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Pool Chlorine Guide: All You Need to Know

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Swimming pool maintenance is by no means easy. It takes time and care to maintain a clean, safe and healthy pool.

Pool chlorine is a vital part of the swimming pool chemistry, and understanding it is essential for all pool owners. We won’t blame you for not being a pool chemist and not knowing all about this mysterious chemical. But that’s no excuse for not reading this guide and finding out all there is to know about pool chlorine.

What is Pool Chlorine?

Chlorine is a chemical (obviously) sanitizer found in liquid, powder, or tablet form. It's sold as a ready-made product that can instantly be added to your swimming pool to make its water cleaner and safe to use.

There are a few issues chlorine prevents and eliminates. This includes:

  • Growth of algae.

  • Dangerous microbes carrying illnesses like hepatitis A, cholera, etc.

  • Any unsanitary substances coming from humans in the pool (saliva, sweat, dirt, and even poo/pee).

  • Any other debris that might find its way in.

But how does it do that? The mixture of chlorine and water creates a new chemical called hydrochloric acid. Yes, the same one your teacher used to mess with in chemistry class.

It specializes in combining itself with microbes like bacteria or viruses and rendering them harmless. The combined molecular structure is known as Chloramine, in case you were interested to know.

Forms of Pool Chlorine

We touched on this earlier when we talked about pool chlorine being available in tablet, powder, and liquid forms. However, each type has its individual pros and cons that users should know about. None of them is the best choice for every single person. It all depends on your needs.

Liquid Chlorine

This type is usually the least expensive option among the three. You can pour it directly into your swimming pool. However, it has a pH level of 13, so you need to balance your pool water carefully. This can increase costs.

Liquid pool chlorine is usually best for large commercial pools.

Chlorine Powder

You can sprinkle powdered chlorine into your swimming pool or decide to dissolve it in another container and pour it in. Powdered chlorine allows you to control your chlorine levels a lot more effectively.

Chlorine Tablets

Chlorine tablets are usually used with an automatic dispenser that drops them into the pool after a set time. It’s the easiest form of chlorine to use and perfect for most pool owners.

Stabilized vs. Unstabilized Chlorine

These are the two main types of pool chlorine you need to be aware of as a pool owner.

Stabilized Chlorine

Stabilized chlorine is a solution that has been mixed with cyanuric acid (CYA). This basically protects your chlorine from the sun’s UV rays and reduce its burn rate.

Why is this important? Chlorine is very vulnerable to the sun and will burn a lot quicker when exposed to UV light. This can make maintaining chlorine in outdoor pools expensive and difficult.

Stabilized chlorine solves this problem because it has a slow burn-rate against UV light.

Unstabilized Chlorine

It should be obvious what this is by now. Unstabilized chlorine is a solution that isn’t mixed with CYA. It’s more appropriate for indoor pools that are not exposed to the sun’s UV rays.

It's cheaper than its stabilized counterpart and is often used for emergency top-ups to restore correct pool chlorine levels.

How to Add Chlorine to Your Pool

There are three main methods you can use to add chlorine to your swimming pool.

Floating Chlorine Dispenser

We'll start with the most affordable option. A floating chlorine dispenser consists of a container that floats around your pool and slowly dissolves the chlorine into the water.

This is probably not the best way to disperse chlorine in your pool since it just floats around the top. There isn’t enough circulation to get the optimum level of sanitation.

Pool Skimmer Basket

You can also choose to leverage your pool’s skimmer basket to add chlorine to your pool. Tablets are usually the best choice for this method.

Just add it to the basket, and the water passing through will start to dissolve the chlorine itself. Just remember to remove the chlorine once the pump is off.

Automatic Chlorinator

This by far the best option on this list. Of course, it’s also the most expensive one. It attaches to your filter system and automatically dispenses a certain amount of chlorine to your pool at set times.


Please remember to follow all the safety guidelines regarding chlorine. Most of them will be mentioned on the product packaging.

If you’re looking for high-quality pool chlorine, Discount Pool Supply has you covered with the best prices and service in the industry. Check out our catalog and get your sanitizers delivered immediately.

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