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What Happens When Cyanuric Acid Levels Get Too High?

Chlorine can become less effective at killing dangerous microorganisms. Experts seek legislation to mandate usage.

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Most swimming pool service professionals use cyanuric acid as part of their toolkit in maintaining outdoor pools for their customers. Cyanuric acid was first invented in 1829 as a sanitizing agent and has been used ever since for keeping chlorinated inground pools clean.

Lawmakers Seek Legislation To Mitigate Usage of Cyanuric Acid

Cyanuric acid has gotten quite a bad wrap as lawmakers and scients alike take issue with the potential dangerous overuse in residential and commerical pools. They represent that Cyanuric acid may cause pool maintenance issues as well as public health problems. In contradiction, some public health inspectors mandate the use of cyanuric acid, while others ban it entirely from public pools. The industry can’t seem to make up it’s mind if Cyanuric Acid is beneficial or not. Let’s explore the issue further.

CYA is technically an acid but is unlike muriatic acid, which is commonly used in pool service for adjusting pH levels in the pool chemistry.

What is the difference between Cyanuric Acid & Muriatic Acid?

Cyanuric acid is sold on it’s own or can be bought in combination as an additive to chlorine tablets. It quickly dissolves in water and doesn’t have any adverse effects on water hardness, alkalinity or pH levels. It’s often used as a conditioner or chlorine stablizer and basically protects the chlorine from the sun while it disinfects the pool.

A chlorinated swimming pool with CYA will stay chlorinated on the sunniest day, but the same pool without a stablizer in it will dissipate it’s chlorine in just a few hours.  Cyanruic acid builds up over time with each application.

CYA has many important benefits that make it easier and most cost efficient to maintain your inground pool over the life of ownership. It allows for weekly maintenance instead of daily maintenance and way less green-to-clean scenarios for pool service maintenance professionals.

The market for CYA has been incredible with a $300 million dollar a year cottage industry. Unfortunately, the overuse of this product has created some practical cases for legislation to create oversight and moderation of it’s usage.

When CYA levels become too high, it renders chlorine ineffective to killing dangerous microorganisms in the water such as cryptospordium parvum which causes gastrointestinal illnesses similar to Giardia.

What to know about Cyanuric Acid

What Happens When Cyanuric Acid Levels Get Too High

Chlorine’s potential to oxidize, often measured as oxidation reduction potential (ORP), is a good indicator of chlorine’s effectiveness.

Over the years, numerous independent and academic research initiatives have shown that when cyanuric levels build up in the pool, ORP levels consistently drop, indicating that the effectiveness of chlorine diminishes. In addition, there is a clear correlation between increased levels of cyanuric acid and the time it takes to effectively kill bacteria present in pool water.

Furthermore, at high levels of cyanuric acid, chlorine is rendered ineffective in killing the most dangerous microorganisms in the water: cryptosporidium parvum. The CDC says that CYA levels as low as 10- to 20 ppm under hyperchlorinated conditions arent sufficient enough to inactivate the necessary 99.9 percent of cryptosporidium parvum in pool water

Cryptosporidium parvum, or crypto, is a chlorine-resistant microorganism that causes gastrointestinal illness, similar to that of Giardia, which reproduces in the gut of humans. They recommend a free chlorine concentration of 20 ppm for 32 hours (CT=15,300 mg*min/L).

When CYA levels get to high, the only solution is draining and starting over or dillution through reverse osmosis. It’s important to train the industry on the proper use of CYA to mitigate over usage. Poolside kits are often available but seldom utilized.

Editor in Chief of Pool Magazine - Joe Trusty is also CEO of PoolMarketing.com, the leading digital agency for the pool industry. An internet entrepreneur, software developer, author, and marketing professional with a long history in the pool industry. Joe oversees the writing and creative staff at Pool Magazine. To contact Joe Trusty email info@poolmagazine.com or call (916) 467-9118 during normal business hours. For submissions, please send your message to submissions@poolmagazine.com

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Cleaning and Service Equipment and Supplies

Best Robot Pool Cleaners & Pool Monitors

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Best Robot Pool Cleaners & Pool Monitors

Swimming pools are indisputably excellent sources of enjoyment and relaxation. Even so, cleaning and maintaining a pool is not a walk in the park. Pool maintenance usually consumes a lot of time and effort. Unfortunately, you can never skip pool maintenance if you want to maintain crystal clear pool water. On average, you need to clean your pool at least twice a week. Moreover, you need to ensure you have balanced water chemistry at all times. Fortunately, there is a wide range of pool cleaning equipment you can use to keep your pool in good shape. In this article, we look at the best robot pool cleaners of 2021.

