Chlorine Tablets: Adding Chlorine to Your Swimming Pool

chlorine tablets for swimming poolsHow does using chlorine tablets makes pool water safe?

Well, first, let’s look at what’s in swimming pool water…

Aside from H2O, swimming pool water has dirt, debris, sweat, urine, and oils from the body that inhabit your oasis.

The purpose of chlorine from chlorine tablets or liquid is to kill bacteria, algae, and other organisms living in the water, tiles, cracks and crevices of your pool.

You might be wondering:

Is Chlorine in both forms the same chemical used in both underground and above-ground swimming pools?


And without chlorine in your pool, bacteria and algae will take over and turn the water green and dangerous.

Regular Pool Maintenance Schedule

Here’s the plan:

Follow a pool maintenance schedule that includes testing the levels of chlorine in your swimming pool weekly (when the pool is opened).

This will help keep your pool chemistry results more accurate and will keep you from having to add excessive amounts of chlorine tablets at one time.

Chlorine Testing

When testing your pool water, get the water sample 10 – 12 inches below the surface…

And another thing to note is to take the sample away from the pools water edge or up against the wall.

I know how easy it is to just reach down along the pool’s edge with the test tube but it’s not a good practice.

Pool Testing Kits

It’s insane how many different testing kits you can buy to keep track of your chlorine levels.

I recommend you buy a pool test kit that offers these three different types of test results:

  1. Free Available Chlorine – the free available chlorine is the amount of chlorine in the water available to sanitize. This chlorine test result is the most important.
  2. Combined Chlorine – the combined chlorine is something you don’t want too much of because it’s the measurement of negative compounds in the water. If this number is high there’s a sure indication the water in the swimming pool has enough free available chlorine.
  3. Total Chlorine – the total chlorine is the combination of free and combined results.

Your pool service schedule should include testing chlorine and chemical weekly, adding chlorine tablets or liquids as required, running the pump, cleaning the filters and brushing.

Effects of Low Chlorine Levels

When swimming pool water doesn’t have enough chlorine in it swimmers can become ill from the bacteria and algae that may be living in the water.

Adding chlorine to pool water with low chlorine may cause the water to turn cloudy. It’s a good practice to wait until the water clears up before entering it. The cloudiness is a reaction of the living organisms to the chlorine.

Effects of High Chlorine Levels

Too much chlorine in a swimming pool can get absorbed through the skin and cause sickness. It will also cause the eyes and nose to burn. A good sign that a pool has too much chlorine is a strong gaseous smell.

Caution! These indications can also mean enough chlorine but too much acid. The only way to know for sure is to test the pool water weekly and adjust your chemicals based on the results.

Watch this interesting Pool Chemistry Video about all the chemicals that are put in pool water… 

Handle Chlorine Tablets with Care

It’s always best to use precautions (use eye protection and gloves) when handling Chlorine tablets because they are highly concentrated and the chlorine can be easily absorbed into your skin.

Also, chlorine is bleach and will ruin clothes (think Clorox). If you get it on your clothing remove the clothing immediately and wash them…

And Chlorine tablets may have powder or dust that seems harmless but the chlorine powder will still cause staining and irritation so wash hands and clothes immediately.

Comparing Before Buying 3 Inch Pool Chlorine Tabs

OK, let’s review three different brands of chlorine tables…

And just in case you’re wondering, I used get my chlorine tablets at Lowe’s or Leslie Pool Supplies but now I buy pool supplies and chlorine tablets online.

How to add chlorine tablets to pool (Usage):

Chlorine tablets are the most common form of chlorine and they are easier to use than the liquid. When purchasing chlorine tablets, purchase a quality brand and keep them stored in a cool and dry location away from pets and children. Fresh is best!

Remember it’s not about buying the cheapest or most affordable chlorine tablets…

Below is a chart for how many chlorine table to add to you pool water. This chart is for reference only but should help keep you chlorine level close to the correct levels.

How Much Chlorine to Add to Your Pool?

Note: For reference only.

3″ Jumbo Tabs / 8oz. PER GALLONS OF POOL WATER



5,000 7,000 10,000 13,500 20,000 25,000 30,000
Tabs Per Week 1/2 1 1-2 2 2-3 3-4 4-5 5-6

Adjust chlorine doses as needed and always read labels.

How to Properly Add Chlorine Tablets to Your Pool


While chlorine is an essential part of caring for your swimming pool, it is dangerous so you need to be careful and protect yourself when handling it. Chlorine tablets make adding chlorine to your pool easy but they can be misleading.

A regular pool service schedule includes adding chlorine tablets as needed to maintain proper level.

Caution! Most test kits advise adding ounces of liquid chlorine rather than tablets so this may take some learning to get used to their affect on your swimming pool. Careful not too much.

If you can’t figure it out alone please get professional pool service assistance.

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