How To Choose A Pool Chlorine Dispenser

pool chlorine dispenser with man adding tablets

When choosing how to sanitize the water in your pool you are faced with some choices.  First, do you use a salt chlorine generator or have a salt water pool?  If you decide a salt system is not for you, now you need to choose which method of chlorine you want to use.  Liquid chlorine can get expensive. Also, it’s dangerous to handle, so typically that option is off the table.  Trichlor tablet chlorine is great, having the stabilizer built in along with the chlorine.  How do you get the chlorine into the water? Do you put them into the skimmer? Enter the pool chlorine dispenser, an easy solution for adding chlorine.

Why A Pool Chlorine Dispenser Is Useful

What many people do with tablet chlorine is simply put them into the skimmer. This is not good for your pump and heater. In fact, it may cause premature corrosion of the pump bearing and the heater core. When you put tablet chlorine into your skimmer, you are sending concentrated chlorine directly to your equipment set. Therefore, you should consider a pool chlorine dispenser instead.  

Pool Chlorine Dispenser Types

There are a few different types of pool chlorine dispensers. In this article, we’ll review your options and point you in the right direction.

Floating Pool Chlorine Dispenser

The most simple system is the floating chlorine dispenserThese are inexpensive units and get the chlorine into the pool reliably.  However, they are floating on top of the pool water and when you swim you will bump into them.  It’s not uncommon for children to use them as a play thing, and in the process get exposed to high concentrations of chlorine. We do not recommend these units for that reason.

Floating Pool Chlorine Dispenser In Pool

In-Deck Chlorine Dispenser Units

Next, there are in-deck units like the Pentair Quik Deck Chlor which need to be installed at the time your pool is built.  These are simple systems with a pipe running from the pool equipment and into the erosion tank. Then the water overflows the erosion tank and balances into the pool, feeding chlorine into the pool through a return inlet. These systems work great, and are easy to maintain.  You simply remove the lid, drop in the chlorine and put the lid back on.  It couldn’t be simpler. The flow rate over the chlorine tablets is controlled with a valve at your equipment, so once you get the flow rate set, you don’t need to touch it.

In-Line Chlorine Dispenser

Finally, one of the most common dispensers is the Pentair 320 “rainbow” chlorinator. This chlorinator is installed at the pool equipment ‘in-line’. This means it’s installed directly into your return line for the pool returns. This also requires a corrosion resistant check valve to be installed between the chlorinator and your heater. This prevents heater core damage from the concentrated chlorine seeping back into the piping toward the pump while the equipment is turned off. 

The in-line chlorinator requires you to go to the equipment area to add chlorine.  This type of chlorine dispenser is great for a retro-fit of your existing swimming pool, since the entirety of the system is installed at your pool equipment, and doesn’t require any work on the pool itself.


Ultimately, we hope you choose to install some form of chlorine dispenser on your new pool. If you have an existing pool, we would recommend you install an in-line chlorine dispenser. However, getting the floating chlorinator out of your pool and avoiding putting tablets directly into the skimmer are both moves in the right direction.