pool stabilizer is needed for the pool water. 

Now the quantity has to be determined. For pools that are in the shade, around 10ppm to 20ppm stabilizer is needed. For the pools in sunny areas, a 20ppm to 40ppm stabilizer is required. The highest level of 50ppm can be used but not more than this.

The instruction manual should be followed and accordingly take out the required amount of stabilizer. After that, you should fill a bucket with five gallons of water, and the granular stabilizer is to be dissolved in it.

Then the dissolved stabilizer has to be poured into the pool water so that it gets evenly distributed.

The stabilizer is dissolved because it ensures better distribution and spreads quickly throughout the pool. This brings down the acid level of the pool.

Recommended Products

Some of the top-rated stabilizers that are available in the market are:

#1 Clorox Pool&Spa Chlorine Stabilizer 4 lb

This product is replete with pure, top-quality cyanuric acid. It comes in granular form that has to be dissolved in a bucket before use. If trichloro or dichlor are used in the pool, then a tiny quantity shall suffice.

It ensures the longevity of the chlorine. It stabilizes the chlorine for better sanitation. It protects the chlorine from sunlight.

Pros 

  • Enables chlorine to last longer
  • Cost-Effective

Cons

  • It takes time to dissolve

#2 Puri Tech Stabilizer Conditioner Cyanuric Acid UV Protection for Swimming Pools and Spas (25lbs)

In the case of saltwater pools, this product should be used. It is available in different sizes, from 3lbs to 25lbs. In the case of this product, you have to add only 1 lb to raise 10ppm per For every 10,000 Gallons of water. Thus it lasts longer. 

Pros:

  • Contains 100% cyanuric acid
  • The product lasts longer 

Cons

  • Some customers had a complaint about its efficiency.

#3 Natural Chemistry 2 Pk Instant Swimming Pool Water Conditioner Liquid Stabilizer 17401NCM

This product is already dissolved and works faster. It contains only 30% acid. Before any pool party, if the water has to be stabilized quickly, this product is preferred.

Pros:

  • Works Instantly
  • It saves effort as it is dissolved beforehand

Con

  • Expensive

Conclusion

I hope this article clarifies all your doubts regarding the use of pool stabilizers and their significance and drawbacks. Amongst the products stated above, the Clorox Pool&Spa Chlorine Stabilizer has been rated highly by the customers. If you are a pool owner looking for a good quality pool stabilizer, you can use this product.

However, it is also essential to read the instruction manual before using the product. So now, I hope you will follow the proper process of stabilizing the pool by adding the cyanuric acid in the right amount.

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