How To Add Chlorine Tablets To Your Pool

Chlorine tablets are everywhere.  What are these little white hockey puck things and why do so many pool owners use them?  Pool chlorine tabs are here to keep your pool safe, crystal clear, and clean. By using your tab float or feeder, you can be sure your pool is getting the chlorine it needs.  If you have an outside pool, you're probably going to need pool tabs in the near future.

Chlorine tabs are meant to dispense 1 ppm free chlorine per day so your chlorine doesn't bottom out.  It gives you a little more time until you can manually add your chlorine.

Why Chlorine Tablets Are So Great?

Chlorine tablets are a safe and effective way to keep your swimming pool clean, clear, and healthy.   It can also aid in keeping your pH level in line with no pH bounce.  For more convenience, put them in your tablet floater or a chlorine tab automatic chlorinator.  This will also help keep your pool maintenance cost in check.  Chlorine is one of the most inexpensive and effective ways to sanitize your pool water.  Not only that, chlorine oxidizes and kills organic matter in your pool.  Adding the right amount of chlorine will ensure your pool is safe to swim in.

Chlorine tablets come in one-inch and three-inch sizes. I prefer the three-inch tablets.  They're easy to handle and sometimes are less expensive than the smaller 1-inch chlorine tablets.  Larger three-inch chlorine tablets are very good for larger pools, but smaller pools can do just as well.  You'll be using less of them which, in turn, saves money in the long run.

How To Add Chlorine Tablets To Your Pool

Why Do We Add Chlorine To Our Pools?

Chlorine's function is 3-fold: Sanitize, oxidize, and kill organic matter in the pool.  Chlorine has been used for years and is a powerful and very effective way to kill algae and bacteria in your pool water.  By adding chlorine to your pool, you'll ensure the water is always safe to swim in for you and your family and friends.

How Much Chlorine Should I Add To My Swimming Pool?

For normal home pools, you will want to maintain a chlorine level of 2 - 4 ppm.  Higher chlorine levels generally will do little to kill organic matter in the pool.  This is considered a safe range and a smart way to balance your pool water and protect against contaminants without the risk of having any skin or chlorine irritation.  The best way to test your chlorine will be with a good test kit.  I use and recommend the Taylor K-2006 kit over test strips.

Choose The Right Chlorine Tablets For Your Pool

Trichlor chlorine tablets, or trichloroisocyanuric acid, are sold in  1 inch and 3 inch sizes.  These are chlorine pucks that you can either put into a swimming pool floater or a chemical feeder.  Please remember these tabs contain CYA which will increase your stabilizer.  They are not meant for your pool's sole source of chlorine.  For a pool size of 15,000 gallons and over, I recommend the 3 inch size.  It provides longer  sanitizing power and will save you money in the long run.  For lightly used smaller pools, 1 inch chlorine tablets should serve you well.

Three Ways To Add Chlorine Tablets To Your Pool

Adding chlorine to a pool is easy, right?  Simply walk it around the deep and sweep to mix it up.  But, chlorine tablets cannot be added in the same way that liquid chlorine or chlorine granules are added to your pool.  There are better options on the table.     

Floating Chlorine Dispenser

Your dispenser will be floating in your pool, releasing the chlorine and acid your pool needs.  The importance of pool chlorine tablets is essential to having a crystal clear pool.  Simply unscrew the top of the floater and place the chlorine tablets inside, screw the top back on, and toss it back into the pool.  Be sure the holes on the bottom of the dispenser are open all the way to allow for better circulation of the pool water.  This one is great for those pool owners who like to take longer vacations and don't want to worry about their chlorine tablets running out too soon. 

Chlorine tab floats are convenient, but if you have a pool liner, the may not be the right choice.  Tab floats can sometimes get caught behind a ladder or near the skimmer and dispense too much chlorine in one area which can bleach out and damage the liner.   

Automatic Chlorinator

This is by far the best way to add chlorine tablets to your pool.  Basically, all you need to do is replace the chlorine tablets when they run out.  It's also good to have a proper pool water testing kit like the Taylor K-2006.  Chlorinators offer you greater control over your pool’s chlorination needs, and if you don’t like handling chlorine tablets more than you need to, a chlorine tablet chlorinator might be a good choice.  Automatic chlorinators can be manually dialed in to the correct level for your pool's needs.  If you plan on installing an automatic chlorinator, make sure it's the last thing to be installed in the plumbing.  Never install an in-line chlorinator before a heater or chlorine salt cell.  They'll corrode in a very short period of time.      

Pool Skimmer

This is the most common way to add chlorine tablets to your pool.  The theory is the water will move over the tablets in the skimmer basket and dissolve them faster than a tablet floater does.  One pro tip: I'm a member of 5 professional pool groups on Facebook.  This scenario has been covered and answered numerous times.  Out of the nearly 5000 members worldwide, there's not one professional pool member who recommends adding chlorine tablets to the skimmer.  Several pictures have been posted showing damage to gaskets, filters, and plumbing.  The first picture shows a disintegrated spider gasket.  The next picture shows the line leading from the skimmer was about 90% blocked.  The overwhelming consensus by all of my pool professional pros was "tabs in the skimmer".  There are much better alternatives to adding chlorine tablets to your pool.     

How Adding Chlorine Tablets To Your Pool Can Help You 

Can adding chlorine tablets to your pool make your life a little easier?  Yes it can!!  Remember, most chlorine tablets are stabilized, which means they contain CYA/stabilizer.  This can cause your CYA to starts creeping up.  You always want your CYA to be in the right range of 30 - 50 ppm.  Chlorine tablets are by far the easiest and most effective way to maintain your chlorine level of 2 - 4 ppm.  You'll always be assured your pool is properly sanitized and ready to swim in.

Good luck and have a great Summer!!

Chlorine Tablets FAQ 

You'll find the answers to the most common asked questions about chlorine tablets.

How long do chlorine tablets last?

If stored in a cool dry place, your chlorine tabs should be good for 2 - 4 years.

How many chlorine tablets will I used in a week?

That depends on many factors such as pool size and usage.  On average, you can expect to use 4 chlorine tablets per week per 20,000 gallons of pool water.

How many times a week should I put chlorine in my pool?

You will want to test your chlorine twice per week and add chlorine to maintain a chlorine level of 2 - 4 ppm. 

How long after adding chlorine can you swim?

You'll want to wait about 30 minutes, or until the chlorine is at a safe level.

How long does it take for chlorine levels to go down?

That can depend on many factors such as the current level of your chlorine, water temperature, heat, and sun.  You'll want to wait to swim until the chlorine is at a safe level, normally about 4 ppm.