A swimming pool can be manna from heaven on a midsummer’s eve; however, owning a pool is more than just keeping it filled with water and taking a dive. A lot goes into keeping the water clean and sanitized. From skimming the leaves and bugs off the top to making sure algae or bacteria don’t find their way into the water; it becomes more of a full-time job.
Keeping it clean of debris is one thing, keeping microscopic bodies out is entirely another. You can either regularly drain the water out or go for an easier alternative; adding chlorine tablets into the water. Sanitization is a big issue when it comes to swimming pools, so it stands to reason that you need the best chlorine tablets to fight the plague of bacteria in your pool.
Chlorine tablets come in many shapes, forms, and sizes, and choosing the finest one for your pool can be a chore, to say the least. However, why use chlorine tablets instead of just pouring in liquid or granulated chlorine?
The answer is simple; tablets dissolve at a much steadier pace, making sure your pool stays sanitized for longer.
Having said that, more questions arise; how can an ordinary person know which is the top pick chlorine tablet? What core factors need to be considered when looking to buy chlorine tablets? Do all tablets dissolve at the same rate and have the same effect?
In this post, we’re going to comprehensively review some of the chlorine pills available in the market. The idea is to help you narrow down options and pick the one suited for your needs. We’ve also included a guide to help you make an informed decision when buying chlorine tablets for your pool.
Let’s dive into the world of chlorine tablets to understand what each of them has to offer you.
RX Clear is a popular brand when it comes to pool sanitizing products. From granular chlorine to water balancers, pumps, and filters, RX Clear has been offering high-quality products for a long time. Its high-end pool sanitizing 1-inch stabilized chlorine tablets offer a number of features to users, as listed below.
- Dispenser-friendly and measurable – each chlorine tablet is packed separately and can be added into a dispenser for uniform dispersal. Each tablet is fit for 360 gallons of water (7 tablets for 2,500 gallons) for 1 week.
- Affordable – Rx Clear tablets have the same effect as its competitors but at a much lower price
- pH neutral – which means you don’t have to make frequent chemical adjustments
- UV protected – These tablets are UV stabilized, meaning that the sun’s rays do not impede their effectiveness or function
- Dissolve slowly – the pool’s pump ensures even distribution throughout the pool
- These tablets act as a bactericide, algaecide, and disinfectant.
- Although slower than many, there are some chlorine pills that are slower to dissolve
- Relatively less powerful, thus more tablets are needed for larger pools
- Poor packaging
The Rx Clear 1-inch stabilized chlorine tablets make for a powerful tool when it comes to keeping your water sanitized, fresh, and clear. This means you won’t have to take on the task of scrubbing off algae from your pool floor, walls, or between the tiles.
The fact that they are cost-effective is reinforced by their pH neutrality since you don’t have to add any more chemicals to balance out their use in your pool. They are ready to use as-is. This balanced formula also prevents any bleaching and staining.
Unfortunately, these tablets are often poorly packed, which can lead to cracked or broken tablets. However, it doesn’t affect the quality of the tablets.
Another 3-inch chlorine tablet you can go for is Pool Brand’s 50-pound bucket. These tablets are EPA approved, featuring 90% chlorine content, undiluted and unblended. This ensures that no residue is left behind in your pool after it dissolves.
- UV stabilized pills – meaning they aren’t affected by the sun’s heat
- Undiluted, leaving behind no residue for you to clean up
- Dispenser-friendly or can be dropped into the water as-is
- Sturdy pills – they don’t break off as easily in the packing
- Act as a sanitizer and algaecide
- Dissolve very quickly
- Imbalances pH levels
- Give off a pungent odor when in the box
Pool Brand’s 3-inch chlorine tablets find their place as a promising contender in our chlorine tablet list because of two major reasons. Firstly, they don’t leave behind a residue, and secondly, they are very powerful. However, the lack of instructions on the bucket might mean that you’ll have to see how much suits your needs on a trial and error basis.
These pills are relatively sturdier, but that is not to say they are unbreakable. The bucket is hard to open and you’re going to have to play some tug-of-war with it, which could break the pills. An extra box for them can go a long way in preserving them.
Pool Mate has been in the pool sanitation and cleaning industry for a long time now, especially with its ever-popular all-in-one chlorinating tablets. These tablets don’t just work to sanitize your swimming pool but also help clarify the water and make stain removal easier.
- pH neutral
- Acts as a bactericide, algaecide, disinfectant, stain remover, stain inhibitor, and much more.
- Slow dissolving
- Measurable; 1 to 3 tablets for every 10,000 gallons
- Inhibits algae growth
- Poor packaging – can lead to crushed pills
- Not suitable for use with chlorinators
- Relatively costly
Pool Mate’s all-in-one solution comes with a price tag, but is well worth it when you look at the numerous features it offers. Since the pills dissolve slowly, their effects last much longer than many other pills. However, since they aren’t as powerful, you might have to use more pills each time depending on your pool’s size.
