Chlorine Tablets: Are they all you need?

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chlorine tablet

chlorine tablet

We have seen a misuse of stabilized chlorine tablets over the years.  When using liquid chlorine as the sanitizer in your pool, it is necessary to stabilize it unless your pool is indoors.  The sun’s UV rays deteriorate the liquid chlorine because it contains no stabilizer.  If you only used liquid chlorine without any added stabilizer, your chlorine reading would drop to zero in a matter of hours to a few days, depending upon how much sunlight your pool water receives.


The chemical that protects the liquid chlorine is called cyanuric acid.  It is the active ingredient in the white chlorine tablets that are used in your chlorinator (erosion feeder), or the floating container in your pool. These tablets dissolve slowly over time (erode) as they are exposed to your pool water.  


In salt pools, chlorine is being generated whenever your pool pump is running.  Liquid chlorine in not added to salt pools for this reason.  Salt pools still require a stabilizer to protect the chlorine being generated by the salt cell, just as liquid chlorine pools do.  We use a granular form of cyanuric acid, which is added to the skimmer when the pump is on.


Some people believe all they need to add to their pool water are the stabilized chlorine tablets.  We have seen many cases where 5 or 6 tablets are stacked to the top of the erosion feeder, when only one per week or so are required.  A cyanuric acid reading is required each week to determine how many ppm (parts per million) are in your pool water.  That is the only way to know if you need to add a chlorine tablet to your water.


We have seen cyanuric acid readings over 150 ppm.  Levels this high will make the liquid chlorine ineffective in sanitizing your pool water.  The water may become cloudy and/or allow an algae bloom occur.  The normal range is between 30-50 ppm.  When the levels test higher than normal, you will need to drain off some of your pool and add fresh water to dilute the cyanuric acid levels.


Knowing the proper levels for your chemical readings is essential.  They all work together to make your pool water safe to swim in.  Improperly balanced pool water can cause skin and eye irritation, deteriorate the pool surfaces, ruin metals, and cause algae blooms.  Don’t make the mistake of assuming the use of chlorine tablets is all you need. For more information on pool care click blog. Like us on Facebook!


Happy Swimming!

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