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Where Did My Pool’s Chlorine Go?

After doing all of the hard work in getting the pool clean, now I seem to have a situation with disappearing chlorine.

Back when I used Baquacil, I don’t remember fooling around with the pools chemistry so much. I’d regularly added algaecide once a week, a bottle and a half of Baquacil every week or so and once a month I’d shock the pool. The water remained clear and my day didn’t involve constant water testing.

Now I seem to test the water several times a day to make sure I’ve got everything right. When I finally get the pH to an acceptable range and the alkalinity ok, it seems the phantom chlorine disappears. I’m so sick and tired of looking at the testing strip only to find the chlorine levels to be non existent.

Even worse, when I pull out my chemistry set and add the appropriate number of drops for chlorine testing, my water remains clear instead of the urine yellow color which would indicate that there was chlorine in the pool.

Cyuranic Acid to the Rescue

My problem, I found out, is that I had no cyuranic acid in the pool. Cyuranic acid is a chlorine stabilizer. It helps to protect the chlorine from the damaging affects of the sun and helps to maintain a steady chlorine level.Chorline Stabilizer

I purchased the powdered cyuranic acid from Namco which requires the crystals to be dissolved in hot water and broadcast across the pool (when I read the word broadcast, I was wondering if I had to borrow my neighbor’s megaphone only to remember that broadcast meant adding it to the pool at the filter’s return).

For a 24′ round 52” deep pool that contains about 13,500 gallons of water I’m supposed to put 1 pound per 5,000 gallons of water. That means I need about 2 ½ pounds of the stuff.

Cyuranic acid isn’t something you want to play around with if you don’t have to. The warnings on the container were enough to make me want to learn to live with disappearing chlorine. Then, I thought twice about it. I mean, after all, I did spend quite a bit of reviving the dirty, murky water in the pool, why let a little acid stop me from getting the perfect pool water chemistry balance.

Cyuranic Acid – What a Pain

Adding cyruranic acid is somewhat of a pain. The powdered version must be dissolved in hot water. Well, I not only used hot water, I boiled several pots of water in an attempt to dissolve the stuff. No go. I ended up stirring as much as I could and then broadcast it into the pool. This meant I had to sweep the bottom of the pool to help the stuff dissolve.

Cyuranic Acid CrystalsSince my CYA readings were non existent, I’m in the process of adding 2 ½ pounds of the stuff. Not wanting to spend my entire day heating water, mixing and pouring, I decided to engage in the mixing practice early in the morning for 5 days in a row. By the way, I’ve added 2 pounds so far and according to my test strips, cyuranic acid is missing (time to take a water sample to the pool store).

Alternative to Adding Cyuranic Acid

If you don’t want to spend time adding cyuranic acid to the pool, you can add chlorine tablets for non stabilized pools that contain cyuranic acid. By using such tablets, you add a little cyuranic acid each time you add chlorine.

Clean PoolBe careful, however. Unlike chlorine which will dissipate over time, cyuranic acid is here to stay. If the acid levels get too high, the only way to reduce the level is to dilute it by draining off some of the water and adding new water. This may not be such a problem if your kids like to create a ‘wave pool.’ In the process of enjoying the wave pool quite a lot of water gets displaced meaning that you’ve got to add several gallons of water to the pool.

Next: Achieving Proper CYA Levels

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