Best Robot Pool Cleaners & Pool Monitors

2021 best robot pool cleaners

The pool filter is usually responsible for getting rid of dirt and debris in your pool. However, some particles may be too large to go through the filter. As a result, you need to use a vacuum or robotic pool cleaner to clean the pool. At present, there is a wide range of robot pool cleaners in the market. Each offers unique functionality.

There are two primary types of automatic pool cleaners; pressure cleaners and robotic cleaners. Both deliver excellent functionality. But pressure cleaners usually depend on the pool filter and pump to function. At times, they rely on a booster pump to operate. On the flip side, robotic cleaners depend on electricity to function and work independently. Also, some robotic cleaners use smart technology like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to function.

Factors to consider when buying a robotic pool cleaner

Typically, robot pool cleaners incorporate a head unit responsible for running all operations of the cleaner. You can set a robotic cleaner to work at your preferred timings during the day. Most robotic pool cleaners have floor and wall cleaning options. In addition, pool professionals usually advise getting a robotic pool cleaner that cleans the waterline. Such pool cleaners reduce the need for brushing your pool surfaces. Nevertheless, these robotic pool cleaners tend to be more expensive.

All robot pool cleaners use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi systems to function. Thus, you can easily control the robotic cleaner using a smartphone app. You can start and stop the robotic cleaner at any time. When buying a pool cleaner, always buy one with a quality debris canister. The debris canister is responsible for trapping debris in the pool. After cleaning the pool, you need to empty and remove the canister according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Another factor to consider when buying a robotic pool cleaner is the size and shape of your pool. If you have a complex pool design, buy a robotic cleaner that can navigate tough corners. Also, if your pool has steps, choose a robotic cleaner that can go up the steps.

Different types of robot pool cleaners

It is important to note that robot pool cleaners are costly. Thus, before purchasing this equipment, ensure you analyze your requirements. Even so, pool experts report that robotic pool cleaners are worth the purchase.

DOLPHIN Sigma Robotic Pool Cleaner with Bluetooth and Massive Top-Load Cartridge Filters, Ideal for Pools up to 50 Feet.

Hassle-free clean. Easy-to-use, robotic pool cleaner equipped with an anti-tangling swivel cable, allowing Sigma to move freely around large residential pools up to 50 feet with ease. Backed by a 3 year quality assurance.

$1,497 on Amazon

Polaris Alpha IQ+

This is one of the best robotic pool cleaners you can find in the market. The Polaris Alpha IQ+ incorporates a fast and straightforward installation process. Also, it does an excellent job of helping you maintain crystal clear pool water. You can find it for about $1,458.96 on Amazon

Aquabot Turbo T4RC

Another robotic pool cleaner is the Aquabot Turbo T4RC. It is lightweight and uses a series of brushes to keep the pool clean. You can find it on Amazon for as low as $1,999.

Polaris 9550 Sport

Best Robot Pool Cleaners & Pool Monitors

Another Polaris robotic cleaner is the Polaris 9550 Sport that goes for approximately $1299 on Amazon. This cleaner is ideal for getting rid of dirt on pool surfaces of inground pools.

Smart pool water monitors

Maintaining balanced water chemistry is essential. Currently, there are several pieces of equipment specially designed to check the pool pH, calcium hardness, and chlorine levels. Smart monitor systems do this job and send measurements to your smartphone app every day.

WaterGuru Sense

This smart monitor system is specially designed to stay in the pool skimmer. The WaterGuru Sense smart monitor measures the pool pH and chlorine levels. You can find it on Amazon for as low as $295.

cFloat

Another smart monitor system is the cFloat. This system helps you improve water quality at all times. It goes for approximately $399 on Amazon.

