How Long After Adding Stabilizer Can I Swim?

Robert Wimberly

how long after adding stabilizer can i swim

If you’re new to the pool industry or you just bought/built your pool, you might need to learn how to keep it in tip-top shape, like by adding stabilizers.

Now, stabilizers are particularly known to clean and keep the water’s pH balanced, but the catch is that they’re composed of harsh chemicals. So, if we add stabilizers to the pool, doesn’t that mean that it’s not safe to swim in it anymore?

The answer is no. All you need to do is wait until it’s safe.

So, “how long after adding stabilizer can I swim?”This can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 days, depending on the stabilizer you just added to your pool.

Why is Adding Stabilizers Important?


This might sound scary, but when you swim in a pool that has not been properly maintained, you can acquire a variety of recreational water illnesses.

On that note, stabilizers are a good way to maintain cleanliness and keep the water in your pool balanced. Basically, its main purpose is to keep the chlorine levels stable and kill any algae/bacterias that are present.

It’s typically used at the beginning of summer or any time you add more water to the pool. But you can also use them prior to you and your family’s swimming activity.

Types of Stabilizers and Waiting Periods

Of course, we can swim with stabilizer in the pool, but there are waiting time before it’s entirely safe.

1. Calcium chloride


Background: Calcium chloride is commonly employed in swimming pools to maintain a consistent pH level to solve the issues of adding pH up.

This compound can also be used as an anti-microbial agent in certain situations, since it can help reduce the amount of bacteria and viruses in water.

Additionally, this type of stabilizer is a calcium hardness increaser, and any pool environment needs this kind of fortification.

If the water is too soft or deprived of calcium, then there’s a good chance that the water will begin to take what it lacks from any part of the pool or pool equipment, thus damaging them in the long run.

So, after adding this to the pool, how soon can you swim in it?

Waiting time: After adding Calcium chloride, whether this is in powder or tablet form, you should wait around 2-4 hours or one full cycle through the filter before swimming in the pool.

2. Muriatic acid


Background: With a pH below 1.0, this powerful and corrosive acid helps keep the water in the pool balanced by lowering the pH.

Although hydrochloric acid and muriatic acid have the same composition, they are still different. Muriatic acid is a diluted form of hydrochloric acid.

One should keep in mind that it’s best to dilute this first in water (rule: add acid to water, not water to acid), before adding it to the pool.

Waiting time: If you’re adding muriatic acid to your pool, it’s best to wait at least 30 minutes.

3. Shock/chlorine


Background: Shock or chlorine stabilizer is a popular choice among people who own above-ground pools.

You can put this stabilizer in pool to keep algae away and reduce the amount of nasty bacteria in the water. The downside is that when chlorine is exposed to UV light, it won’t work as well as it should.

That’s why it’s imperative to check whether the chlorine you’re purchasing is premixed with Cyanuric acid, as this substance can reduce the UV ray’s impact on chlorine, making it last longer.

Most people also worry about the pool stabilizer not dissolving, especially when it involves the chlorine/cyanuric acid stabilizer.

In this case, it is generally recommended by the experts to add the stabilizer first to the pool skimmer rather than pouring it directly into the pool so that it will dissolve faster.

Waiting time: It is permissible to swim once the chlorine concentration is approximately 5 parts per million (ppm) or after a 24- to 48-hour period of time.

4. Algaecide


Background: Algae grows and thrives in any environment where moisture is present, i.e., a swimming pool.

And it’s inevitable, there’s no solution to stop them from growing. There are, however, ways to limit their growth or kill them, with the best option being algaecide.

Algaecide disrupts certain essential life processes in algae, such as the cessation of photosynthesis or the rupture of algae cell walls.

Waiting time: After adding algaecide, wait for about 15 minutes before diving into the pool.

5. Pool clarifier


Background: If you have a cloudy and murky swimming pool that can’t be solved by using filters, then use a pool clarifier.

The cause of cloudy water in a pool can be attributed to a variety of factors, including an imbalance in the pH or alkalinity of the water, an algal bloom, an excess of calcium, or the growth of bacteria.

Regardless of the cause, the pool clarifier can solve things for you, as this does

a great job of getting rid of stuff that’s too small to fit through your filter.

When adding this to the pool, keep in mind that high stabilizer can make your water issues even worse.

Waiting time: It’s recommended to wait for 24-48 hours after adding the pool clarifier to the pool.

6. Flocculant


Background: Flocculants produce the same outcomes as clarifiers; they both work best on cloudy waters.

So, what’s the difference between the two?

Basically, the clarifier floats the accumulated particles, or ‘clumps’, to the top of the pool so that they can be picked up by the filter, while the flocculant catches the dispersed particles, groups them together, and then sends them down to the bottom of your pool.

Waiting time: For this one, there’s really no specific waiting time. As long as the clump gets vacuumed from the bottom of the pool, you should be good to go.


“So, how long after adding stabilizer can I swim?” This can take 15 minutes up to 2 days, depending on the type of stabilizer that you just added to the pool.

It is important to adhere to the waiting periods in order to avoid exposing oneself to harmful chemicals. And always remember to keep your children, or anyone else for that matter, from the pool during the treatment process until the pool is deemed safe.

And finally, after adding the stabilizers to the pool, it’s best to inform everyone when it’s safe to dive into the pool. It’s also good to write this down on a piece of paper, or simply print the information and stick it in the refrigerator/any other visible place for all your family members to see.

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