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Are Salt Chlorine Generators The Answer To CYA-related Pool Issues?


Lower Cyanuric Acid (“CYA”) and CYA free chlorine options are gaining steam, but you might have forgotten about the original CYA free chlorine option. Swimming pools that utilize salt chlorine generators create a consistent baseline level of chlorine in the pool at all times. 

CYA buildup is a big concern for many backyard pool owners and pool professionals. It’s added to chlorine in swimming pools to stabilize the free chlorine (the kind that actively disinfects pool water) and help protect it from the sun. But CYA comes with a hitch . . .

With CYA, you’re essentially trading one problem for another. Too much of a good thing leads to imbalanced pool water often resulting in a ripple effect of corrective measures. This creates a scenario that can make the most capable of pool professionals feel like they’re trapped in an episode of The Twilight Zone


Probably the most annoying issue with CYA use is the “diminishing returns.” It is well-debated in the pool & spa industry that CYA negatively affects disinfection rates by binding to free chlorine in pool water. Tip the scale too much in the wrong direction and you get buildup of oxidizable contaminants with a less effective residual, which can ultimately lead to other problems including increased risk of RWI. The “trapped” free chlorine is eventually freed from the CYA, but not in a timely fashion. Meanwhile, gaps in protection for bathers are created as CYA is tied up helping out the free chlorine.

CYA related issues are compounded by the use of chlorine tablets and shock. Trichlor, a commonly used form of chlorine tabs is a combination of chlorine and CYA. Another popular choice, Dichlor contains both chlorine and cyanuric acid and will raise CYA levels with use over time. Tabs are a popular method of adding chlorine to swimming pools. In pools treated with trichlor, the problem is that the level of CYA can increase rapidly and concentrations occur well over recommended levels. 

There’s also growing interest in Calcium Hypochlorite tabs because they are stabilizer free, even though they require special feeders and application as compared to regular tabs. If Cal Hypo excites you with its CYA free features, consider salt chlorine generators, which come without the “price” of harsh odors or need to store harmful and dangerous chemicals. 

Salt is a CYA free chlorine option for keeping pools clean, clear, comfortable and safe. Stabilizer may still be added but is not usually needed. Well-maintained salt systems produce pure sodium hypochlorite, the type of chlorine needed to kill bacteria and microorganisms. Pre-packaged forms of chlorine have additives and can lose potency during storage. Chlorine generated on the spot has less chance of degradation.

Benefits of salt

  • Pure chlorine generation that doesn’t add CYA to the pool
  • Non-hazardous system to service and to swimmers
  • Newer models are easy to install, keep running and keep clean
  • Lower overall chlorine use and improved free chlorine levels
  • Well-maintained systems can lower overall chemical use & cost

Salt systems have been around for years, but newer models like Powerclean Salt® make salt-gen pools much simpler to maintain. NSF testing certifies the daily chlorine output, so you can trust the power you get from this system.

Powerclean Salt produces pure chlorine without tablets or shock. And it makes the water feel smooth and soft, which leaves homeowners happy. Innovative products like Powerclean Salt take the guess-work out of maintenance. This next-generation salt chlorine system is designed to be more durable, affordable and serviceable.

View Powerclean Salt products.


Find available residential pool sanitizers at c-m-p.com.

We also sell Sanitizer Systems for commercial pools and aquatics. Visit cmpcommercial.com to learn more.

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