The Ultimate Guide to Chlorine Tablets for Your Pool

Maintaining the clarity of pool water is a must when it comes to keeping your swimming pool water crystal clear, safe and inviting in appearance. Chlorine tablets dissolve slowly and provide lasting and convenient hassle free protection against various contaminants.

How do chlorine tablets work?

Chlorine tablets kill bacteria and prevent the growth of algae. They also help to maintain proper pH levels in your pool water.

When used in combination with a floating feeder or automatic chlorinator, chlorine pucks dissolve at a consistent and steady rate to keep your pool water in optimal condition so that you can always enjoy a refreshing swim.

Where do you put chlorine tablets in your pool?

You can add chlorine in tablets in 4 ways: using an automatic chlorinator, a floater, a skimmer or manually sprinkle chlorine granules directly to the water. We’ll mention of few pros and cons of each of the ways of chlorinating your pool.

We strongly agree with SwimUniversity that there are some pros for adding chlorine tablets into a skimmer: it’s cheap, convenient, you can easily see if the tablets have dissolved and add more and there is next to none maintenance of skimmers required.

However, our recommendation is not to use a floating chlorine dispenser (floater) if you can avoid it. What’s wrong with this option? Well, if your pool has a vinyl liner, the floater could get hung up near the wall and dissolve chlorine in one area only and thus bleach the liner.

In addition, floaters do not add chlorine to your water effectively because pool water does not pass through them and evenly dispense the chlorine in the pool.

What if using a floater or adding tablets to your skimmers are your only two options available? In that case, it’s better to add chlorine tablets to your skimmer baskets than use a floater.

Why is that? When your filter is running, the water will move 

quickly over the tablets dissolving them properly and push chlorinated water into your pool through the return jets, allowing the chlorine to spread throughout the whole pool.

However, when the pool filter is not running, the tablets will dissolve creating a very high concentrated amount of chlorinated water in the skimmer basket which can cause your equipment to corrode

If you plan on adding tablets to your skimmer baskets, you should remove excess chlorine when you turn off the pump to prevent damaging the pool equipment. What you could also do is upgrade your pump into in a variable speed unit as it will allow you to run your pool 24/7 without increasing the power bill.

Automatic chlorinators are the best option because they allow you to add a larger amount of chlorine in one go and regulate the output according to your needs. Yes, they are an investment, but they are there to protect and facilitate even bigger investment: your swimming pool. So, where to put chlorine tablets depends on your budget as well.

As for adding chlorine granules altogether, it’s not an absolute no-no, but you should avoid it if possible. It’s time-consuming and you also risk bleaching your liner.

If you don’t have a liner, however, any of the methods of how to use chlorine tablets we discussed above will be fine, the most effective method being investing in a chlorinator, then skimmers as alternative, floaters as the third best alternative and finally adding granules manually as the last resource of pool chlorination method. How many chlorine tablets in floater you need to put depends on the size of the tablets and the size of your pool, but we’ll get to that in a bit.

What size chlorine tablets do I need?

This is another frequently asked question. Well, the most widely used chlorine tablets come in 1-inch and 3-inch sizes.

1 inch chlorine tablets are usually used for smaller swimming pools, hot tubs and spas. With this size, you have better control over how much chlorine gets into water. This is important because too much chlorine can lead to over-chlorination which can in turn cause bleaching of bathing suits but also eye and skin irritation.

How many 1 inch chlorine tablets in pool are normally used varies but the usual dosage of one inch tablets is 25 tablets per week for 10,000 gallons of water.

Smaller tablets also dissolve more quickly than larger tablets so you up chlorine levels faster.

3 inch chlorine tablets are the most common and popular form of chlorine on the market. A lot of pool owners like them because they are the ideal size for floaters and chemical feeders. They are also the perfect size for your average, medium sized swimming pool. Pool stabilizer is often added to the mixture during production, to help protect the chlorine molecules from the sun.

You can also buy chlorine sticks which are pretty much the same as to 3 inch tablets, so the choice comes down to personal preference. Sticks might be a better option for your particular chlorinator as regards the shape. As for how many chlorine tablets per week you should use, it is a standard recommendation to use one to two 3-inch tablets per 10,000 gallons of water a week.

As for Trichlor (3″ tablets or sticks), it’s not often used for large commercial pools because it doesn’t dissolve fast enough to meet the chlorine demand. Trichlor is more suitable for pools under 50,000 gallons. Being stabilized, Trichlor tablets will build up cyanuric acid in your pool pools over time which requires adding fresh water periodically. Since they have a very low pH level, Trichlor tablets decrease your pool water pH and alkalinity levels, so you will also need to make sure that your pool is well balanced by testing your water regularly.

Aleks Stanic

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