Maintain is a relatively lesser-known brand for chlorine tablets, but doesn’t fall short when it comes to performance. These tablets are one of the most cost-effective solutions available in the market, offering the same level of sanitization you’d expect from any other brand. They are extremely versatile and can be used in any manner, be it via dispenser, chlorinator, or simply by dropping a pill in your pool.
- Slow dissolving
- Strong tablets – not as susceptible to breaking as others
- Good packaging
- 99% chlorine, which means it leaves behind little to no residue
- As the name suggests, they are giant (thick). These last much longer than ordinary pills, thus being even more cost-effective
- UV stabilized
- Can be overused easily for small pools or spas.
- Might cause chemical imbalances
Maintain’s 3 inch giant chlorine tablets might not be as fancy as branded chlorine tablets but do the job perfectly. These pills are concentrated and are thus just as powerful, if not more, than others. You will have to invest in a bigger dispenser, though, if you’d like to use them in one since they are much bigger than your average chlorine pills.
Unfortunately, they aren’t pH neutral, so you might have to check for chemical imbalances frequently.
With 99% Trichloro-S-Triazinetrione, In The Swim’s 3-inch chlorine tablets last much longer than others and are much more powerful too. Although not as cost-effective as Rx Clear’s 1-inch tablets, they are priced much less than many others in the market making it a good contender for one of the best chlorine tablets out there. Some features these tablets boast include;
- Slow dissolving – They last much longer than other tablets.
- Thicker – This makes each tablet last much longer.
- Eliminates bacteria
- Prevents algae buildup
- UV Stabilized
- The size and weight mean it is not suitable for pool floaters or skimmers
In The Swim 3 inch pool chlorine tablets are very powerful and stay active for a long time. One 1 or 2 tablets are enough to sanitize 10,000 gallons of water. This means overusing these tablets is a definite possibility, which can lead to increased cyanuric acid levels.
These tablets are pH neutral, which means you can use them without having to worry about chemical imbalances. However, they are very fragile and although the box (bucket) is sealed shut and tablets are individually packed, it doesn’t stop them from breaking up or crushing, and sometimes leaking out of the packaging.
See also: Buying Guide for Pool Safety Fence
Doheny’s 3-Inch pool chlorine tablets aren’t far behind the competition when it comes to maintaining pool sanitization and preventing algae growth.
Some features these tablets boast include;
- These tablets act as a bactericide, algaecide, and disinfectant
- UV-stabilized pills
- Slow dissolving
- Maintains water clarity
- pH neutral
- 99% Trichloro-S-Trizainetrione and 90% stabilized chlorine
- Poor packaging – can lead to crushed pills
- Not suitable for use with chlorinators
- Might require some trial and error to calculate proper usage quantity – very easy to overuse
Doheny stands tall when compared to others, offering an all-round and long-lasting performance against bacteria, viruses, and algae. These US-made pills can be a fine addition to your pool sanitization arsenal. Just be careful about the quantity you add. A dispenser can go a long way in ensuring that you don’t end up cleaning residue off the tiles.
See also: Our top picks for pool shocks
Nu-Clo offers a wide variety of water treatment and sanitation products, from shock treatment bags to sparkle conquests and chlorine tablets of different sizes. The 1 inch tablets have been held in high regard by customers thanks to the numerous features it offers.
- Measurable – the manufacturer recommends 1 tablet per 2,000 gallons.
- pH neutral
- Tablets weigh ½ oz, making it fit for use in dispensers and chlorinators.
- EPA certified
- Works as a bactericide and algaecide
- Sturdy packaging – pills don’t break as easily
- Dissolve very quickly, thus might have to be used quite often
- Relatively less powerful
- Might leave behind residue after dissolving
Nu-Clo chlorine tablets dissolve remarkably quickly in water and are thus very effective in the short term. Keep in mind; you might have to give the water another dosage after a few days. Make sure you don’t over chlorinate it, though.
Each bucket contains 120-130 tablets, which could last you a long time if used properly.
Buying Guide for the Best Chlorine Tablets
We’ve tried to mention some of the finest chlorine tablets out there to make your purchase decision easier. If you have some other products in mind, you should definitely go for it as long as you know what to look for. We’ve compiled a buying guide to help you get the most out of your purchase.
See How Much Chlorine Your Pool Needs
This is one of the major concerns people have when putting chlorine into pools; how much is too much?
The idea is to kill off any bacteria, viruses, algae, or other foreign bodies that you can’t skim off. Too little, and some bacteria might evade chlorination. Too much, and your water will not only get cloudy, but you will also start feeling it in your eyes, leading to a poor swimming experience. It will also end up adversely affecting your pool equipment.
How much chlorine your pool requires depends upon the size and shape of the pool, or simply, the volume of water it contains. As you add chlorine into the water, a portion will always be consumed by the disinfection and oxidation process. The portion consumed is referred to as chlorine demand.
As a basic rule of thumb, there should be no more than 2.0 mg/L and a minimum of 0.2 mg/L of free chlorine present in your pool. You can buy digital chlorine level checkers to help you out with the process.
Type: Stabilized vs. Unstabilized Chlorine Tablets
We have discussed chlorine tablets extensively in the reviews above, mentioning UV stabilization again and again; it’s time to elaborate on that. There are two types of chlorine tablets; stabilized or unstabilized.
