How to Add Chlorine Tablets to Your Pool

Owning a pool means spending a lot of time keeping the water clear of unwanted intruders. Whether you’re learning how to keep ducks out of your pool, skimming away leaves and bugs, or researching how to kill black algae in your pool, keeping things out of your water can seem like the most important job you have as a pool owner.

But as it turns out, it’s something you need to add to the water that makes the biggest difference. Sanitizer is one of the cornerstones of basic pool chemistry, and adding chlorine tablets is an easy way to introduce this essential chemical to your pool.

Why We Add Chlorine to Swimming Pools

Because it’s inexpensive, powerful, and effective, chlorine is one of the the most popular pool sanitizers on the market. Adding chlorine to your pool water will kill viruses and bacteria, keeping you, your friends, and your family safer when swimming.

How Much Chlorine Should You Add to Your Swimming Pool?

Ideally, the chlorine concentration of your swimming pool should be at least 1 part per million (ppm), and not go above 3 ppm.

Staying within that range is the safe and smart way to balance protection against contaminants with the risks of having too much chlorine in the water, which can cause eye, nose, lung, and throat irritation.

To ensure your pool water has the right amount of sanitizer, it’s essential to test the water on a regular basis. You can use test strips or kits for pool water testing, determine the exact levels of chlorine and other chemicals, and then fine-tune them as necessary.

AquaChek Select 7-in-1 Pool and Spa Test Strips Complete Kit Price: $14.46
AquaChek Select 7-in-1 Pool  and Spa Test Strips Complete Kit
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How to Choose the Right Chlorine Tablets for Your Pool

Chlorine tablets come in one-inch and three-inch sizes. We prefer the three-inch tablets because they’re easier to handle and, depending on their popularity in your area, might even be less expensive than the one-inch version.

We also recommend the three-inch chlorine tablets because they provide sanitation for 5,000 gallons of water per tablet, meaning you can use fewer of them, which can also save you money.

Frustrated by adding chemicals and trying to keep your pool clear all the time?

We cut out all the fluff and confusion of pool maintenance and stripped it down to the bare bones in this easy-to-read illustrated digital guide.

Click here to learn more

To use the right number of tablets, always round your pool volume up to the nearest unit of 5,000 gallons. For instance, your pool has a capacity of 20,000 gallons, you would add four chlorine tablets. But if your pool holds just 16,000 gallons, you’d still use four, three-inch chlorine tablets. It’s that easy.

In The Swim 3-Inch Pool Chlorine Tablets - 50 lbs. Price: $109.94
In The Swim 3-Inch Pool Chlorine Tablets - 50 lbs.
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Four Ways to Add Chlorine Tablets to Your Pool

If you’re used to using chlorine granules that you add directly to the water, you may be thinking you can just throw a handful of tablets in and hope for the best.

Whoa, there! Before you start trying to skip those chlorine tablets on the surface of your pool, consider a few better options.

floater-vs-skimmer-vs-chlorinator

Floating Chlorine Dispenser

These plastic pool gadgets travel around your pool, dispersing sanitizer as the chlorine tablets inside dissolve. They’re convenient and low-maintenance, but if you have a pool liner, floaters may not be the right choice.

Floating dispensers can sometimes get caught in one location and dispense too much chlorine in a concentrated area, discoloring and even damaging your pool liner. They’re also passive, dispensing chlorine unevenly without flowing water passing over them as part of your pool’s water circulation.

Combined with the unwanted anxiety about possibly damaging your pool liner, the potential for disaster is simply too high compared to the perceived convenience.

Milliard Floating Chlorine Dispenser with Thermometer Price: $13.99
Milliard Floating Chlorine Dispenser with Thermometer
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Pool Skimmer

A better method is adding chlorine tablets directly to your swimming pool skimmer. When your filter is running, water will move quickly over the tablets in the skimmer basket, dissolving them much more effectively than the floater does. The chlorinated water is then pushed into your pool through the return jets, allowing chlorine to spread evenly throughout the pool.

One potential drawback to adding chlorine tablets to your skimmer baskets is that the tablets will continue to dissolve even when the filter isn’t running. This can create some highly chlorinated, highly corrosive water that can damage your equipment if left unattended.

You can get around this problem by removing the partially-dissolved tablets when your pool filter isn’t running, or by installing a variable-speed pool pump to cycle water continuously without running up an outrageous electric bill.

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Hayward SP2303VSP MaxFlo VS Variable-Speed Pool Pump
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Automatic Chlorinator

We have a winner! This is our chlorine tablet dispersion method of choice. If you want greater control over your pool’s chlorination levels and don’t like fussing with chlorine tablets more than necessary, a chlorinator is your best bet.

You can load it up with tablets, set it for a chlorine level of 1 ppm to 3 ppm, and verify the level with test strips until you get a feel for the setting that works best based on your pool use, weather, and water quality.

This method combines the greatest efficiency and convenience for adding chlorine tablets to your pool. Just remember to make sure your chlorinator is the last thing the pool water passes through before re-entering the pool to make sure your water is clean, clear, and properly chlorinated.

Pentair Automatic Chlorinator Price: $66.26
Pentair Automatic Chlorinator
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Chlorine Granules

The pulverized version of chlorine tablets can be sprinkled directly into your pool water. You can use this method if you like. However, be aware that it’s more localized than any of the other three methods, which makes it less effective.

It’s also more time consuming—there’s a lot of measuring to be done—and can, as with a chemical floater, bleach your liner or damage equipment if the chlorine builds up in one area. For these reasons, we much prefer the automatic chlorinator or the second-best skimmer method.

In The Swim Pool Chlorine Granules - 25 lbs. Price: $99.99
In The Swim Pool Chlorine Granules - 25 lbs.
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Adding chlorine tablets to your pool doesn’t have to be a headache that has you reaching for another kind of tablet. All you need to do is decide how much time, effort, and investment you’d like to make.

Then sanitize your pool with the method that’s easiest, most convenient, and most effective for you, and you’ll be able to use your pool with total peace of mind.

Happy Swimming!

Frustrated by adding chemicals and trying to keep your pool clear all the time?

We cut out all the fluff and confusion of pool maintenance and stripped it down to the bare bones in this easy-to-read illustrated digital guide.

Click here to learn more
The Art of Pool Care

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