What Does Pool Stabilizer (Cyanuric Acid) Do?
To keep your pool safe and clean, chemicals like chlorine are added into pool water to kill harmful bacteria and other microorganisms. However, active chlorine (hypochlorous acid) will more rapidly degrade when exposed to sunlight. That’s right, UV rays from the sun cause the degradation of chlorine! For this reason, pool stabilizers are recommended to be added to your water to extend the longevity of your chlorine. You may add any brand of stabilizer to your pool but use it sparingly and always according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Do Chlorination Tablets Contain Stabilizer?
Some chlorination tablets contain stabilizer and some don’t. It is extremely important to know which you are using in your pool. One might think that having a built-in stabilizer is a good thing. A prescribed amount of stabilizer (30-50 ppm) in water works well, but if you are using a tablet that contains it, every time you chlorinate your water you are adding stabilizer as well.
(Note: Never mix pool tablets!! Sustain tablets are color blue to differentiate them from white tablets (commonly Trichlor) which are incompatible with Sustain tablets. Mixing of incompatible tablets could result in a fire or explosion.)
Over time, a buildup of stabilizer in water (>50-100 ppm) will significantly slow chlorine’s effectiveness in its fight to keep your pool water clean and healthy. This is commonly referred to as overstabilization. Sustain 3-inch blue Chlorinating tablets and Sustain Energizer tablets contain no stabilizer. This way, you can establish and maintain the desired amount of it in your water without overstabilization concerns. Chlorinating tablets that contain stabilizer, (trichlor), also have a low pH (3) which means you will need to add pH-up and Alkalinity-up to bring water into balance.