Where to Put Chlorine Tablets in an Above-Ground Pool (3 Reliable Locations)

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Chlorine is the most common sanitizing agent to keep pools looking crystal clear.  However, chlorine comes in many different forms –liquid, tablets, sticks, and granules. 

For many pool owners, chlorine tablets are one of the easiest options to maintain proper chlorine levels in the water with the least amount of effort.  Tablets are slow to dissolve, and often require less frequent addition than other methods.

In some instances, above-ground pools don’t have the same equipment as an in-ground pool.  This could result in differences in where chlorine tablets are placed.   

Fortunately, there are options for all types of above-ground pools, including inflatable pools, to work with chlorine tablets.  

For example, you can place them in the skimmer basket or floating chlorine dispenser.  Alternatively, if you want to reduce the frequency that you need to add tablets, you can buy an automatic chlorinator.

In this article, we’ll share some tips on where to put chlorine tablets in an above ground pool. Let’s dive in!

Before Adding Chlorine Tablets

Chlorine is an essential part of your pool’s water chemistry. It helps keep the water clean, clear, and safe.

Before adding chlorine tablets to your above-ground pool, a couple of important considerations are needed.

Chlorine Tablet Size

Chlorine tablets come in two common sizes: 1-inch and 3-inch diameters.  While their size differs, they often contain the same concentration of the active ingredient: calcium hypochlorite.

In determining which size is appropriate for your pool, you should consider the pool size. The smaller tablets have less surface area and will release chlorine at a slower rate than the larger tablets.  This means the smaller tablets are best for smaller pools to avoid over-chlorination.  

If your pool holds more than 5,000 gallons, the 3-inch tablets are probably best.  Otherwise, for pools that hold less than 5,000 gallons, the 1-inch tablets are ideal.

Water Balance

In order to determine the appropriate level of chlorine needed in the water, you’ll need to consider the current stabilizer level.  

Stabilizer, also known as cyanuric acid (CYA), helps protect the chlorine from being broken down by the sun’s UV rays.  However, too much CYA can reduce the effectiveness of chlorine.

Most chlorine tablets include stabilizer to increase their longevity, which over time will cause build-up of the CYA level.  Alternatively, stabilizer can be purchased and added to the pool on its own –this is best when a pool has been freshly filled.

CYA can be measured using a pool test kit.  Once you have a CYA reading, you can determine the ideal level of chlorine.

Ideal CYA levels range from 30 to 60 ppm, which can correlate to target chlorine levels of 2 to 9 ppm.  Less CYA means lower level of chlorine needed, while higher CYA means more chlorine needed.

Since CYA levels don’t tend to shift as much as chlorine levels, CYA doesn’t need to be measured as frequently.  Once you’ve established your steady CYA level, it’s important to routinely measure your chlorine level to ensure you’re adding the tablets at the appropriate time.  

pH can also affect the effectiveness of chlorine, so be sure to keep it balanced between 7.2 and 7.6.

You can test your pool’s water yourself or take a sample to the local pool store for testing. Both ways will give you instructions for maintaining the chemical balance in your pool.

Where to Add Chlorine Tablets to Your Above-Ground Pool

Depending on the type of above-ground pool, you may have several options on where to place the chlorine tablets: 

1 – Floating Chlorine Dispensers

Floating chlorine dispensers are an excellent option for maintaining your pool’s chlorine levels. They’re simple, cost-effective, and easy to use.

The dispenser can be placed anywhere in the pool, making it easy to distribute the sanitizer all throughout. Some dispensers are designed to accommodate a specific tablet size, so you’ll want to ensure you purchase the correct tablets.

The floater can be used for any above-ground pools, regardless of whether you have a skimmer or feeder.

One drawback to this method is that the dispenser could easily get stuck behind a ladder, or stray too close to your pool borders. If this happens, a portion of your pool could continuously be exposed to high amounts of chlorine, which could cause discoloration of the liner.  

To avoid this problem, periodically check the dispenser to ensure it’s not stuck in a single spot.  

2 – Skimmer Basket

A skimmer is part of your pool’s filtration system that helps reduce debris, such as leaves and bugs.  

When you place a tablet in the skimmer basket, water will pass over it more quickly and effectively than if you had placed it in the floating dispenser.  

The water then flows back into the pool through the return jets, causing chlorine to spread evenly throughout.

However, this method isn’t ideal because most filtration systems aren’t designed to run all day long.

When the filter system is off, you’d be left with a tablet that’s partially dissolved, causing high concentrations of chlorine in one area.  This could possibly damage your skimmer basket and surrounding surfaces. 

To avoid this, take out the tablet once you’ve turned off the pump.

Additionally, this option may not be possible for all above-ground pools, since they don’t always have a skimmer included.  Fortunately, it’s often possible to retrofit your pool with an add-on skimmer.  

3 – Automatic Chlorinator

Last but not least, the most effective method on the list! 

As the name implies, an automatic chlorinator is a device that automatically adds chlorine to your swimming pool with minimal intervention. It is often located downstream of the pump and filter.

The chlorinator regulates your pool’s chlorine levels and helps maintain a steady state.  

All you’ll have to do is load up the device with chlorine tablets, adjust the settings, and voila! You’re in business. 

The main drawback of this method is that it’s pricier, and requires some installation efforts.


So, where to put chlorine tablets in an above ground pool?  There are several options including a floating dispenser, the skimmer or an automated feeder.

While each location will help keep chlorine at the right level, each has its own set of drawbacks that you’ll want to consider.  Increased manual intervention may be needed for the floater and skimmer basket to prevent damage to the pool, whereas an automatic feed can be expensive.

Ultimately, it’s essential to periodically check your chlorine levels to ensure you’re adding the proper quantity of tablets to the pool.  This will keep the water safe for any swimmers!

Happy (clean) Swimming!

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