How to Dissolve Pool Stabilizer | Stabilizer Not Dissolving

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So you’ve just tested your pool water and found you have low cyanuric acid. And now you need to know how to dissolve pool stabilizer to raise cyanuric acid. Lucky for you, you’re in the right place.

If you’ve added chlorine stabilizer to your pool water then you may already know that stabilizer is slow to dissolve. There are a few tricks to getting cyanuric acid to dissolve.

Just for reference, pool stabilizer can also be known as cyanuric acid, CYA, stabilizer, chlorine stabilizer. I’ll use these names interchangeably throughout this article.

bag of granular cyanuric acid stabilizer for swimming pools
bag-

How to Dissolve Pool Stabilizer

Here’s the best way to add pool stabilizer so it dissolves faster.

First of all, don’t sprinkle cyanuric acid directly into the pool. Get that idea out of your head. It could get into the plaster or damage your pool liner. Plus pool stabilizer granules don’t feel good on your feet.

Dissolving Stabilizer (cyanuric acid) – Skimmer Sock Method

Step 1) Measure out the required stabilizer quantity.

Step 2) Add the chlorine stabilizer to a pool skimmer sock. (You can grab one here if you don’t already have a pool skimmer sock).

Step 3) Place the sock in the skimmer box or hang it over the return jet.

Step 4) Run your pump on “filter” or “circulate” for 48 hrs. Then run it at normal intervals.

The advantage of this method is that if you need to backwash your filter, you won’t be pumping that expensive CYA out. Most of it will stay in the sock.

Dissolving Stabilizer (cyanuric acid) –  Warm Water Method

Step 1) Measure the chlorine stabilizer.

Step 2) Add the cyanuric acid to a half bucket of warm water. Give it a quick mix.

Step 3) Pour the stabilizer and water mixture directly into the skimmer box.

Step 4) Run your pump on “filter” or “circulate” for 48 hrs. Then run it at normal intervals.

The disadvantage of this method is you won’t be able to backwash your pool until the chlorine stabilizer has fully dissolved.

With either of these methods, the stabilizer will not dissolve immediately – it will take at least 48 hours and up to 5 days.

man pouring the stabilizer in the skimmer box

What is Cyanuric Acid / Pool Stabilizer and What is It For?

Cyanuric Acid or Pool Stabilizer is a chemical added to your pool to stabilize the chlorine when it is exposed to the sun’s light. Without pool stabilizer, your chlorine will quickly be rendered unusable by the UV rays in sunlight. 

Common Problems

Chlorine Stabilizer Not Dissolving

Stabilizer not dissolving can be pretty frustrating and is a common complaint amongst swimming pool owners. If your pool stabilizer won’t dissolve or your cyanuric acid (aka pool stabilizer) is slow to dissolve, read on.

First of all, we’re talking about powder or granular stabilizer (cyanuric acid) and not liquid chlorine stabilizer. If you’re using liquid cyanuric acid, presumably you have no need to read this article as liquid stabilizer mixes immediately with pool water and doesn’t need to dissolve.

The reason your chlorine stabilizer is not dissolving isn’t because you’ve done something wrong. It’s because cyanuric acid is just not a fast dissolving chemical.

Saying that, there are a few tricks you can do to encourage the cyanuric acid to dissolve a little faster but overall, it takes as long as it takes when you’re using granular or powdered cyanuric acid.

scoop of granulated chlorine 
stabilizer for swimming pools

Tips for Faster Dissolving Stabilizer

With the sock method, some people like to give the sock a squeeze every now and again to encourage the cyanuric acid to dissolve. I’m not sure this has really been proven to dissolve stabilizer faster but give it a go – it may work for you.

With both methods, it’s important to run your pump and circulate the water 24 hours a day for the first 48 hours. This will help the cyanuric acid mix and also dissolve quicker.

How long does cyanuric acid take to dissolve?

It depends how you’ve added the chlorine stabilizer to your pool as to how long it will take cyanuric acid to dissolve. The time it takes for cyanuric acid to dissolve is 2 to 5 days.

It’s important to be patient during this time and wait for it to fully dissolve before adding more cyanuric acid to the water. Cyanuric acid levels will continue to increase until all of the chlorine stabilizer has completely dissolved.

You don’t want to be adding more pool stabilizer than necessary. Too much cyanuric acid in your pool will mean the chlorine is less effective at fighting the bad bacteria. If you have added too much stabilizer, check out our article here on how to lower the cyanuric acid levels.

Sometimes it may seem like the pool stabilizer has dissolved, however be aware that it is unlikely to have dissolved fully in less than 48 hours.

Which Stabilizer is Quicker to Dissolve: Powered, Granular or Liquid Cyanuric Acid?

If you’re in a hurry and don’t want cyanuric acid granules on your pool floor or need to raise your stabilizer levels in a hurry, I would suggest you use liquid cyanuric acid.

Liquid stabilizer will mix with the pool water immediately. In fact, you can expect it to be fully mixed within a few hours of adding it to the water. The drawback however is that liquid cyanuric acid is expensive compared with other forms of chlorine stabilizer. It’s much more economical to use powdered or granular pool stabilizer.

Granular chlorine stabilizer is the most common form of cyanuric acid for your pool and is the most economic way to buy it. As mentioned earlier, it will take at least 48 hours and up to a week to fully dissolve.

Powdered cyanuric acid is not so common and it may not be available to buy in your area. It’s reported to not dissolve any faster than granular stabilizer. Although it is a fine powder, when mixed with water, it will often clump together forming a large solid mass of stabilizer.

Summing Up

Pool stabilizer is quite slow to dissolve no matter what method you use. It will take 2-5 days to dissolve fully.

There are two methods you can use to dissolve stabilizer into your pool water.

You can either add the stabilizer to a pool skimmer box sock and hang the sock in front of the return jet or place it in the skimmer box. Or you can simply mix it in a bucket of water first and dump it into the skimmer box. Either method is fine to dissolve the stabilizer.

Keep your pump running to speed up the rate at which the stabilizer dissolves and to mix the chemical in with the rest of the water.

One thing is for certain though, chlorine stabilizer is an essential chemical to preserve and keep the chlorine in your pool effective.

Recommended Products

Cyanuric Acid – granular form

Cyanuric Acid – liquid form

Pool Water Test Strips

Liquid Pool Water Test Kit

Chlorine

Pool Skimmer Socks

Stabilized Chlorine Tablets

Chlorine Tablet Dispenser

Further reading:

Cyanuric Acid for Pools – The Complete Guide for Pool Owners

Cyanuric Acid Low in Pool | How To Raise Cyanuric Acid

How to Lower Cyanuric Acid in Pool (Cyanuric Acid Too High)


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