What causes cyanuric acid to be high in a pool?

What causes high cyanuric acid in pools? Maybe you already know, but pools contain lots of chemicals to keep them healthy.

Pools are more than just bodies of pristine water to be enjoyed in the warmth of the summer months; they are made of chemical solutions designed to keep you and your loved ones safe when basking in their embrace.

What are Some Common Pool Chemicals?

Pool Chemicals

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Aside from the question,”what causes high cyanuric acid in pools?” it is also important to identify the common chemicals present in most pools. Chlorine is the most common chemical found in pools. Its purpose is clear: To disinfect the pool of any harmful substances. Chlorine is a chemical “cleaner” that rids the water of pathogens that could negatively affect humans and their health.

Often found as a compounded chemical as calcium hypochlorite in solid form or sodium hypochlorite in liquid form, chlorine creates chemicals as an offspring when combined together with the water.

The main chemical that is created by the mixture of water and chlorine is hypochlorous acid. The hypochlorous acid then does the “dirty work” in taking care of the water by killing bacteria, eradicating pathogens, and oxidizing the water itself.

What are Stabilizing Agents?

Frequently included in the chlorine content utilized to clean the pool are stabilizing agents. These are used to protect the chlorine from breaking down prematurely when exposed to ultraviolet light, thus improving the effectiveness of the chlorine itself, allowing it to care for the pool water as best as possible.

Cyanuric acid is a common example of a stabilizing agent.

How do I Use Cyanuric Acid Safely?

Measure Cyanuric Acid

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Once pool owners learn of the plethora of chemicals in their pools, one of the common questions we get (that you might have as well) relates to the proper use of cyanuric acid.

As a general rule, you should maintain an amount of 60 to 80 parts per million (ppm) of cyanuric acid in your pool if your pool is exposed to great amounts of sunlight. Maintaining this range will allow your pool to remain in a state of optimal health, avoiding too little or too much of the chemical which could have harmful results on either end.

If you have an indoor pool, it is generally thought that your pool does not need cyanuric acid as exposure to sunlight in indoor pools is at a minimum.

However, if your indoor pool does receive periodic to frequent sunlight exposure, then cyanuric acid should be added as needed to safely protect yourself, the pool structure, and the water.

In this case, it would be best to consult a pool technician to learn what amount of cyanuric acid would be best for your water.

If your pool uses Oxidation Reduction Potential in its system mechanisms, then a cyanuric acid range between 30 and 50 parts per million (ppm) should be strived for.

What Causes High Cyanuric Acid Amounts?

High cyanuric acid amounts in your pool are likely caused simply by applying too much of the chemical into the pool itself.

Often, miscalculations in measurement, misunderstandings of proper amounts needed, or simple human errors are the factors that can influence increased amounts.

If you have any hesitations when it comes to adding chlorine and cyanuric acid to your pool, I would best recommend that you consult with a pool technician before you begin.

When it comes to chemicals and the safety of your water and your loved ones, you can never be too safe.

What Does Too Much Cyanuric Acid Look Like?

Too Much Cyanuric Acid

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The nice thing is that the signs are pretty obvious if your pool has too much cyanuric acid. You will be able to see changes in the water structure which will ward you with caution.

One of the main concerns you would likely see is a decrease in the transparency of the water, meaning it would begin to appear more foggy and cloudy than it naturally or typically would.

If you notice this change in your pool, you would be wise to take swift action to resolve the issue before it increases in intensity.

The second change in your pool that might not be as clear to see (pun intended) is the effectiveness of the cyanuric acid itself. As more and more cyanuric acid is present, it begins to become less effective as a whole, thus limiting the power it has to properly do its job as required.

How Do I Fix My Water if I Have Too Much Cyanuric Acid?

There is a simple fix to solve these issues: Simply replace some of the overly-saturated and cloudy water with fresh water.

This replacement will allow the high levels of cyanuric acid to decrease while increasing the clarity of the water, bringing it back to a healthy state as a whole.

This is the most simple and cost-effective solution to the issue. However, in doing so, just be sure to dispose of the discarded water properly to ensure safe protection of the environment from harm.

With these simple tips, you can care for your pool to your very best bringing your pool itself to its very best. By taking proper care of your pool, you will be able to provide fun and entertainment for your family, friends, and loved ones for many years to come!


  • Chemicals are needed in pools to keep them safe and healthy
  • Chlorine is the most common pool chemical and is a pool disinfectant.
  • Cyanuric acid is a stabilizing agent to assist chlorine in being effective.
  • Use proper amounts of cyanuric acid according to your specific pool type.
  • High cyanuric acid amounts in your pool are likely caused simply by applying too much of the chemical into the pool.
  • Too much cyanuric acid results in increased cloudiness of the pool water.
  • If you have too much cyanuric acid in your pool, safely replace the water with new, clean water.

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