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Using Conditioner in Your Pool

As most pool owners know, there are plenty of chemicals and routine maintenance involved in keeping a healthy, safe and enjoyable pool. It's so much more than simply pouring in various powders and pool chemical solutions. It’s about knowing what's needed to maintain well-balanced, healthy pool water. Pool conditioner, while often overlooked, is an important aspect of pool water chemistry.

Pool Conditioner Explained

What is pool conditioner? Is it the same as Cyanuric Acid in the pool? What is pool stabilizer, and is it all the same? If you're wondering, you'd be correct! All three terms mean the same thing. Cyanuric Acid is a type of chemical compound known as triazine, which means it contains three nitrogen atoms and three carbon atoms.

Still confused? Let’s break it down further. Cyanuric Acid is often called "pool stabilizer" because its sole function is to stabilize the chlorine in your pool water. Long story short, it helps keep your water clean and sanitized for longer.

Leslie's Pool Conditioner

How Pool Conditioner Works

Not only will chlorine burn off when sanitizing water, but the sun’s UV rays can also dissipate it much more quickly if not protected. This protection comes from Cyanuric Acid (CYA) in your pool. Products like Leslie’s Conditioner increase CYA levels. If there is no CYA in the water, up to 90% of your chlorine may burn off in as little as 2 hours. Ideally, your CYA level should range from 30–50 ppm (parts per million) for pools using trichlor chlorine tablets, and 50–100 ppm for salt pools.

How Do You Add Conditioner to a Pool

Adding conditioner or stabilizer to your water is not a complicated process, but requires you to carefully follow product label instructions. Unlike many other pool chemicals, conditioner takes days, rather than minutes, to dissolve. It also tends to expand slightly once exposed to water. Because of this, the application process is different compared to adding a chemical like pool shock or soda ash.

BONUS TIP: Looking for an easier application method? Try a liquid product, such as Leslie's Instant Conditioner. Many pool owners prefer the simple liquid application because it dissolves instantly, unlike its granular counterpart.

Follow These Directions When Adding Conditioner:

  1. Determine the correct amount of conditioner needed to reach your intended target of Cyanuric Acid levels. Depending on the type of sanitizer you have, this should either be between 30–50 ppm or 80–100 ppm. Your Cyanuric Acid levels can be tested using a home test kit or visiting your local Leslie’s for a free in-store AccuBlue® water test.
  2. Shut the pool pump off.
  3. Remove the skimmer and pump baskets from your system. Baskets can halt the flow of conditioner into the filter once it’s added.
  4. Replace all lids that were removed to take the baskets out of your system.
  5. Turn the pump and filter system back on.
  6. Add the required amount of conditioner into a bucket of pool water, and mix it into a slurry.
  7. In small increments, add the slurry into the skimmer. Once you notice the conditioner disappear, add the next small dose. Continue this until all the mixture is gone from the bucket. By adding conditioner this way, the product will get stuck in the pool filter, allowing it to safely dissolve into the water without staining.
  8. Continue running your pump for one hour after adding pool conditioner.
  9. Replace all baskets in your system.
  10. At night, make sure to run your system for at least 8 hours to help the conditioner finish dissolving.
  11. Avoid backwashing or cleaning your filter for 48 hours after the addition of this product. Because it takes multiple days for conditioner to dissolve, if the filter is cleaned only 24 hours later, some product will be removed with it.
  12. Retest your water in 7 days to ensure your CYA is within the ideal range.

Don’t forget, you can bring in a pool water sample to your nearest Leslie's location to get a free in-store AccuBlue 10-point water analysis, which includes a detailed reading of your pool’s CYA level and nine other aspects of water chemistry. Stop by your local Leslie's for more great tips and advice about adding stabilizer or conditioner to your swimming pool.

Top Products

Leslie's Chlorine Stabilizer Conditioner

Chlorine Conditioner

Leslie's 7-Way Test Strips

Water Testing

Leslie's Instant Water Conditioner

Instant Conditioner

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Leslie’s makes every effort to provide accurate recommendations based upon current ANSI/APSP/ICC-5 2011 (R2022) standards, but codes and regulations change, and Leslie’s assumes no liability for any omissions or errors in this article or the outcome of any project. You must always exercise reasonable caution, carefully read the label on all products, follow all product directions, follow any current codes and regulations that may apply, and consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. Leslie’s assumes no legal responsibility for your reliance or interpretation of the data contained herein, and makes no representations or warranties of any kind concerning the quality, safety, or suitability of the information, whether express or implied, including, without limitation, any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.