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What Is a Swimming Pool Stabilizer?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 09 March 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Swimming pool stabilizer is a pool chemical designed to help regulate chlorine levels, reducing wastage of chlorine and keeping the amount of chlorine in the pool steady to ensure it acts effectively to inhibit the growth of unwanted organisms. Generally, stabilizer concentrations in a pool should be between 80 and 100 parts per million (PPM) and they can be tested with pool chemistry kits. Stabilizer may need to be added periodically throughout the season a pool is in use, and it is advisable to check pool chemistry regularly to address imbalances as promptly as possible.

Pool chemicals are used to maintain a pH hostile to harmful organisms. A swimming pool can be a tempting location for bacteria and other potentially pathogenic organisms if the pH is not kept in balance, and people can get sick. Levels need to be adjusted as water splashes out and is replaced, and because chemicals like chlorine can interact with ultraviolet radiation. On sunny, hot days, chlorine can rapidly deteriorate, making the pool less safe and requiring people to add chemicals to bring the level back up to normal.

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Cyanuric acid is used as a swimming pool stabilizer. The product wraps around the chlorine to inhibit evaporation, making the chlorine last longer. If stabilizer levels are too low, the pool will be cloudy because harmful organisms can grow in the water. If the swimming pool stabilizer levels are too high, they can interfere with the activity of the chlorine, causing cloudy water because the chlorine is essentially locked up and cannot work.

Swimming pool stabilizer may be added directly to the pool or run through the pool filter to allow it to slowly filter out into the pool. After it has been added and the water has had a chance to circulate, levels can be checked to confirm an appropriate amount has been added, and to check the pH of the pool. If the levels are out of balance, people should be kept out of the pool for their safety until the situation is resolved.

Also known as pool conditioner, swimming pool stabilizer is available from most pool supply stores and it can also be ordered through catalogs and online stores. Pool chemicals should be kept in a locked location in sealed containers out of the reach of children and pets, as some of them can be hazardous. It is advisable to check pool chemistry at around the same time every few days for a home pool, and daily when a pool is seeing heavy use. Public pools are often checked multiple times throughout the day to allow people to adjust the levels.

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