Sutro Smart Pool Water Monitor

This smart monitor helps you know your pool chemistry. Also, it advises you on all the chemical adjustments you need to make. Purchasing a Sutro smart pool water monitor costs approximately $199.

Ultimately

Today, there is a wide range of smart pool equipment. Before purchasing any pool equipment, ensure you evaluate all your requirements.

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Cleaning and Service Equipment and Supplies

Dealing With the Trichlor Shortage Head On

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Dealing With the Trichlor Shortage Head On

The recent fire that destroyed the chemical plant in Louisiana is the main reason for the current chlorine shortage. As a result, a good percentage of pool companies were adversely affected. At the same time, some pool companies remained unaffected by these events and have been able to carry on business as usual. Such companies relied on other pool sanitation systems like saltwater systems and baquacil.

Dealing With the Trichlor Shortage Head On

But generally, the shortage of chlorine is a big challenge for many pool owners. There has been a significant rise in the price of chlorine due to increased demand.

How did pool professionals deal with tricholor shortage?

Once the news hit home, pool experts came up with several strategies to deal with this sudden shortage of chlorine. President of Patio Pleasures Pools & Spas, Rene Huston, said that trichlor shortage forced them to stock up in excess. This way, they would still have supplies in the next swimming pool peak season. Although this was a good idea, they realized that the demand was too high. In particular, the demand was three times than what we would sell in normal seasons.”

Most pool companies stocked up the chlorine in excess to deal with the shortage. Even so, this strategy also comes with other challenges. When you decide to stockpile chlorine, you need to create safe storage space. As a result, pool product suppliers have had to expand their warehouses to accommodate excess stock. Aside from creating a stock house, you need a lot of money to purchase chlorine in bulk. Unfortunately, very few pool experts have enough cash to stockpile.

What were the early signs of chlorine shortage?

People started noticing the shortage of chlorine by a sudden hike in prices. Before, pool owners bought a 50-lb buck of 3-inch unwrapped tablets at $70 to $75. Last year., the price rose to $125. Thus, pool owners had to pay almost twice what they used to pay to get chlorine tablets.

CEO/RMO of Cline Commercial Pool Service in California, Lori Ann Cline, says that she received a notice that the price of chorine would rise by approximately 15 to 20% during summer. Therefore, her company had no choice other than increase their prices to retain their profits. Contrary to popular belief, the increase in prices has not helped them deal with scarcity. In fact, most of their suppliers are currently reducing their purchases every week. So, they cannot buy as much chlorine as they would wish. Unlike before, they cannot order multiple buckets of trichlor.

Dealing with the situation beforehand

The owner of Richard’s Pool Service, Richard Garnai, says that the shortage of trichlor has not been a big problem for them. They already had a solid plan for dealing with the shortage. Their suppliers advised them to purchase trichlor in bulk. This way, they would be able to meet the expected surge in demand during summer. If they run out of stock, he considers manufacturing the chemical himself. Additionally, he plans to use cyanuric acid and liquid chlorine if he runs out of stock.

Garnai advises pool experts not to depend on tabs this summer. He says that looking for other options is a great idea. Trying to reduce the use of chlorine tabs is a great idea to deal with this problem. Some of the alternatives to trichlor include calcium hypochlorite and liquid chlorine. Although bromine is also a great alternative, it tends to degrade when exposed to sunlight.

Education programs

At the moment, it is essential to educate customers about this sudden shortage. Most customers are angry about this whole situation. Consider informing your customers that you are suddenly experiencing a chlorine shortage, and it would be best to look for other alternatives. Explaining the sudden increase in prices is also a good idea. Pool professionals are also encouraging customers to stock up tabs before summer. Fortunately, most customers are responding positively.

Using alternatives to chlorine

At present, there is a broad spectrum of techniques that can help you lower chlorine usage in your pool. These techniques help pool experts deal with the trichlor shortage well. When reducing the pool’s dependence on chlorine, the first thing to do is keep the pool in good condition. Using UV, Ozone, and AOP pool systems also helps you reduce chlorine usage. Consequently, pool experts are trying to encourage customers to consider other pool sanitation alternatives. Fortunately, most customers are responding positively. Nonetheless, pool experts hope that they won’t experience these challenges in demand and supply come next year.

