What is Cyanuric Acid?  

by Pool Builders on 02-22-2012 in Articles

Some call it a pariah; others consider it magical. Cyanuric acid is one of the most controversial chemicals found in a pool owner's arsenal. This chemical additive is even debated among the pool experts as to its effectiveness and value in the stabilization of chlorine. But ask anyone who services small to medium size pools and more than likely they will tout the virtues of this chemical. But why the controversy? Just what is cyanuric acid and is it the right choice when it comes to the care of your pool?

There are many names for this additive - stabilizer, conditioner, cyanurics. But the majority of people refer to it by its official name, cyanuric acid. You may at times see it abbreviated as CYA. It will be referred to by this abbreviation throughout most of this article.

As its name implies, CYA is an acid - but not a strong one. The most common form of this chemical is sold in a dry, granular form and is odorless and white in color. In addition to its use in pool maintenance, it can be found as a component of bleach, herbicides and some disinfectants.

CYA is not compounded with other chemicals and because of its unadulterated nature, it makes dosing easier to manage. Even though it has a 4.0 pH in concentrated solution, the effects of it when diluted in recommended amounts has little effect on the pH level of a pool.
An interesting property of this chemical is that it does not dissipate as it performs its function. In other words, once CYA is added to pool water, it's there for good. Some trace of it can be found even after a pool is completely drained and refilled.

The real benefit from this pool additive is its ability to form a weak bond with the chlorine molecules in the water thereby reducing the effect of the sun's ultraviolet energy. Since chlorine is so sensitive to the sun, you can think of CYA as a sunscreen or sunblock for chlorine. If it weren't for this stabilizing feature, the chlorine in your pool would not be around as long. It's this bonding action that allows more time for chlorine to do its job of disinfecting the water in your pool.

But here's the downside - the very thing that makes chlorine so stable (CYA) is responsible for reducing its effectiveness. The more "stable" a chemical such as chlorine is, the less performance you can expect from it.

So is cyanuric acid the right choice for your needs? Check out the rest of the articles at [http://www.poolcyanuricacid.com] to get more insight into the benefits and risks of this controversial additive.

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