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What are Chlorine Tablets?

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  • Written By: Bill C.
  • Edited By: Jacob Harkins
  • Last Modified Date: 22 September 2016
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Chlorine tablets are solid pellets of a chemical compound containing chlorine that are used to disinfect and purify drinking water and water used in swimming pools. Chlorine has long been used to kill bacteria and microbes in water to make it safe. In its gaseous form, however, it is poisonous. Chlorine tablets became one of the most common methods to deliver the desired results safely.

Chlorination to make water potable dates back to the turn of the 20th century. Soon afterward, chlorine also began seeing use to make swimming pools safe. As home swimming pools became popular, the need developed for a quick, easy way for the average person to add chlorine to water quickly, easily, and without the hazard of coming in direct contact with dangerous chemicals. Chlorine tablets become a popular way of achieving that goal. Their use eventually extended to use in drinking water treatment plants.

In swimming pools, chlorine tablets are used not only to kill bacteria in the water but also to prevent the growth of algae and to maintain the proper pH level. The pH level is a rating on a scale that indicates how acidic or caustic a substance is. A safe pH level for a swimming pool is between 7.2 and 7.6.

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Treating a pool regularly with chlorine tablets, however, does not usually guarantee that the water will remain safe. Continued use of chlorine can make the chemicals combine and become ineffective. Most pools must be “shocked” about once a week to ensure that the water is safe to swim in. Chlorine in high concentrations can be purchased in tablets and other forms to shock a pool. Individuals shocking a pool should be careful to read the directions on the product being used because the process is generally different from everyday usage.

Chlorine tablets can be purchased in most stores where swimming pool supplies are sold and can generally be found for sale online by entering the name in an Internet search engine. Most are relatively expensive and simple to use. Disinfecting and purifying a pool typically involve little more than releasing the tablets into the water from a dispenser and waiting for the tablets to dissolve and dispense through the pool.

Manufacturers of most hot tubs, spas and whirlpools recommend using chlorine tablets or other chlorine-based products to sanitize the water. The frequency of such treatments may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. The owner's manual generally provides directions for proper chemical treatments.

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kylee07drg
Post 10

I put two chlorine tablets in the skimmer of my above ground pool. Once they have completely dissolved, I replace them with two more. I constantly keep tablets in there.

I have some test strips that tell me which chemicals my pool needs. If I don't keep the chlorine tablets in the skimmer at all times, the strips always tell me that the pool is low on chlorine.

Since they have to dissolve, it's a slow release delivery. It provides a steady dose of chlorine, and this is good because the sun could zap a pool of a big dose quickly.

StarJo
Post 9

I have an above ground swimming pool, and I buy the 3 inch chlorine tablets in a big bucket with a lid that locks tight. Those tablets are highly concentrated, and I can tell by the way the smell burns the inside of my nose when I open the lid.

I try not to breathe until I have shut the lid. I hold the tablets with a paper towel so the chemicals don't burn my skin.

I am glad that the lid locks in place, because I have a couple of curious puppies that love to get into things. However, I think even they would be deterred by the strong, sinus blasting odor of chlorine tablets.

lighth0se33
Post 8

@shell4life – You are not crazy. I have tasted the same thing in my water. There is an easier way to make your water taste good than boiling it.

You should get a water filter that is meant to attach to your faucet. I have one, and all I have to do is flip a switch to get pure, good tasting water.

You do have to replace the cartridges in the filter now and then, and they cost about $15 each. However, when you consider how much you would have spent on bottled water during the time it took for your cartridge to go out, you end up saving money by using the filter.

shell4life
Post 7

My mother thinks I'm crazy, but lately, I have started noticing a chlorine taste in our tap water. Daddy says it's because they have had to add more chlorine to it to keep it sanitized, but neither of them can taste it.

Has anyone else ever tasted the chlorine in your water? It's driving me nuts. I hate to have to buy bottled water when I already pay for tap water, but I can't stand to drink it as it is.

I've been boiling it, but that is too time-consuming when all I want is a glass of water. Any suggestions for easier ways to get rid of the taste?

julies
Post 6

My neighbors have a swimming pool and haven't done a very good job of keeping the water sanitized.

I used to have a pool and remember there were things you needed to do every week to make sure the water was disinfected, clean, and safe to swim in.

One day when I was visiting with her, she asked me if I knew anything about taking care of a pool. She had relied on her husband to take care of it, but he traveled a lot for work, so she figured out she better start learning how to do it.

I told her how I used tablets that contained chlorine every week to help keep the water sanitary

. My best advice to her was to go to a supply store and talk with the most knowledgeable person there.

Once you get on a regular maintenance schedule, it is not hard to keep the water clean and your pool ready to use at any time.

bagley79
Post 5

I usually buy my chlorine tablets the same place I buy the other products I need to treat my water. Since I am using these for a hot tub instead of a swimming pool, I don't need to buy nearly as many of them because I am treating a much smaller space.

They really are convenient and inexpensive to use and work as a great disinfectant. This isn't the only thing that needs to be done to make sure the water is clean, but using these on a regular basis sure makes a difference.

I never wanted a swimming pool because I thought it would be too much work to keep it maintained. I knew all of that

work would be my responsibility, so I went with a hot tub instead.

There is still a lot to be done to make sure the water is disinfected and everything works right. I don't mind the work as long as I get a lot of use out of it. I try to use it several times a week, and especially enjoy it if I have had a stressful day.

popcorn
Post 4

@manykitties2 - There should be instructions on the package of chlorine tablets that you buy that will tell you how often to add them to your pool.Generally you should check your pools PH levels once a week to see if more chlorine is needed.

There are also online calculators that can help you figure out how many tablets you'll need to add depending on how big your pool is.

As far as being effective, chlorine tablets are supposed to be the best form of disinfectant on the market now. I wouldn't buy them in bulk though unless you had a good storage space. Enough tablets for the summer should be just fine to start.

manykitties2
Post 2

How often should you use chlorine tables for your swimming pool? Also, are chlorine tablets for pools more effective than the liquid bottles of chlorine that are sold?

I am going to be moving into a house that has a pool and I will be looking after the pool myself. I have read that chlorine tablets for swimming pools help to keep bacteria at bay, which is great, because I am a bit paranoid about inheriting a pool with germs in it.

Also, is it better to buy chlorine tablets in bulk, or should I just buy enough to last me the summer?

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