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Cleaning and Service Equipment and Supplies

The Chlorine Shortage Isn’t Over – Alternatives You Should Consider

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The Chlorine Shortage Isn’t Over - Alternatives You Should Consider

The pool industry has been facing a chlorine shortage since last year. As a result, pool experts are doing their best to deal with this surge in demand. The sudden chlorine shortage resulted from the fire that occurred in the production facility in Louisiana. Luckily, there are other alternatives you can use in place of chlorine. Some of them include calcium hypochlorite and liquid chlorine. Saltwater systems are also a safer alternative to chlorine. Therefore, pool professionals are trying to encourage homeowners to use other sanitation systems.

The Chlorine Shortage Isn’t Over - Alternatives You Should

At present, a good percentage of pool owners are trying to identify ways of using less chlorine. Keep in mind that chlorine sometimes poses a danger to your health. It causes skin and eye irritation when in excessive amounts in the pool. So, it is essential to use little amounts of chlorine. Alternatively, use other disinfection agents that are less abrasive.

The different types of pool sanitation systems

Typically, there are no products that serve as a total replacement for chlorine. Nevertheless, pool experts have invented different systems that provide efficient sanitation for the pool. Some of these systems include Ozone and UV systems. Each pool system is unique and offers exceptional benefits. Therefore, your needs often determine the best pool system option for you.

UV pool systems

Ultraviolet sanitation systems can also help you reduce chlorine usage in the pool. These systems destroy all harmful microorganisms in the pool using ultraviolet light. Usually, water flowing past the UV system is exposed to UV light. The light destroys the genetic composition of microorganisms present in the pool water. Therefore, UV systems deactivate all the microbes in the water and prevent them from reproducing. The longer you expose the water to UV light, the more sanitation you receive. Installing a UV system in your pool, therefore, helps you reduce chlorine usage. In addition, Ultraviolet sanitation systems can work with different chemicals like bromine and chlorine. Pool experts, therefore, consider pool sanitation systems safe and effective.

Ozone pool system

How does an ozone pool system work? These systems foster the formation of a strong oxidizer, O3, by breaking down oxygen molecules into two. The single broken-down molecules then attach themselves to other O2 molecules to form O3. The presence of O3 in the pool water can help you reduce chlorine usage by approximately 70%.

AOP pool systems

AOP pool systems often generate hydroxyl radicals which act as strong oxidizers. These systems use both UV and Ozone technologies to provide maximum sanitation for the pool. When water flows through the AOP system, it gets exposed to UV light. Also, the AOP system starts creating O3 to provide disinfection to the pool water. Thus, this pool system helps you lower chlorine usage in the pool.

Using minerals to sanitize your swimming pool

Did you know you can use minerals to keep your water free from harmful microorganisms and pathogens? Pool professionals report that mineral sanitizers provide adequate disinfection. They destroy all microbes in the pool. Hence, they help you reduce chlorine usage in the pool. Some pool systems contain minerals like copper and silver. Copper usually acts as an excellent algaecide, while silver oxide kills all microorganisms in the water. You can use minerals with saltwater systems. Doing this helps you minimize the usage of chlorine chemicals.

Pool maintenance reduces the need for chlorine

Other than using different pool sanitation systems, it would be best to implement other ways to reduce chlorine usage. One of the most common ways to do this is to keep the pool in good condition. You have to ensure that your pool has balanced water chemistry if you want to use less chlorine. Therefore, it is essential to check the pool pH and calcium hardness levels and adjust them accordingly. As a pool owner, ensure you conduct a pool shock from time to time; it would be best to use non-chlorine products for this. Adding preventative algaecides in your pool also lowers chlorine usage.

Using other pool sanitation systems helps you deal with chlorine shortage

The shortage of chlorine forced most pool owners to turn to other alternatives. Fortunately, pool owners are positively embracing other pool sanitation systems. However, there need to be more training programs to educate pool owners on the importance of using non-chlorine pool systems. This way, it will be much easier for pool experts to deal with the shortage of chlorine.

Moreover, every pool owner is trying to lower chlorine usage in their pools. One of the best ways to do this is practicing proper pool maintenance. Pools in good condition don’t demand a lot of chlorine. Ultimately, everyone in the pool industry should take up the responsibility of dealing with the chlorine shortage.

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