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What's the Difference Between Stabilised Chlorine and Normal Chlorine?

New and experienced pool owners are often stumped with pool maintenance jargon. Below we aim to demystify the differences between normal chlorine and stabilised chlorine

Normal Granular Chlorine

Normal Chlorine can be called Granular Chlorine, Pool Chlorine, Powdered Chlorine or Unstabilised Chlorine, it's all the same thing.

Unstabilised doesn't mean it is dangerous and may blow up. It simply means it does not contain Stabiliser (cyanuric acid) or UV Blockout as it is commonly known.

When unstabilized chlorine is exposed to the sun, the UV rays will rapidly break it down, rendering it unable to sanitize the water. When your chlorine is unstabilized, it will take a lot more chlorine to keep your pool water sanitized during periods of intense sunlight.

You can maintain your pool without the use of a pool stabilizer, but you will need to check your water regularly and make sure you add enough chlorine to the water to keep pace with the breakdown via UV rays.

When to use unstabilised chlorine

  • Unstabilised chlorine works best in indoor pools where the sun isn’t an issue burning off the chlorine.
  • Perfect chemical for shocking your pool. You can give your pool a strong dose of chlorine but won’t remain in the pool for very long.
  • Unstabilised chlorine is good for a quick daily top-up of chlorine if your pool is getting heavy use.

The summary really is that it is good for shocking your pool or for quick doses of chlorine.

Without any stabiliser, it will not remain in your pool very long.

Stabilised Chlorine

Stabilised chlorine has a stabiliser (cyanuric acid) added to it which protects the chlorine from the sun’s UV rays.

Consider it like sun cream for chlorine.

Cyanuric acid helps to keep chlorine stabilised and active and thus able to sanitise your pool water, even in intense sunlight.

It doesn’t mean the chlorine won’t break down, but the stabiliser keeps it active in the pool water much longer than chlorine alone can.

Stabilised chlorine can reduce the amount of chlorine you have to use in your pool. Over time you will save money as you will not have to use so much.

It makes the job of caring for your water much easier.

One downside of using stabilised chlorine for a long period is to watch your cyanuric acid levels and make sure they don’t get too high.

When this occurs the effectiveness of your chlorine will get too low and you will end up with the reverse effect.

A good visual sign of a high cyanuric acid level is that your pool will look cloudy. Get your pool shop to professionally test your water and ask them to check the Cyanuric Acid levels.

If the levels are too high you may need to dump some water and refill with fresh water. Dumping some water can also be beneficial as it also can get rid of unwanted metals that can build up over time.

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