Automatic Pool Chlorinators

What is an automatic pool chlorinator?

An automatic pool chlorinator works by automatically distributing chlorine into your pool. Instead of you having to manually disperse chlorine into the pool, you just have to insert chlorine tablet into the chlorinator, and it will do the job for you. 

The chlorine tablets that you add to the chlorinator dissolve as the filtered water passes over them. 

Also, the chlorinator usually comes with a dial that lets you control the amount of chlorine that goes into your pool, so you can make an adjustment depending on the level of chlorine in your pool.

By using a chlorinator, you can keep your pool safe from algae and bacteria without the hassle of you personally having to add chemicals to your pool daily.

When using an automatic chlorinator, you want to check it weekly to make sure that there’s proper amounts of tablets left for your pool.

How does a pool chlorinator work?

With an automatic inline chlorinator, the water goes inside through the hole and comes up into the chamber. The water then dissolves the chlorine tablets and comes out the other side into the pool.

Your pool chlorinator will come with a dial, which allows you to control the water flow. You can increase or decrease the dial depending on the amount of chlorine you want to put inside your pool.

For instance, if your pool’s chlorine level is high, then you’ll want to lower the water flow to disperse lesser chlorine into the swimming pool. If the chlorine level is low, then you’ll want to increase the flow.

When you want to add chlorine tablets, you shut the pump off, take the lid off, and fill up your chlorinator with a 3-inch chlorine tablet. Put the lid back on.

Also, be sure to keep your face away during the process since there will be chlorine gas in the automatic chlorinator.

Next, turn the pump back on and let the air out of the chlorinator, and let it run. 

If you don’t let the air out, you’ll have half air and half water trapped inside the tube, and you’ll only be using half the chlorinator.

Different types of automatic chlorinators

There are two types of automatic chlorinators: Inline and offline.

The major difference comes from how they are plumbed into your pool system.

Inline chlorinator

Inline chlorinators directly connect between your pool filter and the return system of your pool. As a result, the inline chlorinator is lesser prone to air pockets and blockages, which makes it more reliable.

In general, it is better to install the inline chlorinator when you build a new pool rather than installing it as an upgrade for an existing pool.

One potential drawback of the inline chlorinator is that it causes flow restriction because the entire system has to go through the chlorinator.

Offline chlorinator

Offline chlorinators connect to your pool return line, which allows them to detour the pool filter. Chlorine tablets will then be dissolved into a small amount and the equipment will return the chlorinated water into your pool.

One advantage of the offline chlorinator is that you are not forcing the entire system to go through the chlorinator, which allows better flow.

In case you are adding a chlorinator to an existing pool, it’s often better to go with the offline over inline since it’s effective and takes less effort to set up.

Whether you go with inline or offline chlorinators, they both help you reduce the manual handling of chemicals.

How to set the chlorination rate

The amount of chlorine you need will depend on the size of your pool. If your pool contains high volumes of water, then you’ll need a chlorinator that can handle the demand of your pool volume.

Depending on the type of chlorinator you use, it can sanitize anywhere between 20,000 to 60,000 gallon pools.

So, you need to make sure you pick the right type of chlorinator that’s designed for your pool size. But more importantly, you need to measure your pool volume correctly.

What type of chlorine to use in a pool chlorinator

Generally speaking, automatic chlorinators work with dissolvable chlorine tablets and sticks. So you’ll be using chlorine tablets in most cases.

Automatic pool chlorinator pros and cons


  • Less work than manually adding chlorine
  • You can control the rate at which chlorine is added into your pool
  • Works for all types of pools


  • Costs more than manually adding chlorine
  • You may need to hire a professional for installation
  • Maintenance cost

Differences between automatic pool chlorinator and an automatic chemical feeder

While both works using a similar mechanism, an automatic pool chlorinator is specifically designed for dispersing chlorine, whereas chemical feeders also work with other chemical tablets, such as bromine.

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