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Will Stabilizer Damage Your Pool Liner?

Pool stabilizer is an acidic chemical that can corrode various materials. If it weakens the pool liner, your pool will leak, wrinkle, and rip. It’s crucial to preserve your pool liner since it’s quite expensive to replace. Proper maintenance and dosage could prevent the pool’s chemicals from causing long-lasting damage.

Stabilizer will damage your pool liner if it settles on the bottom and isn’t circulated. The acidic pH found in cyanuric acid (stabilizer) corrodes and weakens vinyl, fiberglass, and plaster pools. Circulate the pool pump for 24 hours after adding the stabilizer to keep it from harming the liner.

In this article, I’ll break down how to put a stabilizer in the pool without damaging the liner, why it could be harmful to the plaster or vinyl, and what happens when you overload the pool with the chemical. Let’s get started!

Does Pool Stabilizer Cause Harm to the Liner?

A pool stabilizer is a critical component in the water, but there’s no doubt that it can harm the liner and equipment. It often goes by three names:

  1. Pool stabilizer
  2. Pool conditioner
  3. Cyanuric acid (CYA)

All of these chemicals are the same thing. They provide protection from the sun, preserving the chlorine for as long as possible. However, cyanuric acid can damage the pool’s liner because it has a low pH.

The corrosively low pH and alkalinity found in CYA can wrinkle the liner and tear the material. This issue typically only occurs due to prolonged settling.

You won’t experience these problems if you follow the proper stabilizer usage method.

Can You Put Stabilizer Directly into the Pool?

You can put the stabilizer directly into the pool, but it’s best to pour the stabilizer into the skimmer basket.

Dumping a stabilizer into the bottom of the pool can cause it to settle, leading to cloudiness and potentially preventing it from dissolving. Always circulate the pool pump when using a stabilizer.

Here’s the step-by-step process to prevent the stabilizer from damaging the liner:

  1. Test the CYA levels to know how much stabilizer you need to add. Adding too much cyanuric acid can ruin your pool. It binds to the chlorine and damages the water, preventing it from removing bacteria and debris. Always check the manufacturer’s recommendations to know how much stabilizer you need to add.
  2. Turn on the pump for 8 to 24 hours after adding the stabilizer to prevent it from settling. If cyanuric acid settles on the bottom of the pool, there’s a much higher chance of acidic corrosion. Cyanuric acid has a much lower pH than most of the chemicals in the water.
  3. Maintain the pH before and after adding any stabilizer to the swimming pool. Since CYA has a low pH, it can reduce the pH and alkalinity of the water. It’s crucial to test these levels before and after adding the stabilizer to know if you need to raise the pH of the pool. A lower pH has a bigger opportunity to corrode the liner. 
  4. Brush the walls and floors in the pool if you notice the stabilizer settling. Powder cyanuric acid can clump and stick to the walls, so brushing the chemical will make a big difference. However, it’s best to avoid vacuuming the pool until the stabilizer is completely dissolved in the water; otherwise, you’ll risk removing some of the CYA.
  5. Consider using a liquid pool conditioner instead of dry cyanuric acid if you’re worried about damaging the pool liner. The liquid conditioner doesn’t clump as much. However, it’s a bit pricier. The liquid variant is better for those who want a low-maintenance solution, whereas the dry stabilizer comes with more to use.

While cyanuric acid might seem intimidating, it’s one of the many chemicals needed for swimming pools. It’s important not to put too much or too little of the CYA into the water due to its potency. If you want to know what can happen to the liner if you put too much stabilizer in the pool, read on.

What Happens When You Put Too Much Stabilizer in Your Pool?

When you put too much stabilizer in your pool, the cyanuric acid levels prevent chlorine from removing contaminants.

Too much stabilizer can also cause excessive cloudiness and filter clogs. The best way to remove an abundance of cyanuric acid is to dilute it by draining and filling the swimming pool.

So, why is using too much stabilizer bad for swimming pools?

  • It will spike the CYA levels and limit the sanitizer’s effectiveness. People often add too much stabilizer without knowing it can cause extreme problems. Your pool’s cyanuric acid should range between 40 to 90. It’s best to work in small increments over the course of a few days rather than overloading the pool.
  • Excessive amounts of stabilizer will settle on the bottom of the pool and potentially damage the liner. The acidic pH found in the cyanuric acid will undoubtedly harm vinyl liners and fiberglass liners if it sits on them for too long. Too much CYA will clump on the liner and weaken the material.
  • The stabilizer takes a long time to dissolve and can raise the total dissolved solids in the water. Pour the cyanuric acid into the skimmer or add a skimmer sock to prevent cloudiness and poor dissolving. Circulate the pump after cleaning the filter to help the stabilizer dissolve and stop it from burning the liner.
  • Most chlorine tablets add a bit of cyanuric acid, so you can quickly overload the water by dumping a pure stabilizer into the pool. Remember to always test the CYA before adding any stabilizers to the water. You’ll impact the pH, alkalinity, chlorine, and cyanuric acid. This chemical is easy to add and difficult to remove.

If you think you have too much CYA in the pool, you’ll have to remove the stabilizer.

A swimming pool stabilizer is an essential chemical in swimming pools, but it can suddenly work against you if you’re not careful. Its acidic properties and ability to bind to chlorine molecules can damage the liner or plaster in the pool, not to mention the chemical defects it can cause.

Proper maintenance and CYA level adjustments will help your stabilizer perform optimally.

Author

  • Jonah Ryan

    Jonah has worked for several years in the swimming pool industry installing and repairing equipment, treating pools with chemicals, and fixing damaged liners. He also has plumbing and electrical experience with air conditioning, ceiling fans, boilers, and more. When he's not writing for Temperature Master, he's usually writing for his own websites, LawnCareLessons.com and DIYByHand.com.

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