Stabilized tablets are those that have been treated to resist UV light from the sun. They last much longer in water, regardless of the temperature or exposure to sunlight. In fact, their effects are much more prominent in the sunshine, being the perfect choice for outdoor, in-ground, and above-ground pools.
Unstabilized chlorine tablets are designed for hot tubs, spas, or even your overhead tank where sunlight is scarce. If exposed to sunlight, they get used up much faster.
It is important to note that chlorine tablets don’t just include chlorine, but also other chemicals. One of the major ingredients is trichloro-s-triazinetrione or trichlor. Other chemicals are introduced to enhance the life and potency of the tablets.
If you frequently change your pool’s water, you should go with tablets containing a high concentration of trichlor. If not, you are bound to experience frequent algae formation. If you don’t change the water that often, go with tablets that focus on other algae fighting additives.
Before purchasing any product, check its label to ensure that each tablet contains around 90% chlorine.
Pool maintenance can be a wallet-heavy task, but chlorine tablets contribute only little to that. These tablets are usually very cost-effective and come in bulk. Buying individual tablets not only end up costing more, but are also against judicial policies in many states.
When making a purchase, check how long a tablet lasts and how many tablets are included within. Then compare the two to the price to see whether the price-quantity ratio is acceptable.
The Size of the Tablet
Usually, two things depend on the size of a chlorine tablet; how long it will last and the size of the dispenser you have. Chlorine tablets are usually sized 1 or 3 inches. Each dispenser can hold only a single tablet of a certain type, however, you can also purchase bigger dispensers that have room for more.
The right tablet size for your pool will usually be written on the chlorine tablets’ box/bucket. Check the label to see how many tablets are required for 10,000 gallons of water.
Tablet Dissolution (Dissolving) Speed
This is perhaps one of the determining factors when it comes to purchasing a chlorine tablet. A rapidly dissolving tablet will release all the chemicals faster, effectively shocking your pool. This makes your pool unsafe to swim in. You might experience irritation on the skin and in your eyes in that case.
If, however, the speed is too slow, it could lead to an uneven distribution of chlorine, or even insufficient chlorine levels. You will have to add more pills in order to ensure even distribution. If you must, go with the slow dissolving pills, since you will have more control over your chlorine levels in this case.
Chlorine Tablets Vs. Chlorine Sticks Vs. Liquid Chlorine
Chlorine sticks can range from 4 to 4¼ inches and weigh from 7 to 8oz each. These dissolve much slower than chlorine tablets but have a way of sitting down on the pool floor, leaving behind stains as they dissolve.
On the other hand, liquid chlorine is often used to shock treat your pool. You simply pour a little on all four corners of the pool and let your pump do the rest. Make sure you don’t let anyone swim in the water before the effects wear off. You can find relevant instructions printed on the back of the liquid chlorine bottle.
Chlorine Tablets FAQs
Q – How Should I dispense chlorine tablets in my pool?
There are # ways of dispensing chlorine tablets in your pool. You can place your tablets within a floating chlorine dispenser, which will float around the pool dispensing chlorine evenly. Or you can use a chemical feeder, which is installed on the return line pipe. As the water flows through your pump, it will carry a bit of dissolved chlorine with it and disperse it around the pool.
You could also choose to toss some tablets directly into the water at different places, but this risks uneven distribution. Where some places might have too little chlorine, others could be shocked.
Q – How long do chlorine tablets take to dissolve?
Dissolving rates differ based on the chemicals the tablet contains. Slow dissolving 3 inch tablets typically dissolve over the course of a week in 7,500 to 10,000 gallons of water. 1 inch tablets will dissolve in the same amount of water quicker. You can find this information on the label of your product under ‘intended use.’
Q – Is it safe to swim in chlorinated water?
It depends on how much chlorine you’ve added in the water. If you’ve shocked the water, you probably should wait a while before diving in. Check the chemical levels until it comes down to 2.0 mg/L, then it’s safe to swim. However, if you’re using a floater with the directed number of pills included within, there is no harm in swimming. Just try to avoid standing close to the floater if you can.
Q – How often should I chlorinate my pool?
Chlorine tablets should be added to the water at least once per week. However, this is not set in stone. Depending on the tablet you used, its concentration, and your pool’s size, it may vary. If your pool has old or outdated equipment, you might have to add more chlorine to make up for that.
Finding a suitable chlorine tablet can be a chore – which we have tried to simplify with this review. There are always newer ways of being introduced in order to make your swimming session much safer, healthier, and refreshing. New compounds are being tested in chlorine tablets to ensure a lasting and cost-effective solution.
When making a purchase, make sure you go through our buying guide and re-read our reviews again to ensure that you get the best chlorine pill out there and a good return on your investment. Swimming is an exceptional exercise with benefits too numerous to mention, but it only works if the water you’re swimming in is safe and hygienic. A chlorine pill can help you do just that, and more!
- Case study: Clear Comfort reduces instability of chlorine levels in commercial pools
- Case study: Commercial pool chlorine reduction comparison
Last update on 2022-06-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API