Is Cyanuric Acid Stabilizer Necessary in a Pool With a Salt Chlorine Generator?

I read a post on a pool maintenance Facebook site recently.  The post asked if it was necessary to have cyanuric acid in a pool with a salt chlorine generator. The answer is of course, YES! Let me tell you why…

What is a Salt Pool?

The first order of business should be to define what a salt pool is.  A salt pool is a chlorine pool.  Ok, now that we have that out of the way, let’s get to the question…

Should a Salt Pool Have Cyanuric Acid?

Should you have cyanuric acid (stabilizer) in a pool with a salt chlorine generator or a pool with a salt cell. The answer is… YES! Let’s talk out the benefits including the life of your salt cell.

Maintaining an appropriate level of cyanuric acid, often referred to as a stabilizer, is crucial in all pools especially pools with salt chlorine generators for several reasons:

  1. Salt Cells must work overtime to produce chlorine if you do not add stabilizer. Without stabilizer the cells run harder, longer and hotter.
  2. When you add stabilizer (CYA) to between 30 – 50ppm your pool will retain chlorine week to week. Even in the summer heat like we have in Texas.
  3. You will be able to turn down the percentage of production thus reducing the percentage of time your cell is working to produce chlorine.
  4. Your salt cell will last longer. Replacement cells are expensive. Stabilizer is a cheap way to save your wallet from overheating.
  5. CYA Stabilizer saves you chlorine and the life of your salt cell.

What is Stabilizer?

Stabilizer Protects Against UV Rays: Cyanuric acid acts as a sunscreen for the chlorine in your pool. Without it, the UV rays from the sun can deplete the free chlorine (FC) levels by up to 90% in just 2 hours. This rapid reduction can leave your pool unprotected against bacteria and algae.

Here are three facts about Cyanuric Acid (Stabilizer):

  1. Stabilizer Extends Chlorine Longevity: By stabilizing the chlorine, cyanuric acid ensures that the chlorine lasts longer in the water, which is essential for continuous sanitation and maintaining water quality
  2. Stabilizer Provides Consistent Sanitation: A stable chlorine level helps prevent the growth of harmful microorganisms. Without cyanuric acid, the chlorine produced by the salt chlorine generator would quickly diminish, compromising the pool’s cleanliness.
  3. Stabilizer Provides Economic Efficiency: Maintaining proper stabilizer levels means you’ll use less chlorine over time, as it won’t be destroyed as quickly by sunlight. This can lead to cost savings as you won’t need to run the salt chlorine generator as often to maintain chlorine levels1.

What are the recommended Stabilizer CYA Levels?

Recommended Levels: For saltwater pools, I recommend the cyanuric acid level be between 30-60 parts per million (ppm).

How do you test for Cyanuric Acid?

First, I want to implore you, stop taking your pool water to big box pool stores to be tested. I have owned pool retail stores. We all look for fast and efficient ways to test water and get customers in and out of our stores with as many chemical bottles in their hands as possible. We also look for the easiest way to test water so we can put anyone behind the counter to take a sample, push a button and click print when the computer has completed the test and is ready to print all your recommendations. It’s going to cost you!

Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to waste 1-2 hours and 2-300 dollars driving your water to a store and depending on the computer to tell you what you need.

I recommend buying a test kit that will give you the most accurate results within 2-5 minutes and it will tell you what & how much to add to make the necessary adjustments. YES!!

The Taylor Technologies K2006C-FAS Test Kit might look ominous, but I assure you this is the easiest kit to use. This kit currently costs $126.00 but it will save you thousands of dollars in chemicals.

If you buy the kit and need help understanding how to use it… Comment below. Let’s connect! I can help you run through a few tests and answer any questions you have.

In summary, cyanuric acid is an essential component in the maintenance of all pools. Cyanuric Acid ensures that the chlorine remains effective for longer periods, providing a safe and enjoyable swimming environment.

In next week’s blog post I will talk about the worst pool I’ve tested in over 40 years. See you next week.

Tim Graham


  1. kneels on May 30, 2024 at 3:24 pm

    Great post.

    • Tim Graham on June 1, 2024 at 9:21 pm

      Thank You! Tim

  2. Rob Byrd on June 1, 2024 at 1:15 pm

    Great article, Tim!

    • Tim Graham on June 1, 2024 at 9:21 pm

      Thank You Rob!

  3. Ken Jones on June 1, 2024 at 6:00 pm

    Everything you said is correct, in addition operating the cell longer to produce additional chlorine also raises the ph. Reducing sanitizer efficiency and increasing acid demand. So now you add acid and thst lowers you alkalinity, now you need more bicarb

    • Tim Graham on June 1, 2024 at 9:20 pm

      Ken, thank you for your comment and you are absolutely right. Tim Graham

Leave a Comment